Motocross

MAD! MAD! MAD!

MAD! MAD! MAD!

has been proclaiming himself as mad for years and who are we to disagree? You definitely wouldn’t want to piss him off – at 5ft 10ins tall and weighing in at 195lbs of muscle and scar tissue he’d beat the crap out of you.
As MIKE JONES has been proclaiming himself as mad for years and who are we to disagree? You definitely wouldn’t want to piss him off – at 5ft 10ins tall and weighing in at 195lbs of muscle and scar tissue he’d beat the crap out of you.
As well as being the hardest, Mike Jones is the oldest of the regulars on the freestyle scene at 37 years of age. And he’s also one of the most successful – having earned three X-Games medals and hundreds of event wins. He’s definitely the most well-known globally, appearing on TV and in magazines across the world. If that’s not enough, he has his own compilation CD – Mad Mike’s Mototrax. How many other riders can you name who have a CD available at your local record shop?
The Mike Jones story starts way back on March 26 1966 with the steel mills of Tarentum, Pennsylvania, as a back drop. Motorcycles soon became a large part of Mike’s life. "I had a bike since I was six and did trail riding all the time and then I started racing when I was 15."
With nine years of riding experience under his belt, Mike flew through the classes of his local AMA district five. In four short years he went from novice to Pro and hit the national circuit in ’86. Three years later Mike was a top 60 ranked rider in the USA and also the Rodil Cup Supercross champion – the fore runner to the world supercross championships.
As well as knuckling down and training hard for his racing career, Mike always found time to play-ride and learn basic tricks to entertain the fans during intermission jump shows at races. "I’ve got pictures of me doing no-handers and stuff as early as ’88 in Canada and Australia." His crazy jumping antics also led to him being christened Mad Mike by an Italian race promoter. "He said I was crazy and started calling me Mad Mike – it just stuck."
In the early ’90s Jones worked hard as a privateer, racing wherever he could to earn a living. From wooden board races in Germany to arenacross races in Australia and the outdoor nationals in his home country, Mike could be found holding the throttle wide open and giving everything he did 100 per cent effort. In between his hectic racing schedule he even found time to go halves on a daughter – now aged 12 – with his wife.
The mid-90s brought a new way in which Mike could earn a dollar or two. A new breed of motocross videos were being produced featuring mad jumps and crazy stunts. On the back of Crusty Demons of Dirt and Moto XXX came a SMP video aptly named ‘Disturbing the Peace’ in which Mike starred alongside other freestyle fruitcakes Larry Linkogle, Cameron Steele and Tommy Clowers. It’s a movie that’s now widely regarded as one of the all-time classics.
With a new career as a video star – but still chasing the dream on the motocross circuits of the world – Jones was a busy man. And as the millennium approached things were about to go mental…
For full story check out May’s edition of DBR – on sale April 18