Moto Media

from ... Sean O'Connor

With some great help from KTM in NZ, Australia and also CMR Racing and Cannon Smith I got to unpack a brand new 2012 KTM SX 85cc bike straight out of the box. We took over with us a heap of our parts off my KTM 85cc bike like wheels, suspension, muffler, forks and a few other things as well so we basically arrived ready to roll.

Most of the classes there we huge and there was a couple of riders from USA (including one in my class 13-16 yrs 85cc) which made racing quite special. This was my first ever trip overseas.

Day 1: The Aussie Nats started off with a whole day of scrutineering to make sure our bikes were all tight and ready to race. It was a very long day for only two minutes of scrutineering.

Day 2: The day was also a bit of a drag and everyone got 3 laps of practice to get a bit of a feel for the track, then basically packed up and went back to our motel.

Day 3: The day was every bit the same with 3 laps of practice and your done for the day. Eventually we were into the racing and thankfully my class didn’t have a full gate so we didn’t have to muck around with heats, which meant we got 5 finals instead of 3.

Our first final (Race 1) was a stinken hot, dusty day which wasn’t a good thing if you got a bad start, thankfully I got a rocket start and I had the jump on everyone with a holeshot in the first race.

Everything was going well until the 2nd corner when I hooked the inside rut and come across a decent sized rock in the middle of the line I took, sending me over the bars and trying not get hit by oncoming riders. By the time I got started again I was last and I had a lot of catching up to do, and not a lot of time to do it. By the end of the race I was sitting in 11th and I couldn’t manage to make up any more ground.

Race 2: I got another good jump and I was top 3 out of the first corner. I was running at a good pace not losing any ground, until blowing out of a rut and dropping the bike putting me back to 8th place. By now I was getting a little frustrated so I needed to get myself into the right head space, so I went to Glenn McDonald (the KTM team manager) for a few handy tips and advice.

Race 3: I went into the third race a lot more focused and the tips paid off. I got another good start and made my way to 2nd for a few laps. I was struggling to maintain my position for the whole race and had a couple of slightly faster riders slip past me, but I settled for a solid 4th with no mistakes.

Race 4: In the 4th race I started with the same game plan to just be consistent. I got another top five start and ran third for the whole race with the American rider Keith Tucker on my tail, but I held him off and finished 3rd giving me some solid points.

Race 5: By the 5th race the week was starting to tire me out from the intense hot sun so I knew I just had to be consistent and stay on the bike. It didn’t all go my way I bobbled in a tricky corner and hit the dirt. I was struggling to make passes and only made my way back to 10th place. My overall result was 6th at the end of the competition so I was still rapped with my result but I knew I could of done a lot better.

The trip to Aussie overall was an awesome experience for me and it was great to know I can compete with the Aussies. Everyone we met over there were great.

I would like to thank Cannon Smith of CMR racing and especially his wife Kim (who helped Donna with the necessary paper work etc behind the scenes), also KTM NZ & Australia, Donna for helping organise the bike for me to ride, the Pukekohe Motorcycle club for helping me get to Australia and most of all Dad who without him the trip wouldn’t have happened.

Thanks Dad I couldn’t have done it without you. The trip was so awesome. Thanks

Sean O’Connor #200 KTM rider

Sean in action at the Pukekohe MCC's Mercer Sand Track Sunday 16 October.
Photo courtesy of Phil Smith
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