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Jordan Jarvis: 30 seconds to gate drop

Jarvis

Jordan Jarvis was the first woman to qualify for Lucas Oil Pro Motocross in 2020 using modern qualifying processes. (Photo by Grace Woebing)

PRAIRIE CITY, Calif. – Last Saturday afternoon at Fox Raceway, Jordan Jarvis had 30 seconds to get into the starting gate and prepare for her shot in the second moto of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross 250 class.

As Ty Masterpool left the circuit after the sighting lap, officials gave Jarvis the green light to race as a substitute just as the 30 second board was hoisted.

From then on it was 30 minutes plus two race laps.

Jarvis finished in 34th place and given her DNA for the first moto of the day, she placed a 40th overall.

“To be honest I’m getting tired of making it as an alternative this year. I just want to get right through it,” Jarvis said. “But I’ll take what I can get.”

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Jarvis races the #301 Yamaha YZ250F in the 250 class of Lucas Oil Pro Motocross. (Photo by Grace Woelbing)

Jarvis made history when she first made it as an alternative to a Pro Motocross race held at WW Ranch in 2020.

She was the first woman to qualify for an outdoor state title using modern qualification processes.

Ironically, Jarvis only had “maybe 10 or 15 seconds” at the WW Ranch to prepare for the gate drop, as again she was not notified that she was the alternate driver until the sighting lap was complete and the gate was filled.

“It wasn’t a lot of time but unfortunately I’m getting used to it,” Jarvis said with a laugh.

However, this season holds new potential for Jarvis as she is determined to compete in every race in the series and remains driven by her lifelong drive to race.

Her short-term goal this year: do every race. Your long-term goal: collect points.

Jarvis is back on a Yamaha Y250F after a few years on a Kawasaki KX250F – a team change that took place in January this year. Since then, she has spent time learning to ride a bike, riding a few times a week while maintaining a physical training schedule.

“I’m definitely feeling more comfortable on the bike this year,” said Jarvis. “A month or two ago it just clicked.”

While satisfaction with her bike setup is certainly a key factor in her performance, Jarvis is also supported by the experience and knowledge she has gained through track time in the Pro class over the past two years.

It was a 16-year stretch for Jarvis, who is now 21, to end up in the Pro Motocross paddock as a professional rider.

“Growing up, I wanted to be the best woman,” Jarvis said.

Her eye was on Women’s Professional Motocross (WMX), which was very much alive as a kid. As the years went by and the WMX series began to fade, “I had to change my views and my dreams a little bit,” says Jarvis.

When she was 14 years old, pro motocross began to come into play as the next step in her career. At 19, she was the only woman among 40 racers to make track history.

Her best finish in the series so far is 27th – a result she hopes to improve on this year.

“When I get to the motos I can do pretty well. I just have to get to the motos,” Jarvis said.

While her dream of racing in this class of elite riders remains constant beyond her career in Pro Motocross, Jarvis is hoping to see some form of WMX return. For them, the possibility of earning a living in the pro ranks is slim – despite their record-breaking rides.

“If there was some kind of women’s class that could come back, we could make a kind of career out of it,” Jarvis said. “It probably won’t happen in my career, but if I could make this a women’s sport again that would be great.”

Despite the uphill battle she faces in Pro Motocross, Jarvis still has hope for this season and is aiming to make it straight to the Gate Drop at Hangtown this Saturday.

She added: “It’s my sport, I chose it.”

If this weekend’s qualifying goes as planned, Jarvis will line up alongside the best motocross riders in the country – including the Lawrence brothers, Jo Shimoda and Michael Mosiman.

And if not, she might have 30 seconds to get ready for the ride.

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