Jordan Jenkins Interview
With league racing still curtailed due to the Covid-19 situation, we bring you an Interview with Bears reserve Jordan Jenkins:
Q: The 2020 season brings new challenges for us all on and off the bike and you are riding in two leagues for the Bears and the newly named Kent Royals in the National League in 2020, when the season does get underway just how important is it to get as much track time as possible to help you progress as a rider and how much did you enjoy riding for Kent last season?
A: 100% it is vital for me to be on the bike as much as I can to keep myself not only race fit but occupied. I’m happy when I’m riding. For sure it’s going to be one hectic season to say the least when we finally get underway but I feel I’m ready to make the jump now more than ever. To be back at Kent is really good for me I enjoyed my time there last season even if my performances didn’t match that. Redcar was a club I always looked at as being so professional even when I rode there back in 2017. To get the call to ride for the Bears was effectively a dream come true.
Q: During last season you had a short spell with Birmingham before you decided to take a break from speedway, do you feel the break helped you and do you feel much better prepared for the rigours that championship speedway brings this season?
A: I think that was a decision that I rushed. I wasn’t in the right frame of mind and I don’t think I was fully prepared and that is a recipe for disaster. That break from the sport made me realise what I want and what I love and that is to be on a bike winning races. It’s made me understand where I need to be in order to succeed at that level and this season I really do feel we’ve got everything in place to give me the best chance of success.
Q: The Bears have got two young and hungry British reserves this season, is it helpful working alongside a rider in Joe Lawlor as you are at similar stages of your career and presumably you can bounce off each other and help each other improve throughout the season?
A: Joe is such a character. It will be good to ride alongside him this year for sure. I feel that we can both push each other on too. We get on so well so to spend a season with him will be good.
Q: The Bears boast the current British champion and former world longtrack champion in their septet, when you decided to sign for the Bears did having experienced riders like Charles and Erik help sway you to the club as surely having their knowledge and experience can only help you improve throughout the season?
A: If I’m honest I don’t think you can single out just Charles and Eric. The team Ben, Jade and Jamie have put together is incredible. I will learn an awful lot from each and everyone of them and it’s something I really can’t wait for. For sure riding with Charles and Eric is going to be awesome but the team as a whole I feel I can benefit from.
Q: You start the 2020 season in the championship on an assessed 2.00 average, realistically, what average are you hoping to attain by the season’s end and do you have any specific goals you want to achieve this season?
A: Personally, I don’t like putting too much pressure on myself, when I’m relaxed I’m fast and I win races. I will take each meeting and race as it comes and hopefully that will lead to something far bigger in the long run. If I had to look at it from an average perspective I would like to aim for a 4. I think the main goal for anyone coming into the season is for it to be a success but I really do feel that I have a chance with both the Bears and the Royals to pick up some trophies.
Q: In your last meeting at the Media Prima Arena you scored a very respectable 9 points from 5 outings in the British U19 final including finishing your programmed rides with a win over Glasgow hotshot Connor Bailey, how much did you enjoy the experience of riding in a national final and is a place on the podium the goal for this year’s final?
A: The last meeting I did at Redcar was the under 19s final. I chose completely the wrong set up at the start of the meeting only getting 2 points from my first two rides which was very disappointing but for my 3rd ride I swapped bikes and then got 7 points which I feel should have been 8. I was happy with the way I ended my night and I could have only wished I was on that bike from the start. I then feel that the meeting would have been a whole different story.
Q: As a part of the no limits training program what is the best piece of advice you have received from a current or former rider and what is the best moment in your fledgling career so far?
A: The no limits programme is great and I’m very grateful to be a part of it. My fitness is something I’ve struggled with in the past but they’ve given me the knowledge I need to progress not only physically but mentally. The various tracks we train at really puts a different perspective on things. It’s all about technique and things you may not really focus on in a race situation. I really do think my best moment was the way I started the 2018 season prior to breaking my back. My form then was something I really want to get back. I think I got two maximums in two days and was loving my riding.
Q: Rather unusually the Bears full septet all won national honours last season with the Bears current top 5 winning the KO Cup, Joe Lawlor winning the league with Leicester and you picking up the National Trophy with Kent. Unsurprisingly, the Bears are the only championship side who can boast that distinction, just how vital do you believe it is to have that trophy winning mentality throughout the team ahead of the 2020 campaign?
A: I’ve won a trophy every season that I’ve been involved with a club that is something that means a lot. To be in a winning team is a massive confidence boost. I know we are all hungry for success and I do believe that is vital. Knowing the feeling of winning makes you want it even more. I am really hopeful that both the Bears and the Royals can pick up some silverware at some point in the not too distant future.
Finally, I really hope all you loyal fans that support us every week up and down the country are staying safe in this horrific time. Follow the guidelines and hopefully we can be back before you know it. I’m keeping myself busy by building a new workshop and working full time in Tesco’s. I can’t wait to get back on a bike and see you all trackside.
Interview by Ryan Nassau