Eight-year-old Joel Kelso shows the style that won him an Australian title.
Eight-year-old Joel Kelso shows the style that won him an Australian title.

Joel's a real pocket rocket

GYMPIE motorbike rider Joel Kelso could be described as a pocket rocket.

At only eight years old, Kelso has won his first Australian title – the long-track event in Brisbane, held on July 2-3. He is on the way to realising his dreams of one day riding professionally.

The Gympie West student said the Australian title was a hard race.

“I won by half a straight.”

But it wasn’t the hardest race he had competed in.

Last year he was coming second in the titles and some trouble pushed him back to third.

Kelso trains in Maryborough twice a week with coach Craig Jung. Currently they are working on riding into corners faster.

Even though motorbike racing can be a dangerous sport he has never broken any bones, but he has fallen off.

The whole Kelso family – including mum Nayelle, dad Kane and sister Courtney – travels with Joel to race meets all across Australia.

Mrs Kelso said the family was proud of his efforts over the past year.

She said her son had won a lot of competitions in the years 7-9 category.

Earlier in the year he came away with a NSW title for dirt track and the Casey Stoner Cup, also contested in NSW.

Then in April he took the Queensland title in flat track.

On June 12, his birthday, Kelso took another Queensland title for long track. He is also coming fourth in the Shell state motocross series and will travel to Bundaberg on Saturday to compete.

“We go everywhere with Joel,” Mrs Kelso said. “It’s excellent he’s doing really well.”

Last weekend the family travelled to Mackay to watch the Husqvarna racing team compete in an endurance event.

“We stayed in a house with four professional riders,” Mrs Kelso said.

“It was great for him to experience what it is like to be a professional rider. He lives and breathes motorbikes.”

This year Kelso received a full factory sponsorship from Husqvarna Racing team.

With the chance to move up to the 65cc category next year he will get two of the new CR 65s to practise on – something Kelso can’t wait to do.

The speedster just loves to ride fast.

“I would like to thank my major sponsor Paul Feeney from Husqvarna Racing, and my coach,” he said.

“I like riding really fast, it’s fun.”

Kelso’s idol is motocross rider Ricky Carmichael.

He said Ricky raced in the 450 class, the “fastest bikes you can get” on the dirt track.

“I want to try and be like him.”

And he is well on his way. Kelso has already been nicknamed Ricky by other riders in the racing circuit because of his red hair and devilish attitude.

Gympie Times


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