Motocross

Bailey Malkiewicz on Top of the World

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World Champion. Photo: Arryn Minerds
The moments surrounding 4.40pm on Sunday August 26 in Horsham, Victoria, will never be forgotten in the mind of 16year old, Bailey Malkiewicz.

The talented motocross racer, steered his Yamaha YZ125 through the final left hand turn of the circuit then hit the finish-line jump, whipping his bike sideways and landing as the 2018 World Junior 125cc Motocross champion!

The loud and enthusiastic crowd waved and cheered as Malkiewicz rolled calmly to the track exit and into the arms of his waiting team and family. Malkiewicz and his Yamaha YZ125 are now the best in the world.
Malkiewicz and Italian Mattia Guadnini set the pace all weekend in the premier 125cc class. Photo: Garry Morrow
The calmness of his state of mind was the complete opposite of what had happened in the hours before. Malkiewicz was a pre-event contender in the 14-17 years 125cc world championship as he dared to dream about being a world champion but with little knowledge of the competition, his questions and doubts could only be answered when the racing began.

Malkiewicz started the weekend strongly, posting top five times in both the free practice sessions as his confidence grew. Then it was down to business in the qualifying session where he notched up a fast lap right at the end of the session to give him P-2 and an early selection of his starting position.
Race one was no ride in the park for Malkiewicz after falling trying to pass Guadnini early in the race he then had to contend with compatriot Regan Duffy(61) for 5 laps before he could even try to catch the Italian (101). Photo: Garry Morrow
Race one and it was on. It‰Ûªs a two-race affair to be a world champion and it‰Ûªs time to lay your cards on the table.

Malkiewicz rounded the first turn in third and quickly moved into second place and was in pursuit on race leader Mattia Guadnini. On lap two, he drew alongside Guadnini as they entered a tight left hand turn and the pair collided with Malkiewicz falling from his bike. He quickly remounted as he maintained second place and tried to claw back the lost time, but he couldn‰Ûªt bridge the gap, forcing him to settle for second place.

The second race proved an edge of your seat affair as it was again the two combatants out front. This time it was Malkiewicz with the lead but a mistake on lap five let the Italian through and into the race lead. Malkiewicz stayed close and kept the pressure on with Guadnini cracking on lap 13 of 16, where he went down, as Malkiewicz charged through to take the race lead.
Malkiewicz had the 4000 strong Horsham crowd cheering his every move as they felt he was the man to get the job done. Photo: Garry Morrow
As the strong and vocal crowd saw Malkiewicz come past with the race lead, they got to their feet and cheered the Yamaha young gun on. It was obvious exactly where Malkiewicz was on the track as the crowd noise drowned out the bike and as a wave swept around the Horsham circuit.

With a five second gap entering the final lap, Malkiewicz held his emotions at bay and did exactly what was required. He rode a mistake free final lap as the crowd wished him to the finish line and at 4.40pm on a cool winters afternoon, Malkiewicz became Australia‰Ûªs and Yamaha latest world champion.

‰ÛÏI just can‰Ûªt believe that happened,‰Û
In race two Guadnini had the speed out front and Malkiewicz' only option was to pressure him into a mistake, that's exactly what happened and the Victorian rode into history in front of a highly animated crowd. Photo: Garry Morrow
It has been a sensational year for Malkiewicz who only two weeks earlier wrapped up the MXD (under19) class at the MX Nationals in his very first attempt and now, is the world 125cc Junior Motocross Champion.

‰ÛÏI can‰Ûªt thank everyone at Yamaha Australia and the WBR Bulk Nutrients Yamaha team enough for all the support and belief in me this year. It has been an awesome season so far and the help and support they have given me has been so good.

‰ÛÏI also couldn‰Ûªt do it without my family. To see the look on my parents face after the race when I won was the best and he puts in just as much work as me. All my family give up so much for my racing and this makes it worthwhile and they have all played a huge part in my success,‰Û
With one lap to go and Guadagnini 10 seconds behind, all Malkiewicz had to do was stay relaxed and enjoy the moment and the sound of a screaming crowd. Photo: Arryn Minerds
On hand to witness Yamaha‰Ûªs newest world champion was Ray Howard, head of the Motorsport Division for Yamaha Australia.

‰ÛÏWhat a fantastic effort by Bailey, his family and the entire WBR Yamaha team and on behalf of Yamaha, congratulations to them on a great accomplishment. Winning a world title at the age of 16 against a high quality international field is an amazing feat and we are so proud of the efforts of everyone involved.

‰ÛÏBailey proved that with hard work, dedication and great people around him anything can be achieved and at the atmosphere at the track in the moments after his victory made it memorable for everyone at the venue. Bailey deserved his success this year and 2018 will be hard to top for him but he is a special talent and a star of the future.

‰ÛÏAgain, congratulations to Bailey and the WBR Yamaha team on behalf of Yamaha and we look forward to more success in the coming years as he develops as a professional racer,‰Û
2018 125cc Junior World Championship Race 1 Top 10:
1. Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, Husqvarna), 29:13.317
2. Bailey Malkiewicz (AUS, Yamaha), +0:12.457
3. Petr Polak (CZE, KTM), +0:23.736
4. Rick Elzinga (NED, Yamaha), +0:26.252
5. Thibault Benistant (FRA, Yamaha), +0:36.671
6. Raivo Dankers (NED, KTM), +0:37.682
7. James Scott (NZL, KTM), +0:41.222
8. Blake Fox (AUS, KTM), +0:49.101
9. Miles Duffy (GBR, Yamaha), +0:49.602
10. Hayden Smith (NZL, Husqvarna), +0:52.137

2018 125cc Junior World Championship Race 2 Top 10:
1. Bailey Malkiewicz (AUS, Yamaha), 30:51.502
2. Petr Polak (CZE, KTM), +0:13.831
3. Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, Husqvarna), +0:14.023
4. Korey McMahon (AUS, KTM), +0:22.378
5. Raivo Dankers (NED, KTM), +0:27.227
6. Thibault Benistant (FRA, Yamaha), +0:27.780
7. James Scott (NZL, KTM), +0:28.433
8. Rick Elzinga (NED, Yamaha), +0:38.171
9. Blake Fox (AUS, KTM), +0:42.810
10. Noah Fergusson (AUS, KTM), +0:46.775

2018 125cc Junior World Championship Overall Top 10:
1. Bailey Malkiewicz (AUS, YAM), 47 points
2. Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, HUS), 45 points
3. Petr Polak (CZE, KTM), 42 points
4. Raivo Dankers (NED, KTM), 31 points
5. Thibault Benistant (FRA, YAM), 31 points
6. Rick Elzinga (NED, YAM), 31 points
7. James Scott (NZL, KTM), 28 points
8. Korey McMahon (AUS, KTM), 25 points
9. Blake Fox (AUS, KTM), 25 points
10. Miles Duffy (GBR, YAM), 18 points
Bailey crossed to line to an emotional family, team and crowd and wrote himself into the history books as Australia's first 125cc Junior World Champion. Photo: Arryn Minerds

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