Jackson Blackmon- Having His Career-Best Season In 2021
Twins Cup rider Jackson Blackmon discusses his new bike planned for Barber, his relationship with Yamaha, and how he’s having his career-best season so far. The 20 year old also talks to us about his experience at the Valentino Rossi Riders Academy, and working for his dad.
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Photo courtesy of Sara Chappell
Pit Pass Moto Trivia Question:
What is the longest motorcycle jump ever successfully made from a ramp, and who made it?
Check out the answer after our interview with Jackson Blackmon!
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Pit Pass Moto is a production of Evergreen Podcasts. A special thank you to Tommy Boy Halverson, Chris Bishop, Producer Leah Longbrake and Audio Engineer Eric Koltnow.
This transcript is AI generated, not human. There may be errors.
[00:00:15.130] - Dave Sulecki
Welcome to Pit Pass Moto, the show that keeps you up to speed on the latest in motorcycling and brings the biggest names in motorcycle racing right to you. I'm Dave Sulecki.
[00:00:24.010] - PJ Doran
And I'm PJ Doran.
[00:00:25.480] - Dave Sulecki
And this week we have Jackson Blackman as our guest, Moto America, the home of the AMA Superbike Championship featuring one hundred and ninety mile an hour. Superbikes is the official sponsor of Pit Pass Moto tickets. Info in the complete twenty twenty one schedule are available at Moto America dot com all twenty Ohno's super bike races aired live on Fox Sports. Don't miss a minute of the action practice qualifying races and video on demand with Moto America live plus streaming. Follow Moto America on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
[00:01:02.960] - Dave Sulecki
Latest road racing news, sadly, there hasn't been any all the series are on their short but wonderful summer breaks. Sadly, the AVT American Flattrack series had to cancel their event from the coin Illinois this past weekend due to weather in off road racing. We've got results of the mixed cheapie of the Netherlands. Winner of the mixed class was Tim Geithner. The Honda writer finished three to four first overall, followed by Antonio Karalee, finishing second with an eight one and third Romain Fabara on his Kawasaki finished four four for third overall.
[00:01:38.420] - Dave Sulecki
So your point standings and MEP is really starting to shape up after four rounds. Tim guys are leading with one sixty six. We've got a three way tie for second. We got Jeff Eurlings, Antonio Tyrolean, Romayne Fabro all sitting on one hundred and forty three points in Imex two racing Jagow Giertz goes one one for first overall in the two fifty class followed by DJed Beeton who went to the three for second and KDDI Wolf finished third and his Husqvarna with a five to four points.
[00:02:09.830] - Dave Sulecki
So far this year Maximino continues to lead with one hundred and forty one points, followed by Mateja Gardini sitting on one thirty six and Ruben Fernandez sitting in third with one hundred and thirty three. We also have results from the hammy outdoor motocross in Spring Creek, which is Millville, Minnesota. Justin Barcia goes one to four first overall in the 450 class, followed by Eli Tomac, who finished three four for second overall. In points later, Dylan Verandahs finished third with a two five, so he salvaged a pretty bad weekend for him.
[00:02:42.830] - Dave Sulecki
So setting first and points is Dylan verandahs with two sixty to thirty two points back is Ken Roxann sitting on two thirty and Justin Barker is sitting in third place now. Fifty five points back in the two fifty class Jeremy Martin at his home track finished one one on his star racing Yamaha, followed by Michael Mossman finishing second with a three two on his gashouse in third finished up Justin Cooper with a two three. So now your points leader is Justin Cooper sitting on two hundred and forty three points, followed by Jeff Lawrence who's six points back and his brother Hunter.
[00:03:19.340] - Dave Sulecki
Lawrence is back thirty three points sitting in third.
