Memories and friendships will be made this weekend at Horsham when Australia holds the Junior World Motocross Championships for the first time in Aussie history and the second time the event has been held out of Europe.
AT JUST ten years old Port Macquarie motocross rider Oliver Paterno is preparing for his first World Junior Motocross Championship.
Despite only recently recovering from a broken femur, the determined youngster will compete at the prestigious event in Victoria on August 25 and 26.
Horsham Motorcycle Club are hosting the championship that will see competitors from Europe, America, Asia, New Zealand and, of course, Australia converge on Victoria.
This world event has never been held in Australia before. Classes include 65CC, 85CC and 125CC. Oliver will race his 2018 65 KTM in the 65CC class for ages 10 to 12.
Ever since he could walk, dad Rob said Oliver had been interested in building up speed.
“He was on a balance bike when he was 16 months old. He used to ride the quad bike around the property and always went full throttle,” he said.
“He loved it and has always wanted to go in this direction.”
A member of Hastings Valley Motorcycle Club, Oliver races at most events and has been club champion several times.
The youngster’s many hours of practice, both on and off the bike, will come in handy in Victoria where he will have two practice events on Saturday.
Qualifying will be held on Saturday afternoon which will determine his gate pick and then there will be two races on Sunday that are 12 minutes plus two laps.
“I train really hard, I do a lot of fitness training because you have to be strong to ride a motorbike,” he said.
He received a wild card entry and said he was very excited to receive the call up.
“I didn’t expect it. I was really happy when they told me I was in,” he said.
“I’ve been riding since I was three and a half. I love everything about it … the mud and the jumps. I love going really fast and the thrill of it.”
He is looking forward to not only competing at the championships
Despite all the bumps, bruises and broken bones he has not once thought of giving up the sport.
“I don’t think about (the crashes), I just love riding,” he said.
“It’s scary. It brings you to tears (but) he doesn’t want to give up,” dad, Rob, added.
“He’s quite talented and he knows he always has the option to give it up if he doesn’t want to do it anymore.”
As well as fun and fitness, Oliver is learning about mechanics along the way.
“I know how to use spanners and other tools, changing sprockets and that sort of thing,” he said.
Both Oliver and his dad wanted to give thanks to several people who have helped make the trip to Victoria happen, including Jessie Jenkins, Garth O’Brien and David Bashworth.