MotoAmerica: Exclusive Interview with Jayson Uribe
We spoke to Jayson Uribe who will race full time in MotoAmerica for 2021.
Taking the leap to full-time MotoAmerica professional is something Jayson Uribe is more than comfortable doing. After all, he’s been managing his time and activities down to the minute for years. Like many riders, Jayson was hooked to racing from an early age and has had the experience of racing around the world.
He has raced in many classes including the French Superbike Championship series where he competed in the Superstock 600 class, the Moto3 class in British Superbikes, the European CEV Moto2 championship and even MotoAmerica, Uribe has thrived and excelled wherever he has raced. This is not forgetting the fact that he is also a fireman away from the track, fighting fires and saving lives, some may say he likes adrenaline!
In 2021 he will be a full-time racer in the MotoAmerica Superbike series with Fly Racing ADR Motorsports aboard a Suzuki, this means that he has to manage his time a little more carefully. We got Jayson to take a few moments out of his hectic schedule to give us a glimpse into his past and what he has planned for 2021.
How old were you when you first had an interest in motorcycles and motorcycle racing?
I was 3 years old when I went to watch my first flat track race – I was hooked from then on!
What was it about racing that piqued your interest and got you into it?
It was/is an exciting way to channel all my energy in a fun and creative way. It also opened my eyes to a whole new community of people that I’m proud to be a part of.
What was the first motorcycle you raced as a kid?
The first bike I actually raced was a 2000 Honda CRF70F. Rode that bike until the chassis broke in half!
Tell me a bit about how the opportunity with Fly Racing ADR Motorsports came about and what made you decide to take the offer?
I’ve known Dave (Anthony) for a few years now. We’ve talked on and off, but nothing serious. In December of 2020, right after I had my double arm pump surgery, Dave reached out to me regarding an opportunity to ride for him/Suzuki. After a few weeks of emailing back and forth, we decided to meet up at Chuckwalla to test the bike and meet the team. Everything went great, we both set lap records, and about 2 weeks later I signed the contract.
You’ve raced select rounds in MotoAmerica on and off over the past few years, along with BSB and a few other series in the past. What is it about MotoAmerica and the Superbike series that keeps you coming back?
It’s hard to narrow it down to just a few reasons, but I guess the top 3 would be:
· Local/national support
· Exposure (worldwide TV coverage)
You moved to the UK when you were 13 to pursue your racing career in BSB, tell me a little bit about how that experience affected your perspective on racing and how it will help you going forward.
Man, I learned more in those few years overseas than I had in an entire lifetime. I learned that I really don’t need very much to be happy, and that I used to take a lot of things for granted. Clean, running water, the internet, warm weather, and a real bed to name a few. It helped me advance my skills as both a rider and an individual by forcing me to adapt to an ever-changing lifestyle.
You raced in the CEV Moto2 Championship for two years being teammates to Steven Odendaal and Joe Roberts, how was this experience and how did it differ from anything else you’ve done previously?
Racing in CEV, and Europe in general, was life-changing for me. I was lucky to have the support I needed to achieve success in both England and France, but making the step to the Junior World Championship was another level. I learned that no matter how good I thought I was, I had a long way to go if I wanted to reach the podium. Riding with both Steven (Odendaal) and Joe (Roberts) taught me a lot about how to be an aggressive rider on the track and a respectable guy off it. AGR (the team we all rode for) also gave me so many opportunities that I could never get on my own, I’m very thankful for all they did for me/us. One day I’d like to ride for them again now that I’ve matured and advanced my skills. Not going to lie, it is difficult to see riders that I used to fight with for top 10’s in CEV achieving success in world championship Moto2.
How was the transition from European racing back to the USA and what difficulties did you face?
What is going to be the biggest challenge for you this year now that you will be contesting all rounds of the Superbike series?
Definitely the scheduling/logistics aspect. Trying to squeeze in my schooling, my careers in electrical and firefighting, and my training has proved to be a challenge. I’m trying my best to accommodate everything without sacrificing my on-track performance.
How will you define success in 2021?
Success to me for 2021 will be to consistently feature in and around the top 5. We had a strong showing at the tire test, so my confidence level going into the first race is high.
What is your favourite circuit to race in the US and why? Any favourites in the UK?
My favourite circuit in the US is a toss-up between UMC (Utah Motorsports Complex) and The Ridge. Both have tight and technical infield sections, which is where we normally shine.
Are there any circuits that you haven’t raced yet that you’re looking forward to this season?
There are a few tracks I’ll have to learn throughout the year, yes. Barber, Road America, VIR, and Brainerd to name a few. I’m looking forward to all of them, but I must say that Barber is definitely high on the list of tracks from around the world that I’d like to ride!
Who are your favourite riders to race against?
I guess it depends on what and where I’m riding. Stateside, I’d say that Andrew Lee, Josh Serne, Wyatt Farris are my favourites. I’ve ridden with them for many, many years, on many different kinds of bikes. European based, my favourites are Taz Taylor, Xavi Cardelus, and Sébastien Gimbert.
You’ve raced with a number of different manufacturers over the years, how do you think the Suzuki will do against the other bike brands in the superbike paddock?
So far, I’ve been very impressed with the package that ADR/Suzuki have given me. It’s taken some time to get used to, but we’ve been improving with every session that goes by. I think that the idea of being able to win against the other factory-supported teams may be a little far-fetched at the moment, but my goal is to always be close enough to capitalize on an opportunity to do so if one should arise.
Along with being a professional racer, you are also an apprentice electrician, fireman and journalist. How do you stay organized and focused throughout the year?
This is something I’ve worked on getting better at for a few years now. I’m lucky in the sense that I absolutely despise being bored – I always have to be doing something. The electrical work fills up the daylight hours, the training for both racing and firefighting takes up the evenings, and the journalism usually fits in right before I go to bed. I have a very structured and calculated life, which is why you’ll never see me without a watch on my wrist and a full calendar on my wall.
What’s it like for you to be on the other side of the interview process now?
I’m thankful to have experience as both an interviewer and an interviewee. It helps me to predict what someone will ask and gives me a better understanding of how to answer in a way that will properly and professionally represent myself, my crew, and my sponsors.
Who were your racing heroes as a young rider?
A few of my idols growing up were Ricky Carmichael, Travis Pastrana, and Nicky Hayden. Even to this day, I’d do about anything to get a chance to hang out with RC and TP.
Featured image – Brian J Nelson