“I WANT TO BE A WORLD CHAMPION” JACOB ARGUBRIGHT HEADS TO DAKAR

ARGUBRIGHT READY TO TACKLE TO DAKAR RALLY

       Jacob Argubright has had one of the most successful off-road racer careers in the last ten years. Argubright is a National Hare and Hound Champion, Best In the Desert Champion, and a Western National Hare Scramble Champion, to name a few accomplishments. Growing up in the Southern California deserts of District 37, racing was second nature. Argubright became a well-known talent by winning championships at the District level. So it wasn’t long before the Desert Ace competed for wins and podiums at the National Hare and Hound Series against racers like Kurt Caselli, Kendall Norman, and David Pearson.

Photo: Mark Kariya

    In fact, Argubright is the last racer to best the late Kurt Caselli at a National Hare and Hound event. In 2014, Jacob did a two-year stint with Factory Husqvarna, grabbing the first win for Husky since the late ’80s with Dan Smith.  He also gave Husqvarna their first Championship at the Western Hare Scrambles and BITD series that same year. However, the already accomplished racer wasn’t satisfied, switching back to Kawasaki in 2019 with one goal: the National Hare and Hound Championship. The 2019 season was memorable, winning five-hare and hounds and never missing the podium to clinch his first Pro NHHA championship. It was almost a Cinderella story; all the years of hard work and hardships finally came to fruition. Though, that wasn’t the final aspiration for the Desert Racer.

JACOB DID A TWO-YEAR STINT WITH FACTORY HUSQVARNA GIVING THEM A WHS CHAMPIONSHIP AND BITD

If there is one race that an accomplished Desert racer wants to compete in, it’s the Dakar Rally. The Dakar is known as the biggest Endurance Race in the world for not only man but also the machine. It is unique because there is no ribbon, markers, or signs of course markings. Instead, it is a race made up of navigation with a road book for each day, a compass, and a good sense of direction. This year the Dakar Rally tallies up to 5,000KM, equivalent to 3100 miles and fourteen stages throughout, and will take place in Saudi Arabia. It’s the biggest race in the world, and for a good reason, there is nothing like it. Jacob has been fundraising for over a year to accomplish his feat of racing this monster of an event, but he not only wants to finish, but he also wants to be competitive and show his talents on a world level. Fortunately, we quickly spoke with him before he headed to the airport for Saudi. Originally this was a podcast, but our audio got a little scratched up and cut off.

PHOTO BY JASON ROBERTS

DIRT BIKE: WE HAVE TO SAY THANK YOU FOR DOING THIS QUICKLY AND ON THE FLY; LET US MAKE THIS QUICK BECAUSE WE KNOW YOU’RE ON YOU’RE WAY OUT; FIRST OFF, WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO DO THIS?

 

JACOB ARGUBRIGHT: WHAT POSSESSED ME TO DO IT WAS BECAUSE IT’S THE BIGGEST MOTORSPORTS RACE IN THE WORLD, AND I WANT TO BE A WORLD CHAMPION, AND IF I WANT TO DO THAT, I NEED TO RACE WITH THE HIGHEST LEVEL OF RACERS.

ARGUBRIGHT CLINCHED A CHAMPIONSHIP FOR THE HUSKY BRAND IN HIS FIRST YEAR 

DIRT BIKE: WOW! THAT IS A PRETTY STRAIGHTFORWARD ANSWER, AND IT SEEMS LIKE YOU’RE FOCUSED ON THIS. WE’VE SEEN A LOT OF YOUR FOCUS HEADED THAT WAY OVER THE PAST TWO YEARS. WE KNOW THERE WAS, OR THERE IS, SOME RULE YOU HAVE TO COMPETE IN AN FIM RALLY; WHICH DID YOU DO? AND HOW DID YOU DO?

JACOB ARGUBRIGHT: WELL, FIRST, I TRIED TO RACE THE SONORA RALLY IN 2021. THE FIRST DAY I WAS OUT, I BLEW UP MY MOTORCYCLE, WHICH WAS AN UNFORTUNATE DEAL FOR ME. BUT I SENT MY DRIVER, LARRY, BACK TO THE STATES TO PICK UP ANOTHER MOTORCYCLE FOR ME TO GET SOME PRACTICE IN ON NAVIGATION. THAT WAS A COMPLETE FAIL; I BLEW UP THAT MOTOR THE NEXT DAY. MASON KLEIN’S DAD WAS THERE WITH MASON, AND BASICALLY, THEY HAD TWO RALLY BIKES, AND THEY GAVE ME ONE TO RIDE, SO MY FIRST ACTUAL RALLY WAS A MESS, BUT I LEARNED A TON BY ONLY RIDING 3 DAYS. AFTER THAT, I WAS PRETTY HOOKED, AND I STARTED TO SEE WHAT I HAD TO DO TO COMPETE AT THE DAKAR. AND AT THE TIME, YOU HAD TO COMPETE IN ONE FIM RALLY; I SET MY SIGHTS ON THE ABU DHABI RALLY. SO I PLACED SECOND IN RALLY 2 AND GOT A FEEL FOR THE MOTORCYCLE AND THE TEAM I WILL BE COMPETING WITH.

