Pocket rocket fliers
GLADSTONE competitors did not let the big reputations carried by some of their opponents faze them at the recent Bundaberg MiniMoto Championships.
Led by a victorious Jake Martin, the Gladstone contingent recorded strong performances across all classes of the modified motorcycle racing competition which is battled out on bikes weighing about 20kg.
The event also proved a valuable hit-out against talent from throughout the state ahead of an Archerfield meeting in Brisbane next month and the Queensland Titles at the Gold Coast in November.
Martin overcame illness to take out first place in the over-80kg Cag (air-cooled engine) category, winning four of his five rounds and just being edged out into second place in a 'shoot out' stage.
Drawing eighth spot on the grid in the random draw, Martin was forced to give away another 30 metres advantage when an opponent took him out while crashing on a bend.
Despite the setback, Martin quickly reeled in most of the field to almost take the race honours.
Martin showed his class to take the overall honours ahead of a high quality field which included fellow Gladstone riders Dominic Kallus (6th), Charlton Fuentes (7th), Andrew Frankham (9th) and Scott Sorrensen (10th).
Another Gladstone competitor, Simon Moore, took out fourth spot in the over-80kg elite event, being rewarded for his consistency after featuring among the leaders in each of his rounds. Some riders in his class hit speeds of 92kph at the end of the straight, providing a spectacular show for onlookers. One of only two pocket bike riders in his class to race on standard tyres, Moore's effort to finish fourth was a credit to his race skills.
Fellow Gladstone riders Tony Bryce (8th) and Gerard Battye (9th) also fared well in the over80kg elite class.
Hayden Sorrensen finished 10th of 22 competitors in only his third race meet in the highly-competitive junior Cag division.
Competing with a 39cc engine, Sorrensen impressed with his cornering speed which was higher than his rivals' in order to keep up with their larger 49cc engines.
Martin said the Gladstone riders' results were particularly pleasing considering the majority are operating on 'shoe-string budgets'.
'A lot of us put a lot of time and effort preparing for the event and results show it was well worth it,' Martin said.
'(Up against) competitors from south-east Queensland, especially the Gold Coast, we were unsure how we'd cope against guys with a higher budget.'
With the Bundaberg track being the closest available to the Gladstone riders, they do not have the track time to dedicate to practice or development as their southern counterparts but proved that ability and consistency could go a long way to narrowing the margin.