MotoOnline.com.au puts Axis Motorsports Kawasaki's Mitch Norris to the test.
MotoOnline.com.au hunts down South Australian-born Axis Motorsports Kawasaki rider Mitch Norris and throws five ‘why’ questions at the 19-year-old to see if he’s as fast on his feet as he is behind the grips.
Why do you ride?
It’s just always something I’ve wanted to do. One of my earliest memories is begging dad to buy me a bike. He gave in when I was seven and bought me a KX60, and I got into racing pretty much straight away. I haven’t looked back – there’s nothing I don’t like about it. I’ve always been a really competitive person and I love how competitive motocross is, and the adrenalin rush that comes with it.
Why did you move from Port Lincoln, SA to NSW?
The racing scene in South Australia is pretty bad compared to the East Coast, so last year I decided to have a good crack at it. I packed everything up and swagged it following the MX Nationals around. I basically lived off Centrelink payments.
At the beginning of 2012 Axis Motorsports Kawasaki approached me to ride for them – I can’t even explain how much of a salvation that was! I live in Ashtonfield near Maitland flatting with two other guys now and am really enjoying it.
Why do you think Axis Motorsport Kawasaki is the best MXD team in the pits?
I think the team is just an excellent all-round package. Hoppo [Andrew Hopson] has so much experience and knows what to do to get the results and get things done. The entire team works together really well and myself, Ben George, and now Dylan Leary, get along great. I’ve been riding with those guys flat out during the week and it’s always a good time.
Why did you miss the Wonthaggi and Murray Bridge rounds?
My season’s been a bit of a roller-coaster. I would’ve had the overall at Coonabarabran but got a puncture three laps from the end of the final moto while in third. It was a bit heart-breaking! I turned up to Wonthaggi, but went over the bars in qualifying.
When I got up my thumb wasn’t in the right place and it turns out I snapped one of its ligaments. That saw me sit out Wonthaggi and Murray Bridge and destroyed my season. I’m only supposed to be just back on the bike now and it’s taken up to Appin to get back to speed. I plan to finish the season strong though. I’m currently seventh in the MXD points.
Why are you looking forward to the supercross series so much?
Pretty much, I want to recover the results I’ve lost from the motocross season. I want to make a stand for myself and get back into the forefront of people’s minds. I’m not sure what class I’ll race for Axis yet; if I race U19 I’m expecting a top three, but if I race in the Lites I’m hoping for a top five.
I’ve only done one season of supercross so far, so there’ll be a lot of pre-season training going down after Coolum.