[00:03:30.310] - PJ Doran
This week's pit pass trivia question is, what is the longest motorcycle jump ever successfully made from a ramp and who made it? We'll be back with that answer after we talked to Jackson Blackmon. We want to welcome the pit pass today, racer Jackson Blackmon, number 18, of Jackson Blackmon Racing sit in #2 in the Twins Cup Series. How's it going, Jackson? You've had a great year. Good to talk to you.
[00:04:18.650] - Jackson Blackmon
Yeah. You know, I appreciate you guys having me on. This has got to be my career best season thus far, and I'm really looking forward to closing out these next few rounds.
[00:04:28.880] - PJ Doran
It looks like you are absolutely in the hunt for this title. You'd be a fool to say you're not in it. You're only 15 points back as I read it and you missed a round or went no points on a round or two. That certainly didn't help your cause. And you've still found a way to battle to the front. How do you see the last couple of races this season going for you, Jackson?
[00:04:50.960] - Jackson Blackmon
We got a lot of exciting stuff coming up, actually, starting at at Brainard in Minnesota here in a couple of weeks will be breaking out all new R7. I'm really excited to see how it's going to stack up. And the entire set has already been proven. And I think that the seven is going to be even a step further. So I think that these next few rounds that maybe have a little extra juice under me, so that are seven.
[00:05:14.750] - Jackson Blackmon
I work at a Yamaha dealer, Jackson, so I'm well aware of the bike. Looking forward to seeing it for our listeners. It's essentially a dolled up empty 007, which you guys technically do at your own shops. The big change really would be front end and brakes. Is that a fair assessment?
[00:05:32.750] - Jackson Blackmon
Yeah, I'd say one of the the biggest differences is they've added some bracing to the chassy that should help the MTA seven is a phenomenal bike that has a little bit of chassis flex that should be fixed with the R7, with the the added bracing as well as the MTA non front end, which should give a little more stability on the front, which, of course, the dentist and we take and pretty much do a lot of the similar things. But that added bracing, I think will be the biggest help.
[00:05:59.930] - PJ Doran
You've had a great season thus far. What do you got? A total of four podiums this season. Jackson So clearly, as you said, it's it's been your best season so far. Are you planning to combat yet again in the Twins Cup next year as we're we can see the end of this season? Or is it open to what kind of offers you get at the end of the season?
[00:06:21.920] - Jackson Blackmon
Yeah, you know, there's still a lot of a lot of racing to go. And I'm trying to just focus this year on this championship. However, I'm already kind of looking at stuff for for next year and planning to continue the relationship with Yamaha. And it's been they've been very gracious to me this year, really. I don't think we'd be racing without their support. And when I was sitting in December and had no ride and no sponsors, no nothing really going for me, they really kind of stepped up and believed in me.
[00:06:48.890] - Jackson Blackmon
And luckily, I've been able to now kind of show some more potential and hope and to continue that relationship in some way, shape or form into next year.
[00:06:57.380] - PJ Doran
They're definitely a great company to raise for race with Yamaha. It's done an amazing work and one of their long time racers, Mr. Valentino Rossi, as I understand it, you got invited to his VR forty six track school camp, whatever you want to refer to it as, back in twenty eighteen. Did you go over and get to ride with him in the crew there.
[00:07:20.690] - Jackson Blackmon
Yeah, that was definitely an awesome experience. The yammered sent over me and Corey Ventura to the master camp. We were there along with two Brazilian kids and a kid from Thailand. The experience was awesome. There wasn't a whole lot of riding, you know, actually with Rossi himself, you know, which is understandable as it was in the middle of the season as well. But I got to do a lot of riding with Bagnardi and Nino and Antonelli and all the Academy riders, which was really awesome to kind of get that experience from them and see what it takes to race at the world level.
[00:07:56.030] - Dave Sulecki
So I'm kind of curious, Jackson, for a young man, you've got a lot of international travel experience now. I mean, going to Italy to ride a Valentino Rossi's compound and also the RC Cup in Spain. I mean, what's that been like for you kind of kind of talk about what that experience is like?
