Interviews 22 Nov 2012

Race Recap: Kale Makeham

MotoOnline.com.au chats with your 2012 Terex Australian Supercross Championships Under 19s winner, Kale Makeham.

Under 19s class contender Kale Makeham, aboard his KTM 250 SX two-stroke, was a true underdog story during the 2012 Terex Australian Supercross Championships.

The privateer slowly crept his way up the points ladder before notching his first win of the season at Toowoomba’s round three, then came his come from behind effort at Newcastle’s season finale where he snatched the title from Hayden Mellross by just one point.

MotoOnline.com.au caught up with the up and coming 19-year-old to chat about his impressive championship performance and future plans heading into the 2013 season.

Kale Makeham's 2012 ASX campaign wrapped up with a fairy tale ending. Image: Simon Makker/Makkreative.com.

Congratulations on winning the Under 19s title in supercross. You said your goal coming into the Newcastle was to get back-to-back wins, so was it a surprise for you when you actually managed to win the title?

Thanks mate! Yes, it was definitely a surprise. I knew going in it was going to take something special for me to win the championship, but I wasn’t focused on that. All I cared about was backing up my win and proving to everybody that I’m the real deal and I didn’t just get lucky in the mud. I knew that doing that would put me in the best position for a championship and it paid off.

Were you actually aware that you were in a position to win the title when you were on track during the final? It was a long shot for Mellross to finish outside the top five, but that’s exactly what happened?

No, not at all. I pulled the holeshot in the main and didn’t look back once. I was so focused, even after I crossed the line I had no idea I’d won right up until everybody was yelling out “you did it, you’re the champ” and then it hit me. Anybody that was there would of seen how much it meant to me. I was so happy it was a dream come true and I couldn’t of planned it to go any better.

You have been strong all season in SX, riding a 250 two-stroke as a privateer against some well supported teams. That factor alone that you are a privateer must make this title win even more special?

It does for sure. I approached a lot of the teams and unfortunately it never worked out and I have no hard feelings there at all, but that was a big motivating factor for me. I started the motocross season with a second-hand bike and old gear, just travelling to the races with my Dad.

To think only six months later I’ve been able to build a team of sponsors and people around me and take my riding to the level I’m at and win a championship, it is the most rewarding feeling. At times it was hard and I thought about giving up, but I always kept faith that working hard, not giving up and chasing my dream would one day pay off and it has in the best way.

Makeham proved that smooth and consistent riding is vital in any championship chase. Image: Simon Makker/Makkreative.com.

To win in the mud at Toowoomba was a big achievement, a breakthrough for you, but to back that up with a solid win in the dry at the final round has to be the icing on the cake…

Yeah, for sure. That was my first overall win at a national event in 12 years of racing, so that was something really special for me. Then to back that up with another win in the dry and also a championship it couldn’t of been any more of a fairy tale ending.

I worked really hard on becoming the complete package after round one as I obviously had the speed, but lacked consistency. I wanted to come out and show everybody how hard I worked to change and I believe I did that.

One noted benefit of a 250 two-stroke against the 250Fs are starts. Was that the case during the season for you?

No, not really. If you look back over the season I got four holeshots out of 27 starts in motocross, then two holeshots out of eight starts in supercross. Starts haven’t always been my strength, but the KTM 250 SX is a incredible bike and definitely makes it easier for me to get the job done on race day.

And next year? What’s the plan for Kale Makeham?

I’m taking some time off now just hanging out with my family, friends and girlfriend and enjoying everything as it comes. As for racing I’ve got some plans in the works and there should be an announcement on that soon, but I can say I’ll be racing Lites supercross and motocross for 2013.

Thanks a lot mate and again, congratulations on the championship.

Thanks mate, hopefully we can have this chat again in the near future.

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