Honda Australia’s MX3 rider Ben Novak, who recovering following his third open-heart surgery, will graduate to the MX2 class in 2022.
The young New South Wales rider has endured a heart condition since birth which has hampered his career and ultimately pushed him to make the decision to get it corrected ahead of the 2022 season where he will battle the MX2 riders with Factory Honda.
“It’s been tough, my health has never been 100%, I suffer from something called Tetralogy of the Fallot and we always knew there would come a time for me to have another surgery. As I have gotten older it’s been harder to perform at my best and racing in MX2 next year requires me to be stronger and fitter than ever before,” said Novak.
Tetralogy of the Fallot is a rare condition caused by a combination of four heart defects that are present at birth, it causes oxygen-poor blood to flow out of the heart and in the rest of the body. Symptoms include but aren’t limited to shortness of breath and difficulties in exercising.
Novak is an Australian Junior Motocross Champion and admits it’s been harder in the longer races and on the bigger bikes.
“I will never complain about it but it’s been harder on the bigger bikes and in longer races, especially in the heat. I worked around it for so long, but I noticed it more this year and my parents and I thought it was best to get the surgery ahead of next year”
Ben’s first surgery was at 11 days old, followed by his second open heart surgery at 15 months. The championed motocross racer H.
“I am confident this will help improve my stamina, my muscle recovery and growth. It’s been a hard two years for everyone in racing and this wasn’t an easy decision, but we felt it was the right one. I really appreciate Honda sticking by me” said Novak.
Ben’s journey with Honda goes back 5 years and he has achieved some fantastic results. This year was his first full season in MX3, and he achieved podium finishes in the Australian Motocross Championship.
“The positives are we were competitive, I missed out by two points in the overalls, and I won some state championship races. I know where I need to improve, and I am positive we will return stronger next year” conclude Novak.
Honda Racing Australia’s Yarrive Konsky applauds Ben’s efforts through adversity and believes the young champion is capable of so much more.
“We haven’t seen the best of Ben; he has achieved great results for Honda, and we will standby him through his recovery. He proved to me that he has the will to push hard, and his commitment is unquestionable. We have realistically set goals for Ben next year in his first season in MX2 and we will continue to work with him to achieve them” said Konsky
The team will continue to make announcements surrounding their team in the coming weeks.