[00:08:12.920] - Jackson Blackmon
It's hard to describe that, to be able to say that I'm twenty years old and getting to do, you know, even the things I've already done is just kind of crazy to think about. I've been very lucky and fortunate to have the right people and supporters behind me to be able to live the life that I do. But the experiences are ones that I'll never forget from, even though the world finals wasn't quite the results we are looking for. I mean, the fact that I was able to go over there and represent America with Ben Smith and Drake and Alex and Corey was just awesome.
[00:08:43.820] - Jackson Blackmon
And and also, I think it's a big help to go to go over with other Americans. I haven't done an international trip by myself, which I feel it would maybe not be quite the same because everything is so much different there, but it's definitely experiences that will last forever.
[00:09:00.110] - Dave Sulecki
What's the strangest thing you had to eat while you were over there?
[00:09:03.110] - Jackson Blackmon
I didn't. Everything too strange, but I know the Italians will will not only for this, but actually say I'm not the biggest fan of the pizza.
[00:09:12.260] - Dave Sulecki
They're interesting because that's usually people say the opposite. But, hey, you know, everybody has their own tastes. That's awesome.
[00:09:18.850] - Jackson Blackmon
Yes. Everything's so much different there. And I remember even in Spain, I tried to to kind of do my homework and and learn a little bit of Spanish for we went to my dad struggled a little bit more with that. So he had quite a time of of trying to order coffee every day.
[00:09:33.550] - PJ Doran
Jackson you're you're really in it with Caleb to Carol. You guys have been racing heads up against each other for quite a long time. Right. You both have a fair bit of head to head experience with one another. Is that pretty fair? I seem to recall you guys race as far back as your amateur days.
[00:09:48.970] - Jackson Blackmon
And Wera actually, my first year racing with Kaled to Carrillo's, I did a twin's cup wildcard race at New Jersey and Barber of twenty nineteen, which was the first race I had race with him, but really the first racing that we had together was last season. And of course you know, everything's so much different this year with new manufacturers and different bikes involved. But, you know, it's definitely been a pleasure racing with them and it's always nice close racing.
[00:10:17.230] - Jackson Blackmon
And and the pace has been really fast this year.
[00:10:20.440] - PJ Doran
Jackson, you're you are arguably one of the poster child, if you will, for Moto America. Exactly what they're lower tier classes are meant to do, bring racers up through the ranks, give them all the race craft practice that you need. Are there are other kids that you're seeing or perhaps helping out that are coming in at the junior level right now?
[00:10:42.670] - Jackson Blackmon
It feels weird to talk. That is, if I mean, those guys are all fast. I think that, you know, they'd run real quick in the twins cup as well. You know, I definitely see guys like Ben Glady and Tyler Scott that have been going really good. And I definitely see them, you know, making some kind of jump in the next year or so. I would I would assume. But yeah, I think there's even some possibilities and maybe some of those guys made doing a race this year.
[00:11:07.900] - Jackson Blackmon
I know that before I had some wild card opportunities and and we're even thinking about possibly getting together another Yamaha, maybe rent out here the next few rounds, but we're still trying to figure it out that be a good way to go. So you're I presume you're who's on your team with? Is it just your dad or do you have additional support as well?
[00:11:28.150] - Jackson Blackmon
There's kind of two sides to that question. So it is just me, my dad. But what comes with that is I'm seeing my dad's machine shop we have in the backyard. We've been very gracious to have some support from Yamaha yaama lub this year, as well as a lot of other personal sponsors. But definitely there's been a lot of people that come into to play when it comes to my racing a season and other at the track, you know, it's just me, my dad doing the actual work.
[00:11:57.040] - Jackson Blackmon
You know, we definitely could not have done the season without so many people support. I've been very lucky to have the people I have in my corner, especially to have my dad putting in the hours he is just to get the bike together for me.
[00:12:10.360] - PJ Doran
So, Jackson, you just turned twenty pretty recently, correct?
[00:12:14.680] - Jackson Blackmon
Yes. And June, are you one of the racers who is attempting to continue education, you know, is in the form of college or junior college or whatever through your racing career? I know some guys do. A lot of guys don't. Just depends on how much time you actually have available in your day to day life.
[00:12:31.360] - Jackson Blackmon
Yeah, it's definitely tough with the racing and the traveling. You know, I wouldn't say it's that tough because, you know, I worry about when my racing next. And I know there's a lot of people I have a lot of other worries in life, and I'm definitely very lucky to have the problems that I have. But my dad in the machine shop, I work full time, part time there. So when I'm home, I work full time.
[00:12:54.820] - Jackson Blackmon
But with the race, there's a lot of traveling involved. So I also miss, you know, a lot more days and any other job would already have me fired by now. But luckily for my dad, I don't have that problem.
[00:13:05.830] - PJ Doran
He's understanding about the race weekends is and he's probably the guy driving the drive in the truck to the race, I presume.
[00:13:12.250] - Jackson Blackmon
Yeah, actually, I'd give them a little first class treatment for Brain and I'll be driving up the van. I'll be fine in just so you can have a few extra days in the shop since they'll be about twenty, twenty hour drive up and take a couple of days. But for the most part me and him got a majority of the rounds right on.
[00:13:30.190] - PJ Doran
I look forward to seeing you up there, Jackson. I'll be up there with our good buddy Tommy Boy Halverson. We will have an RV in the infield. So I'll come by and see you for sure, Tommy, and I'll swing by on our pit bikes and check you out, you and your dad, and see how you're doing. And we wish you the best of luck as we near the end of of our time. Jackson, we want to give you a chance to thank any sponsors that you would like to before we roll out.
[00:13:54.700] - Jackson Blackmon
Definitely big. Thank you to Yamaha Simazine ne cycles yamli jack de winner GB GTECH. Piston's HHC, helmets, roarin toys, Millennium Technologies, 1x webcams, ESPs, Brake's vortex and sixty four degrees for all their support this season.
[00:14:16.340] - PJ Doran
Well, that's awesome. Jackson again, we look forward to seeing you at the track. Keep it up. We're pulling for you. Definitely stay in the fight, man. You've still got a shot at this title and we look forward to seeing how it plays out.
[00:14:27.530] - Jackson Blackmon
Yeah, I really appreciate you guys having me on and look forward to kind of put on a show for the last couple of rounds.
[00:14:44.730] - PJ Doran
Thanks to Jackson Blackman for joining us, this week's Pipas trivia question is what is the longest motorcycle jump ever successfully made from a ramp and who made it? The answer is the current record jump of three hundred and fifty one feet was set by Robbie Madison in March of 2008. An incredible jump. An upcoming racing news, American Flattrack will return to action at Port Royal, Pennsylvania, July 20 for World Superbike will have its Dutch round July twenty third through the twenty fifth.
[00:15:26.900] - PJ Doran
And of course, Moto America is coming up at Brainerd, Minnesota. The return of Brainerd to the motorway calendar, July 30th through August the 1st and outdoor and a motocross we've got while Chicago, Washington Saturday, July twenty Fourth for their next round MGP of Czech Republic coming up July twenty fifth. Thank you again to our guests for being with us today and thank you for tuning in. If you enjoyed this episode, make sure to follow us on your favorite podcast app so you can never miss an episode.
[00:16:16.590] - PJ Doran
If you have a moment, please write and review us. We really appreciate it. Make sure you're also following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and visit Pit past Moto Dotcom, where you can check out our blog.
[00:16:26.880] - PJ Doran
This has been a production of Evergreen podcasts, a special thank you to Tommy Boy Halverson, Chris Bishop, our producer Leah Longbrake, and audio engineer Eric Koltnow. Now I'm PJ and I'm Dave.
[00:16:38.280] - PJ Doran
We'll see you next week. Have a really good time.