The Friday 5: Five Questions With Junior Cup Rider Damian Jigalov

Damian Jigalov is a young motorcycle racer from the Chicago area. He made his MotoAmerica debut in the Liqui Moly Junior Cup Championship after he turned 14 halfway through the 2018 season, and now 15 years old, he just completed his first full year of racing in the class. We got in touch with Jigalov to ask him “The Friday Five”, and here are his answers:

1. When a lot of people say your last name, they put the accent on the wrong syllable. How exactly is your last name supposed to be pronounced?

It’s “Ji-GAHL-ov” with the accent on the second syllable. It looks like it should be pronounced “JIG-uh-lov,” and that’s OK, too. There’s really no wrong way of saying it, but we go by “Ji-GAHL-ov.”

2. What’s your favorite thing about living in Schaumburg, Illinois?

The nice part about Schaumberg is that it’s very close to Chicago, and I do enjoy living near a big city. Traffic around Chicago is tough, but we know some tricks, and it’s not a problem going into the city.

3. Since you’re sponsored by Arch Motorcycles, which is owned by Keanu Reeves, have you ever seen any of the Matrix movies?

I have. I’ve seen all of them. When I first met Keanu, I hadn’t seen any of them, but I’ve now seen all of the Matrix movies and also all of the John Wick movies. I want to support Keanu as much as he supports me.

4. What are your plans for the 2020 racing season?

Honestly, at the moment, I’m keeping my options open. Right now, I’m focused on training. Whatever is the best opportunity, is what I will take. No matter what, though, I’m excited about MotoAmerica going to Indy next year, and I will definitely race there no matter what.

5. Is it more important to be quick or fast?

It’s more important to be fast. Being quick means you kind of got lucky on a specific day. It’s fleeting. But, being fast means you can jump on anything and do well. All the best riders are fast. Consistently fast.

Bonus Question: Have you ever been to Transylvania?

I have not. Most people don’t know that Transylvania is a region in central Romania, which is the country my Dad is from. I haven’t been there, but I do know that Transylvania is one of the oldest places of all time, with old castles and medieval fortresses. My Dad is from Bucharest, which is the largest city in Romania, and that’s in the southeastern part of the country, which is a long way from Transylvania.