Interview: Jason Meara – MXoN and British MXGP

A couple of heavy crashes for Martin Barr and Glenn McCormick in the B final unfortunately ended team Ireland’s chances of getting the main event but Jason Meara kept plugging away, coming from 15th to fifth, eventually finishing sixth after a first lap crash to showcase his speed on the international level, just as he did at the British GP two weeks earlier.

We caught up with Jason after the race to talk about his weekend in France, the British GP and racing a 350 against the 450s all year.

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Jason, disappointment for Ireland not making it into the A final, but you rode really, really good all weekend, I think you came from 15th to 5/6 in the B final. You did all you could do!

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Yeah, the start wasn’t so bad, I think I was about 10th or 12th and then I had a small crash on the first lap and then went back to maybe 16th or 17th I think. Just rode my heart out and tried to come through. I could see Martin ahead and my goal was just to get to him and back up his result. Unfortunately, he had a slip off and crashed but we all rode our hearts, we went out there to try and qualify and it just didn’t happen, so many ifs and buts but it’s motocross at the end of the day, it didn’t happen and just move on now.

I think the speed was there to be in the mix, Glenn was riding good as well, Martin fighting for a top three and you were coming through like a steam train, just some bad luck and mistakes.

Yeah, like I say, all three of us rode great all weekend, the times were all on the bubble of the top 15 where you need to be to qualify for the A final. A bit of bad luck in the main heat races as well, I had a tip over, Martin rode great and Glenn was in a good position and then he got cleaned out, so we all tried our best but we didn’t get through, it is what it is.

How did you find the whole event? The pace of those top boys, the noise of the fans, and you and Martin were 17th in your races which, in that company, is no disgrace!

It was good, that atmosphere is something else! This was my third Nations now and I have never seen anything like that, it’s ridiculous! On the sighting lap on top the hill, I just had a quick look over and it’s crazy! I enjoyed the whole event, everyone done a great job, the management and everything was spot on so yeah.

How did you find the British GP? A very fast class (MXGP) and you were hanging on to Iacopi in that last moto!

The GP was really good, it was a great warm-up for this. Going into the GP I was very nervous, I wouldn’t say nervous, more anxious of the riders you are racing against. It’s people you watch on TV and stuff. As the weekend went on, we got better and better and we left Matterley comfortable riding in that company. So, coming here I was a bit more relaxed and I think that showed straight away when we went out, we were very comfortable and the riding was pretty spot on from the word go.

And that’s probably the way to go if it’s possible, to do a GP if possible, because as you said, you are riding with those guys and then it becomes a bit more normal for the Nations.

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Definitely, Clive, that has helped us all year from motocycle, he brought the idea up earlier in the year and I was like, ‘I don’t know about that.’ I kind of don’t have enough confidence in myself sometimes! Then I said, ‘if I don’t do it now, I am never going to do it.’ After doing that, I think next year we might do a few more if possible.

You are good enough to justify doing it, you probably realised that yourself (at Matterley), did you?

Honestly, I thought going to Matterley I was gong to get lapped after 15 minutes! But it ended up we didn’t get lapped in any of the moto’s in 30 plus 2 and that was a big win for me at Matterley. I think if we do a few more we will just get comfortable.

When you are riding with Prado, Gajser and them boys in practice and stuff, what do you see that they are doing? Are you able to pick up on anything?

For one or two corners maybe! To be fair, this weekend Renaux passed me and I thought I would try and hang on for a couple of turns and you would be surprised, when you jump in behind them, you can stick with them for maybe a quarter of a lap or whatever, and you do pick up on what they are doing – it is quite different to what you are doing! And nothing mad, nothing that you look at and think, ‘I couldn’t do that.’ It’s more you look at it and wonder why you weren’t doing that more than anything! So yeah, it switched you on a bit more when you see what they are doing.

For people that don’t know, you have been riding a 350 all year and doing well on it in the British championship and two of the biggest events of the the year (British GP and MXoN) how did you find it in that company?

I thought it was fine, I don’t feel at a disadvantage at all. I made the decision to got 350, I got it at the beginning of the year. We weren’t sure if we were going back to 250 or ride a 450. We got the 350 and rode it all winter and loved it that much I just thought I would try it. Not going to lie, going into the first round I was a bit nervous about it and thought we had made the wrong decision. But, as the year went on then, yeah, I was pretty happy I stuck with it because it was a lot more enjoyable, because when you are enjoying riding a bike, the results come and I think that showed this year.

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Images: Niek Kempar/Crossrace/Nigel McKinstry