Jack Pullen is one dynamic, driven dude. In his first South African motocross season, the tenacious ten-year old junior motocross rider from Kloof, KZN, earned both his regional (KZN) and national (Protea) motocross colours – pretty good going for a racing rookie!
That was back in 2018, and now young Jack finds himself in Florida, USA, in the midst of a global pandemic, travelling solo, coping with home schooling, living away from his family and, now, recuperating from an unfortunate tumble – all whilst keeping it together in training and on the track.
An Introduction about Jack
Jack is an amateur motocross rider competing in the South African regional and national championships, and internationally in the USA, in both 65cc and 85cc classes.
What is Jack doing in USA?
Jack has been in America since early June – this is his third time over there this year. He is in USA in order to train with his coach Tyla Rattray, who is based in Florida, and also to tackle some local races. Florida is a good place to train, with great weather year-round, and also high temperatures and humidity in summers, which is helpful in getting race fit.
Motocross in USA vs SA
According to Jack, he finds that racing in the USA is big, with a lot more money being invested in motocross racing – full gates in each class, and having all the top amateur and pro riders competing together every weekend not only raises the competition, but makes the sport more exciting for Jack! There are also a lot of tracks to choose from, some of which focus on developing young riders.
In SA however, they don’t have the numbers or the money to invest, and as a result they don’t race nearly as often as they should.
Jack loves to train and he is learning a lot from Coach Tyla. In addition to fitness training – like cycling, running and gym – Jack does about three hours track time a day. The exposure to racing at this level has been great – He recently earned a second overall at Dade City, which was cool because it’s a new track for him.
The year 2020 hasn’t been smooth sailing for Jack
Firstly, he got caught in lockdown in the USA in March, and he wasn’t able to return home, as planned, and he was stuck there for seven weeks before getting a repatriation flight home. Luckily, Jack was able to get back to the US in early June for his next round of races. Then, a few weeks ago, he had a big fall during a training session – Jack was airlifted to Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital in Florida with an ‘open skull fracture with subarachnoid haemorrhage’ and needed an op to fix that. Fortunately, his head wound is healing well, and he should be back on the bike in mid-August. Jack has also had to learn to find his way around the world on his own, and to make time in his day for his schooling, which is currently all online.
Jack’s Plans for the rest of 2020 and 2021
Jack plans to complete the Dade City MX Series 85cc – there are seven rounds left – and the Mini O’s Thor Winter Olympics 65cc, and the South African Nationals 65cc. Next year, he will be doing the full US MX season, as well as the South African Nationals 65cc.
About Jack Pullen MX
Driven and disciplined, with a growing track presence and digital footprint, Jack Pullen is a junior motocross rider committed to his vision to compete at the highest level. Focused on achieving championship placement at regional and national level, continuing to represent South Africa and gaining exposure at international events, Jack is also working hard at growing his personal brand.
To keep up to date with Jack’s motocress adventures, follow him at: