Irish MXoN Stories: Jason Meara
Last year was a great year for Jason Meara and there’s no better way than ending the season racing for your country at the Motocross Des Nations. Last year was Meara’s first time racing the event and an experience he’ll remember for a long time.
The young Irish rider will be hoping that’s the first of many appearances at the race and when we get back to racing in 2020, will be focusing on the British Championship after agreeing a deal with the Phoenix Tools Apico Kawasaki – it might just be the big break he needed.
We caught up with Meara to discuss the Motocross Des Nations from last year.
Gatedrop: What year(s) did you represent Ireland at the Motocross Des Nations and at what tracks/countries?
Meara: I represented Ireland in 2019 at Assen/Holland.
Gatedrop: The first time you got the call to represent Ireland at this event, how did it feel to get selected?
Meara: To be honest it was like a monkey of my back. For me this was the ultimate goal as a kid to get the chance to race at this event, I was so happy. now I’ve checked that of the list I’m hungry to push on for more in my career now
Gatedrop: What top riders were you up against from other countries to give people an idea of the level – do you remember which nation and individual riders that won (also who were your Irish team mates)?
Meara: I was up against the likes of Herlings, Anderson, Coldenhoff, Gajser, Prado etc. Holland went on to win on home turf. I think Coldenhoff won the overall in his class and to be honest I’m not to sure who won the other classes (Gajser won MXGP and Olsen won MX2). It was so wet and mucky as soon as our race was over all I wanted to do was wash the sand out of my eyes. My team mates were Martin Barr and Stuart Edmonds.
Gatedrop: What were the tracks like at the MXoN you rode and did you feel you were well enough prepared for them?
Meara: The track was another level of different, I’ve never experienced something like this before, we definitely were not prepared for the track. I don’t think there is a place to prepare for that race to be honest
Gatedrop: How did Ireland do at the events you represented them for?
Meara: We done okay, I mean I’m sure we would have liked more but the cards we were handed with it really was more a battle of survival. We qualified for the main event through the B final and battled to the end for the 18th overall country.
Gatedrop: Individually how did you do and were you happy with your results?
Meara: I wasn’t really happy with my performance, I didn’t ride like I know how and was a bit to tense for the majority of the weekend, I had a 29th and 31st in the races. I think if I ever get the chance to go again I can put on a better performance for sure now that I know what to expect.
Gatedrop: What memories/stories from the event stick out for you when you look back to the event? There must be some things that happened not too many people know about!
Meara: There wasn’t much happened at the event as we literally had no time to relax at all but we had a good laugh. A bunch of us went into town on the Sunday evening and went to an outside cafe, my mechanic Lyle somehow managed to get hold of a bicycle, after a few beers, he started wheeling it up and down through the outside cafe then went for a skid and completely washed out and fell off. He had 100’s of people cheering for him so that was a good laugh.
Gatedrop: When you look at the Motocross Des Nations now, do you still think it’s still as special as it used to be?
Meara: I think it is, it’s still the biggest race in the world. If I’m not riding there, it’s the 1 event of the year that I am certainly going to watch. It’s the atmosphere at this race that makes it, you have fans going wild and so many nations cheering for their country.
Gatedrop: What advice would you give to any young rider who might be lucky enough to get selected for the event for the first time?
Meara: To relax and focus on your riding and not worry who is around you.
Gatedrop: At a domestic level, what were your biggest achievements and what good memories do you have outside the Motocross Des Nations?
Meara: I have won 4 Irish MX2 championships, I’ve won an overall in an MXY2 British championship and I’ve had an overall podium at the Spanish championship round in Talavera. More recently which is probably one of the highlights of my national career, I had a 3rd place finish in a race at Desertmartin MX1 British championship round.
Interview: Andy McKinstry
Pics: Nigel McKinstry