The bLU cRU Oceania Junior Cup was born out of a desire to develop world-class rider’s right here in Australia and there is no better way than to start them young. With support from Motorcycling Australia, “the bLU cRU Oceania Junior Cup will be a huge step in the right direction for Australian Road Racing, and we couldn’t be more pleased with all the nationwide and international interest the program has already received,” explained Martin Port, MA’s Operations Director. The series major success to date has been the inclusion in the “Road to MotoGP” juniors’ development program, which will hopefully get more riders over to Europe for Moto3, Moto2 and fingers crossed, MotoGP.
The inclusion of the OJC series with the ASBK Championships allowed these young riders the opportunity to mix with the senior riders like Troy Herfoss, Josh Waters, Mad Mike Jones; Wayne Maxwell and Brian Staring and watch them up close in action.
Twenty-seven of the best juniors from Australia and even one Kiwi, hit the track at Morgan Park Raceway for Round 3 of the bLU cRU Oceania Junior Cup. All riders were on the Yamaha YZF-R15 (150cc), an awesome bike for the juniors and all received expert coaching from former MotoGP rider Damian Cudlin.
Race 1 – Finally racing got underway after some challenging practice sessions. Whilst the rain that affected the track on Friday cleared up, it was still extremely windy and tricky for most of the juniors. The first six riders across the line after six gruelling laps of Morgan Park, were separated by only 0.772 second. Early favourite #74 Jacob Roulstone showed his class by taking the win from #36 Angus Grenfell and #39 Glenn Nelson crossed the line just 0.029 second apart.
Race 2 – After a first lap crash forced a restart, Angus Grenfell lead the field from start to finish to take a very impressive win. Behind Grenfell there was a good battle going on for second between Archie McDonald and Lucas Quinn, before both riders crashed out on Lap 3. Following the crash, Roulstone moved up to second, but made a small mistake late in the race and finished in fifth place, gaining some valuable points.
Race 3 – Jacob Roulstone was back to his best in the final race of the weekend. The thousands of spectators were treated to an epic battle between Roulstone and Grenfell who crossed the line in an almost dead heat (0.18 second) apart. #21 Carter Thompson who was also in the mix for most of the race, claimed the final podium spot.
Looking back at the weekend, I’m amazed at the quality of racing and professionalism from these juniors and you’ve got to pinch yourself, that these kids are only between 12 and 15 years of age. The future of road racing in Australia is in really good hands. Hopefully in a few years some of these juniors will get the opportunities to compete in other classes in the ASBK and better still race overseas just like Wayne Gardner, Mick Doohan, Gary McCoy, Casey Stoner, Jack Miller and many others.
Congratulations must go to all the supporters and sponsors who have put in so much hard work and money and organised such a great series including Motorcycling Australia, ASBK, bLU cRU Yamaha, Ricondi, AGV helmets.
Words and Images by Alan Macintosh