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Jacob Stroud, the 20-year-old son of nine-time New Zealand Superbike champion Andrew, updates AMCN on his AMA Junior Cup campaign.

I got to ride the track at the New Jersey Motorsport Park the previous weekend, and the track knowledge definitely came in handy. It was more of a challenge than I thought it would be. The first thing is that the track at New Jersey has low grip. There are also so many things that I hadn’t encountered before in my career. New Jersey is completely different than the three tracks I race on in New Zealand. In New Zealand, we don’t have such high-speed corners, the two right-hand turns at New Jersey that are flat out on a 400.

Also, I think the skill level here is a little higher. The riders here are so smooth. You have to lift your game just to be in the top 10.

I’m learning so much from Dale Quarterley and Eric Wood. We worked a lot on, how the way you pull on the bars, compared to how you place your body weight, influences the bike and how every little thing you do has an effect on the bike. Dale said I was a really good club racer, but I’ve only been using about 85 per cent of my talent, and that I have to work harder to be able to get to the next level.

It’s almost like I’m rewiring everything I’ve learned over the last seven years of racing in New Zealand.

One example is how I set up for the two high-speed right-handers. Dale’s method is different from what other people might tell you. He told me to brake, get on the gas and then turn because being on the gas helps you turn. Being on the gas before I get to the apex, not after, is the reverse to anything I’ve ever learned, but it works. I feel I’m getting there.  Like Dale said, “We’re not going to change the bike, we’re going to change you.”

We got pretty lucky with the pileup in race one and missed the podium by a tenth of a second, and I’m really glad none of those guys got hurt.

In race two, the lead group of five was in a league of their own. In the second group, there were about 10 of us, and things were pretty hectic. Every single corner one or two passes were made. You’d have to unhook your leathers from the bars of the bike next to you. I was at or near the front for most of the race. Then I got punted in turn one, got pushed wide and lost five places in one corner.

I’d really like to thank the Quarterley On Track Racing Development team and all their sponsors for giving me this opportunity. I’d also like to thank my New Zealand sponsors, Eurobike New Zealand, Spidi, Stylmartin, Motorcycling New Zealand Inc., Hamilton Motorcycle Club Inc. and especially Kevin Grant from Kiwi Classic Moto for making it happen.

The next and final round is at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama.

Liqui Moly Junior Cup

Race 1
  1. Rocco Landers (Kawasaki)
  2. Damian Jigalov (Kawasaki)
  3. Kevin Olmedo (Kawasaki)
  4. Dominic Doyle (Kawasaki)
  5. Jackson Blackmon (Kawasaki)
  6. Eziah Davis (Kawasaki)
  7. Teagg Hobbs (Kawasaki)
  8. Gauge Rees (Kawasaki)
  9. Isaiah Burleson (Kawasaki)
  10. Jacob Stroud (Kawasaki)
Race 2
  1. Rocco Landers (Kawasaki)
  2. Jackson Blackmon (Kawasaki)
  3. Eziah Davis (Kawasaki)
  4. Cody Wyman (Yamaha)
  5. Jacob Stroud (Kawasaki)
  6. Damian Jigalov (Kawasaki)
  7. Toby Khamsouk (Kawasaki)
  8. Teagg Hobbs (Kawasaki)
  9. Gus Rodio (Kawasaki)
  10. Benjamin Gloddy (Kawasaki)