The Australian edition of the world-wide FIM MiniGP competition kicks into gear for the first round of this year’s chase for glory in the heart of Victoria’s capital at the Port Melbourne International Karting complex, this weekend (11-12 March).
After an extremely successful inaugural year, the new season of the FIM MiniGP will be another step forward in the quest to discover future Australian MotoGP world champions as after the first year of racing, the level of competition and intensity has lifted a notch or two.
The FIM MiniGP class is a global initiative instigated by the FIM and Dorna with 18 countries taking part in the global competition with the leading two riders in each domestic competition invited to attend the end of season shoot-out at the final round of this year’s MotoGP World Championship at Valencia, Spain.
The winner of that world-wide selection is guaranteed a ride in the Spanish championship as part of the “Road To MotoGP”.
The class is open to riders aged 10-14 years-old competing on the universal bike of competition in the class, the Ohvale 160cc four-stroke bike from Italy, racing on technical and challenging go-kart tracks.
This year will feature five rounds spread over Victoria, NSW, Queensland and South Australia with the final round to be held in September, in Melbourne’s south-eastern suburbs, at Oakleigh.
The two riders who represented Australia in last year’s end of season competition at Valencia were Harrison Watts and Teerin Fleming. In 2023 the pair vacate the class opening the way for any number of riders to fill their riding boot and chase their dreams with the carrot of a trip to Valencia to strut their talent in front of the world’s best.
Domestically, there will be at least 15 kids competing in the FIM MiniGP class with six youngsters from NSW, four from Victoria, two each from Queensland and South Australia while Kiwi Nixon Frost returns from across the ditch for round one.
Besides the premier class for the 10-14 year-olds, there are a number of support classes including a category for the older teenagers aged 12-16-year-olds on the larger capacity 190cc motorbikes with 12” wheels.Additionally, there is a Veterans class for kids over 35 years of age as well as a class for the hybrid Supermoto machines; motocross bikes with road rubber, racing on the bitumen.
Three-times Australian Superbike Champion, Wayne Maxwell is one of the chief organisers of the Australian series and is extremely excited as the FIM MiniGP enters its second year in the country, “We were excited last year about the prospects of what this category may do to Australian junior road racing and after the success we achieved last year, it has given us more impetus to improve and expand on what we lay as the foundations last year.
“The level of competition was quite surprising for these young kids but with a year under their belts as well as our Moto-Tuesday training nights and the Summer series the level has gone to another level. It is very impressive to see these kids learning their craft in the controlled environment of go-kart tracks that has proven to be the perfect learning venue to hone the skills that are required to succeed.
“Witnessing what the Europeans do, we now know what we have to work on to achieve that level. Now, we have a better understanding of what is required to compete against the Europeans as at this stage that are at another level.
“We know we are on the right path as the progress and level of improvement in their riding skills has increased dramatically and many current MotoGP stars use the Ohvales as a training tool. If it’s good enough for them to use as a practice bike, it just reflects how good the bikes are as a learning tool for the kids.”
There will be practice, qualifying and a round of races on Saturday with Sunday a full card of racing for each class.
Spectator entry is free.
2023 FIM MiniGP Australia Series Calendar
11th & 12th March – ROUND 1 – Port Melbourne (VIC)
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