Checking in with Luke Arbon

Author: Aaryn Minerds

Author: Aaryn Minerds


Early this week I caught up with a fellow South Australian in Luke Arbon for a chat, sure he was on the other side of the country enjoying the warmer weather in Queensland but it seems like that is the way to go if you are a South Aussie looking to win races at the Nationals this year with another SA rider in Kirk Gibbs also spending a lot of timing riding, living and training in the sunny sate.
Luke with his first winners trophy. Photo: Shayne Rice.
Luke is a rider I have seen go from an unstoppable race winning machine in the Junior ranks locally, to seeing the reality of the big step from Junior racer to senior racer and Luke is now really starting to find his feet at a national level in the Senior classes.

18-year-old Luke had a very rough start to his senior career which resulted in two busted knees at his first senior event, from that day he has worked hard every single day and all that work finally payed off at round 4 of the 2010 Rockstar MX nationals at Toowoomba when the factory Kawasaki rider got his Maiden senior round win in the Under 19s class. It has taken me a few days to get this out but here it is at last.

Fullnoise: Hi Mate how you going?

Luke Arbon: Hey mate I’m good what’s happening?

Fullnoise: Not much, just trying to get over this cold I have had for the last couple of weeks.

Luke Arbon: Same here, I have had one for about four weeks.

Fullnoise: Its Crap isn’t it; it feels like it is going to go away but just keeps coming back.

Luke Arbon: That’s like me, I had it before Canberra I think, I was really really sick and in bed for two days, getting real hot then real cold all the time. I got better for a few days then got sick again, then was better for a few days then sick for a week, and have been sick for the past five days.

Fullnoise: Will you be alright for Raymond Terrace this weekend? And has it affected your training?

Luke Arbon: Yeah ill be sweet, nah has not been affecting my training when I ride its good, it is more the night time that’s when the coughing and stuff starts.

Fullnoise: By the way Congratulations on your first ever round win in Toowoomba it must have felt good to finally get the Overall Win.

Luke Arbon: Yeah it felt so good, once I crossed the line in the final moto it made realize what I have been working for the whole time. As a junior I won a fair bit and took home a few titles, but I had lost that feeling of winning as I had not won for a long time. IT felt awesome to finally win one and stand back on top of the box. It is a huge monkey off my back and hopefully the rest of the series I can stay on top and Keep the Kawasaki up there.
Luke Arbon in action. Photo: Garry Morrow
Fullnoise: As you said you did win a lot as a junior, when you did first senior however you had a big crash in your first senior event and had to come back from a pretty decent injury. How have you found the transition from Junior into senior racing?

Luke Arbon: Definitely going from juniors to seniors was a bigger step than I thought, as a junior I would win most things and it was fun. When I stepped up to seniors it became real hard, I was not winning as easy I did not win at all actually. It really was a lot harder than I expected

Fullnoise: Do you think a bit of that came from you growing up racing without a lot of close competition. Watching you race in South Australia every now and then you might get a challenge but not often, winning seemed pretty easy for you locally.

Luke Arbon: Even going to the Junior Aussies there would be three of four really fast guys that I would race against and I thought that competition was real hard then, but in the seniors there is like ten guys every weekend that can win the race. It is definitely a lot harder; you have to put in a lot more. Everyone out there wants it just as bad as the next guy.

Back in juniors it was just all fun, a bit of a game but seniors is a lot more serious and a lot harder to get up to the top, you have to work so much harder for it and stick to it.

Fullnoise: In 2009 you still had a reasonably good year and that was coming off a big injury, how did you feel about your results last year?

Luke Arbon: Last year was pretty good, I thought I would have won a lot more, I was real confident coming into the series I still had a bit of niggling Knee injury from the end of the year before so coming into the season I was not as fresh as I wanted to be. I was confident with how I was riding but there were just so many fast guys. I didn’t finish the series the way I wanted finishing 5th.

I did have a few good races and finished second overall at a couple of rounds and at both of them I missed out by just 1 point from winning them. I was up there at some rounds but only finished the season 5th, I was not really happy with that but I also learnt a lot last year, so coming into this year I knew a lot more and knew what to expect. It was certainly easier heading into this year, but overall last year it was alright but not the result I wanted that’s for sure.
Luke Arbon in action. Photo: Garry Morrow
Fullnoise: It was also your first year racing Supercross last year, there is no under 19s at SuperX so it was straight into the Pro Lites class. You have a pretty good season with some really good results especially at the last round in Brisbane, which would have helped with the confidence coming into this year.

Luke Arbon: Yeah definitely, thought SuperX last year was more difficult than I expected, my training was really good and I felt awesome going in. Lining up with all the Pro Lites riders was pretty daunting and the massive crowds, and the big tracks, I finally calmed myself by half way through the series and started to believe in myself more, come to grips with the tracks, my bike and riding against all the Pro riders. Once I started running their pace a little it was good, then at the final round at Brisbane I finished up 5th overall on the night, that was awesome and I think in one of the motos I got a 3rd, it made racing that much more fun and gave me the confidence to know I could run up there with that pace.

Fullnoise: This season started off with a rough round at Horsham, but since then things have been going really well, the last two rounds you really have been right up in the mix every moto. How does it feel this year knowing you have the speed and you are a chance to win every time you go out to race?

Luke Arbon: It feels awesome, coming into the first round I was real confident, I had been training with Kirk Gibbs a lot and was happy with my speed. I got to the first round and I rode really tight in qualifying and in the first moto and had to deal with some real bad arm pump that I didn’t expect to get after training so hard. The second moto I pretty much had the holeshot, then someone hit me and I crashed into some else and we had a big pile up, then I got up going again then had the big one coming through the pack and ended up in hospital with a hip injury.

The next two rounds I came out swinging and done really well, my hip got better real quick. Canberra was awesome I got some good starts and was right up there, then Toowoomba I just felt awesome all day. Winning the second moto was awesome I got the whole shot and It was great to be up on top.

Fullnoise: You were on the Kawasaki factory team last year as you are again this year, but this year the team is being ran by a completely different people, how are you finding the Cool Air guys who are now running the factory outfit?

Luke Arbon: The team is great, all the mechanics are young guys, Ian the head mechanic he is awesome and he knows what he is doing. TC (Troy Carroll) is the manager, he has been there and done everything he has won all the championships, he has done everything I want to do, so TC is really good to have in my corner and to help me with everything, Kevi (Kevin Crutcher) and everyone it is a really good team with a great atmosphere to be around, I am really enjoying it.

Fullnoise: We are three rounds and you currently sit 3rd in the championship but a little way off the points lead, saying that though there is still a lot of motos and points up for grabs this season, do you feel you are still in with a shot of winning the championship?

Luke Arbon: I definitely feel as though I am in with a chance, after the first round I was pretty bummed after crashing out and dropping two motos. I made up 12 points at the round at Toowoomba I feel if I can do that every round I should be around the mark at the end and be in a position to bring the championship home.

Fullnoise: How are you feeling heading into this weekend’s race at Raymond Terrace and have you ever raced there before?

Luke Arbon: Nah I have never raced there, I went in 07 to watch Chad Reed race, the track looked really good and looked fun, it looks like it is a hard pack track with some rocks in it. I am looking forward to it I have some confidence now coming off the win at Toowoomba. Hopefully I can go out and qualify well then get the starts I need and be up the front and it will come to me like it did at Toowoomba.

Fullnoise: Well mate, good luck for this weekend and the rest of the season, thanks for the chat.

Luke Arbon: Yeah no worries dude thanks heaps.

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