Young rider sets sights on top competition

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In a series, reporter Shawn McAvinue spends five minutes talking with Dunedin motorsport enthusiasts about their passion for their form of racing.

What have you been up to?

I’ve just finished fifth overall in the four rounds of the senior national championship – it was a bit up and down with a few crashes. I had a big crash in round 1 in New Plymouth and ended up 15th, so that dropped me back.

Did you finish racing in the first round?

Yeah, but I cruised because I was a bit sore. I was coming around a corner and hit a big bump and it kicked me out sideways and sent me over the handlebars and the bike landed straight on top of me.

Is it the worst crash you’ve had?

No, I had a big one last year and I fractured my pelvis – right through the middle. I’ve had a few big crashes but come away with bumps and bruises.

Is this your first year competing in the seniors?

Yeah – there’s room for improvement but I’ll come back next year stronger and try for a top-three finish.

Are you the youngest competitor in the seniors?

Yeah, I’m the only 15-year-old.

What class are you racing?

125cc.

What type of bike do you ride?

KTM 125.

Is the seniors’ contest as competitive as racing gets in New Zealand?

Pretty much.

What’s next?

The junior nationals are in Lee Stream Rd, Outram, for two days from April 21. It’s a fun, fast track. It will be good.

How have you done in previous juniors?

I’ve won it four times.

Any other titles?

I have two New Zealand Grand Prix titles and one New Zealand Super X title.

Will this be your last year racing in the juniors?

No, I’ve got next year as well.

Are you aiming to win the juniors this year?

Yeah, hopefully – I’m doing two classes, the 125cc and 250cc. I like riding the 250 heaps more – I find it easier to ride and I like how it has more power and handles better.

When and why did you get into the sport?

I started racing when I was 4 years old. My dad, Dean, and granddad, Bill, have been racing their whole lives and got me into it and when I started racing, I loved it.

What do you enjoy about the sport?

Getting out there, racing, meeting new people and having fun.

What’s your long-term goal?

To compete in the 250cc class in the Manjimup 15000 in Perth in a couple of months and then go to the World Juniors in Australia in August and see how it goes from there.

Can you make racing a career in Australia?

You can start a career in Australia but you have to be racing in Europe or America to make money.