The 2016 KTM Australian Junior Motocross Championship officially kicked off with practice and selected qualifying sessions at the Riverland Junior Motorcycle Club in Renmark South Australia today, with nearly 600 riders including a handful of internationals, getting a taste for the rich red soil ahead of a full week of racing.
With the largest field of junior competitors since 2011, hundreds of riders capitalised on the opportunity to get a feel for the track conditions today, with each class having the chance to head out for at least one practice session, and two categories also taking part in qualifying this afternoon.
The 128-150cc/200-250cc 13-U15 years class were the first to qualify over ten minutes on the Riverland circuit in sunny conditions, and it was KTM who claimed the top three positions. Mason Semmens set the pace for the week with a 1:48.180 lap time, from fellow KTM mounted Regan Duffy (1:48.895) and Rhys Budd (1:49.308), who was third quickest on track.
In the girls 85cc/150cc 12-U16 years category Western Australian Tahlia O‰ÛªHare topped the time sheets in qualifying with a lightening fast 2:09.741, while Madison Healey secured second pick of the grid 1.5 seconds behind her with a 2:11.242, followed by Tanesha Harnett (2:11.605).
With an incredible 13 classes taking part in this year‰Ûªs AJMX, we hand picked five riders to hear from after practice and qualifying this afternoon, to get the the low down on every thing from the track conditions to personal goals, and what the competition is like in their classes ahead of the gates dropping for racing tomorrow.
Tahlia O‰ÛªHare ‰ÛÒ 100 ‰ÛÒ 150cc/128 ‰ÛÒ 250cc 12 ‰ÛÒ U16 Years & 85/150cc 12 ‰ÛÒ U16 Years Female
‰ÛÏI‰Ûªm a bit nervous, but I feel good going in to this week. I came over from Western Australia and did a school here a couple of months ago so I feel good out on the track,‰Û