Georges Jobe interview - Never Give Up
Interview Tuesday 10th May 2011 By Geoff Meyer
Belgian legend Georges Jobe will always be rated one of the best Motocross riders the sport has seen. With five World Motocross Championships and 28 Grand Prix wins he stands inside the top ten of all time World Motocross Champions.
After an accident a few years ago Jobe now walks with a limp and has worked hard after suffering damage to his neck. It was way back in 2007 it looked dim for Jobe as it was expected he would live the rest of his life in a wheelchair, however now the multiple World MX Champion gets around fine and despite severe pain he lives a happy and positive lifestyle.
We caught up with Jobe a week or so ago and asked him some questions.
MXLarge: Georges, how are you feeling?
Jobe: It is much better. I worked in the winter with the guys (Tonus and Boissiere) and it’s a great motivation for me, also I do a lot of mentally stuff. It’s getting better. It will never be normal, and that is frustrating, but I will never give up. I will continue to work hard and hard and I don’t know when the end is and I don’t want any end.
MXlarge: It is now around three years after your accident, how do you live your life?
Jobe: I accept my life, you know I am tired now, but I didn’t sleep well last night. I have spasms in the night and I was awake at 4am in the morning and couldn’t go back to sleep. I have pain every day, and I accept the pain. I have a bracelet that helps me, and I am trying many things. I live like that and I am happy like that. I can’t say I am unhappy; I have a good life with my kids and my family. Happiness is the most important thing.
MXLarge: I remember you could ride before, but it was difficult, has that improved?
Jobe: I can still ride the bike slowly, and it helps me a lot, when I do exercise on the bike it is good, because when I have to do some exercise not on the bike I have to think about it, but on the bike it is in a computer in my brain and I just do it easily. I try to brake, but my fingers are slow, but it is working. The connection is getting better from my brain and body.
MXlarge: Do you only look at the positive now?
Jobe: I don’t see negatives; you have to be positive in everything. I have my girlfriend, my family, and my kids. To look backwards you stay in the same position, it doesn’t move you forward, and that is always my attitude. I also give the guys (Tonus and Boissiere) positive advice.
MXlarge: Motocross is really a sport where you need to be positive or not? Can you give a rider who has a negative attitude a positive attitude, can they learn that?
Jobe: It’s a hard sport, the competition is hard, everyone is working hard and you have to be strong. It is possible to give negative people a positive attitude. Health is the most important thing in life; good health is the most important thing in life. In sport or live when you are negative about something you need to turn it around and make it positive.
MXlarge: Changing the subject, I was talking to Dave Thorpe a while ago and I asked him about a season that started bad, but finished well. Do you have some of those types of stories?
Jobe: I had both a good start and a bad finish and starting good that ending badly. In 1980 when I was crowned World Champion I started slow and finished well. In 1981 I won something like the first six Grand Prix’s and I didn’t get the World Championship, I was too confident, I crashed and got injured, broke my arm and knee.
MXLarge: Having an injury does that sometimes help you perform better?
Jobe: Yes, because it gives you an extra motivation, like a bonus, because you have nothing to lose and everything to win. You have to win, you have no excuses, if a guy wins with a broken finger, then you ask him after the race how did it go, how did you feel, and he will tell you he won, but with a broken finger. If the fastest guy finishes 15th and uses the excuse of a broken finger, it isn’t important, he didn’t win, it’s just an excuse.
MXlarge: With Antonio with his knee injury, should that help him or hurt him?
Jobe: I think that will help, because maybe sometimes you take it too easy and this will give him an extra motivation to tell everyone, I am the number one guy and everyone knows I am the favorite and I have to be World Champion. So there are two possibilities you stop, or you go on and win, and the type of guy who Cairoli is, I am sure, this is a positive thing.
MXlarge: Is Cairoli the same as you and Eric (Geboers) and Stefan (Everts). Does he have that extra something special? And is there anyone else like him at the moment?
Jobe: Yes, yes, yes he does, in the paddock Cairoli is a legend, mentally he is so strong, he showed it last year and you know, he is a big champion. Sometimes he is 15th or 20th he is winning. You know, you saw him win in Lommel, winning in Lommel on a 350, he is a big champion, one of the all time greats.
MXlarge: For somebody like you, a rider who rode in an era where you lined up on the start with three or four or five of the legends. Is there a time you would have liked to have raced in this era, or is racing in this era a bit of a demotion?
Jobe: You know, you can’t talk like that, every generation has a time and my time was back then, and it’s just like that. There are big Champions in every era and Cairoli is great Champion, he will be one of the legends.