- Career: 1997-Present
- DOB: 06/19/1979
- Height: 5’ 6”
- Weight: 160 lbs.
- Birthplace: Gainesville, FL, United States
- Residence: Melrose, FL
- Team: BTOSports.com/BBMX Suzuki
- Team Manager: Forrest Butler
- Mechanic: Dan Truman
#47Jason ThomasJason Thomas's Website
Jason had his first taste of professional motocross over a decade ago when he made his debut at the Indianapolis Supercross in 1997. He found himself in over his head during that first supercross but still managed to qualify for the night show. He didn’t make the main event, but learned a lot and realized exactly what it was going to take to make it as a professional motocross racer.
Jason’s real breakout came during the 1999 East Region Supercross series. He came into the season strong and placed in the top ten in every race that he was able to finish. Unfortunately, untimely mechanical DNFs cost Jason his shot at a top-five finish in the championship, a position he believed he had the speed to be in. He ended the 1999 supercross season with a respectable ninth place.
Jason put in several impressive rides during the 2000 season and was picked up to ride for the new Ferracci Husqvarna team in 2001. It was the first time that Jason could focus solely on his riding and it seemed like a good opportunity at the beginning of the year. The excitement about his new team didn’t last, though. He was constantly frustrated with the team’s equipment and his attitude toward the season as a whole plummeted. He struggled to find his confidence and never amounted to his full potential that year.
Using his mediocre year with Husqvarna as motivation, Jason came into the 2002 season more prepared than ever before but as a privateer once again. He chalked up some great results early in the season before injury sidelined him for the remainder of the year.
Ironically, it was a lucky break for Jason to be without a ride during the ’02 season. Subway Honda had been struggling through the beginning of the supercross series and when a spot opened on the team, Jason was a perfect fit. He came off of a stint racing arenacross to finish eleventh at the Minneapolis supercross, effectively sealing his position on the team. Despite joining the supercross series mid-way through the season, he finished seventeenth in points and followed that up with a solid sixteenth place in the 2003 outdoor nationals. Jason spent three more years with the Subway Honda team and captured the Top Privateer award for the 2006 supercross season. Financial problems with the team forced Jason to finish the ’06 outdoor nationals alone but he looks on his tenure with Subway Honda favorably and recognizes it as a huge part of his career.
When Jason was left without a ride for the 2007 season, it was his friend of over ten years, Forrest Butler who signed him to ride for his DNA Energy/BTO Sports/BBMX team. Several mechanical failures and freak accidents kept Jason from breaking into the top-twenty in points by the end of the Amp’d Mobile/AMA Supercross series. However, by the time the outdoor nationals got underway, both the team and Jason had worked out the bugs and started to climb up in the results. He rode consistently all summer long to finish the outdoor nationals fourteenth in the series.
Jason was again with the Butler Brothers MX team for 2008. This time, however, the team would compete in only a handful of the Toyota/AMA Motocross Championship rounds after contesting the entire Monster Energy Supercross series. He was again consistent in supercross and rounded out the series fourteenth for the season. With the team running an abbreviated schedule of outdoor nationals, Jason too would be racing only a partial season for the summer of ’08. Jumping in and out of the series turned out to be a difficult task, as he struggled to match the pace of the riders who had been building speed throughout the series. Despite racing only six nationals, Jason managed to finish nineteenth in points by the end of the summer.
Throughout his years racing professionally, Jason has made a name for himself jumping the pond to compete in supercross races around Europe. He first ventured over the ocean in 1999 and struggled tremendously at first. But, he hadn’t wavered in the face of a struggle before and this time wasn’t any different. Jason plugged away until he started to figure out what it took to win overseas and is now one of a shrinking number of US riders who often make the trip to Europe to race during the off-season.
Jason’s plans for the future aren’t definite but one thing is; he won’t to be retiring anytime soon and you can bet that he’ll be a challenging for top-ten finishes when the gate drops at Anaheim I in 2009.
After ten years on the pro circuit, it’s tough to imagine Jason Thomas doing something other than professional motocross. However, as a kid growing up in Gainesville, Florida, Jason showed more interest in football and baseball than in racing a dirt bike. Motorcycles were always around the Thomas family, though, and by the time he was 12 years old, Jason had started to focus his energy primarily on racing. With his father’s experience as a professional racer—and knowledge as a motorcycle mechanic—giving him an edge that few amateurs could boast, Jason’s motocross career quickly started to take off. He raced throughout Florida and the surrounding states during his amateur career and frequently journeyed to the Loretta Lynn’s Amateur National Championships. He always seemed to be one of the fastest riders in his class at the Ranch but constantly had to face off against other young prodigies like Nick Wey and the GOAT, Ricky Carmichael. Winning a championship at Loretta’s never worked out for Jason, but he scored a career-best second place overall in his final appearance at the Ranch in 1996.
Simply put, motocross is life for Jason Thomas. Besides the occasional card game with his friends, nearly everything he does is connected to bettering his racing career. Away from the track, he’s a genuinely nice guy and one who will take time to talk with any of his fans. He’s also quick to note his gratitude for the help he’s received from some fellow Floridians, especially that of his long-time friend, Tim Ferry. Tim has let Jason ride on his track for years, and with the addition of Chad Reed to the sunshine state, the three of them make up one star-studded riding party.
Interestingly, the man who started it all for Jason is still closely involved with his racing today. Frank Thomas, a former pro himself, was his son’s mechanic, trainer and coach from day one and is now his tech at the DNA Energy/BTO Sports/BBMX team. Justin Fisk
Contributors: Alissa Gilligan , Bad Billy