MotoOnline.com.au speaks to Jake Moss about his season so far and his new privateer deal for 2012.
Campbell Mining, Troy Lee Designs, Maxima Racing Honda’s Jake Moss has had a rough shake of the moto dice the past 12 months. After spending most of his career moving up the ranks and being hot property for the factory race teams, an injury-plagued 2011 saw him unwanted by the big players. Disillusioned and discouraged by the turn of events, Mossy was convinced he was going to turn his back on motocross and head to the mines.
“I actually wasn’t going to race this year,” the 23-year-old says. “Like I was 100 percent convinced I was going to work in the mines in Perth or build sheds in Adelaide with my good mate Shaun Williamson.”
Over the past two years it seems Jake Moss was synonymous with the term ‘injured’. A horrendous shoulder injury at the end of 2010 where he tore every ligament off the bone (among a long list damages that saw his arm only hanging by the skin around it) saw him out for six months, but returned with Serco Yamaha to contest the 2011 MX Nationals Pro Lites championship.
However, after a string of three second-placings and positioning himself well for the title, Mossy crashed at Albury and sustained another major injury to the same shoulder, this one ruling him out for further two months.
“After that we decided to just get it completely fixed up and get ready for the Super X series,” he explains.
Mossy’s contract saw him positioned underneath the CDR Yamaha tent for Super X riding a 450. However, as good as he felt practicing on it, he couldn’t put it together come race day.
“I never felt 100 percent on the bike. It felt heavy and didn’t really suit me. My best result was a seventh, but I think mentally I had taken a bit of a beating as well. To this day I know my head still isn’t where it should be and I always have a worry at the back of my head about injuring my shoulder again. It’s a tough thing to work through.”
Disaster again struck at the Campbelltown round of the Super X when Jake found himself hitting the dirt yet again. This time he punctured a lung, broke a rib and needed surgery on his finger that saw him surfing the couch for 10-weeks during the crucial contract-signing season.
“I got promised a deal with Yamaha for 2012, but when the time came they made a business decision to not sign a rider who gets hurt all the time,” Moss says. “I respect that and understand it, but it was still a big blow for me. It was then I decided I’d had enough and wanted to go and work in the mines.”
As luck would have it, Jake’s father Greg ran into Dave Campbell, the owner of Campbell Mining at a race meeting at Coolum. When Campbell heard of Jake’s decision to leave motocross he promptly decided to step in and help fund Jake’s return.
It was an 11th-hour rush to get the bike and sponsors all organised, and Jake only had four-weeks on the bike before the opening round of the nationals at Conondale.
“I felt pretty unprepared, but Chris Prestige did an awesome job of ringing around and organising the team’s sponsors, and Dave is one of the most genuine blokes you’ll ever meet. It all came together in the end and I’m stoked on how it’s all come together.”
Now, after winning the two opening MX1 races at Goanna Tracks, Jake again has the belief in himself to be a legitimate podium contender.
“I’m getting fitter and fitter and I actually don’t think I rode that well at Coonabarabran,” he admits. “I wasn’t used to leading a race, but it seemed a lot of people were crashing behind me and I somehow got two wins out of it. It’s given me a lot of confidence and I rode a lot better at the Sunny State titles at Coolum last weekend as a result.
“My aim this year is to finish in the top five at every round,” Mossy elaborates. “I think the biggest thing I’ve changed is my overall race strategy. I’ll settle for a fifth in a race and won’t scramble or panic for more points. Of course I’ll take it if the opportunity is there, but I’m more focused on consistency now than in the past.”
Jake’s privateer outfit is made possible by, Unifilter, LKI Clothing, Alpinestars, Pro Circuit, Bridgestone, EKS Brand Goggles, Moss Institute, Delwest Valve Train Components, Versus Luxury Wheels, Hammerhead Designs, A1 Accessories, Talon Hubs & SM Rims and MPE Suspension.