Mitch 2009

Junior Nationals Bite SAYJDT

9 Oct 2009

With the entire team in peak condition and the Maffra track in perfect shape, the South Australian Yamaha Junior Development team (SAYJDT) of Mitchell Norris, Daniel Banks, Damon Hill and Izak Maule were eager to hit the track and see what they could do. They all found that the track was very good and required 100% concentration for the entire lap as it got really rough.

Daniel Banks showed that his year of injuries has not slowed him down one bit. He breezed through the heats races but he struggled with his starts which seen him with 5-13-4  results through his heat qualifying him 12th place. Realising that his starts were letting him down Dan jumped out to a top 5 start in the first final, which he took full advantage of riding smooth and consistent to finish in 4th place. Unfortunately him couldn’t reproduce his good start but fought hard to finish in 13th spot in remaining two finals to take 8th overall in his last national title as a junior.

“I am pretty happy with how I have ended up, I wanted a top 10 finish and I have made that. I struggled with my starts all week but I felt like I rode strong and consistent. My bike handled great and ran awesome all week long. I want to thank my Dad for all his effort,” exclaimed Banksy.

Mitchell Norris went to his last junior nationals looking for more success. He wanted a top three finish to round off his great year to date. He set out to some solid heat race finishes going 9-4-3 and showed and proved that he had the speed to be at the front, he qualified 7th. Unfortunately for Mitch things just didn’t pan out the way he wanted, a mix of bad starts and small crashes stopped his dream ending. He had 23-6-28 finishes, they didn’t reflect how good he was riding, sadly a 17th overall was the ending to his junior career.

“Man, I'm disappointed, I wanted to be top three but that just didn’t happen. I made too many mistakes, but I did learn a lot from this week’s racing. I just want to thank everyone that has helped me get here,” said Mitch.

Izak Maule had been working extremely hard to get ready for the titles and the hard work looked like it had paid off. Izak showed good speed but like his older team mates bad starts off the concrete start would make things hard. He had 8-8-12 finishes in his heat races to qualify 16th for the finals. In the first final Izak jumped out of the first turn in third spot and things were looking good, he was running third for the first few laps when he hit a big set of braking bumps and got kicked over the bars, he got up before the bike had stopped rolling, but damage to the throttle stopped him from being able to keep going. He then struggled from then on with bad gate picks and bad starts, but he put in 100% effort and he’ll be back next year in this class. He had 38-25-11 results to end up 21st overall.

“My bike was running awesome here, it was a bummer about my crash, I was feeling really good and that crash just made it hard from then on with terrible gate picks. But I kept pushing my hardest and worked my way up the field,” said young Izak.

Damon Hill was our only rider to double up on classes riding in the 13-14 years 125cc class as well as the 13-14 years 250F class. Damon found the track fairly difficult as it was quiet rough and rutted, he also struggled with his starts which he is usually really good with. He qualified 20th with 10-10-10 results in the 125 class, then he qualified 29th in the 250F class with 14-11-20 results. Damon knew he had to nail down his starts on both bikes if he was to improve his results. Unfortunately he struggled with his starts and even struggled with the conditions of the track to come in with 20th overall in the 13-14 years 125 class and 18th overall in the 13-14 years 250F class.

“I wanted to do better than I have. I will have to wait until next year now to make amends. I will be working hard to make sure this never happens again. My bikes both ran great. I struggled with my nerves, this didn’t help at all with the starts that I got, I have never had so many average starts in my life,” Damon remarked.

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