Today we get to talk to Oreoluwa better known as DOT. She tells us about her first time on a closed course and how that fueled her desire.
See interview after the cut
NM: Can you introduce yourself to the folks that are not familiar with you.
Dot: My name is Oreoluwa Ojo popularly known as DOT-09. I am a Pharmacologist and a Public Health specialist. I have a mixed personality; depending on where I find myself – I am sort of calm, very active and I like to get busy. I know being calm is like the direct opposite of getting busy, but I kind of live both lives well.
NM: This is the first purpose-built race track in Nigeria, perhaps West Africa even, do you think the Nigerian people and to a larger extent, the west African people are ready to embrace Motorsports.
Dot: Yes, I am very positive that West Africans and Nigerians are ready for motorsports. You should see the way we constantly prepare for our Qualifiers and the final race at the track. The commitments, passion, drive and sacrifices are so real.
NM: When did you decide you want to race bikes and so far, has there been any regret?
Dot: Well, I decided to race bikes in 2014, when I attended my first ever BT Race at Uronigbe. When I got there that weekend, it was one of the roughest terrains to get on a motorcycle and race, but the energy on the road that day was electrifying, and every biker just wanted a piece of the action. I at that time was the only female biker on the track/ road. So, I took on the guys with my tiny capacity bike, racing against the 600cc’s and 1000cc bikes. Lol, of course I wasn’t going to win but I didn’t stop till the finish line. At the end of the race that year, I just said it to myself… this is where you are meant to be.
NM: Being one of the first female racers and the current two time defending female champion, what are your expectations for this year’s BT.
Dot: As every racer will admit, the only expectation is to give a good show on race day, to put in all that has been learnt and practiced over the year.
NM: You have consistently raced on a lower capacity bike in the 600cc category, will you be upgrading to a 600cc.
Dot: Lol…. Upgrading is necessary, I would have loved to continue to race on my DOT09 KTM 390CC if given the opportunity, but then on the straights I sometimes would like to bite my throttle. So yes, the DOT09 team is coming Up on a 600cc capacity bike this year
NM: There was an incident last year, at some point you shook your head when Isa passed you on the start finish straight. That must have been frustrating.
Dot: Daniel!!!…. he had me on the straights right after I had taken the corners perfectly. I was frustrated that my bike’s capacity hindered a proper competition. But in all, I had a good time that day and the race was beautiful.
NM: There has been a change with the qualifying format – lap times are now two flying laps as opposed to one – are you happier with the current format or you prefer the older format?
Dot: I am indifferent about the criteria, if it does not restrict me from getting on that track, gearing up and locking my throttle, then I have no objections. We are gradually becoming professional with the several qualifying lap times. It is a welcome idea.
NM: You were not part of the riders in Q1 this year, are you planning on attending the remaining two qualifiers.
Dot: Yes, I had no plans to be in the track at that time of the year, but for May 26th, I will be there for my qualifiers.
NM: So far, there were four ladies in Q1, are you happy that the field has more of them.
Dot: Over the years, I have been encouraging and pushing some female bikers to join the race. So, seeing that they are coming onboard brings joy to my heart. I am really excited. It feels real now, I can’t wait to see us dust the guys far behind.
NM: Do you think a separate race for ladies would be more ideal or you prefer the combined race.
Dot: Well, I don’t see anywhere in the world where Female racers have a separate track from the Male racers… We are all bikers and it would be nice to see us all on the same track at the same time. However, if it is to manage the amount of people on the track at a particular time, then it is fine.
NM: Will you be racing as an Independent or you are a member of a team.
Dot: For now, I will be racing as an independent racer DOT 09. I have a dependable team and we are working hard to build a reputable brand around the name DOT 09.
NM: Several riders mentioned after Q1 that they were riding within themselves as they were uncomfortable with the track surface as it was dusty and littered with gravel. Is this a concern for you?
Dot: The race circuit is new, and it would have its rough edges… I am sure many of those racers were on the track for the first time… It’s a concern if we have to keep competing with gravel but am sure work is being done daily to make the track better for the racers.
NM: What can the fans expect from you this year.
Dot: Fans are to expect a lot from us this year. Both on the track and on our web platforms! So they can follow us on Instagram @the_dot09 and Facebook :DOT09 to remain updated
NM: Lastly, what message do you have to young and potential female racers in Nigeria.
Dot: For young female racers! The biking community is a world on it’s own. Just like every other community, it has its goods and bad. Look out for the goods and use it. Make good networks and have good records.
NM: Thank you for your time, we wish you all the best this season.
Dot: Thank you very much