We have Aussies scattered across the world, making us proud in their two wheeled disciplines. Ed has us covered with his monthly "Aussies Racing Abroad" Column! Words: Ed Stratmann
Our homegrown talent has been battling it out on track and making us proud! Check out our monthly column that follows all things Aussies racing internationally on and off-road, from MotoGP to AMA Motocross. See what our future and current champions are up to…
Jack Miller – MotoGP
Although Jack Miller ended June with a frustrating crash at Assen, there was still plenty of upside attached to his month of action. Kicking things off with a solid seventh in Mugello in a race where he was in podium contention before struggling to keep the speed, he then backed this up with a super effort in Germany. Grabbing an impressive third in the Sprint, the Red Bull KTM star looked exceptional at the famed Sachsenring circuit.
Flying out to a wicked start in the Sunday race, all the signs were there that he could secure a podium, but a moment early on dropped him back. Battling on fiercely while he regrouped and toiled for grip, sixth was the best he could achieve to round out a solid weekend of work. With the first stage of the season now completed, Miller, who occupies seventh in the standings, spoke insightfully on how things have gone after the recent German GP.
“Not the way we wanted to finish the first phase of the season. I felt good and got a decent start. I ran deep into Turn 1 on the brakes and tried to pull a tight line to square-up and drive out on the exit but it was a couple of lean degrees too much, too early. We’ll take the positives. The bike was good again here and we fixed the vibration we had from yesterday with just a couple of little changes. It was a big gain,” he insisted.
“Anyway, two Sprint podiums and a main race podium as well as challenging at the front most of the time: I think it has been a good season so far. Looking forward to the next part”.
Joel Kelso – Moto3
Joel Kelso continues making positive strides in Moto3, with him clearly getting back on track with his fitness and feeling more and more comfortable running the pace near the head of the field. Qualifying in an eye-catching second at Mugello only to be relegated back to 21st due to a penalty for irresponsible riding, this was a tangible indication of his progress. Unable to translate his speed over to the race courtesy of a spill when trying to blast through the pack, Kelso quickly turned his attention to his team’s home round in Germany. Building on his form from Italy, Kelso banked another second in qualifying to flex his muscles before riding to a solid ninth in the race in this stacked class.
“We are almost there! I’m hungrier than ever to chase down that podium, but no complaints going into the summer break with a top ten finish. I’ll be working hard over the break to come back stronger,” he declared.
Remy Gardner – World Superbike
In the only event on the WorldSBK calendar in June, Remy Gardner endured a mixed weekend at Misano. Beginning the round soundly by snaring ninth in race one, things took a turn for the worse in the Superpole race, where he was involved in an incident between two other riders that forced him to crash out. After getting the all-clear to ride the final encounter, a battered and bruised #87 admirably fought on to claim a credible 10th, a result that leaves him 12th in the championship.
“What happened in the Tissot Superpole race was a pity, we had a good start and I felt good with the SCQ tyre and reckoned we could have done a good race to gain a better position on the grid. Unfortunately we didn’t get past turn two and personally I didn’t feel 100 percent physically after the crash. Anyway, we tried our best and we saved some points, let’s focus on Donington ahead,” he reflected.
Oli Bayliss – World Supersport
Having had his fair share of issues, as injuries have scuppered his campaign, Oil Bayliss made some steps in the right direction at Misano. Following an unsatisfactory start to the weekend to grab 13th in race one, the team and Bayliss ended on a high to punctuate his improvement, for he found some quality speed and comfort on the bike, as he logged 11th, but importantly had top 10 pace.
“Honestly it was a good weekend. We still have to perform better in qualifying, but the level of the field is really, really close,” said the Aussie. “In race one I made a little mistake on lap three and I lost touch with the group ahead. We made a good step forward in warm-up and in race two; I was able to recover many positions and once I got up to 11th place, the gap with the rider ahead was a bit too big to close it. Still, we showed great pace throughout the weekend and we were finally in a better physical condition, so if we keep working in this direction I’m confident we can get better results soon, too.”
Jacob Roulstone – Red Bull Rookies Cup & JuniorGP Moto3
Young talent Jacob Roulstone continued his striking recent momentum by producing some more polished rides in the Red Bull Rookies Cup. Stamping his mark by powering to his first front row in qualifying by virtue of his P3 in Mugello, this was another boost for the Aussie flyer. As the rain rolled in for the opening race, Roulstone maintained his composure in the treacherous conditions to finish seventh in the opener. The second stanza then saw him produce a fine rally to latch back onto the lead group, with him ultimately coming home in ninth – less than half-a-second behind the victor. Next up was Assen, and he yet again underlined his prowess with an outstanding fourth in race one and a sensational third in race two.
