MotoOnline.com.au catches up with Luke Clout, Serco Yamaha Metal Mulisha Racing's newest recruit.
After hitting the 2012 Monster Energy MX Nationals series with a bang, sweeping all three MXD motos convincingly at the Moree round, Luke Clout’s name was suddenly bouncing around the pits.
Today it was announced that Clout will be contesting in the Pro Lites class for the Serco Yamaha Metal Mulisha Racing team, filling in for the injured Kirk Gibbs during the upcoming Australian Supercross Series.
MotoOnline.com.au caught up with the 17-year-old today to hear how the deal came to be.
You spent time in a large amount of time in the US and did well at Loretta Lynn’s this year, what made you head back to Australia?
I got second in 450B Stock and third in 250B Mod, so Loretta’s was pretty good and it gave me a lot of confidence over there.
I had to come back because MTF [Millsaps Training Facility] had closed along my Visa expiring, then I got the opportunity to race the last two nationals in Australia.
You raced the final two rounds of the nationals and won the Moree MXD round with a 1-1-1 sweep, you obviously turned some heads over at Serco. How did that deal come about?
Well Kirk Gibbs had a pretty big crash at Coolum and he was out for the supercross series, so they needed to find a fill-in rider and I think I did turn some heads at Moree, like you said.
I fit what they wanted I guess, and I got the call, got it all sorted and signed the contract.
How long will your deal Serco extend till, and will we be seeing you in Australia for 2013?
As of now it’s just the supercross season, I’m going to be going back to the US for the Mini Olympics series. But I’ve been talking to them a little bit, we’re not sure about next year though, everything is still to be decided really.
You have only been on the Yamaha for a limited amount of time, how do you feel on the bike so far?
I’ve ridden it about three times and I feel really good actually. I’ve done a little bit of riding on supercross tracks, I feel comfortable on it and everything seems to be going really well.
I’m on the way to Queensland now to do some testing, so it’s only going to get better from here.
What are your thoughts on riding alongside teammate Luke Styke, do you think pitting with an experienced rider like him will benefit you throughout the series?
Yeah, definitely. With my teammate being Luke Styke, I always looked up to him when I was a little kid. He was always the fast one in juniors and now to be a teammate with him is pretty good.
I’m going to go in there and try my best, hopefully I can run with the boys because I know they are very fast. So I’m just going to put 100 percent in, train as hard as I can and see how I go.
Finally, heading into your first supercross season in the Pro Lites class, what are yours and the team’s expectations?
Obviously I would like to say that I want to see myself winning. But I think a realistic goal for me is probably a top five, that would be a good goal to set for the first round.
If I can come away with a podium, that would be even better, but a top five would be pretty realistic I think. The team hasn’t really talked about that much, more just to go out there and see how I go really.