Bermudian living the motocross dream in US
Jonah Smith is living his dream as a professional motocross rider and loving each and every moment of it.
The 20-year-old made his professional debut at the Mini O's in Florida last month, where he achieved a best finish of seventh in the pro sport A class.
“This has been a goal of mine since I was 5 years old,” said Smith, who lives in South Carolina.
“At the age of 5, I just wanted to ride for fun. Once I reached 13 or 14, I started to take it more seriously and wanted to make a career out of it.
“My brother [Jonté Smith) raced and I wanted a bike just to ride. Then I started doing more homework and researched James Stewart [a prominent motocross rider] — he's the guy. He's not racing right now, but that's still who I want to be like.”
Smith is classified as an amateur professional and is on the verge of securing the necessary quota of points that will enable him to move to the next level and compete in big motocross events in the United States.
“That's where the money is,” said the Bermudian. “If you want to make a living doing it, that's where you have to race.
“Once you have enough points you can race on television. It's like the Premier League in football.”
Smith has set himself lofty goals in the sport.
“I definitely want to win a championship, at least one,” he said.
“That's everyone's dream, but first things first, I want to win a race. That's first on the agenda and once I achieve that goal I can start thinking about championships.”
Smith is backing himself to achieve his goals. “It's not impossible and I think I can achieve it with the right equipment and right training,” he said.
The former Berkeley Institute student has competed in various pro sport classes but admits his journey has not been a bed of roses.
“It's definitely not easy,” Smith said. “Going to a new class and racing against new people at different speeds is not easy; it's an eye-opener.
“The first race in a bigger class humbles you because everyone is that much faster than you think.”
Asked what he loves most about motocross, Smith said: “I don't know to be honest. It's just a way of life.”
Local motocross fans can watch Smith in action when he competes on home soil at the Southside racetrack in St David's on New Year's Day.
“I haven't raced here since this time last year,” he said. “It's always exciting to come home and race.”