SAYJR Junior Nats wrap up 2016
South Australia played host the 2016 Australian Junior Nationals up in the Riverland at the Renmark Motocross Track. With some wild weather forecast that would eventually cancel a days racing as SA's biggest storm in over 60 years passed over the state, the track challenged all the racers across the week at some stage from being dry and dusty, to extremely rough to being extremely wet and boggy.
Thomas Larwood came into the nationals after not having the best of seasons but finishing on a good note at the final SAMX round. He came with a point to prove and this he did, on board his YZ250F Thomas got through his qualifying heats no worries, then in his three finals moto's he showed good consistent racing, riding hard and charging to the finish line in each race where he finished the championship in 7th overall which is his best national result.
On his YZ125 he did not quiet have the same luck but it was his starts that let him down the most on this bike. He ended with 19th overall in this class.
Taj Gow Smith came into the championships with confidence after wrapping up his first ever State title where he actually took out two classes. Getting off to a steady start easing into proceedings he steadily built up momentum throughout the heat races and looked ready to go for finals racing. The nerves got the better of his first start in the finals but his riding was good climbing back through the field taking a 14th place. Moto two saw an awesome start coming out of turn 1 in third before he hit a big braking bump which sent him flying over the handlebars and onto the deck bruising his leg pretty bad. After getting going Taj pushed hard to make up some ground but ran out of time to then take a 12th in the final moto which placed him 19th Overall.
He placed 12th Overall for the week in his age group on his 65cc machine in a very competitive field.
Alex Larwood came to these Nationals to try and go one step further in his quest to be National Champion after finishing second last year. He started his campaign lining up against recently crowned World #2 Meiko Vettik, Alex would chase him all the way to the finish line only losing by .1 of a second.
Heat 2 would see Alex pull the holeshot and start to leave the International rider behind when the race was red flagged, upon the restart Alex again holeshot and immediately started pulling away when Alex made a mistake and crashed. He would get up and started chasing when he found himself on the ground again, but this time very steady to get going again, but he battled on to finish the race.
The next day he was struggling to move his arm but insisted on trying to race, he toughed it out but on completion of the race ruled himself out of the event much to his own disgust.
SAYJR Team Manager Shane Metcalfe had mixed emotions from the weeks proceedings. "We had some great moments throughout the week and also some not so great. All three boys tried their best but sometimes the nerves of racing a National against the countries best racers can get the better of you.
"Being a small state its a big thing for our boys to line up with a full grid, both Thomas and Taj improved their results from last year which is all I can ask for. I was totally gutted for Alex as he was set to do battle for a title but was just so keen and riding so good that it bit him this time around, one thing for sure he will be even more motivated for next year now if that is possible. Thank you to all the sponsors and supporters of the SAYJR Team, without you all this can't happen," commented Metcalfe.