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20 Juin 2024

Jack Chambers; an American in Europe

Only a handful of Americans have ventured to Europe to race the FIM Motocross World Championship in recent years but one who has taken up the challenge is Bike It Kawasaki's Jack Chambers, a twenty-one year old from Auburndale in Florida. We took the opportunity at the midway part of the season to chat with him about his experiences to date and his expectations for the rest of the year.

How do you feel your season is progressing?
This is my second season in Europe and I feel like we are building all the time; I have a lot more experience than last year when every track was new to me. I feel confident coming to tracks I've been to before; at the couple of races which are new to me I just need to get there and learn the track as quickly as possible.
How competitive is MX2 this year?
The top-ten in MX2 is super-close; anyone who is tenth this week can win next weekend. We've been close to them and we're working towards it; we're not there yet but we'll be there soon. I'm just waiting for that one weekend to click and we'll be amongst them on a regular basis.
What has been missing to achieve that aim?
I need better starts to run up front; I can work my way through the pack and once I get to a certain position I just look at the names on the jerseys and know that we are getting there. I was tenth behind Everts one GP recently; I had more pace but I just stopped there. I had many rides last year when I was in the top ten so I know I have the speed; I just need a couple more things to click, but I can't put my finger on exactly what it is. There are not many weaknesses but overall I'm maybe missing the intensity. I've been trying to avoid making mistakes rather than sending it; maybe I'm riding a little reserved, worrying about crashing and going backwards again. Mentally I've got to turn it up a notch. I think I'm focusing on trying to make it to the end of the season and not getting hurt; I need to think one round at a time.  I just need one weekend to click and we'll be there.
What's it like coming to Europe from the States?
I've been here in Europe since March now and the life between races is tough for me. At home in Florida the sun's out and it's super fun, but in England it's the opposite; the sun doesn't come out that much. I'm changing a few things now, just trying to find happiness where I'm living and staying to help me to move forward. I don't feel I was ready for it when I first came over to Europe but it's an opportunity I couldn't turn down when I got the offer; now I'm old enough to do most things on my own. One of the toughest things in Europe is eating and the way-of-life in different countries every single weekend. The US is bigger than Europe but it's all one country; at the Amateurs my parents were always there travelling with me and the culture's the same. Here you can drive two hours and everything's completely different - a new country, different language, different food. Just learning how to fit in; one place you get good food, the next place the menu's different and you don't know what to order, learning how to say 'please' and 'thank you' in different languages.
Do you have a busy schedule?
There's not much time to rest. I'm riding the British Championship too so I'm busy for the rest of the year; I was looking at my schedule and I don't have a weekend free all the way through to the Nations in October. I think maybe it's something we misjudged at the start of the year and we've now taken the riding days down during the week; it's a balancing-act to ride enough but not too much.
You have been winning races in England, it must be a kind of mental boost?
Yes, I feel great when I ride the British Championship and I need to bring that to the GPs. I have shown in England that I can win races; we have the third round coming up and we have the red plate after a win and a second at the first two rounds. It makes a little extra cash and it brings the spirit up; it's nice for the confidence to be on the top of the podium at the end of the day.
Next stop on the GP schedule is the double-header in Indonesia, do you like overseas?
I would love to go there and surf between the two races, and I'm looking forward to the culture shock. I heard some people got sick the previous years so you got to be careful with the water and the food; I hope we can manage the two weeks well. But it's really exciting; not many people get to travel the world to do what they love, riding their dirt bike.