Moto Media

Catching up ... with Hamish Harwood

Hamish Harwood at the Monster Energy MX Nationals, Round 9, Toowoomba last Sunday.
Courtesy WEM - Sport the library / Jeff Crow image

The 18 year old from Nelson has a 53 point lead in Pirelli MXD class. He has out-performed Australia’s fastest Under 19 riders over the 8 Round Series, remaining determined, focused and confident to clinch the Overall at Coolum.


Hamish states; "Definitely racing Junior Motocross in NZ and Australia, gaining Titles in both countries and then gaining the opportunity to race in Europe in 2012 has given me the experience needed to compete in Australia’s Series this year.”


In 2012, at just 17 years, Hamish competed in FIM GP MX2, British Senior Championship finishing a credible 21st and in the FIM Junior World Championship, finishing 10th.


Sharon Cox took the opportunity to catch up with Hamish heading into the Final Round of Australia’s National Series, to see how the Series has gone, what it has taken to get where he is today, and what will be next.


Sharon Cox: Heading into Round 8 out of 8 in Australia MX Nationals with 53 point lead in MXD class, how has the Series gone to this point?


Hamish Harwood: I’m happy with my progress throughout the season. I knew what I needed to do and have put myself where I needed to be, coming off a 4 month break from injury. I knew it would be a slow start to the season but consistency and confidence in my team, training programme, sponsors and support has put me in the position I am in right now.


Racing KTM 250SX for the Series with the support from KTM NZ, Australia and CMR Red Bull KTM, has this set-up suited you for racing the various tracks over 8 Rounds?


Being a privateer, racing a series in another country can be very expensive. I have had great support from KTM Australia, NZ and NZ’s CMR Red Bull KTM, along-side more sponsors that we have picked up throughout the year. Racing the 250 2-stroke was the only way for us with our limited budget this year. I feel that the results would be the same on both the 2-stroke and 4-stroke as I have ridden both over the years, but the 2-stroke was the best option financially at this stage. KTM makes a great machine straight out of the box. From my testing I seem to get better starts on a 2-stroke, but my lap times are faster on the 4-stroke and they are easier to ride.


With the experience gained from racing Juniors in NZ and Australia, then taking on the challenge of racing in Europe FIM MX2 GP's and FIM Junior World MX Championship in 2012, what stands out as most important in getting your MX career to where it is today?


I have made the biggest gains from racing in Europe in 2012. I got to race with some of the best riders in the world and see motocross at the highest and most professional level. The option to go and race in Europe evolved from being recognised as having a complete package, this involved having a supportive family behind me, being dedicated and driven to achieve my goals, having a good team around me, a demanding training programme with Target MX Coaching in New Zealand, and from my titles I gained in the NZ and Australian Junior Motocross Championship in 2011.


Looking toward the Final Round at Coolum on Sunday, what will be your main focus for the 2 day event?


My main focus for Coolum is to stick to my current race day structure; this has worked well for me. On the bike I will ride smart and continue to give it 100% and everything will fall into place. As I have done throughout the Series I aim to stay safe and ride smart and let the results come to me.


At 18 years, you have experienced some great racing this year, what will you value from competing in Australia's MX Nationals Pirelli MXD class 2013?


The values that I have gained in 2013 are racing Australia’s Monster Energy National tracks and learning how the Series works, as I will compete in the MX2 class next year. Being out front on points in the MXD class has also taught me how to deal with the pressure of leading the Championship. The biggest value that I have gained is meeting people within the Australian motocross industry that could in the future be part of my success and the success of their teams, products, and results.