Jake Hopper might only be a youngster but he is already making waves in the motorbike racing world as all good champions do. Motorsport loves to look back at what our beloved champs were like when they were coming up through the ranks so here at VT we thought we would stop looking back and start looking forward. Here is a short interview I did with Jake and we are all sure it will be one people look back on in 10 years time as they wistfully discuss how he got started in bike racing and what made him a champion.
How old are you now and long have you been riding?
I have just turned 11 and have been riding competitively for 4 years.
Do you remember what got you into bikes? Does your dad?
I got my 1st quad LT50 when i was 2 years old, then got a PW50 when I was 3; I never looked back, guess its something I have always done.
You ride for Bikewise, can you tell me about what that actually is?
Its a local group that Durham Police set up working in partnership with Durham County Council. The group has undergone training with the ACU Local Authority Support Unit and they formed Bikewise Mini Bike Club. The club was launched in 2007 and give young people aged between 6-17 the opportunity to be licensed by the ACU and lawfully use their mini bikes at events that Bikewise host. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it hadn’t been for Bikewise and especially Bob Brown who runs the club.
What other sponsors do you have? Are you looking for more? What do sponsors do to help?
The sponsors i currently have are Bradley Mason and The Belmont (Local Pub) and the bank of mum and dad! We are always looking for more sponsors to join the team as it is a very expensive career/sport. Sponsors help us by sponsoring money to go towards bike parts, bike maintenance, fuel, race entries, kit etc
What sort of bikes do you race and what is the racing like?
I am currently riding a METRAKIT GP50 which is a 2stroke gearbox bike. Racing is mint it gives me a massive buzz which I cant explain, at the same time it is very close and competitive and important to stay focussed.
How was last season for you?
Last season we had our ups and downs but finished on a massive high as I won the championship and became British GP50 Champion. After a pretty bad start as we had a few engine problems at the beginning of the season but once ironed out the bike ran well and i improved throughout the season.
How do you feel about the 2016 season?
I am revved up and ready to go for 2016 starting with round 1 of The World Championships, held in Spain in March, followed by several rounds of the British Championship which is what i will be concentrating on this season including a round at Silverstone on MotoGP weekend.
What are your goals when it comes to racing? Where are you aiming for?
My goals are to be the best at what i do and to get picked up and ride for a MotoGp team alongside the best riders in the world.
We would all like to wish Jake the best of luck this season and we will be reporting on his progress throughout the year and beyond.