MotoOnline.com.au meets Ward Racing Developments' rising Queensland-based talent.
Since turning senior, the now 18-year-old Wade Hunter has had a bumpy start to his professional motocross journey.
Competing this year in the hotly contested Monster Energy MX Nationals MXD Class, Hunter has his work cut out for him with the deep field of talent on offer.
However, after an offer to ride for Mike Ward at Ward Racing Developments, Hunter made the decision to make the move from his native Cairns down to Brisbane in a bid to lift his program, and so far the move is paying off.
“It’s good. It’s a lot better being down here and there’s more people to ride with,” he explained. “I usually only had one or two people to ride with back at home.
“Down here it’s just a lot easier just because you are in the industry and more people notice you – it’s way better and I’m loving it.”
After showing promise as a junior rider, injuries haunted the Yamaha rider for two years and Hunter was unable to put together a complete season since turning 16. But now, Hunter believes he is getting back to where he feels he should have been all along.
“I’ve had a bit of bad luck since I turned senior but I’m all good now,” he continued. “This year has been the longest I’ve been on the bike since I turned 16.
“It’s good to start finally getting back to where I should be. I should have been where I am now about three years ago though, but that doesn’t matter.”
Hunter currently leads the Pro Lites class in the Shell Advance Sunshine State MX Series, and recently had a strong showing at the Queensland titles taking third place overall and scoring a moto win over some tough competition in the likes of Brenden Harrison and Jackson Richardson.
“The last couple rounds of the Sunshine States I have had better results and I’ve had the results that I’ve been chasing and I had a good weekend at the Queensland titles as well,” Hunter said.
“I’ve been working hard for the last three months or so and I’ve been riding with Todd Waters during the week, every week. I’ve been working on all the little basic things and just getting comfortable on the bike and feeling good.”
Hunter currently sits 14th overall in the MXD class of the nationals after struggling with starts early in the season and suffering some bad luck along the way. He now aims to regroup heading into Hervey Bay’s round six and finish the season strong.
“I struggled at the start of the year with my starts, just couldn’t get them, but I started to get my starts back slowly,” he reflected.
“At Wonthaggi I had a pretty good round, with a seventh and ninth, but then I ran into a bit of trouble win a DNF. There’s still five rounds to go and hopefully we can turn it around and finish of the season strong.”
Living the true privateer life, Hunter works as a delivery driver three days a week, while he uses his two days off to train on the bike with Todd Waters, who currently holds down second place overall in the MX1 Class.
“I work three days a week,” he added. “I work Monday, Wednesday and Friday. On the other two days off I go riding with Todd and we just train together on the bike.
“Off of the bike, I go to the gym on the days that I work or I go for a run. I usually go to the gym twice a week and go for a run whenever I can.”
Hunter is supported by WRD, Yamaha QLD, Ogio, VonZipper, Ethika, ARC Levers, ODI Grips, Motorex, Stealth, Kustom MX, Ashs Spoked Wheelz, M2R, Fly, Sidi, FMF, LKI, Promoshack, Red Rooster, Pirelli, MCD Heads and Advanti.