Interviews 17 May 2016

Unplugged: Jess Gardiner

A selection of questions and topics with the women's enduro ace.

Image: Russell Colvin.

Image: Russell Colvin.

My Way

Greatest moment of your career?
I would have to say racing the ISDE in Sardinia, Italy. Not only was it the first time we won as a team, but it was the first time I won the ISDE outright. It was a special one as my Dad was there as well, which made it that little bit more special.

Toughest race ever?
That would have to be my first ever world enduro race in 2012 in Spain. It poured down rain for like weeks and months before it. Where I live its always dusty and when we got to that race it was very difficult, to the point where you couldn’t even turn corners and you would be doing three sixties back on yourself – That was an eye opener!

Long-term goal?
I would love to do the world enduro championship again and better my results. I would also like to win a few more AORC [Australian Off-Road Championship] titles as well. Once I mature a bit more as a rider I would love to help coach younger girls and get the younger generation involved in the sport.

Favourite track?
That’s a tough one. I would have to say Hedley in Victoria. I favour the sand and really enjoy racing there. I’m looking forward to racing there at the end of July.

If you weren’t a racer, you would be?
If I wasn’t racing, I would love to be either a veterinarian or a paramedic.

Last year was Tayla [Jones], but this year it has been Jemma [Wilson], since I have been injured.

Greatest inspiration?
I would have to say my Mum [Brigitta]. It sounds a bit cheesy, but my Mum has always encouraged me to be me and do my own thing, no matter what anyone else thinks. She has always inspired me to chase my dreams. She has been a mentor in the back of my head and inspired throughout my racing career.

I never really was that superstitious. Every time I seem to injure myself it has been on the ‘one more’ moto or the ‘one more’ lap and so forth. So now there is no more one more lap, it’s I’m going to do a third lap or a fourth lap. That is the biggest thing for me at the moment.

Goal for the rest of 2016?
The goal for the rest of this year is to utilize this time to the best of my abilities. Coming back to the AORC I would love to be back on top of the top step and do everyone proud.

Off the Wall

Best all-time moto DVD/video?
Supercross The Movie. It’s awesome, I’ve watched it like 10 times.

Non-bike related hobbies?
I’ve got heaps of hobbies. Where do you want to start? On top of the list would have to be wake boarding in summer. I also enjoy mountain bike riding, kayaking and doesn’t happen often, but in winter I do love to hit the slopes and go snow skiing, which is also a favourite.

What do you drive?
I currently drive a Nissan Navara and the Ford Transit van which I drive on race weekends.

What’s on the iPod?
A bit of everything, excluding rap or anything to heavy. I listen to a variety of music from rock to R&B, hip hop. Depending on what sort of mood I’m in varies to what sort of music I listen to.

Best thing about the AORC?
What I really like about the AORC is the fact that it is really family orientated. It’s the main draw point ever since I started racing there. Everyone is really friendly and it’s just a good environment to be in, it’s a lot of fun to be racing in that series.

Who will win this year’s E2 EWC?
I don’t know. I’m not good at predicting the outcome. The E2 class is a tough class, so it’s in anyone’s hand, so I’m going to pass on that one.

Tell us something we don’t know about you?
As much as my life seems to be a ‘tomboyish’ life style, it’s also very girlish as well. My friends who know me really well know that I love to get dressed up, do my hair, and paint my nails, and so on. Away from motorcycle racing I am extremely girly.

First and last

First bike?
First bike was a Yamaha PW50.

First kiss?
Probably in that truth or dare game at school in year seven.

First proper injury?
2009 was the first time I broke something, which was my arm. It was the first ever time I attempted jumping.

First time you got in a fight?
I’ve never been in a fight. I’ve always seemed to be the middle person in trying to calm other people down. I’ve never been a fighter.

Last holiday?
If you can count overseas, I would say last Christmas in France. But I was there to train, but it’s still a holiday.

Last big crash you had?
I would say the biggest one to date would be at the start of this year in France when I over jumped a jump. I broke my collar bone. It was probably one of the biggest crashes I have had in a while just because of the way I fell and the impact of the fall. I was extremely lucky with that one.

One or the Other

Sprint format or cross-country format?
I like both, but I will have to say cross-country because I feel that I have a good fitness base. I seem to be able to carry good momentum throughout a cross-county format race.

PC or Mac?
I’m a Mac girl, however I do have an android phone.

McDonalds or KFC?

Europe or USA?
Europe. I like Europe for the charm.

Two-stroke or four-stroke?
Four stroke. The four stroke just seems to suit my riding style a lot more than a two stroke.

Blonde or brunette?
Brunette all the way!