In the world of racing, it’s a constant fight to the top, not only with podium spots but trying to make a name for yourself and earn sponsors. Trying to balance a healthy mix of racing and working can be tough for adults but just imagine yourself trying to race, practice, and go to school – all while being an 11-year old female in a sport filled with men. This is exactly what Kayla Yaakov is doing and she is doing it VERY well.
Kayla is an amazing kid with her eyes set on the biggest stages in the world of motorcycle road racing and her track résumé is impressive, to say the least. With her still having 3 years to go before she’s able to race in MotoAmerica or other contingency based racing organizations, she’s managed to rack up over 30 championships, over 300 wins, and continues to make the best of racers look like they’re parked in a corner.
We recently decided to give Kayla and her dad Dave some much deserved support and are moving forward with becoming an official sponsor for their 2019 race season. We managed to get with them and ask a few questions to break the ice and see what gets Kayla going.
(TST): What was the single contributing factor that sparked her racing life?
(Yaakov Racing): When she saw pictures and videos of me back from my racing career, that got it started – now here we are.
(TST) What are challenges, as a parent, that you face while training for races?
(Yaakov Racing): The biggest challenge is managing time between caring for both kids, working to make money to do this, wrenching on the bikes, keeping up with marketing and social media, and getting enough practice in. It’s all a handful for sure.
(TST) What are her biggest challenges on and off the track?
(Yaakov Racing): The biggest challenge on track would be to muscle the bikes around like her competitors do. The transitions from left to right require upper body strength and height for leverage, both elements she lacks in comparison to most other riders. Off the track would be juggling school work to maintain the straight A’s she keeps, time with friends so she can still be an 11-year-old, and time to practice.
(TST) What is her main goal for her race career? (WSBK, MotoGP, MotoAmerica, etc…)
(Yaakov Racing): Main goals are to eventually compete at the world level, WSBK or MotoGP. Moto America would be a great start in a few years once she’s old enough.
(TST) What is one thing that Kayla sees as a failure that motivated her to push harder?
(Yaakov Racing): She hasn’t needed much motivation lately. She knows where she wants to be and knows it’ll take a whole lot of work to get there. She knows it’s a long road.
(TST) Outside of her track life, how does she manage to be a “normal kid”? I’m sure she’s becoming pretty well known all over the place.
(Yaakov Racing): Still being in school helps keep her active with her peers and brings out the 11-year-old in her pretty easily.
(TST) What is the biggest obstacle you face with pushing her race career to the next level?
(Yaakov Racing): The biggest obstacle with maintaining our race program and even progressing it to the next level is sponsorship money. Being so good at such a young age has pros and cons. The pros are obvious – she’ll just keep getting faster and be ridiculously fast as a teenager. Cons being the financial part of this. Being so young, she won’t be eligible to race any large contingency races until she’s 14, 3 years from now. This means the large expenses I’m incurring will have to continue for another 3 years if I want her to progress the way she is now.
We made the decision to sponsor Kayla because she’s earned it and what she and her father have created is beyond admirable. Their passion, grittiness, and success is exactly what we believe in and try to stand for. TST Industries is a proud sponsor of Kayla Yaakov and her 2019 race season. We look forward to many years of continued success as she makes her way into the next level of racing. Be sure the check out Kayla and follow her race efforts on social media. Facebook and Instagram.