Jamie Dobb, in his own words

Published: 26 August 2001

MCN: Jamie, how does it feel to be a British Champion after we've all gone so long without one

JamieDobb: It's not really sunk in yet. I’ve been trying for so long. It's going to take a little bit of time to sink in. I can probably answer that question better in a few weeks

MCN: How come road racers where thick leather suits, and you guys just seem to have sweatshirts on?

JamieDobb: The difference between men and women. Nah, I don't know! Obviously the road is a bit harder than dirt and going down at the speeds they do it would hurt a bit more. We tend to bounce and hit things, but the falls are different, and if you are hitting the roads and walls then you want as much protection as possible. I wear CTI knee braces under the trousers, to only allow natural movement, but if it's a really stony track I’ll wear a chest protector to stop rocks hitting me. Some guys wear full protection but they're a bit too restrictive for me.

MCN: What do you think of those freestyle MX people, cos I think they are nuts!

JamieDobb: I think it's good. It's a different part of the sport viewing to a different part of the audience. I think they are a bit crazy, but they're very skilful and it's just a different art form really and it's like trials, road-racing etc. The ones that do it in a positive way are great, the ones who try just to be rebels and rebel as much as possible are a bit bad for the sport, but the ones who do it as a profession good luck to them

MCN: What’s you worst crash? Didn't you smack your pods really hard once?

JamieDobb: I basically bust one of my nuts in two. I snapped one of the foot-pegs off and basically snapped the tank bolts and my nuts took the brunt of the impact, basically split, so I needed a bit of an operation to put it back together

MCN: What do you think is the best bike in MX?

JamieDobb: KTM, 125. I think it's the best all round bike. I think the results prove it, and even in America it's leading the championship and is in with a chance of winning it. I’m not just saying that, because in all the shoot-outs in all the magazines it always wins them as the best all-round bike

MCN: If someone has a broken bone in road racing, it'll put strain on it, but how on earth does an injury heal when you've got all those bumps and jumps to deal with?

JamieDobb: Obviously road-racing it's a lot less strain on your body you can ride with broken bones more easily, cos your not moving around as much it's only under braking With us with the bumps and ruts it's the pain basically. If you can manage the pain you’re ok. Actually the pain from my first broken collarbone wasn't too bad. I had a plate with 8 pins in it and it wasn't as bad as many people thought. I’m not sure what collarbones are really there for and some people say you don't really need them so it wasn't like breaking a leg or whatever. It wasn't really the nicest pleasure I’ve ever had but I managed.

MCN: Do you think four-strokes will end up taking over in 250 and 125 MX? Will that be a good thing or bad?

JamieDobb: I’ve got mixed thoughts on this. It'll be sad to see two-strokes go. They are true race bikes. Four strokes are good in a different way but they aren't the same as two strokes. Whether fours will take over, only time will tell but I think there's enough room in the sport for both of them. Really it's a case of waiting and seeing how things go.

MCN: Hello Jamie, congrats on the win. Any plans to cross-over to road-racing in the future? It seems to be the current topic, to have a background in crossing.

JamieDobb:- No, not really. I think I’ve been lucky to find my god given talent is riding motocross. Just because I’ve won on a motocross bike doesn't mean I could road race. Loads of people have tried it such as Jean Michele Bayle and not really made it. The best people I know are John Reynolds and Chris Walker who were just local amateurs in mx but I might not be any good at all. Plus, I’m getting a bit old now at 29. And motocross is what I’m good at. I love going to watch road racing, or Dougie Lampkin riding trials but I think it's good to just focus on my sport and make sure I do my best at that really.

MCN: What's it like with Kurt as team manager? Is he a taskmaster!

JamieDobb: He's fantastic, really. I mean, you're employed to win races and that's what he wants to do, he doesn’t like losing. He puts 100% into it. I’ve never met someone in racing who puts as much in as he does, and it's good when we can give him the results.

As for a taskmaster, we 're paid to do a job and win races and I haven't had any problems because I’ve been improving. I think there's going to be a big surprise with Yves De Maurier next year. It's a fantastic team to be with.

MCN: What about Gordan Crockard coming to the team! Do you think you will get on?

JamieDobb: Yes. I’m looking forward to it. Me and Gordy get on really good. We can help each other at the end. Obviously we both want to win the championship, but we represent KTM and we have to work as a team. I’m really looking forward to the task next year. I’m ready for it and I think it'll be good for the sport and British motorsport in general.

MCN: Is it true motocrossers ride wearing women’s underwear for better ventilation?

JamieDobb: I’ve not heard about that one but you better ask some road-racers it sounds more like the sort of thing they'd get up to!

MCN: Jamie, is there any race you'd really like to do - like the Paris Dakar?

