-- MC News Interview – Caleb Grothues
2012 Has been a break-through year for 12-year-old Caleb Grothues. The young Western Australian earned a podium position at the famous Loretta Lynn’s Motocross National against the best America had to offer before smashing the competition at the World Junior Motocross Champions against Europe’s best riders and finishing his busy year by winning two Australian Motocross Championships at the Honda Australian Junior Motocross Championship at Coolum.
This week Caleb was in Monaco for the FIM Gala Awards Ceremony where he was up against other FIM nominated riders; 125cc MX World Champion Tim Gajser, 85cc Champ Brian Hsu, FIM Enduro Junior Champ Mathias Bellino, FIM Speedway Under 21 Champions Jonowski Maciej and Jensen Michael Jepsen, for the FIM Rookie of the Year award. Gajser got the gong but it was a huge honour for the young Australian to be nominated and recognised by the FIM and to receive his World Champion Award amongst his peers across all facets of the motorcycle racing world.
Caleb's World Championship win was not the result of flying in to be greeted with a well equipped team and track knowledge. The youngster flew to Belgium with an engine in his luggage and got some quick practice in at some local tracks before crossing the border to Bulgaria and winning on a track he had never seen before.
MCNews.com.au columnist Darren Smart had caught up with Caleb in what could only be described as a very modest pit area at the AJMX (tiny quick shade held together with tape) just after he won the final moto to claim his first major 85cc title.
MC News: Caleb, I just watched you wrap up the 85cc titles, you look like you are very comfortable on the bigger bike.
Caleb: Yeah, I feel good on the 85, I have been riding it for around 18 months now and am getting more and more confident, I feel like I can push the 85 harder in the tough stuff.
MC News: Tell us a little about your early years of racing.
Caleb: I started racing back when I was around seven and won my first national title in 2008 when I was eight-years-old, I have won a few state title as well.
MC News: Tell us about your adventure at Loretta Lynn.
Caleb: Loretta was unreal, it was a great experience, my dad and I did it, in one race I got into the lead and I was wondering what had just happened, it was unreal, the biggest race ever.
MC News: So you pull a 3rd in one class and a 4th in another at Loretta’s then back to Australia only to fly straight out to Europe for the World Championship at Sevlievo in Bulgaria. Was there more pressure after your Loretta success?
Caleb: Dad and I treated the worlds as just another experience, we didn’t have any pressure, we just wanted to get there and do the best we could, I was expecting to perhaps get top five so to win the championship was pretty cool.
MC News: It looks like you and your dad Mark get along really well and obviously make a winning team.
Caleb: Yes, we make a good team, dad helps me with everything, he was a pretty good motocrosser and gives good advice when it comes to the track and what lines to take, I always try it and if it works I keep using his lines, if it doesn’t I change things myself.
MC News: I did notice that you weren’t scared of changing your lines around the track.
Caleb: I am always looking for fresh lines and ways to get around a track faster, you never know when you need to up the pace.
MC News: OK, have wrapped your first 85cc title and have won the first two on the 65, what is the plan for the final race to finish off the year with two Aussie championships?
Caleb: I am hoping to get a good start on the 65 in the final moto and really ride smooth, I don’t have to win the race to win the championship but staying out of trouble and getting a good rhythm is important on this track. (Caleb did get a good start and finished a patient second in the final moto to win the championship)
MC News: OK, once you are back in WA are there any more big races coming up?
Caleb: Not really, my brother rides as well so I will be able to go home and see him, and my dog and my mum, dad and I are looking forward to getting home.
MC News: OK, what about 2013, what are the plans?
Caleb: I will definitely be riding a big wheel 85 and put in a good year on that, we are not sure of anything right now, it is really expensive to get back to Loretta but if everything goes well dad and I want to go back. I would like to throw a quick thanks to my sponsors too; Fly Racing gear, Loose Kid, Hogs Breath, Scott and Technique Coaching.
|- LATE BRAKING NEWS
- REVIEWS -