The 2020 racing season marks a big step in the career of Maryland’s Jack Rogers, serving as his first year in the A class on the brink of the professional level. The Kawasaki rider spent last year in the B class and collected some strong results at the beginning of the season, capping off his campaign in the intermediate class with another collection of top ten finishes in November at Mini Os. Rogers made the decision to move down to South of the Border at the beginning of the season, focusing on improving his fitness and conditioning in preparation for his first season in the A class. The hard work throughout the offseason undoubtedly paid off when it was time for the gate to drop at the beginning of the season as Rogers displayed at the Daytona RCSX in early March recording an impressive finish in the A class. He pulled a good start in the 250 A Main and demonstrated the speed to run up front logging fast and consistent lap times until the checkered flag, crossing the line in 3rd position to earn a podium finish. Rogers has continued to put in the work during the lockdown the past couple of months and is determined to prove where he belongs as racing returns. We had a quick conversation with Jack after a morning riding session at SOB to recap last year in the B class, talk about switching up his training program, and what his plans are for the remainder of the year and beyond.
What did you do for the few months that there was absolutely no racing happening?
Yeah, luckily enough South of the Border was still open so I just rode every single day here - getting my speed up, getting my fitness up, and hopefully getting ready for Loretta's. But now Loretta's is on so I've just been getting ready.
Did you take some time off when racing was postponed?
Yeah, I didn't end up goin' to Freestone but once I got back from Daytona, the next day I was back on the bike riding so I didn't miss any time at all.
What's the program at South of the Border been like for you?
It's really good. I've got a lot of fast people here that are competitive in the A class that I ride with; they push me a lot. There are good trainers down here, too - Matt Bisceglia and Brandon Scharer help me out a lot. Just riding in this heat helps a lot, too. The track is always really rough and the ruts are super deep. We get a lot of rain so the track gets super, super rough and it helps a lot.
How long have you been riding there now?
I first came down here in January and I've been here ever since pretty much. The biggest thing that helped me coming down here was my fitness, doing motos in the hot weather. I mean, I had good speed but my fitness is really something that I upgraded a lot coming here.
How was your last race in the B class at Mini Os last season?
Mini Os wasn't the greatest. After Loretta's, I didn't really ride much. I didn't have a lot of money to race there so I had to get a job and I ended up working all week and goin' to Mini Os and just seeing how I did. But I got a couple of top tens, so it wasn't bad.
Is that what inspired you to make the switch to South of the Border and start focusing more on your training this year?
Yeah, pretty much. I had to move up to A class and I knew I had to get to training and get my fitness and my speed up. It definitely helped to come down here and get ready for this year.
What's the transition to the A class been like for you so far?
It's been really good. I was racing a lot of kids at Daytona that are my age, but I've been racing a lot of Arenacross races where there are guys that are way older than me and have been in the class for way longer. That definitely helps racin' guys that are way faster that I can learn off of.
How'd Daytona go for you at the beginning of the season? How did it feel to get 3rd in 250 A there?
I mean, that felt awesome! That 3rd place was great, I had a good start and I was up front riding with those guys. I knew I had the speed and I just got my fitness up for that race. It was awesome to rebound at the start of the season after not the greatest year in the B class. It was good.
Have you been seeing that hard work pay off and reflect in your results?
Oh yeah, for sure. Definitely a lot more fit than past years. I've been putting in a lot more work than I have in the past years, too. There's a little bit more motivation in the A class, I'm just kind of on my own a little bit, tryin' to make something happen this year.
Have you been able to get any drops in since the quarantine hit back in March?
Yeah, the past couple weekends I've been racing some local series in the A class, just making some money and gettin' some gate drops in to get ready for Regionals and stuff.
What're your thoughts on Supercross coming back in Salt Lake City and the way they're making that happen?
Yeah, those races have been crazy. It's kinda cool that they got Supercross back goin' again just to give us something to watch. It's been cool seeing that stuff. The race this past Sunday was good between Tomac and Webb.
What do you think about the Super Regional format and what're your plans for that?
I mean, it's pretty crazy that you just sign up and go to the Regional. I'm going to Pleasure Valley this weekend. I'm signed up for 250 Pro Sport, Open Pro Sport, and Collegeboy. But my main classes are 250 Pro Sport and Open Pro Sport.
Did you see that Jason Lawrence is registered to race the 250 Pro Sport class at your Regional? That's pretty cool.
Yeah, I've actually been talkin' to him. We're friends on Instagram and he was texting me saying that he's going to be signing up this year and racing Loretta's, but yeah...that's pretty crazy that he's comin' back and racing.
What’re your goals and plans heading into Loretta’s this season?
I'm setting my goal for a top ten. Not high expectations for this year, but I want to get some top tens and get some good moto finishes and see how my speed is compared to everybody else.
Do you know what classes you’ll be racing heading into 2021?
I definitely want to try some Pro Nationals after Loretta's but I think my plan is to race A class again next year and get my Supercross card and all that stuff.