Author: David Bulmer
Arizona may not be considered the "hot bed" of amateur motocross but don't let that lead you into thinking that there isn't a boat load of young talent lurking in the Arizona desert. In fact, some of the top 85cc talent in the country right now hails from Grand Canyon state, including the vibrant Jon Jon Ames. One of Team Green Kawasaki's biggest hopefuls, Ames is one of the liveliest kids you'll meet in the pits. Optimistic, full of personality and, oh, did we mention faster than a speeding bullet?
Recently back from injury, Ames just squeezed into qualifying for Loretta Lynn's this year. He's currently away from home training in Florida, which is where we caught up with him.
Jon Jon, we're heading into the meat of the season with Regional Qualifiers and, ultimately, Loretta Lynn's in a few weeks and you're just coming back from injury. How are you feeling?
I've never felt better. I'm down here in Florida training with Adam Cianciarulo and Zack Freeberg and life couldn't be better. I'm just ready to get back on the gate and put in some perfect motos.
Explain what happened with the injury?
I was at Reddick, a local track here in Florida, and I was going to jump this jump that just so happened to have a kicker on the face. As soon as I hit it I just went end over end. I ended up breaking both my legs but I'm back now and loving every second of it.
Wow! What was the recovery time on that?
The doctor said five to six months, but we cut it down to three months.v
So what are your plans for the rest of the year?
I'm doing every national there is to do. Mini Os, Loretta's, Ponca City...every single one.
And how to you feel you'll perform?
I'm going to do great! Last year I was getting seconds and thirds right behind Adam but this year is going to be better. I'm really looking forward to the rest of the summer.
And what classes will you be riding at Loretta's?
I'll be riding 85cc 12-14 Stock and Mod.
We know you've been on the road for the last few weeks. What's your schedule been like?
It's been pretty hectic. I mean, we left from Arizona and hadn't even been back on the bike and went straight to Minnesota for an Area Qualifier. I got qualified there and then we came right back down here to Florida to train.
That's quite a lot of traveling for someone your age. Do you enjoy the life on the road?
I love traveling. I flew to every race one year and after that I figured out that I would rather drive than fly. I love seeing the country and traveling across the U.S. Not many people have the luxury of doing that, especially at my age.
Will this be your final year on mini bikes?
I plan on moving up to big bikes as soon as I weigh 125lbs. That may be when I'm 21 or it may be when I'm 16 (laughs). Right now it looks like it will be when I'm 21.