Sun | Nov 19, 2017

Mario Woon dominates the race track - Aims to be the best motorcycle racer in Jamaica

Published:Sunday | April 30, 2017 | 12:00 AMLatara Boodie
Mario Woon
Mario Woon
Mario Woon
Mario Woon
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Whenever starting something new, begin as if you know nothing at all. The preconceptions we usually have when embarking on a new experience often stunt growth, create false expectations, and lead to self-imposed disappointments. This is the approach 33-year-old Mario Woon uses to dominate the race track and aims to be the best motorcycle racer in Jamaica.

Hailing from the west coast of the island, Woon's interest in motorcycles began with soliciting rides from his brother ten years ago. "I loved riding, but I never had my own bike. Whenever I went to visit my brother who owned one, I would always ask him for a ride," said Woon. "I bought my first bike two years ago, which is the 2008 Honda CBR 600RR, which allowed me to officially start riding competitively."

Woon began his riding career with no prior training for the sport. "I just sat on a bike and started to ride," he said. However, he owes his knowledge of motorcycles to Norman Chung, who took him under his wing and taught him the basics. "He probably thought I was a big rider already, but I really wasn't," said Woon.

One would have to be a daredevil to experience the thrill of going more than 100mph on a motorcycle. "You definitely have to mentally prepare yourself for this sport. It can be very dangerous, and one wrong move can have you off the bike. Once you strap that helmet on your head you know what you've signed up for," said Woon. He stressed that investing in good protective gear is very important when riding. "I have fallen six times in one year. I feel safe because I know I have good gear. Each time I fall, I know where I went wrong, so I can get back on the bike and start again," said Woon.

Though seen as a newbie to the sport, Woon uses his ability to learn quickly to give his competitors a ride for their money. "I listen to suggestions from more experienced riders and try to adjust so I can be better."

In his first official Jamaican motorcycle circuit in 2016, Woon became the B Class motorcycle champion. "It was tough, but I owe a lot to riding on circuits in Trinidad and Barbados to really get a feel of the sport," said Woon. "It's a lot easier for me to take correction because I came in knowing nothing, therefore, I was open to trying everything."

This year, Woon plans to compete both locally and within the Caribbean with the aid of his sponsors, Germanline Motorsport, Hose and More Limited, Elite Concepts and Solutions, and Cam 2 Oils. "My main aim is to have fun. This is something I love doing, and I believe whatever you do, your attitude determines your altitude."

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