One look at a bLU cRU Oceania Junior Cup race video was all it took for Elijah Andrew to make the switch from motocross into the youngest feeder category of road racing.
Until this year, the 11-year-old from Marayong, NSW, had never ridden a road bike, but had competed in motocross and Minikhana since the age of four where he started on a PW50 before progressing to a KTM 50, KTM 65, Husqvarna 65 and a Husqvarna 85.
Since joining the bLU cRU Oceania Junior Cup aboard the factory prepped Yamaha YZF-R15, he hasn’t looked back.
“My dad showed me a video of an Oceania Junior Cup race and he asked me if I wanted to do it one day and I said yes and he signed me up straight away. It was very hard at first, I had to learn the bike, the riding style, the gears and the handlebars, as it was the opposite of what I was used to on a dirt bike. I wasn’t sure how I was going to go, but I went really good.”
Elijah’s first weekend on track, Round 2 of ASBK at Winton Motor Raceway, may have been a learning experience but he impressed straight away, smashing his lap times by more than 30 seconds from the first time on track to the end of race weekend.
Elijah’s goal for the year was to score a top ten finish in the Championship.
At Round 3, at Wakefield Park Raceway, he not only improved his lap times in every session but scored his first top ten finish – a ninth – in race 2 at Wakefield.
“My goal was to at least get a top 10 finish this year, but I already got a top ten finish. I was really excited as I started 17th and finished 9th so I was really happy about that.”
Elijah is ecstatic with his move to Motorcycling Australia’s junior road racing academy – the Oceania Junior Cup.
“I love racing bikes really fast and its great because the Oceania Junior Cup bikes are all the same. You make new friends and I enjoy working with the mechanics on how to set up the bikes better and working with our coach Damian Cudlin. I’m excited to learn a new track each time I go out. You get to ride really fast, talk with your friends as well as make new friends.”
He hopes to one day replicate the success of his own heroes, ASBK Champions Desmosport Ducati’s Mike Jones and Boost Mobile with K-Tech’s Wayne Maxwell.
“I met Mike at the official ASBK marshals barbecue and talked to him at Wakefield. I will definitely do OJC next year and eventually I want to go into MotoGP and win a MotoGP Championship.”
It was Elijah’s Dad Noel – himself a road and recreational dirt bike rider – that got him interested in the sport of motorcycling.
“It’s really good to have Dad supporting me, he teaches and helps me a lot. Big thanks also to Motorcycling Australia and ASBK for putting this championship on and to all our sponsors.”
Away from racing Elijah keeps himself busy with scouts, gymnastics and riding his mountain bike to keep fit and healthy when he isn’t attending school at St Andrews Primary in Marayong.
Elijah is definitely a rider to watch in the bLU cRU Oceania Junior Cup as part of the mi-bike Motorcycle Insurance Australian Superbike Championship, presented by Motul.
For those interested, the opportunity to join the bLU cRU Oceania Junior Cup in 2022 is now open.
Expressions of interest for riders to compete in the 2022 bLU cRU Oceania Junior Cup are open for riders aged between 11 and under 16.
The OJC provides 20 riders with identical race machines, and victory comes down to a rider’s ability to get the most out of themselves and their Yamaha YZF-R15.
The focus of the OJC program is the development of junior riders, both on and off-track, providing riders with the skills and knowledge about training, nutrition, media and bike skills.
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