Pontefract has a new British champion in the shape of teenage motocross star Jordan Eccles.
The 15-year-old King’s High School pupil has been competing at national level for a few years and has now achieved his aim of winning the Red Bull youth elite title in the 85cc big wheel category.
The series is considered to be the premier youth series in the UK and is contested over seven rounds up and down the country. Each round consists of five motos lasting 15 minutes plus a lap in each and to win a championship takes consistency, speed, fitness, concentration, good machinery and a little luck.
Success looked a long way off when the Nevison youngster suffered a broken leg before the Red Bull series began, but he worked hard on his fitness and produced impressive performances over the season to be crowned champion.
Jordan also had to overcome a serious knee injury last year and his father, Lee, explained how he overcame the setbacks.
He said: “We started the season not the way we had hoped. In 2012 Jordan suffered a knee injury which needed to be operated on ending his title hopes for that season. It also left us with a lot of work to do to bring his fitness back up to par and rehabilitate him and this would be left to Gary Linge, from LTA, to oversee.
“We worked hard all winter to prepare him for the 2013 season which due to weather meant having to travel to France most weekends to be able to practice on the bike.
“By chance Jordan was offered to ride for a team in the indoor arena cross series that takes place in winter and he saw this a great chance to showcase what he can do on a bike. Unfortunately it wasn’t the best move and he broke his leg at the first round after coming up short on one of the jumps on the circuit!
“We were back to square one as he had to heal from that with the 2013 Red Bull series fast approaching.
“Fortunately Jordan did heal in time, but his fitness was questionable so we just did as much as we could as we entered the first round. Jordan rode his best and it wouldn’t be his skill, speed or fitness that let him down but mechanical problems meant a fourth place overall on the weekend would be the best we could manage.”
Jordan’s luck was about to change, however, as Lee explained.
“Jordan was really frustrated that he was running unreliable reliable machinery that had been used all winter for training, but unknown to him there was things going on behind the scene to make sure for the second round he would have a new bike. Jordan’s trainer, Gary, had invited his friend and owner of SJR racing along to watch the first event and he was very impressed with Jordan’s speed and determination. He only watched the first day but when he heard of the bike problems on the second day he without question wanted to help Jordan and arranged a new bike the following week!
“Going into the second round was a totally different story. We had a bit more time to work on Jordan’s fitness and now with a new machine things were on the up. Taking second overall he was back on track.
“Another mechanical problem at the third round showed that even with a new bike a little luck is needed, he dropped another 45 points due to a DNF and finished fifth overall.
“But with four rounds left Jordan stopped thinking of the championship and set out to just win as many races as he possibly could. At the next three rounds he went out and won the overalls at all of them.
“Going into the final round we had managed to not only go into the championship lead, but we had a 21 point cushion. All Jordan needed to do was stay consistent and bring home the championship, which he did in fine style, second overall on the weekend ahead of his closest competitor meant he won the championship by 26 points with a total of 1280 points.”
Jordan’s success has led to him being selected to ride for Team DRF/Powerband next year and he is being flown out in November to a special training facility in Florida to train and compete in the Mini Olympics to showcase his talents and see how he fares against the fastest kids in the USA. Next year will see Jordan on board a 125 competing in European championship and premier UK championships.
Jordan would like to thank all who has helped himthis year, including Powerband racing suspension and race team, LTA Linge training academy, Airoh helmets, gaerne boots, rip n roll goggles, SJR racing, Ducksmart cleaning products, ETF training facility, RGB, Kendall cycles, Barrett Tanks, his dad, mum and grandad.