The MAD Peter Stevens KTM junior development team took the opportunity to travel to the shipwreck coast in Warrnambool this weekend for the annual two day open event that kick starts the Victorian race calendar each season. With the goals in mind of having the team together as soon as possible in the 2016 season to compete and get valuable preseason race time, seeing where our riders our at on the bike, physically and mentally after our preseason training program and to gather important bike settings and technical information.
With the club preparing a fantastic circuit, cooperative weather with overnight rain and some tough competition in each class including state / national title contenders and past champions, the #teamMAD crew of junior development team riders and coaching program riders headed out for practice and to begin the days racing.
Micheal Murphy had a break out performance and fantastic ride in his first race of 2016. Riding confidently and with a big improvement in speed over the off season, Micheal surprised many of his competition with two holeshots and race wins in the 85cc B/W A class. With two intense battles with Bailey Malkiewicz out front that had everyone on their feet watching in both moto’s, Micheal started the season with a big statement for 2016. With a poor start in moto 1 of the 125cc A class Micheal came home in 9th, rebounding to a solid 2nd posotion behind Callum Norton in the second race of the day. On Sunday for day two Micheal holeshotted the first 125cc A moto before a big highside at the exit to turn one saw him remount at the back of the pack. With more overnight rain and vision at a minimum, Micheal charged back to the top ten before a collision with another rider meant a 17th place finish. Just like Saturday however Micheal would holeshot moto 2 in the 125cc A class and lead for two laps before being passed by Callum Norton and finishing second in the moto. On the 85cc Moto 1 Micheal again lead from the start and with only one lap to go in a whole race battle with Bailey Malkiewicz he unfortunately made a mistake, falling in a corner and relinquishing the race lead. A second in the final moto was gopod enough for second overall on the weekend.
Micheal showed great speed, holeshots in six from eight motos and some mistakes and areas the team will work to improve on.
85cc A class: 2nd Overall
125cc A class: 6th Overall
Riley Findlay competing in the 85cc B/W A class missed a large part of the 2015 season due to a shoulder injury and related surgery. Still finding his feet in 2016 in terms of confidence and speed Riley showed great heart and never gave up battling every moto with riders Dominic Walker, Devin Bartlett and many other fast competitors. With poor starts on Saturday improving to a second place behind holeshot team mate Micheal Murphy, Riley began to fix his first lap track position and his speed improved accordingly. With a weekend best third position and three fourth positions Riley secured fourth overall on the weekend. With flashes of speed the team will work with riley to improve his early race intensity and decision making, along with steadily improving his confidence from a lack of race time in 2015.
85cc A class: 4th Overall
Josh Brewster competing in 125cc A class for 2016 after being promoted from 125/250 B in 2015 started off the weekend in promising fashion by running second to Callum Norton for many laps in the first moto. Unfortunately Josh made one small mistake in a corner tucking the front end and getting stuck under the bike. Remounting for a fifth position Josh was visibly frustrated and never quite found that opening moto speed or track position early on for the rest of the weekend. Battling hard from mid pack starts Josh learned the importance of track position and sprint speed in the very competitive 125cc A class, never giving up he finished a weekend best fourth position along with three fifth positions for fourth overall. Once Josh adapts to racing A grade and settling into the battles associated with running up front the team is confident he will be a podium contender at regional and state level in 2016.
125cc A Class: 4th overall
Overall the preseason Shipwreck open race event was a great success for the team to get valuable race time, take major positives from our bike and suspension set ups along with rider speed and starts. Working to improve on mistakes and push forward to our competition series we are excited and cannot wait to build on our program in the first year for the team.
The MAD Peter Stevens KTM junior development team will spend a few weeks further training and testing before the first MAD Junior Vic titles coaching camp at Outtrim on the weekend of Febuary 6th and 7th.
We wish to take the time to thank the following sponsors for their support this season; Peter Stevens Motorcycles, KTM Australia, FOX Australia, Dunlop, Repsol Oils, SPMX, The Collective, Slootz Designs, Dirtybits Moto Accessories, Titan protein, Flush Fitness, Flooring Sales.com.au and Race Socal Mx vacations.
*all images couresy of Shay Fraser and Bret trigg Visual. All rights reserved.