Irish Superbike racer Jack Kennedy Interview

Speedy Reg recently caught up with Dublin born Superbike champion Jack Kennedy about his career, what makes him tick and of course his choice of personalised number plate.

SR: So Jack the first question would have to be what made you want to become a professional racer?

JK: I kinda grew up on a bike; I was always in a paddock with my Dad when he raced so it just seemed natural that I would follow in his footsteps. Once I started I knew it was the career I wanted and put all my effort into making the dream a reality. All riders know the risks involved in racing but it’s what we know and do best. I never let setbacks get to me, I try to stay positive and focussed on what I want to achieve in the sport I love.

SR: What was your first race and what age were you?

JK: I started on mini-motos when I was 12, winning both 4.2 and 6.2 championships. At 14 I competed in ‘The 145 Aprillia Challenge’ on the Irish circuits and finished runner-up in that championship.

SR: Where was your first win?

JK: Probably Aghadowney on the 125’s and on a supersport bike, I think it was Bishopscourt back in 2005. I went onto win the Clubmans SS Championship that year and followed it with the National SS Championship in 2006. I was the youngest rider to win them and the only rider to win both championships back to back.

SR: What have been your most definitive wins to date?

JK: There’s been a few but the real defining win was my first British Supersport race in Brands Hatch, season finale 2011. I was racing for ‘Appleyard Macadam Racing’ and it was great to return after a serious back injury mid season and get the win for both myself and the team. I also think the double win at Snetterton last year was pretty special. In the main race it was a five man scrap from start to finish with positions changing every corner. In the last corner McConnell made a pass on Richards and I got a better drive out of the corner so I pulled out of their slipstream and won the drag to the line. I knew I had it in the bag before I even crossed the line so couldn’t help a cheeky celebration fist, 50 yards from the chequered flag!

SR: What other interests do you have besides racing?

JK: Eating, sleeping and training. I train pretty much every day; it keeps me physically and mentally tough. I vary it between running, cycling, swimming, weights, yoga, boxing and circuit training. I also like hanging out with friends to switch off from racing sometimes, because it keeps you sane.

SR: Would you ever consider getting a personalised registration for your Bike in GB?

JK: Yeah I have often thought about getting a personalised reg for my own bike, possibly something with my initials and the year of my first win in ’05. Perhaps you guys could sort me out with something.

SR: Where do you see yourself in five years time?

JK: On top of the world as ‘World Champion’! That’s my goal and what I’m focussed on achieving. I’m learning all the time and have a constant desire to improve in every aspect of the sport I love. It started with a dream, an aspiration and now I want to achieve everything I have set my mind to and ‘World Champion’ has a nice ring to it.

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