New kids on the block
Getting to know the Pirelli MXD Class
Most would have noticed this year that the Pirelli MXD class is bursting at the seams with riders fresh out of junior racing looking to kick start their senior careers with the MX Nationals!
With pretty much a full grid of fresh faces on the MXD grid for 2015, today we took some time to get to know our up and coming young guns before heading to Murray Bridge for round four.
Wilson Todd – 1st in MXD Championship standings – Age: 17 – Team: GYTR Yamaha
Career Highlights: I’ve won five Australian Junior Titles, I got third at the World Junior Titles and the of course my couple of round wins at the MX Nationals.
Goal for 2015: This year my goal is to win the MXD title and get myself the Serco Yamaha ride for next year.
Thoughts on senior racing: Senior racing is completely different to racing juniors. When you race junior national titles, you have the build up all week but at the MX Nationals you’re up early on a Sunday and its game on. Senior racing is very professional and it’s definitely not just a hobby.
Thoughts on Murray Bridge: Cold!! (Laughs), But seriously it’s really cold. I’ve has a bit of bad luck there in the past, but I feel confident in the sand. The track there gets really rough, deep and rutty but I like the track there. I’ve rode there before so I’ve had some experience racing the conditions and I’m excited to get back over there.
Jesse Madden – 2nd in MXD Championship standings – Age: 18 – Team: Raceline Pirelli Suzuki
Career Highlights: Definitely my 2012 Australian Junior Title (Under 15 years)
Goal for 2015: I really want to win the Under 19’s championship this year, or at least finish in the top three of the class.
Thoughts on senior racing: It’s awesome, it’s definitely very different from racing juniors – it’s a lot more aggressive out there but I’m loving it so far. The MX Nationals is completely different to juniors. All the factory riders are switched on, they’re there to do their job and it’s run very professionally.
Thoughts on Murray Bridge: I’ve only been to Murray Bridge once for the 2011 Australian Junior Titles and the track was awesome – I loved it! Murray Bridge isn’t exactly my style of riding, I’m more of a hard pack guy, but I still really enjoy racing in the sand. I’m really excited to get to Murray Bridge this weekend and I don’t think the sand will be a problem at all.
Toby Stevens – 3rd in MXD Championship standings – Age: 18 – Team: Powersport Central Yamaha
Career Highlights: Probably my second at Appin would be my career highlight so far
Goal for 2015: Everyone wants to win, and so do I. Basically though I just want to stay in the top three in the championship and hopefully work my way up throughout the rest of the season.
Thoughts on senior racing: Senior racing is just so much better. The preparation of the tracks is on another level. The tracks get so much rougher and ruttier and it just makes for better racing. There’s better battles in senior racing and there are a lot more opportunities to pass and keep things exciting. The best thing about the Nationals though would definitely be the timed schedule. People don’t realise but it really does make a huge difference to know what you’re walking into every weekend.
Thoughts on Murray Bridge: I rode Murray Bridge at the 2011 Junior Australian Titles so I’ve been there before. It’s definitely one of my top two favourite tracks in Australia that’s for sure. I love the sand, I much prefer racing sand rather than hard pack. It’s good to get the first three rounds out of the way and finally get into some sand. Game plan this weekend is to go out there and win – that’s what I’m looking for!
Wayde Carter – 4th in MXD Championship standings – Age: 18 – Team: KTM Australia
Career Highlights: I’ve won a Junior Hattah Title, six Australian Junior Titles, 14th outright in the Finke Desert Race, and 8th outright in the Hattah Desert Race
Goal for 2015: My goal is to finish top three at the MX Nationals this year. Then I’d like to try and finish in the top three in my class at Finke (450 class). And obviously I would definitely like to keep the ride I’ve got for next year too, the KTM guys are awesome!
Thoughts on senior racing: I think senior racing is a lot better. It’s a completely different ball game at the MX Nationals and it makes you realise just how huge racing is here in Australia. It’s definitely more of a profession these days, and just the venues, training and teams make senior racing a lot more exciting.
Thoughts on Murray Bridge: I think Murray Bridge is an awesome venue. It’s fast, and that’s my style of racing. Murray Bridge is sandy and it gets quite rough which is what I like. I’ve been testing out at Finke with Toby Price and the KTM team over the past week, so I think with that little bit of extra desert training that it will help me with the conditions at Murray Bridge this weekend that’s for sure.
Kaleb Barham – 5th in MXD Championship standings – Age: 16 Team: KTM Australia (Support rider)
Career Highlights: So far winning my first MX Nationals race was a pretty big one and two Australian Junior titles in 2012, and 2013.
Goal for 2015: My goal for 2015 was just to be inside the top ten in the MXD class and to stay healthy for all ten rounds, so I’m ticking that off the list so far. If I keep doing my thing I’m sure things will fall into place next year too.
Thoughts on senior racing: The main difference between senior and junior racing is that seniors is so much better. The way the MX Nationals is set out is awesome. Everything happens on time, the tracks are so much better, they’re rougher, deeper, and the competition is so much tougher. I feel like I excel a lot more in those conditions so I’m really enjoying senior racing. I’m still at school five days a week so that hasn’t changed for me, but it definitely feels a lot more professional racing at the MX Nationals.
Thoughts on Murray Bridge: I’ve actually never raced at Murray Bridge. In fact I’ve only raced four of the tracks on the MX Nationals calendar this year so I’m going in blind most of the time (laughs). After everything I’ve heard about Murray Bridge though I’m feeling really excited for this weekend – I’m fit and strong and just looking forward to seeing what the weekend throws at me!
Image – Jeff Crow / Explorer Media