MXA TEST RIDER CHRONICLE: CLARK JONES
HOW DID YOU BECOME AN MXA TEST RIDER?
I was racing the 250 Pro class at Saddleback Park. The MXA guys were like an institution at Saddleback. One day they ask me to give them some feedback on a KX125 they were testing. I rode it and told them what I thought. They must have been impressed because they ask me if I’d considered joining them as a test rider. Who would turn them down? They had the best bikes, the newest gear, the best reputation for testing and I was happy to become a test rider. It was a great time.
WHAT IS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE MXA MEMORY?
I know that most people will think it was being on the cover of a major magazine, but it was more about the friendship with the whole crew. I remember that we used to go to Indian Dunes for Suzuki intros every year. Suzuki would bring out all of next year’s bikes and we would ride them, hold impromptu races, have contests to see who could wheelie the farthest and then go to dinner after the day was done. Suzuki would shoot photographs and print up a big poster for everybody. Those kind of days were the most fun.
WHO WAS TESTING BIKES AT MXA WITH YOU?
Most of the time it was just Lance Moorewood and me, but Lance was the favored son. If it was something special, Lance would get the assignment. Lance made me do a lot of jumps that I would never have done if I hadn’t seen him do it first. He was the first guy that I ever saw go up the face of a jump, kick the bike around in the air and land on the same face. This was years before freestyle had been invented.
WHY DID YOU STOP BEING A TEST RIDER?
In 1983 I took a job as Yamaha’s Amateur/Pro Support Coordinator. I had to go to all of the Pro races and the big amateur Nationals. I didn’t have time to keep riding for them. I was at Yamaha for six year and then left to start Noleen. I still see the MXA guys at the big Vet races to this day.