PHOTO BY KATO: ARGUBRIGHT WENT TO ISDE IN 2019. UNFORTUNATELY, A MECHANICAL FORCED HIM TO RETIRE

 

DIRT BIKE: YOU MENTIONED THE TEAM YOU WILL BE COMPETING WITH; HOW DOES THAT WORK FOR SOMEBODY LIKE YOU WHO DOESN’T OWN A REAL RALLY MOTORCYCLE AND LOGISTICS TO DO THIS THING?

JACOB ARGUBRIGHT: I’LL BE COMPETING WITH THE DUUST RALLY TEAM. THE BEST WAY TO DESCRIBE IT IS THAT YOU PAY FOR AN ALL-INCLUSIVE PACKAGE. THAT INCLUDES THE MOTORCYCLE, THE MECHANIC, AND THE TRUCK THAT DRIVES THE DAILY ROUTES. IT’S A BIG STRESS OFF YOUR BACK WHEN YOU WANT TO COMPETE AT THIS THING. I HONESTLY CAN GO TO THIS EVENT KNOWING I HAVE A GREAT TEAM AND A GREAT BIKE, AND ALL I HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT IS RACING. A TEAMMATE OF MINE RENTED A MOTORHOME TOGETHER, WHICH WILL BE TRANSPORTED EVERY DAY AS WELL WITH THE TEAM, SO WE HAVE A COMFORTABLE PLACE TO SLEEP EVERY NIGHT. IN ABU DHABI, I TENT-SLEPT, WHICH WAS THE BIGGEST MISTAKE I LEARNED. IT WAS 90 DEGREES AT NIGHT, UTV TEAMS WERE UP ALL NIGHT WORKING ON THEIR CARS, AND IT FELT LIKE NOBODY WENT TO SLEEP. IT WAS TERRIBLE.

DIRT BIKE: THAT’S PRETTY COOL THAT YOU CAN SET THAT UP WITH TEAMS ACROSS THE GLOBE TO RACE AT WORLD RALLIES. I GUESS THE NEXT BIG QUESTION IS, WHAT ARE YOUR EXPECTATIONS?

JACOB ARGUBRIHT:  I SEE MYSELF BEING HAPPY AND ACCOMPLISHED IF I’M ANYWHERE BETWEEN THE 5TH-15TH MARKS. I BELIEVE THAT IS AN EASY GOAL THAT CAN BE DONE IF I NAIL MY NAVIGATION. THAT IS WHERE I FALL SHORT WITH THESE GUYS. MY SPEED IS NOT A PROBLEM, BUT MY KNOWLEDGE OF NAVIGATION AND THE SMALL EXPERIENCES I HAVE WITH IT ARE WHERE MY WEAK POINTS ARE.

PHOTO BY: KATO THOUGH A BROKEN WRIST TOOK HIM OUT OF RETAINING HIS CHAMPIONSHIP. ARGUBRIGHT STILL WON IN 2020

DIRT BIKE: THOSE ARE ALL GREAT ANSWERS AND VERY REASONABLE. WE WISH YOU THE BEST OF LUCK. AND KNOW YOU’RE IN A RUSH TO GET OUT OF HERE.  IS THERE ANYONE YOU WANT TO THANK?

JACOB ARGUBRIGHT: ABSOLUTLEY, EVERYONE THAT DONATED TO ME AND GOT ME TO THIS RACE. FROM THE SUMMER PARTY, DONATIONS, SHIRTS, STICKERS, DESIGNS, AND ANYTHING THAT ANYBODY DID FOR ME, THANK YOU. THERE ARE SO MANY PEOPLE!

 MY WIFE, I KNOW THE LAST YEAR HAS BEEN HECTIC, BUT SHE IS LETTING ME CHASE MY DREAMS, AND NOT MANY PEOPLE CAN’T SAY THAT. MY BIGGEST SPONSOR IS RON PURVINES. I RODE FOR RON YEARS AGO, AND FOR HIM TO STEP UP NOT ONLY FOR ME AT THE DAKAR BUT ALSO TO CHASE WORLD RALLY IS CRUCIAL. I CAN’T THANK HIM ENOUGH FOR THE SUPPORT; WITHOUT IT, I WOULD HAVE BEEN IN A TIGHT SITUATION. THE LIST OF SPONSORS THAT FOLLOW PURVINES RACING, DC YAMAHA, CITY SERVICES PAVING, FLY RACING, S.W. ROBERTS CONSTRUCTION, RHYNO BUILT, NATIONAL HARE & HOUND ASSOCIATION, 100’S MC, DESERT MC, RICKS CUSTOM SHUTTERS, PRO MOTO BILLET/FASTWAY, FLOW VISION, BENTLEVER.COM, REGULUS PERFORMANCE, IMS PRODUCTS, DP4 RACING, FNF RACING, RALLY MOTO SHOP, BAJA BOUND INSURANCE

You can follow Jacob Argubright and other Americans like Ricky Brabec, Skyler Howes, and Mason Klein on their Dakar experiences by downloading the Dakar mobile app. It’s easy to use, and you can track his daily progress. Or you can go to https://www.dakar.com/en, where Dakar keeps you updated on everything today.

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