Motocross

Joel Milesevic ready to take on the world

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Joel Milesevic in action last weekend. Photo: Kendall Jennings
When Joel Milesevic was first told he was going to Italy to ride for Australia for the very first time he was thrilled.

"I was out practicing when I was told. At first I was happy just to be selected as a reserve rider for the team, but when my dad told me I was actually going my first thought was: 'I'm going to have to train even harder'," reminisced Joel.

At sixteen-years-old, the current 2011 Victorian Junior 125cc A Grade champion from Lal Lal, just outside of Ballarat, will be on his first overseas trip when he heads to Cingoli in Italy to compete in the 2011 FIM Junior Motocross World Championships on August 13-14.

"It's my first time on a plane, and I've been told to take some chewing-gum before take-off," kidded Joel.

Joel was recently crowned Victorian Junior 125cc A Grade champion at the last round of the 2011 Victorian Junior Motocross Championships in the Goulburn Valley on Sunday, July 31 - remarkably having won 11 out of 12 motos for the year.

One of Victoria's brightest and youngest stars of motocross racing, he was just 13-years-old when he won his first national championship, clinching the 2009 Australian Junior 12-13yrs-old 85cc title. He has come a long-way from when he started out riding bikes on training-wheels when he was just two-years-old.

After initially being named in the 2011 Australian Junior Motocross team as a reserve rider, Milesevic was called-up to replace Luke Clout and will now join fellow Aussie, Queenslander Scott Mann, in the 125cc class to take on the might of the world.

"The opportunity is indescribable. It's hard to explain. To go up against the best riders in the world ‰ÛÒ I just don't know what to say. It'll be great," added Joel.

Australia won a Junior World Championship title for the first time two years ago in Taupo, New Zealand, with Jay Wilson topping the 85cc class, along with Australia winning overall as a nation.

For Joel he hopes he can just make his country proud. "I'm expecting the highest intensity level of racing that I've ever done in my life. I'll try and go as best as I can. I'd like to hopefully finish in the top three, but I'll take first," said Joel.

Australian team manager Mark Willingham was rapt at the selection of Joel: "Having someone like Joel on the team is fantastic. His amazing attitude towards his racing is infectious, and that showed when everyone pitched in with the fundraising at the last round of the Victorian Championships over the weekend.

"It'll be a great opportunity for Joel to show everyone just how fast Victoria's number one 125cc rider actually is against the rest of the world. I have full confidence that Joel will do himself and his country proud in Italy," added Willingham.

"Time wise, his family has been under a lot of pressure receiving a late call-up to jump on a plane and fly half-way around the world, but they have pulled together with incredible help from the motorcycling industry and friends, giving Joel every chance that they can," said Mark.

"I'd like to thank everyone who's helped out in getting me over to Italy," continued Joel, "especially at the last round of the Victorian Championships with the fundraiser. Also a huge thanks to the Malkiewicz and Norton families for making generous donations.

"I'd like to bring them ‰ÛÒ and Australia ‰ÛÒ back something that they can be proud of," added Joel.

The 2011 FIM Junior World Motocross Championships takes place in Cingoli in Italy on August 13-14, 2011. The Australian team flies out to Rome on Monday, August 8.

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