Interview with 2000 AMA Womenís Pro National and AMA Amateur National Champion Jessica Patterson

September 14, 2000 -Debbie Matthews

DMS¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Hi JessicaÖ. Itís good to talk with you again.¬† Congratulations on your titles in 2000, and happy 17th birthday !¬† So to recap, what titles did you capture this year?

¬†Jessica¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Thank you.¬† I won the AMA Womenís Pro National title and my second title at the AMA Amateur Nationals at Lorettaís.

 DMS                So what have you been up to? 

Jessica¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Well itís been a real interesting week.¬† Everything is going crazy getting ready for the new season.¬† There are a lot of new opportunities coming up.¬† Iím concentrating on deciding what I am going to do for next season.¬†

  DMS                How does this affect your school?

Jessica¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† It really doesnít too much, because Iím home schooled.¬† This allows me time to get my schooling complete and still train for racing.¬† This week I went training and as I landed off a jump the linkage bolt broke.¬† It was pretty wild.

¬† DMS¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Do you realize that you are one race short of becoming the first woman to win the triple crown of womenís racing-The AMA Nationals, Lorettaís and the World Cup?

¬† Jessica¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Yes, I think I can do it.¬† Iím really looking forward to it.

  DMS                The World Cup has been postponed.  How will this affect your preparation?

  Jessica              Well, I still feel really good about the race.  Postponing the event will allow me more time to prepare on the 250, which should improve my chances for winning the cup.

  DMS                What drives you to be the best?

¬† Jessica¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Well, knowing that I can go out, and have a good time.¬† I like to win.¬† I want to move womenís motocross to a higher level, and get people to take us more seriously.

  DMS                What do you think it will take us to get taken more seriously?

  Jessica              The more women we can get into the racing environment and put on a good show, the better.  Just like Ricky Carmichael, keep raising the bar.

 DMS                How have you achieved becoming the best?

  Jessica              The biggest thing is training.  I try to keep it really fun, go out and practice hard, but also do some cool jumps and whips to enjoy riding.

¬† DMS¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† The biggest area of improvement I see needed in womenís racing is increasing the level of fitness training.¬† If you look at all the champions over the past 5 years, the ones who became champions are the ones who really stepped up their physical training and it really showed.¬† (Kann, Wood, Patterson, Fleming)¬† those who trained correctly, dominated because they had the whole package and could race hard the entire moto.¬† The problem comes in when there isnít sufficient purse or support to allow the riders to continue racing and practicing at that level.

¬† Jessica¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Yes, although the opportunity is much better, the ability to make a living at the sport as a female professional still isnít there yet, but weíre getting there.

  DMS                Specifically, how do you train?

  Jessica              I run, bike, go to the gym, stairmaster, work on my upper body 6 days a week.  I take every Monday off and of course race on race day.  On race days I do a light jog to warm up.  I usually do my weight training on the same days as I practice.  I try to keep it fun, work some turns, and some days I just ride really hard

  DMS                Is burn out a problem?

  Jessica              Not really.  Last week I took the week off because we had a break with the cup being postponed.  It was good.  I went out riding with some friends.  We were all pretty motivated.  Everyone wanted to ride, it was a lot of fun.

  DMS                What are your hobbies?

¬† Jessica¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Riding of course, soccerÖ.actually soccer is where I broke my feet.¬† I like running with my friends, Basketball.¬† A few weeks ago my brother gave me his football uniform and told me to put it on.¬† He wanted to tackle me.¬† He chased me all over the field, I ran away and scored a touchdown.¬† As Iím standing there he just drilled me.¬† I go tumbling down the hillÖ(laughs)

¬† DMS¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Sounds like interesting cross trainingÖ (laughs)¬† Did you get off any good shots to your brother?

Jessica¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Well heís pretty tall and hard to get, but it was really fun.

  DMS                What are your goals for 2001?

  Jessica              I want to try and win as many championships as I can.  I also have some special plans for the men.

  DMS                Oh, what are those?

¬† Jessica¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† I want to try racing some menís pro events.¬†¬† Ö.Phone ringsÖ.Hey Jess are you gonna ride??¬† My bike is brokeÖ hey you can ride mineÖ.not right now, Iím doing an interviewÖ..

  DMS                Well, is he any good?

¬† Jessica¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† (laughs)Öheís ok, he just doesnít like getting beat !

¬† DMS¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Back to your goalsÖracing pro with the menÖwhen do you plan to race them?

¬† Jessica¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Well itís wherever I decide to.¬† I feel I have an excellent chance to do well.¬† Iím ready.¬†

¬† DMS¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Stefy Bau has gotten a lot of press in her attempt to race in the menís pro class.¬† You beat Stefy every moto this year except for 2 or 3.¬† Do you ever get tired of all the hype concerning one rider, especially when you were so dominant?

¬† Jessica¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† I can take it.¬† Itís really no big deal.¬† Soon they will know who is best.¬†

  DMS                You tend to be a little shy and quiet till people get to know you.  You just quietly get the job done, where Bau is flamboyant, in your face and well marketed.

¬† DMS¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Where do you see womenís motocross headed?

¬† Jessica¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† I donít really know.¬† I hope it is headed to get bigger and better.¬† I want it to grow.

¬† DMS¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† What did you think about the Racer X article on Womenís MX?

  Jessica              Very cool

  DMS                Will we ever see women on pro teams? Why?

¬† Jessica¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Yes, I think women will be on pro teams in the future.¬† Maybe, it just depends on how women take it seriously and train.¬† Itís definitely a possibility.

  DMS                Who are your toughest competitors?

  Jessica              Everybody is somebody.  You need to respect everybody ! 

DMS    Thanks Jess for the great interview.  Good luck in 2001 with all your goals!