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5 Mins with Jordan Booker

We caught up with Jordan Booker earlier this week. Lots of things have been happening with Jordan since the end of the season including a new team, new manufacturer and new team manager.

Jordan, you’re riding for Buildbase Honda this year, it must be cool working with someone like Dave Thorpe?

Yeah, I’ve been working with Dave now for about two months, and everything so far is going great. It’s really cool to be working with such a great former rider and someone that I look up to so much. I find it really motivational having someone around who has had so much success, I guess it just really inspires you to work just as hard and try to be as good as him. It definitely doesn’t come easy though, and Dave reassures everyone of this with how hard we have to work!

Why the change from KTM?

For me, it wasn’t really the change of manufacture that I was looking at, it was more just trying to piece together what I thought would be the best overall package, and what would help me improve as a rider the most. What Dave was offering with Buildbase Honda was more of a complete overall package, and I felt like he had a lot more to offer along the lines of fitness training, training on the bike and just general all round experience than anywhere else.

From the outside looking in, having Maarten Cremers, Jackson Evans and Nicholas Aubin as team-mates looks like fun?

Yeah it’s fun. Having the likes of Maarten and Jackson really helps lighten the mood after a hard days training, or riding. We are all definitely getting on really well as a team, and we do tend to have a good old laugh and joke everywhere that we go. On the other side of things, having a former GP winner like Nico on the team is really motivational too. Training with him so far has been cool, knowing exactly what it takes to run up the front for 35 minutes at a GP. But, I think the main advantage of having him on the team will come when the riding starts. Chasing after him in practice motos is surely going to help out my speed a bit?! The same goes for Ryan (Houghton) too. Ryan and I have already been out to Belgium riding a bit, and I think he’s going to be a lot of fun to ride with, we’ll certainly be keeping each other on our toes!

So whats the story with Nandos? Everyone seems hooked on Nandos?

It’s funny you mention this… because I’ve actually got a little story about Nandos. I found out that they have been giving out these “black cards” to some famous people like singers, footballers etc… So, I thought I’d email them and see I could obtain one for myself. Obviously they emailed me back saying no. Unlucky for them though, ’cause I guess this would have been a good bit of press for them? Haha. But on a serious note, the boys just love a bit of Nandos! You can’t beat a nice bit of peri peri chicken can you??

Do you all ride regularly together?

To be honest, since joining the team, none of us have really been on the bike much at all. Right now the main focus in winter fitness training to get a good base fitness for next season. With that said though, I’ve rode a couple times with Nico and Ryan, and the rest of us did one day riding for a bit of a team photo shoot, which was cool.

I see you’re active with Twitter. A lot of riders are now using this to communicate with fans and also other riders. Do you use this a lot?

You can’t beat a good old bit of Twitter banter! I think Twitter is cool because it’s an easy way to let people know what you’re doing, and to say whatever you want really, which is what I mainly use it for. I’m not sure if anybody actually cares about what I put on there, but I like to think that some people do! Haha.

So who has the most followers? I know people are trying to out do each other?

Out of everyone on the team, I actually have the most! I think I’m at about 400 now, which I guess isn’t too bad. I’m getting a proper ass kickin’ from James Dunn though! I don’t really understand how he’s got so many… but he must be doing something right!!

Who do you hang out with on race days?

I like to have a good catch up with certain people, and have a bit of a laugh the day before a race. But, as for race day itself, I pretty much just keep myself to myself a bit. Not in an arrogant way at all, but just to try and keep a bit focused on the job in hand. And, in all fairness, at the British races, you don’t really have time to stand around and chat much. By the time you’ve come in from one race, changed kit, eaten and then prepared for the next race, you’re literally heading straight back down to prep your gate for the next moto. The day seems to go so quick at a British Maxxis round.

So 2012, same as 2011 schedule? What will you be competing in?

So far the plan for 2012 for me is to compete in MX2 at the British champs, and at the Red Bull Pro Nationals. I’ll also be doing 9 GP’s too! So make sure you watch on the telly incase I pop up!

How do you feel 2011 went?

I’d love to be able to sit here and talk about how good this year went, but to be honest, it had it’s ups and downs. The main thing though, is that I learnt a lot. I probably learnt more about racing this year, than I have in my whole life. Competing at GP level for the first time has really opened my eyes up as to what’s possible, and what it takes to in order to achieve this. I’m certainly going to go into 2012 with a lot more experience and a lot more knowledge. I think that I definitely improved both mentally and physically as the year progressed, though. On the brighter side of things, scoring my first GP points was pretty cool! I would have liked to have got more, and I feel like without certain stupid mistakes, and with a little bit more speed I could have consistently been in the points this year. The year ended well though, with points at the final GP in Fermo, and my best race at a British at Hawkstone in
the very last race of the year.

If I remember rightly, at Lyng you was on fire with two holeshots? Is that a favourite track?

Yeah I ended up coming out with 2 holeshots, and I was second off the gate in the other race. I’d say this is mainly down to my experience of racing in America. At the amateur races in the States, literally nine out of ten tracks have concrete starts, and they’re proper concrete, not that stoney crap that most of the British tracks have!! The concrete at Lyng was really polished, and requires a lot of clutch control, and just all round practice on concrete. If you watch a video from the three races at Lyng, you’ll actually see that it is mainly myself, Zach Osborne and Steven Clarke at the front off the gate, because we all raced in the States. My main secret though, is to sit there burning the s*** out of the rear tyre when the 15 second board goes up! The team hated me wrecking the tyres, but it got me out of the gate quick though eh?? Haha.

What are your aims for 2012? What are you looking to achieve realistically?

I’m not really one for telling people goals, in relation to positions… but, I guess my goal would be to score points consistently at GP’s, and to try and push for top 15’s and maybe even work my way up to knock on the door for top 10’s. Who knows, I’m working my ass off for it, and maybe with a bit of luck, this is possible. We’ll see. As for at the British races, I’d like to be closer to the front, and to be a contender for podiums. By the end of 2011, I wasn’t too far away from this, so with a little bit more fitness and speed, I know I can achieve this. Roll on 2012 and I’d just like to say a big thanks to Dave Thorpe, and everyone at Buildbase Honda for the amazing opportunity I’ve got for 2012. A big thanks to my Mum and Dad and the rest of my family too for they’re continued ongoing support. Also one big thanks to my mechanic Gary, who sacrifices a hell of a lot for me, I really appreciate it a lot.

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