Australia has brought us… “The Black Box Flight Data Recorder” – ” The Electric Drill” and most notably… “Off-Road Motorcycle Phenom – Tayla Jones”
My first Tayla sighting was at the Full Gas Sprint Enduro in 2014 at Big Buck in South Carolina… With a super smooth and fast riding style I knew if she decided to become a regular here in the States, women’s off-road would benefit and continue to excite.
American women do not run from competition – they see it – admire it and then they work on learning from it in hopes of eventually rising to it… Currently it is the Australian Tayla Jones that is dominating the scene in many areas of off-road. While putting this interview together after the Australian Womens Trophy Team victory during the International Six Days of Enduro in France a mere eight days later Tayla would find herself on the podium spraying sweet champagne at the Grand National Cross Country Series Round 10 in Unadilla N.Y. in celebration of a well earned National Series Championship Title…three rounds early in the Womens Premiere WXC Class! Every round she entered in this years GNCC series she has won…that Championship Victory is Well Deserved In-Deed!
Just last month Tayla raced Round One of the Endurocross Series in Las Vegas and earned a sweet 3rd place… This 21 year old from New South Wales Australia is in the zone to say the least and setting a feverish pace for the competition to rise to.
Tayla isn’t just a fast female racer – she in competitive in the overall against the men as well – you’ll find her placing in the top 15 among fast Pros and A riders in the Full Gas Sprint Enduro Series where mere seconds make all the difference!
If it sounds as though I’m excited about the Aussie dominating the American scene – I say well – yes… She is brilliant on a dirt bike and is working with an American team, Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KR4 and her mechanic is American Stu Baylor… She is living on the American East Coast riding and racing some of the best Americans in the business and while she is making her mark in women’s off-road she is also elevating women’s off-road for all women and inspiring them to put in the work and rise to the top level in racing!
I had a chance to chat with Tayla about her and her teammates fifth victory in the International Six Days of Enduro – the team of three women in the Womens Trophy Class who raced a challenging off-road course for 6 days – without assistance to work on their motorcycle and required to get to check points on time. I’m no expert on the ISDE but you can learn about it HERE. I kept track of our awesome American Team – Becca Sheets, Kacy Martinez-Coy and Brandy Richards – for our American Ladies – this would be their first time racing in the ISDE, a brand new team eager and ready to rip the fresh course in France! It was very exciting to watch the live scoring as the race progressed through the week and our American ladies continued to improve. In the end Sheets, Coy and Richards finished respectably in second followed by France…YAY! I believe if this team sticks together and returns to ISDE in 2018 they will battle hard for that win and prestige that come with it.
Now onto Tayla on that prestigious team victory in France…
Wow…5 years in a row Team Australian Women have dominated ISDE! Congratulations to you, your team and Country! What’s your secret?… No secret really. Racing in Australia is a lot like Europe, we follow all the same rules and our tracks are laid out similar so that really helps when it comes time for ISDE.
How long have you been teammates with Jemma Wilson and Jessica Gardiner? Jess, Jemma and I have been team mates for the last 5 years.
When you were living in Australia did you race or ride together much? I raced Jess as a kid at mx but I only started racing Jemma when I went to off-road in 2012. Over the last few years I’ve gotten to ride with Jess a fair bit as we only lived a couple hours a part but Jemma lived 15 hours north so the 3 of us never really trained together. Australia has one main off-road series that we all did so we got to race against each other a bit.
Did you feel a lot of pressure to hold onto the ISDE title going in to this year’s race? Yes and no. Obviously we went into the race with a target on our backs after winning the 4 years previous but that doesn’t change our way of racing. We know how to ride and all we can do is our best no matter what so as long as we did that we were going to be happy.
Is it all serious or do you ladies find time for fun and laughs? Not at all haha. We like to have a lot of fun and it never gets very serious at all.
Is it difficult to work on your own bike as required during the ISDE…does that come up much? I do get a little nervous about something going majorly wrong and not knowing what to do but it never seems to happen. Even if I do have a drama I either know enough to get by or if I’m at a control I can have verbal help from someone who does know what to do so that helps.
One of your teammates Jemma Wilson announced her retirement from ISDE on social media… What are your thoughts on her announcement and for the future of your team? It is really sad to hear after such a great 5 years as a team but it’s also exciting to see what comes next. Jemma was a strong part of the team so replacing her is going to be hard and I hope the next in line will fit in just as well.
Any chance that your Australian friend who you have been competing regularly against in the United States, Mackenzie Tricker would be a good fit for the team? I have chatted with Mackenzie and she is definitely keen to give the ISDE a try, so who knows maybe she will be our new team mate. Kenz is definitely fast and would definitely contribute a lot to our team fir sure.
You have had such amazing racing success in the States everything seems to really be clicking for you… do you feel racing here in the U.S. has played a part in your success in the ISDE? Racing in the US is a whole different ball game compared to Australia and Europe. I feel like I have gotten faster being over here so that helped for sure in France but I still believe the Aussie style is better suited getting ready for Europe.
The Full Gas Sprint Enduro Series that you follow and are leading in the Pro Women division is supposed to be similar to the ISDE do you feel that form of racing has helped you in any way? Yeah for sure. The sprints is the closet the USA have to the ISDE and it such a great series. It is my favorite racing here and I love the European style tracks Hooper lays out. Anyone wanting to do a six day should really consider doing the sprints to get themselves ready for it!
Please feel free to Give a shout out to anyone that is in your corner…. I wouldn’t be able to do any of this if it wasn’t for my awesome team and the great bunch of supporters I have in my corner. The whole Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KR4 Performance Husqvarna team have provided me with everything I need to succeed and I cant thank them enough. Also a huge shout out to my mechanic Stu Baylor for all he does for me, a lot goes on behind the scenes and he makes sure my bike and everything is ready for me to win races no matter what.
Note: Pictures compiled from Tayla Jones Social Media Pages.