JamieDobb: Definitely not. That is the last race I would do on this earth. It doesn't tempt me in any way. I don't think it's too bad in a car but on a motorbike and for me it's just too crazy and dangerous

MCN: What's your best tip for a club racer who wants to go faster?

JamieDobb: Just enjoy it really. Relax and just enjoy it and don't get too stressed with the whole thing. If you're relaxed you'll go faster and you won't get your arms pumping up etc, and you'll be able to hold onto the motorcycle better.

MCN: Which bike racer do you admire most?

JamieDobb: It's a real tough one that is, there's so many. If you were going to pick out one it's probably Carl for what he's done, but I honestly think Dougie Lampkin probably has more skill in one leg than most racers have got. You have to get someone on a trials bike to understand how much control you need With motorcross, you've got Ricky Carmicheal and Jeremy McGrath bringing the sport to new levels and then you've got Valentino Rossi as well. I just love the sport of motorcycling in general and to pinpoint one is just impossible.

MCN: British MX gets a 2000 crowd in a good week. What can you do as World Champ do to help lift attendance?

JamieDobb: Like road-racing over the last few years it's just been getting higher and higher. Until Carl started winning it'd be about 10,000 at a WSB round. What Carl did was amazing because he won and he had Sky TV behind him. I’m paying a PR company to promote me and the sport as well. I’ve done some TV, and some of the daily papers and it can get bigger, and will. But it's also a job for the promoters and the ACU to help make the racing more exciting and to get more people in. having said that, last year when I was doing British rounds we had way higher attendance than that. We had around 4 or 5 thousand at least and it just seems to be over the last year it’s dropped. Foot and Mouth hasn't helped matters. But it's such a friendly sport, and it's so much cheaper than road racing. A season of motocross is probably equal to only a few road racers With motocross more people actually race rather than coming to watch whereas with road racing you go and watch as a pilgrimage. But with the British MX GP, you get more people than the British 500GP not more than Brands though, but people seem to flock to the more dangerous tracks.

MCN: Do you ride anything on the road - and if so what?

JamieDobb: I have a KTM Duke. I don't get the chance to use it too much but I do like to nip into town occasionally. But when you ride a bike every day, you do tend to nip in the car. I have to say I`m a bit of a fair weather rider and Ron Haslam Race School are kind enough to let me have a go whenever I feel like getting on a track os I feel a bit safer without the cars and tractors pulling out on you

MCN: Do fancy going back to the US to take on Carmichael? Would he spank you?

JamieDobb: No he wouldn't. He'd be a tough cookie to beat but I don't think there's anyone on a motorcycle that could spank me anymore. I’ve always said, give me as good a bike as the others and I can show you what I do. There are kids racing with him week in, week out, that I used to race with and to say he'd spank me isn't true. He’s winning in the States, so you might give him the edge at the moment. But I’m quite happy racing over here and that's where I’ll be for the foreseeable future. I’ve got a baby on the way and I’d like it to grow up in England. Every time I’ve raced him, I’ve beaten him. The only out and out race was at the qualifying in the Moto Des Nations and I won it and then in the final, I came 1 and 2 and he crashed out so I’ve got a good record against him. I’d quite like to leave it like that

MCN Does anyone recognise you on the KTM on the road?

JamieDobb: No, not really. Round home I’m starting to get recognised a bit more but it's only recent. I tend to keep myself to myself anyway, hidden under my helmet and leathers.

MCN: Do you want your baby to get into bikes, if it's a lad?

JamieDobb: I mean it's whatever he wants to decide to do to. It’d be nice. I’ve loved it all my life, and I’ve loved the rest of it and if he wants to do it that's good but we'll just have to see what he wants.

MCN: What's the secret of getting the holeshot?

JamieDobb: When I find it out, I’ll let you know! Confidence is a big part and having a good bike helps, but mainly confidence and seeing yourself getting to the first corner first, but it's just another thing you have to practice to become good at

MCN: Does it depress you that Motocross in the UK is still a fairly small sport?

JamieDobb: Yeah, I mean it's upsetting in some ways because a lot of road racers started in MX and didn't really get where they wanted to get to. They felt they had to go to road racing and I think people sometimes don't give it the respect it deserves. It is a lot more physical than roads, but like trials we'll just have to keep trying and pushing, but only time will tell.

MCN: Is it true you're going to be in 250cc next year?

JamieDobb: Yes, I’m doing 250s with the same team with Gordon Crockard with a new 250 machine coming out so it'll be an exciting time really.

MCN: One Moto Format - how do u feel about that? Has that helped you this year?

JamieDobb: I wouldn't say it's helped me. I just prepared better than everyone else. Whether it's one or two Motos I still feel we'd get the same results. But I do think it's good because we can get on TV more because it's three hours instead of 6. Plus, people that are already into the sport can understand what's happening with two races but the guy that's been out on a Saturday night and wakes up with glazed over eyes might not realise why someone finishes in second and doesn't win overall. Time will tell and if we need to go back to two races, then we can but I think it's a good move at the moment

MCN: Is Crockard a friend or don't you really know him? He also seems to ride like you much better under the one-race system.

