Jason Meara wants to keep pushing for podiums

Banbridge rider Jason Meara has re-signed for the Phoenix Tools Evenstrokes Kawasaki team to race their KX450 Kawasaki in the MX1 British championships.

The 24-year-old says he is delighted to continue with the English based squad and can’t wait for the 2022 season to start.

2021 was like a two part season for Meara as the talented local rider suffered a serious shoulder injury after crashing at the opening round of the Revo ACU British Motocross Championship Fuelled by Gulf Race Fuels at the Culham circuit in Oxfordshire.

“I had qualified seventh, which I was well happy with but I made a bad start,” explained Meara.

Jason Meara re-signs for Pheonix Evenstrokes Kawasaki

“My speed was good and was charging through the pack before crashing out. It wasn’t a fast crash but it was a pretty high impact and awkward. The medical people couldn’t give me a recovery time and just advised me not to race and rest. When you are in this sport that isn’t much of an option.”

He struggled through the early rounds of the season before a three-week break in the British season in June gave him the chance to regroup, race at home and get his confidence back.

“The reason was to focus more on myself and get a bit of confidence back,” he reflected. “I always say it doesn’t matter if you are racing around the garden and you win, it is still a confidence builder. I definitely think it worked because after a few wins the speed followed.”

Meara’s first race at home after a few weeks off was at the opening round of the Ulster Championship on 26th June at his family’s track at Loughbrickland and he was on fire winning all three races.

It was something he would repeat as the season progressed winning a further eight races. His only defeat all year at home was in race three at Tandragee where he finished second to Luke Smith and that was due to a rear puncture, as he powered his way to the MRA MX1 Ulster title.

On the British scene his season in the Michelin MX Nationals championship was back on track. His consistency saw him score points at every round.

Two of his best rounds were at Hawkstone Park, round two, when he brought the Phoenix Tools Evenstrokes Kawasaki home fifth in race one followed by sixth in race two and the final round of the series at Cusses Gorse Meara where another strong day saw the local rider claim sixth and seventh to finish runner up in the championship behind Finnish Grand Prix rider Harri Kullas.

“After racing at home and a bit of time to get the shoulder rested it all picked up and we got the ball rolling again,” he said. “The results spoke for themselves and we finished 2021 in a good place.”

The highlight of Meara’s season came in September when he represented Team Ireland in the Motocross of Nations for the second time in his career. In Mantovo, Italy the team missed out on the ‘A’ final but Jason had a brilliant ride in the ‘B’ final finishing second.

“It was a trip to remember and although we missed out on the ‘A’ final, we gave it our all,” Meara said.

“On a personal note I was quite pleased with my performance. In my qualifying heat I made a good start lying seventh, then my back brake lever bent causing me to stall the bike.

“I kept pushing on to finish 19th. Obviously the ‘B’ final was the icing on the cake. I made a cracking start lying second. I made a push towards the lead near the end but just came up a couple of laps short of a possible win. It was a standout ride against a few GP riders and something I can be proud of.”

His final event of the year was only a couple of weeks ago at the Munster motorcycle club’s winter series at Vernon Mount, where he won five races from five starts.

“That was good fun,” he smiled. “It’s the first time in quite a few years that I havent wanted the season to end. Usually when you get to the end of a season you are pretty worn out and you just want a break. It has been the opposite for me.”

Looking towards 2022 Meara said: “I want to be pushing towards the sharp end and I don’t want to be outside the top ten at all. If I can stay injury free over the off season there is no reason why I can’t be pushing podiums.”