As most have you will have heard I have obtained a wildcard entry to the Australian MotoGP event in the world 125cc class at Phillip Island next weekend. Yep, the 125 class they show on television right before motoGP in over 200 countries around the world. The real deal!
Just how excited I am to have this opportunity probably hasn’t really shown through over the last couple of weeks because there has been so much to do in such a short space of time. I applied for the wildcard earlier in the year but heard that all the Australian spots were already full, so we applied to the FIM. After not hearing back from them all winter my hopes weren’t too high. In fact we had started selling my 125 gear because here I was thinking I would never be racing one again, let alone in a world GP! Then just 3½ weeks a go we had the entry confirmed.
I will be riding essentially the same bike I have raced here for the last 3 years – a honda rs125. A ‘special edition’ however, as I am fortunate enough to have the loan of an engine from the Hoogenboezem family, ignition from Chris Osbourne, forks from Jason Easton and a rear shock from Steve Ward. A big thank you also to Wobbly for his time and making a cylinder head suitable, Kev from RaceSupplies for his support, Kazu for the advice and Steve Bagshaw for some carburetor parts. So many people have all chipped in to put the best bike possible together. I can’t thank everyone enough for their generosity. Although we will still be approximately 20km/hr down on top speed from the world championship regulars, the machine is definitely better than anything I’ve ridden before and I feel it will be capable of getting within 107% of the pole position lap time – which is needed for me to qualify for the race. The biggest challenge we face is having to run the FIM standard of fuel which is not available here.
Dad and I (plus Ozzy, via a very hefty phone bill!) have been out at Pukekohe the last 2 weekends testing the bike and getting the rider up to speed. It hasn’t been smooth sailing but all things considered, so far so good.
The bike has now been packed and shipped to Melbourne. Air freighters take note: MELBOURNE, not Sydney where it ended up last time!! Mum, Dad, Ozzy and I will fly out next Wednesday where we will meet our team owner Geoff (aka my awesome uncle) and head out to the track. Ozzy is super knowledgeable and really helpful so I’m looking forward to working with him over the weekend. I’m also looking forward to having Scott and Cullly -the genius behind my bucket racer – there, along with my best friend Shannon, good friend Julie and a whole heap of kiwi’s who I know are heading over for the weekend. Also Darren from the California Superbike School will be there and has offered some advice.
I don’t think my trainer Tracy is going to buy my idea and swim across the Tasman for some extra fitness training, but her & her family will be there in spirit. I have to say a huge thank you to RacePace for not only the hardcore training but also being there for me over the winter when I needed it most.
Obviously we’re not going to be fighting for the win but to qualify for a world championship race at the Island has been a personal goal of mine for many years now. This will be the last ever MotoGP 125 two-stroke race to ever be staged at the island so here’s to giving it my best shot. I can’t wait to see how all the hard work I have put into 125’s over the last few years compares to the standard of the GP boys.
I’ll try updating my website throughout the weekend so check there if you want to stay updated.
Until next time,