Jordan Jarvis knows how tough it is to blaze a new trail in SuperMotocross Rolex 24 winner Meyer Shank gets big penalty for manipulating tire data; will keep victory
When things go wrong, sometimes things seem to get worse, and that’s how supermotocross rider Jordan Jarvis spent the weekend at Daytona International Speedway.
After becoming the only female driver to take part in the 2023 Ricky Carmichael-designed Supercross track at Daytona International Speedway, Jarvis started the weekend with high hopes, even though she had only been able to train for Supercross since mid-October. unlike the top riders who have been training since October and have been racing for the past eight weeks.
Luck won’t be on her side this weekend. The burden of preparation fell on her shoulders.
During media day for the Daytona Supercross race, Jarvis made a mistake during a small jump when she missed the rear brake pedal and she was sent to the ground. Deciding in a split second, she clenched her hands, and the impact of the fall reverberated through the lower half of her arm and elbow.
Not wanting to leave, Jarvis checked in with the Alpine Stars medical team ahead of Saturday’s free practice, checked in, drank some ibuprofen, and hit the track. But the writing was on the wall before she made her first jump, as her father had to help her zip up her suit.
“When it happened,” Jarvis told NBC Sports, “I knew it wasn’t going to work. And when I rushed ahead of the group and came across a couple of bumps, it hurt me.
She thought to herself, “Oops, this will suck.”
“I just stumbled upon the jump face and experienced excruciating pain,” Jarvis said. “I immediately screamed, in tears, trying to just push through it, but I couldn’t, so I just drove off the track.”
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However, Jarvis has gone a bit further in the Daytona Supercross round this year than he did in 2022, but with the time and money invested, he couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed after a string of bad luck.
Jarvis has always been into motocross. This made Daytona’s track, which combines some motocross elements in a traditional Supercross track, a great training ground for her forays into the stadium series. Between that and knowing how many friends, competitors and eyes will be around, she understands the importance of participating in this race every year.
Now, Jarvis calls Central Florida home, but the Daytona Round is an important race for her for more than just proximity. She knows openness is important if she wants to stay on the motocross circuit and also complete a full Supercross season in the future.
“I’ve been racing here since I was a kid,” Jarvis said. “I did everything amateurishly [events] when i was growing up. I have quite a few titles in women’s and women’s classes. In fact, I got my last two Supercross points here a couple of years ago.
“That would be great,” Jarvis said of racing at the Saturday events, “it’s nice to see everyone… Usually everyone comes to this race to talk and it’s nice to see everyone. It’s nice to show your progress. I didn’t have much more track time this year than last year, but I did have a little, so I wanted to show the difference it made.”
It’s hard to fight trolls
Each athlete strives to prove himself internally, in front of parents, competitors, fans. It was tough at the best of times, and Jarvis has found that Twitter can be especially caustic these days. For an athlete involved in a male sport, this need sometimes seems tenfold increased.
“You know there’s always these keyboard haters, people who automatically think, ‘She’s a girl, she shouldn’t be there.’ I wanted to try and prove that every time I race the men on the pro schedule, I belong.”
While the use of social media is an important tool for finding and interacting with fans and potential sponsors, it can quickly deteriorate. Everyone has something to say, and the worst comments are usually the loudest.
“I posted a video on TikTok where I did a threesome,” Jarvis said. “This was one of my first cases of upholstery and you know I now have Supercross suspension.
“It’s nothing compared to [Eli] Tomac or [Chase] Sexton’s material is much stiffer than mine, but mine is stiffer than average. I posted a video of this because it looks cool, I’m sheathing it and the bike is fully compressed and when it comes up it doesn’t knock me off the bike but soaks it up and does what it’s supposed to do. Someone on [TikTok] commented, “Are you really a pro supercross racer or can’t you even keep up with the LCQ?”
“First, don’t hate the LCQ Supercross riders for being fast. I mean, look at it compared to five years ago, the speed can’t be compared. The depth of the pack is laughable now compared to a couple of years ago.”
Secondly, every rider on the weekly Supercross roster achieved what they achieved by dominating their local classes.
Women’s Pro Motocross DOA
Jarvis, 21, was a member of the AMA for 17 years, amassing a ton of trophies through Loretta Lynns and the amateur ranks before venturing into motocross and supercross at the pro level. It’s a choice she worries many other girls and women won’t or can’t make.
“It sucks because there are girls a little younger than me or my age who are still doing amateur stuff but they don’t really have the desire to keep trying to go cross country and do all the amateur racing like we all did. when we were younger,” Jarvis said. “They just don’t see that they are making some sort of career out of it. I mean actually they can’t. It sucks because there are a lot of really talented young girls out there right now, and if we can’t change something, I don’t think they’ll be over 18.”
This realization was one of the driving factors that led Jarvis and her father to try to revive the women’s professional motocross series last year; an attempt made shortly before it went to a vote before the governing body.
Funding was in place and a few spots secured, but the risk of a series reboot, even on a small scale, seemed too much as each series struggles to stay alive and get funding.
“We were very close, we had the funding to get a good payout and the funding to do little highlights of both bikes and put the video together. Unfortunately it’s not enough to broadcast it, run races and practice, but we had the money to make review videos and some amateur tracks, and the pro-national tracks gave us the go-ahead.”
Although Jarvis loves to race in the upper class against men, she knows it’s a choice that others can’t make, sometimes because they or their guardians find it too dangerous or lack of funding to play the sport. The reward must be equal to the risk.
When racing in the women’s class, Jarvis is ahead of everyone. All eyes are on her as her fellow racers fire at her. In this area, Jarvis learns to defend himself and play the mind games that come with racing to win. In the male realm, she practices offensive and survival.
“I learned so much more racing men than I ever have with women,” Jarvis said of running at the end of a full men’s field compared to her experience in the women’s class. “You’re coming forward and that’s great. You win, but you don’t learn.”
“As hard as it was, and you know, stupid things like this happen sometimes, I learned a lot,” Jarvis said, pointing to her new injury.
Now Jarvis is turning her attention to getting ready for the outdoor season, announcing it with Race Day Live and taking advantage of every opportunity that comes her way. She knows only too well that they don’t come every day.
Meyer Shank Racing winning team in Race 61st. The Rolex 24 at Daytona received a hefty fine for manipulating tire pressure data during the January 28-29 race but will keep its win, trophy and winner’s watch.
The No. 60 MSR Acura, which also won the 2022 season championship in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Master Prototype category, was fined 200 driver and team points on Wednesday, plus all points towards the Michelin Endurance Cup.
The team was also fined $50,000 and lost all prize money for the race. Team engineer Ryan McCarthy has been suspended…