Jake's Racing Ambitions
Few things can get your adrenalin pumping harder than the starting grid of a motorcycle race. The close-quarter battle through the first few corners, as you simultaneously attack and defend in a compressed pack of like-minded combatants, is an experience that can't be replicated at a track day.
Yamaha Motor Australia staff member, Jake Belford's, racing aspirations may have been delayed by the COVID pandemic, but the nerves and excitement of competing at his first-ever motorcycle road race meeting were everything he had expected and hoped for when he finally lined up on the starting grid.
Throwing himself into the deep end, Jake contested the highly competitive St George Motorcycle Club Championship at Sydney Motorsport Park on his self-prepared YZF-R6. Showing the skills honed from two years of on-track coaching, Jake impressed with a solid first-up performance, battling mid-pack all weekend.
Never one to shy away from a challenge, he contested two categories at one race meeting, plunging himself into the thick of the action a staggering 10 times throughout the two-day race weekend - a serious test of his mental and physical fitness. His impressive debut netted a new personal best lap time, and a top-five finish overall in his 600cc category.
“I really could not have asked for a better weekend,” Jake said looking back on the busy two days. “The whole reason I wanted to go racing was to become a better rider, everything else is a bonus. Personally, it was a big achievement to overcome my anxiety leading up to the event, but I knew once I got out there, I would enjoy it.”
When the lights turned green on Jake’s very first race, he accomplished a goal that was set two long years ago.
“The chaos into the first few corners was wild, but it didn’t faze me as much as I’d thought it would,” Jake explained, recounting that first nervous race start.
“Once the lights went out, I was running on pure adrenalin and instinct. I don’t think a single thought went through my head for at least the first three laps.”
If preparation is the key to success, then Jake Belford’s first motorcycle race meeting was always going to be a personal triumph. With the help of his family and his girlfriend Teresa, no stone was left unturned. And with his father Alan ever present to help out on the spanners, or with a few words of encouragement, Jake's journey to the starting grid was a busy campaign to make sure he was physically at his best, and his bike was prepared to the highest specification. A rigorous training regime and track day coaching ensured he maximised the opportunity, it’s the same way Jake approaches his professional life.
Now that he’s had his first race meeting under his belt, Jake is already champing at the bit to get out there again.
“I’d race every weekend if I had the chance, but motorcycle racing is not a cheap sport,” he said. I need to pick my battles, and hopefully attract some sponsorship along the way.”
The story of Jake’s racing ambitions was also captured in a short feature movie celebrating the Yamaha Day theme Let’s Strive For Greater Happiness. You can watch Jakes On Track To Success film via the top banner on this page.