This week’s bLU cRU Oceania Junior Cup (OJC) Profile we look at New South Welshman #14, Jacob Hatch, from St George Motorcycle Club.
The 15-year-old from Illawarra, who describes himself as cool, calm and collected, had no previous motorcycle racing experience prior to taking part of the 2019 Oceania Junior Cup. Appropriately nicknamed “Hatchling” at the track and “Henry” or “The Joker” by his mum, Jacob is currently running a respectable 12th in the OJC series.
Tell us about where your love for motorcycle racing began and why?
My dad kept bringing motor bikes home, when I was really young, they were usually for Dad as he rode in the ASBK for a few years. As I got older and developed an interest in bikes, Dad guided me and provided the right bike for me at the time. My passion for riding has really developed over the past year while racing at a competitive level through OJC.
I would like to ride every day, but it’s difficult for me to get to the track for testing as Dad works out of state, so it’s been a lot to learn on race weekends. If I can’t ride, I cycle and surf instead and then do my best to make it all come together on race day.
Your strengths and characteristics that you think set you apart?
I have a great sense of humour and can turn a bad situation around with that, humour can also help me to relax leading up to race day and provides good entertainment when travelling to and from the track.
Thinking back, tell us about one of your favourite memories growing up when it comes to motorcycling?
My favourite memory is from when I was four years old, building a jump in the park across the road from home and trying to flip my 50cc bike over the jump.
Tell us about the first time you hopped on a motorcycle.
The first time I hoped on a motorcycle was when I was around one year old, I know that because of family photos that I have seen. But the first time that I actually remember, was a little later, at the age of around four years old.
I remember riding past mum and dad on my 50cc bike once, I was standing on the seat on one foot, looking sideways at them and I ran straight into a light post.
Mum had taught me to always raise a “thumbs up” signal after a fall, if I was ok, unfortunately, this time I had knocked me out, so I couldn’t send her the “thumbs up”! It didn’t deter me from getting back on the bike.
What career do you hope to end up in? For example, WSBK or MotoGP racer?
I hope my racing career can reach WSBK level.
Tell us who your sporting idol is. How have they impacted your dedication to sport?
My sporting idol is Jack Miller because he is Australian.
It’s inspiring to see how well Jack has done and how far he has come. I have also ridden a KX85 Motard on his old training track at Proserpine QLD when I was 11 years old and I have looked up to him ever since then.
I also have a lot of admiration for Wayne Maxwell, he has been a household name at home since I was young. My Dad was racing ASBK when Wayne was starting out on the 100cc and Dad always kept us up to date on Wayne’s progress.
I always look forward to catching up with Wayne at the track and being able to congratulate him on his ride. He makes it look easy, but he definitely gives it his all.
What have you learnt from the bLU cRU Oceania Junior Cup?
As I didn’t have any prior experience on a road racing bike I have learnt quite a lot of road race craft from participating in the BLU CRU OCEANIA CUP. I have also learnt many other skills that will help further my road racing career. Damian Cudlin, Martin Port and all the mechanics have been great to work with.
Tell us about your bike, helmet, leathers, gloves and boots. How are you adjusting to the new bike? How do you find the products that have been chosen specially for you?
The Ricondi leathers and gloves look and feel really good. They have held up well, considering what I have put them through.
The AGV helmet is comfortable, looks great and has provided ultimate protection.
TCX boots have also been great, comfortable and supportive.
The Yamaha R15 has been heaps of fun, I like to refer to it as “ole faithful”.
Images: Andrew Gosling – tbgsport (head shot