It may have been a first time appearance at Woodville at the weekend for visiting Australian Jesse Dobson, but the Kawasaki ace proved he was a very fast learner.
The 15-year-old from Mooloolaba, on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, made his debut ride at the New Zealand Motocross Grand Prix at Woodville a particularly memorable one, winning three races from three starts as he dominated the 14-16 years’ 250cc class.
“I’m not permitted to race senior class in Australia until I’m 16, which means I have to wait until March, but, by coming over to race at Woodville New Zealand, I can get to race the top juniors on Saturday and then the seniors on Sunday.
Dobson also managed an impressive seventh overall in the international talent-packed, 40-rider senior MX2 (250cc) class the following day.
He finished 10-8-8 in his three senior MX2 races.
“This trip has allowed me to get in some really good practice for the longer races that I will have to deal with in the senior ranks in Australia. I think I have the speed but it’s nice to be able to give my strength and stamina a bit of a work-out.
“If I had stayed at home, I would not have had any racing to do before the Australian nationals kick off but this trip has been great for me.”
Though he dominated the junior ranks at Woodville, Dobson didn’t have it all his own way, having first to battle past fast-starting Kiwi riders James Anderson (KTM), of Levin, and Hayden Kanters (Kawasaki), of Otorohanga.
But, once in front, Dobson seemed untouchable.
“I was a little surprised with how easily I won in the end but then dad told me I need to be a lot quicker than this to beat the seniors in Australia.
“I have been training very hard … cycling, running, doing gym work and skipping. I ride six days a week too.
“My aim is to be the next Ryan Villopoto (the Kawasaki rider who is currently No.1 on the American supercross scene) or at least to be the next Chad Reed (Australian international motocross legend).”
Reed raced a Kawasaki to the No.2 spot in the 250cc Motocross World Championships in 2001 before moving to the United States and winning national titles there.
Dobson could easily be the next Villopoto or Reed and he will possibly trace the beginnings of that flight path back to his sunny weekend of winning at Woodville.
© Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com