“Another podium in the Red Bull Rookies Cup. Battling to the end to finish in P3, just 0.117 from P1, and it feels really good. Got an okay start but needed to push hard and get into my rhythm. It was a very hot race so I tried to manage that as well as I could to make sure I could finish the race strong. I am super happy with this and to have both my mum and dad here is extra special,” he gleamed.
Josh Brookes – British Superbike
Fresh off his podium at the Isle of Man, Josh Brookes headed to Knockhill, where he scored points and was inside the top 10 in all three races, but left feeling unhappy due to problems with setup throughout. Brookes, who remains well and truly in the title fight, as he sits just 27 points of the leader, will now recalibrate his focus ahead of Snetterton.
“It’s been a difficult weekend to comment on really, it’s not been the results we wanted. We stayed on and finished all the races apart from a slip off this morning in warm-up, so in one way we’ve got points in all three races and were in the top ten. But it’s also been a frustrating weekend as we’ve not been able to make progress and fight for the higher places,” he lamented. “We’ve tried to remain positive, make changes, always fight to improve even if it’s just one sector, or one area of the bike to improve – but it just doesn’t seem to come here at Knockhill. We’ll now regroup as a team after a busy period with BSB and road racing, and we can head to Snetterton where hopefully we can look forward to some better results.”
Jason O’Halloran – British Superbike
Possessing blistering speed and looking the goods at Knockhill for round four of BSB, Jason O’Halloran rode wonderfully to put himself on the box in two of the three races. Banking third in the Sprint and third in race two, everything was on track for him to cap off a dream weekend, but an untimely off meant his Knockhill ended in disappointment. Preferring to remain upbeat when assessing his body of work, it was good to see him extract the positives.
“Overall, it’s been a strong weekend with two podiums and good pace. We worked hard over the weekend and made steps in the areas we needed to,” he told the McAMS Yamaha website.
“The last race we got to the front and I knew I had to push but unfortunately bottomed out, which lifted the front and I crashed. It’s such a tough championship now with so many fast bikes and riders so you have to take some risks to get the rewards and that’s what I tried today and sadly it didn’t pay off. Still, two podium finishes is really positive and I can’t wait to get to Snetterton.”
Jett Lawrence – AMA Pro Motocross
Oozing confidence, charisma and incredible skill, Jett Lawrence’s step up to the 450 class has been nothing short of incredible on his way to winning all four overalls and every single one of the eight motos contested so far. Although the field is depleted, this shouldn’t detract from his achievements, for his riding, composure and speed has been a joy to watch.
His most recent outing at High Point offered a further testament to his quality on a day where he still went 1-1 despite the track being absolutely brutal, him having a small tip over and the 19-year-old getting challenged hard by the legendary Ken Roczen. Showing no signs of letting up, watching how long he can maintain his streak will be captivating in his quest for his maiden premier class championship.
Hunter Lawrence – AMA Pro Motocross
While Hunter Lawrence’s form in the 250 class hasn’t quite matched that of his brother, the elder sibling has been extremely formidable himself by winning all four of the overalls in his class with 3-1 scores.
Looking a cut above his rivals in terms of concentration, maturity, consistency and racecraft, it’s been admirable how well he’s negotiated the rounds, which have often seen him face adversity in the first moto and then crush the second one. Sitting pretty atop the standings and on the path for glory, it’d take a brave man to bet against him adding the 250 outdoors title to his 250SX East crown.
Mitch Evans – MXGP
Going from strength to strength with every passing round as he gets back to full fitness from his thumb injury, Mitch Evans’ uptick in form aboard his factory Kawasaki has been fantastic to see. The last two rounds have been especially encouraging in Germany and Indonesia, for he’s made major ground with his starts, pace, stamina and overall riding in the ultra-competitive MXGP class. Riding to seventh overall at Teutschenthal and eighth in the sweltering heat of Sumbawa, the signs are great that he’ll be back duking it out for podiums sooner rather than later.
“It’s nice to finally be in the battle again and going home with a smile on my face. We have made a lot of progress lately, both with my bike settings and my fitness. For a long time I wasn’t able to do full training, but pain-wise I’m now 100% and last week I changed my training program and I already feel much better,” he insisted.
Have we missed anyone? Leave a comment letting us know who you’d like to see us keep you up to date with their international two wheeled successes!
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