Features 18 Jun 2024

Five Questions: Jayce Cosford

Yamalube Yamaha Racing rider outlines his goals for 2024.

At the mid-point of the 2024 Penrite Australian ProMX Championship, Yamalube Yamaha Racing’s Jayce Cosford finds himself in the top five, but locked in a tight MX2 points battle. Having recovered from some early season injuries, the 23-year-old is primed for this weekend’s fifth round at Murray Bridge, and MotoOnline caught up with him to ask him Five Questions on his year so far.

Image: Foremost Media.

Looking back on the first half of the ProMX Championship, are you happy with your performance?

It’s been a bit up and down. I started by equalling my best MX2 result – a fourth overall – at Wonthaggi and I was happy with that. I had a big practice crash just before I flew out for the second round and I was lucky not to break any bones, although I was pretty beaten up. Maitland should’ve been another good weekend for me, but I got penalised. It was disappointing, but I didn’t let it get to me. Now I feel like I’ve got my feet back under me, I’m healthy, and I can go for it again. I’ve lacked a bit of speed at some rounds, especially early in the day, and I’m a bit bummed about that, but I’m really looking forward to seeing what I can do at Murray Bridge.

What happened with that practice crash before Horsham?

Dean Ferris and I were riding at my place at Nanango. It’s a pretty hilly track and there’s a unique 100 foot jump up and over a ridgeline. Both the up and down-ramps are probably three storeys and it’s so much fun. We were doing sprints and I was overjumping it a bit, but the last time I went a bit too far right and landed in a rut and some braking bumps. There was no saving it – I got flung around and it was a big crash. I rolled up to Horsham with a black eye, concussion and feeling a bit beat up. I was hurting there, but we got through it. Then weirdly enough, as I was recovering from that, I had a long piece of grass pierce my eyeball. I couldn’t see out of it for a couple of weeks, so leading up to Gillman I couldn’t ride at all. It was a bit of a downer, but I’m all good now.

How stoked were you to win the MX2 title at the 2024 Sunshine State MX Series earlier this month?

It was a good feeling and a big confidence booster for me, especially as I won the last round at MX Farm. The Sunny States had it hard with the weather this year and nearly every round got rained out or was really wet. Gympie started off that way, but it turned out really good by the end of the day. A couple of the boys were racing at Manjimup that weekend, and that made the win a bit easier, but it was nice to get the ball rolling. When it comes to wins you’ve got to take them when you can.

Image: Foremost Media.

How have you found the change to the 2024 YZ250F this year?

This is my second year with Yamalube Yamaha and I really enjoy being part of that team. There’s no crazy pressure, but you still obviously need to deliver and make the team proud when you’re under that tent. It has taken a while to get used to the 2024 YZ250F as it’s a completely new bike. It handles a bit differently and we’ve made a few changes to the suspension set-up, but I think the most noticeable difference is the power curve. Last year’s bike was quite snappy off the bottom end, but now the power curve feels like it’s more in the mid-range. It’s a really smooth delivery and it doesn’t feel like you’re going as fast as it’s not barking, but I’m getting really good starts on it, so it’s obviously doing its job! I think because I rode the previous model so much, any little change was going to be noticeable, but at the end of the day it’s still a Yamaha and still feels really familiar.

What are the areas you’re looking to focus on for the second half of the championship?

One of my big goals this year is to get my first career MX2 round podium, and I feel I’m close to achieving that. But the points chase at the moment is really tight between, say fourth and eighth, and I know I need to find more speed early in the day. It’s been a regular thing throughout my career, but I’m always a bit slow to get started on race day, and I usually get stronger as the day goes on when the tracks are dry, slippery and rough. I’m trying to work on that and figure it out, as I need to get better qualifying and first moto results. My Nanango track is always hardpack and baked, and I’ve got so used to riding in those conditions that when I go to a nicely prepped track, I don’t have that edge. I’ve been searching for prepped tracks and trying to find muddy conditions to ride in, and really focusing on that side of things. I feel it’s crucial that the next two rounds go well for me, otherwise, I could be on the edge of the top 10 rather than being in the top five, especially with the points being so close.