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
The month of October has been a consistent one for Aussie MotoGP star Jack Miller. Bagging an impressive fourth in the Sprint and a sixth in the red-flagged race in Japan due to the brutal wet conditions, he backed this up with a solid ninth and a seventh in Indonesia to ensure he headed into his home GP with some handy momentum.
Venturing to the famed Phillip Island track in front of his adoring fans, there was much reason for positivity from his weekend in an event where the main race was run on Saturday due to the impending severe wind and rain on Sunday.
Banking eighth in qualifying ahead of the main race, this gave him a decent grid position to enjoy a strong body of work, where he finished seventh after engaging in some pulsating battles throughout.
“It was a decent Grand Prix. I had a bit of fun with the guys there. The bike was working good, and I cannot complain. I felt I was losing a bit too much time in the last sector but then also struggling a bit with the front tire. I had to try and nurse it. We learned from that today. We didn’t really want that result at our home GP but it was a solid finish and we were not too far away from the front guys. Happy enough and happy with the bike. We have a bit more work to do, but things are going good.”
Joel Kelso – Moto3
Joel Kelso marked his home race in memorable style by bagging his first-ever Moto3 podium. Having earned himself second on the grid, the Darwinian immediately got down to business in the race, displaying excellent speed and race-craft to keep pace with the frontrunners.
Putting on a wicked show for the supporters to eventually bag third despite a late moment, Kelso rightfully cut a delighted figure afterwards, stating: “Bloody brilliant! I’m over the moon. It was tricky conditions, but I just had to go for it at my home GP. I wanted the win but then made a little mistake, so I thought ‘Just put it in the bag’ and get it home safely. There was a lot of pressure, but now we’ll finish the year and try to bring the best results to CFMOTO,” he gleamed.
In another exciting piece of news for the ambitious Kelso, it’s been confirmed he’s signed with BOE Motorsports in Moto3 for 2024. “I am very happy to be able to join a great team like BOE Motorsports for another year in Moto3. I am very grateful for this opportunity; my goal will be to fight at the front and show everyone what we are capable of.”
Senna Agius – European Moto2 Championship and Moto2
The Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact team ace won’t be forgetting October in a hurry, for not only did Agius secure the European Moto2 Championship, but he also signed on the dotted line with his current team to step up to Moto2 on a full-time basis.
“I am feeling super-grateful to have the opportunity to step up with this team. I just have to say thank you for this incredible chance and thanks to everyone involved for believing in me,” he expressed. “It will be my rookie season, and I have so much to learn, but it’s already been a good time riding in Moto2, and I am so happy to be jumping up to Grand Prix now. I am just so excited.”
To shift the attention back to his title triumph, the way the 18-year-old handled the pressure and weight of expectation expertly to get the job done was nothing short of impressive, as he triumphed at Aragon after logging the quickest time in qualifying to underline his tremendous talent emphatically.
Harrison Voight – European Moto2 Championship
Back in action at Aragon, Harrison Voight once again showcased many glimpses of his undeniable class. Starting the opening race all the way back in 20th, it was eye-catching how he embarked on a scintillating charge through the field to work his way up to sixth. Disappointingly, though, while running close to the group of riders up to second, a mistake from a rival forced a collision, which saw him pull out courtesy of some subsequent pain in his leg that meant he was unable to change gears.
Bravely lining up for the second race, 13th was the best he could manage in a bout that saw him toil on valiantly following a rough start. With one round left in the series, all eyes will be on the finale, where the Stylobike hotshot will be eager to close out his season in an uplifting fashion.
Josh Brookes – British Superbike
Josh Brookes ended his 2023 crusade with commendable efforts at the final two rounds at Donington Park and Brands Hatch. To start with the former, his 7-8-3 finishes were a tidy return, considering he qualified back in 17th. Although he wasn’t entirely satisfied with his output at the rain-interrupted round due to him posting great results and rides at the same venue earlier in the term, Brookes remained upbeat with his podium placing.
Even though a nasty spill in first practice and a bike issue in qualifying ensured he had to line up for the opening bout in 18th. It was an unsatisfactory way to begin the finale, but the way he salvaged his weekend was notable. Struggling with bike setup all weekend and never feeling comfortable, much credit must go to Brookes, who fought on doggedly to claim a seventh, an eighth and a ninth to conclude his campaign in a credible seventh in the standings.
