By Chase Curtis
Blake Cobbin, 16
Hometown: Gold Coast, Australia
Sponsors: Factory Connection, Home Valet, Addiction Industries, Varner Motorsports, Parramatta Racing, MX Graphics
Hailing from Australia, Blake Cobbin made his name known at this year’s TRANS AM. The 16-year old's consistency earned him a fourth overall in the School Boy thru 17 class. Rain or shine, Blake was present in the front of the pack. He grabbed himself a third place finish, during his muddy first moto. The Australian native travels to California each year, with hopes of furthering his motocross career. We had a chance to catch up with Blake and find out how different the motocross environment is in Australia.
What brings you out to California?
I come out to California to compete in all the amateur nationals, In the hope of furthering myself in the sport. California is really the best place to be, in the world of motocross.
Compared to Australia, how different are the tracks out here, as well as the racing environment?
It's another level out here. Back at home, guys pit out of their little vans, whereas out here, people have full on rigs and semi trucks. Also, tracks are so wide-open here in California, back in Australia, it's rare to get out of third gear on a track. It's really good for me to experience the different tracks California has to offer.
Back in Australia, how many tracks are within driving distance from your home?
When I’m in Australia, I usually ride at home. The tracks are just so limited, and far away there. The closest track is about an hour-and-a-half away, and it's another two hours of driving to ride a decent track. It is so much easier over here in California, you can ride about 10 tracks within 30 minutes of driving.
How did you get into the sport?
I got into racing through my older cousin, who was a pro in New Zealand and Australia. I grew up watching him and going to the races. Every since I saw him race a supercross race, I wanted to throw my leg over a bike.
How often do you come out to California?
I usually come out around the beginning of every year, so February through June. I'm out here when all the qualifiers and nationals are happening, which allows me to compete. Sometimes I stay a little longer, it just depends on how the qualifiers all went.
Is it hard being away from your family and friends?
Yeah, it's definitely hard being away from my family. My mom’s always been a great cook, so she has always helped with food. And when I come over here by myself, I have to be really independent with making my food and such. Thankfully, I have the Anderson Family out here, who I live with. They help me out a lot with what I'm doing.
Back at home, your town does not favor you riding your dirt bike…
I have a track back at my house, and a lot of my next-door neighbors don't like what I do. We have noise complaints come through constantly, but we're sorting it all out. It's just much better to come over here and ride, rather than spend all my money over there. I get to experience a lot more tracks over here, and literally, everything for the sport is better here in California.
What is your favorite thing about California?
In-N-Out… (laughs.) No, my favorite thing about California is probably the weather, It's always perfect out here… Well, besides the rain today… For the most part, we have great weather here, great beaches, and awesome places to hike. Probably one of my favorite things in California, are the amazing mountains you are able to explore.
What is your favorite track to ride in California?
My favorite track would be a toss-up between Glen Helen and Pala Raceway. Both tracks simply have amazing dirt.
Is there a reason you run 48?
Yes. Back in Australia, 48 was a number held by a friend of mine. He won over 10 amateur nationals while running the number, and he sort-of passed the number down to me. I've been running it since I was on 65ccs. I have always liked the way it looked, so I've kept it. They don’t care what number you run here in the states, so luckily I am able to run it here as well.