JamieDobb: Yeah, I get on with him really well. We don't hang around every day of the week but we get on well and have a good laugh. We've spent the beginning of the season in America for the last couple of years and got on well. Obviously next year, we're going in with expectations to win the championship, and if one can win and the other come second that would be great. I love the battle of it all and whoever comes out top, fair enough. Plus we'll have Pichon there so we'll have the best guys in the world on 250s so it'll be a really exciting time

MCN: How much of your success do you put down to mental preparation and how much physical?

JamieDobb: I`ve always said, strong body, strong mind. You don't get one without the other and you have to put in a lot of physical training and go through a lot of pain to get there and that gives you the mental strength. It doesn't matter if you've got the fastest bike if you can't use it for the distance of the race and if you end up going five seconds a lap slower halfway through the race then you might as well have a slower bike.

MCN: What’s the latest on our third member of the Nations team.

JamieDobb: We don't know yet really. There's Justin Morris, Paul Nunn. A lot of people have been forgetting Mark Eastwood as well. He's been doing a lot of Internationals this year. When he's represented the country he's done really well, nd int he internationals he's beaten a lot of the English lads. Things will have to be worked out over the next few weeks as to the rider most likely to win.

MCN: Are you a bit superstitious about racing and do you have anything like a set of lucky Y fronts?

JamieDobb: I’m not really superstitious. I don't have any lucky clothing for instance. The one thing is if I haven’t done all my training etc doing the week. I’m a firm believer n that you get out of life what you put in so as long as I’ve done everything I need to I’m fine. Really, it seems to be the weaker you are the more you need stuff like that.

MCN: How did you start racing?

JamieDobb: My father's brother, my uncle Robert, always had bikes and my older brothers, Richard and Julian got into them. Because they had them, I wanted one, of course and that's basically how I got into it

MCN: Who is the best guy you've ever raced against?

JamieDobb: Difficult one. Over time there's been so many. Ricky Carmicheal, Jeremy McGrath, Ricky Johnson, Jean-Michele Bayle, Davey Thorpe, Stefan Everts. To pinpoint on is so tough but I guess with MX it'll have to be Jeremy McGrath. It’s how much he's won, how he's brought the sport to a new level and how he's managed to keep his feet on the ground the whole time to be such a good role model for kids.

MCN: What do you think of the idea of a 24hr MX Endurance race - a laugh or insanity?

JamieDobb: Sounds like insanity to me If you had 24 riders in your team it could be quite cool but it would definitely be a tough one.

MCN: Did you feel bitter that British fans didn't get the chance to see you in your home GP this year?

JamieDobb: Yeah. I mean it wasn't the best feeling. It would have been nice to have a home Grand Prix. Not just for me, but with Gordon, Paul Cooper before his injury etc. It's been the best Britain has had for a few years and to not have a home grand prixis disappointing. But the promoters etc will have to get it sorted because the British fans are the best in the world come rain or shine. But I’m really looking forward to doing the Supercross five race series at the NEC, Exeter etc. That's going to be an exciting time and I’m really looking forward to it.

MCN: Is motocross still skill or is it getting to be expensive (e.g. who has the richest daddy wins)?

JamieDobb: No. Definitely not. You can go and buy a bike, and to do it at the top level obviously it'll start getting expensive with factory teams and the best riders in the world. With kids, I always used to run pretty much production bikes when i was coming through. I can jump on a production bike and be a couple of seconds off the paceof the factory bike. The difference with factory parts is that factory suspension doesn't fade after 20 or thirty laps. That's the good thing about motocross. Take someone of the back of the grid in GP bikes or F1 and give them a top machine and they could win. But if I give someone my factory bike they might go a second quicker, if that, and the faster the bike, the much fitter that you have to be to hang onto it.

JamieDobb: Floodlit? Basically that's what Supercross is all about. Who knows. It would be good because riding any time of day or night is good. That's one thing MX has because the excitement is so high with guys flying so high through the air.

MCN: What's the best type of training to do for motocross and what should you avoid?

JamieDobb: Nothing to avoid really. The thing is just finding a routine that suits you. Pimetric work is good, pull ups and things like that. Just generally working and strengthening your body. A lot of people say don't weight train but I do a lot of it. It all depends who and what sort of person you are. Use trial and error at the start and when you find something that works then just keep at it.

JamieDobb: Thanks a lot to everyone for coming, but I’ve really got to go because I’m already late to head off and sort some stuff out for the weekend. Thanks to everyone for their support and I’ll be doing my best to keep winning and to bring back the 250 championship next year