“I’d like to thank everyone; all the supporters, the team, sponsors, the fans – everyone who has put something into the team and hopefully next year we can get some better results and fight for the championship,” he told the team’s website.
Jason O’Halloran – British Superbike
Jason O’Halloran closed out his season with an outstanding showing on his way to a terrific victory at Donington before wrapping up his 2023 with a mixed weekend at Brands Hatch. Despite blasting out of the blocks to bank pole position with the fastest-ever BSB time at the circuit, the opener didn’t go to plan, for tyre issues ensured 17th was all he could muster.
A man on a mission in race two, the ‘O’Show’ scorched his way from 21st to fourth before the race was red-flagged just as a podium beckoned for the Aussie. The third duel was all about the McAMS Yamaha star, as he shot off the line to then ride to an accomplished win in what was a statement body of work ahead of Brands Hatch.
While this last stop on the calendar wasn’t one to remember, even if he bagged pole and was second in the opener, as a crash and a seventh scuppered any hopes he had of challenging for the title. Ultimately obtaining sixth in the standings to close his tenure with the team, who will no longer be running a BSB outfit, an emotional O’Halloran expressed his gratitude for all they’ve done for him and stated what a fantastic time he’s had under the awning over the years.
“I think together with the team, we can look back on what we’ve achieved with great pride. We’ve had an incredible journey over the last five years, and I wish everyone all the success in their next steps. A huge thanks to Steve Rodgers, Wendy, Tina and all the other people who make this happen,”
Now moving to the Cheshire Mouldings Kawasaki, it’ll be intriguing to see how he fares with his new squad in 2024.
Jett Lawrence – MXoN for Australia
Flexing his muscles on the world stage on French soil, Jett Lawrence shone brightly for Team Australian at the prestigious Motocross of Nations. Playing an instrumental role in propelling his nation to their best-ever finish at the event in second!
After constructing some exceptional rides in the qualifying race and in his first moto to carve through the park on the rutty, hard surface, his final moto masterclass was a joy to behold, with him rising to the occasion to outfox the legendary Ken Roczen with aplomb to secure a magnificent victory.
“The first race, the start wasn’t too bad, I was there. I was in the top 10, and I thought I had a good chance of winning it, but I made an aggressive pass on the outside and went down. Starting dead last wasn’t ideal, but I had a pretty good flow around the track and felt fit, and didn’t get tired at all. My last six laps were the fastest, so I was happy with that,”
“The second moto I wanted to go out and win… I had a decent start, around third, then I made a quick move for second and was chasing Kenny again like back in America. I felt at home, although he had a lot better lines than I did at the start, so I was following him for a bit, but once I was able to get around him, I put my head down and flowed just like home. It was good to get the win and finish on a high.”
Hunter Lawrence – MXoN for Australia
Coming into the showpiece dealing with a nerve issue in his back, Hunter Lawrence deserved plenty of praise for putting his body on the line for his country. Kicking things off with a third in his qualification race, it was impressive how he adjusted to the rugged conditions at Ernee. He then carried his form into the Sunday by securing a 10th and a fifth to bag second in the MX2 class behind Tom Vialle, with him overcoming the pain barrier strikingly to play a pivotal part in his team’s score.
“It was the best result ever for Australia, so it’s awesome, but I’m already looking forward to next year. It was a wild day, the track was super gnarly, it was brutal so we’re happy that everyone was able to do their best, and the boys gave their all, and left everything on the track. If everyone gives their 100% effort, you can’t ask for much more,” reflected the Honda wizard.
Dean Ferris – MXoN for Australia
Experienced campaigner Dean Ferris headed to Ernee fresh from winning the ProMX MX1 crown, eager to impress in what was his seventh MXoN. Surviving a savage crash on the Saturday unscathed, the aim for him was to produce just one sound ride to accompany the Lawrence brothers. And that’s exactly what he did by getting a 12th to stand up and be counted when his country needed him.
Relishing the opportunity and loving coming back to Europe, all eyes will now be on the 2024 season back home, which sees Ferris return to the CDR Yamaha Monster Energy in his quest for further glory.
Editor’s Note: If you are reading this article on any website other than BikeReview.com.au, please report it to BikeReview via our contact page, as it has been stolen or re-published without authority.