Victorian Callum Norton has made a footprint on the enduro scene in the United States… Wait, what? I hear you say, yes KJ did say enduro. Now the young lad from Geelong is used of being on a motocross track, right? Well, the teenager is also pretty handy on the Desert Racing scene too, as a junior he won the Hattah Desert Race numerous times and has finished in the top 10 twice as a senior, plus has multiple junior motocross championships, so seeing him race something different ‘to place a toe in the water to check the temperature’ doesn’t come as much of a surprise, Norton was seen in an Aussie Off Road round last year (2018).
To KJ’s knowledge, the Orange Media Gods have not issued a press release for Norton, they have announced that Daniel Milner and Lyndon Snodgrass will be back under the KTM Off-Road Team awning for 2019, so it will be interesting to see where KTM slot Callum Norton, he is obviously getting some assistance from the Austrian brand in Australia. With the departure of Mich Evans to 114 Motorsports in Europe to contest the MX2 World Motocross Class has left a vacant seat at Raceline KTM, KJ has heard some rumours on who will take that spot, however not going to divulge that hear, the last thing anyone would want to do is upset a media department, well if a media department exists, media gets put on the back burner when any company wants to tighten purse strings and realistically Australia is a small market on the worldwide scale, and it looks like KTM are having a reshuffle with Craig Dack picking up former KTM Team Members of Kirk Gibbs and Luke Clout to be under the CDR Yamaha Motocross Tent for 2019.
2018 was a bit of an up and down year for Norton, he signed with Honda for the Under 19s Motocross Championship, Finke and Hattah Desert Racers and after a few mechanicals (Under 19s motocross evidently an electrical gremlin in stop switch, only made 1 way at Finke, and had an electrical issue on the opening lap of Hattah) the young lad then changed teams moving from Honda to DHP Husky. Making his debut in the 450 class with the eighth overall in his debut on the Honda (followed by twelfth, seventh, and fourth overall finishes with DPH) and by the end of the motocross series made all the coffee drinking fans and team managers spit their drink out in astonishment, so why are we seeing this young man in the United States riding offroad? Norton has been seen riding a KTM, so it will be interesting to see what he will compete in, one can assume that the Hattah Desert Race will be on the racing schedule, so next question would be will that also include the Finke Desert Race? KTM is known for long periods of training sessions at Finke, the number of kilometres pre-riding the race track is the largest investment any manufacturer in Australia commits too, so if Norton has signed with the desert racing side of things it would be unlikely that race fans will see him on a Motocross Track any time soon or until after the Desert Racing events have concluded. Either way Norton as a bright future in dirt bike racing, especially after seeing the results of the AMA West Hare Scramble held at Glenn Helen 19 January 2019 can race fans think how much longer will he stay in Australia?
The West Hare Scramble Championship is held over 8 rounds. Competing in the opening round in the Pro Class, up against seasoned Hare Scramble Athletes Callum Norton finished third overall and third in the class.