Riley revs up for national charge
RILEY Estcourt got a small taste of what he might expect at this year's Australian Junior Motocross Championships on Sunday.
The 12-year-old came out of round five of the Hervey Bay Motocross Series meet nursing a sore chest after crashing his dirt bike in the second-last race.
Estcourt was not alone, though, with dozens of riders coming unstuck in the deep sand track at Dundowran Park.
While things didn't go to plan for Estcourt, he said it was a good chance to examine some of his biggest threats ahead of his maiden national competition.
Estcourt, who contests the 65cc and 85cc 12-15 years classes, said he was looking forward to firing up his KTM against the country's best young riders on the Sunshine Coast, which starts on September 29.
"I'm very excited and a bit nervous at the same time," he said.
"If I can get a top-10 finish, I'd be happy.
"It'll be important to get good starts and make sure I don't fall over."
Estcourt is regarded as one of Hervey Bay Motocross Club's best hopes going to nationals, but the Kawungan State School student admitted he would need to lift his game after Sunday's meet, which was dominated by out-of-towners who used it to prepare for nationals.
"My first race I was battling for first and got second, but in almost all the other races, I just kept crashing out," he said.
"There were some pretty good riders."
Estcourt followed his father Stephen into motocross and has been tearing up the track for five years, but it's only been in the past few months he has started to show his full potential.
Before Sunday's event, Estcourt had won 18 of 24 races in the Hervey Bay Motocross Series and enjoyed a couple of top-five finishes in the Sunshine State Series.
"I've been really surprised by my riding skills lately," he said.
"I just never thought I would be as fast as I am now."
BEHIND THE BARS
What do you love most about motocross: The feeling of going fast and doing jumps racing. Also racing against people and meeting new friends.
Favourite riders: Chad Reed and Ryan Dungey.
Career highlight: My top-five finishes in the Sunshine State Series.
Biggest inspiration: My parents.
Ultimate goal: Become a pro rider.