Oscar Pascal Massango is a Ugandan born enduro rider plying his trade in South Africa where he has spent several years. The rider who rides a 2020 model Husqvarna enduro bike coached by Neil Van Der Ross is making a name for himself in South Africa, although he is not widely known back home in Uganda. Hapasports’ Robert Nkolo recently caught up with him and asked him a few questions. Below are excerpts of the wide-ranging interview;
Hapasport: Can you please walk through your motorcycling journey, how you picked up interest? Got involved and started racing?
- Oscar: I got very interested in motorcycles as a young boy growing up in Masaka Uganda. I used to go and watch motorcycle races whenever they came around town, sometimes I had no money to pay the entry fees so I and my friends climbed trees and anthills to get a glimpse of the riders.
So around 2005, an old friend of mine called DJ Samli used to hang around a motorcycle club owned by one JB and he used to take me along and that’s when I started getting closer. One day there was supposed to a race on Mbarara road but the riders from Kampala never showed up and I got my opportunity to ride that day. I did not even know how to properly change gears but I rode anyway and even though I was removed after two rounds, it was the best experience of my life and it stayed with me ever since.
Even after I relocated to South Africa I was still into motorcycles and would constantly discuss motorcycles, go to watch races and even remember going to watch the Ugandan national team when they came to SA. After a while I bought an 85cc Suzuki Off Road bike and started riding it for fun. One day a spectator approached me and asked me if I was interested in joining a team and doing this professionally.
That gentleman introduced me to Nic Goslar the managing director of Men’s Clinic International – who had a riding team. This is how I joined this team and after extensive training and hard work I am now a valued member of this team.
Hapasport: So how has the going been since you joined the team?
- Oscar: When I joined the team, I was just riding for fun and now I am part of a competition team. I had to start learning everything about enduro and training very hard. It took me seven months of training before I was even able to take part in my first competitive race. I started in the bottom classes which even included women and I finished last in my first race. I was very disappointed in my performance but my manager, my coach, and my teammates were very encouraging and told me not to give up and that I will get better.
I continued to train, race, train, and race some more. Eventually, I made my way up the ranks and I am now in the E2 classes – which is for the most skilled riders. I have not yet won this class because the competition is incredibly tough but I am competing favorably against the best and getting podium finishes.
Hapasport: Do you have any plans to come race in Uganda?
- Oscar: My roots are in Uganda and I will definitely be coming. I was already planning to do something in Uganda this year but due to the global pandemic, those plans are on hold and we shall see what is possible after the situation gets better.
Hapasport: Any last words/words of advice/acknowledgements?
- Oscar: Any aspiring rider needs to be flexible and take what opportunities they get. My dream was to be an MX rider but my opportunities took me on a different path that is equally rewarding. I still train in MX as well and If the need arises I could easily cross over.
I would like to thank my team, my sponsors, fans, friends and well-wishers. Thank you for the opportunities.
Special thanks to Nic Goslar, Neil van der Ross, Men’s Clinic International, Motorsport South Africa, TrickBitzCC, ArietOfficial, Bikers Warehouse, WaynFarmer, MikePuzy, Thormx.