KTM Australia press release:
The KTM Junior Motocross Racing Team has just wrapped up a successful week at the KTM Australian Junior Motocross Championship (AJMX) in Horsham, Victoria, concluding the six-day event with two national titles to its credit.
Victorian talent Mason Semmens was crowned champion in the 125cc 15 Years category with four out five race victories to his name, stamping his authority aboard the KTM 125 SX.
Taking on double-duties in the week-long affair, the cards just didn’t fall Semmens’ way in the Junior Lites 15 Years class, who after dominating his three heats, suffered a cruel DNF in the opening final when he was involved in a nasty first turn incident, sidelining him for the outing. Despite being out of title contention, the teenager returned to the field, lodging 6-4 moto results for 11th overall.
Regan Duffy of Western Australia pushed through what was one of the most challenging weeks of his youthful career after experiencing limited bike time in the lead-up due to a wrist injury sustained five weeks prior, which was only increased when he was struck down with an illness.
However he charged through the adversity, clinching the 125cc 13-U15 Years crown in what was a tense fight for the title, edging out Estonian Meico Vettik by just one point after recording a 1-7-1 scorecard. His week didn’t quite go as planned in the Junior Lites 13-U15 Years division, piloting the KTM 250 SX-F to seventh overall.
New South Welshman Blake Fox also took on dual classes throughout the duration of the event, contesting the 125cc 13-U15 Years and Mini Lites 12-U14 Years categories. In the 125cc class, he raced to a 13-17-10 scorecard, positioning him ninth in the overall standings, while aboard his KTM 85 SX, he was third overall after lodging 2-4-4 results – crossing the line first in the final outing, however being docked three positions due to jumping on a yellow flag.
Young Queenslander Deegan Mancinelli entered the sole category in Mini Lites 12-U14 Years alongside teammate Fox, displaying progressive results throughout the three motos to go 12-6-5 for sixth overall in the championship standings.
Tam Paul – KTM Australia Brand Manager: It was a fairly successful week. We had two championships in the older classes out of our four team riders and a couple of other podiums. All in all, it was a pretty good week – we always aspire to win as much as we can. We’ve had some years where we’ve dominated and other years where they’re hard to come by. Regan broke his arm at the last round of MX Nationals Rookies at Coolum where he clinched the championship, he was off the bike for five weeks and wasn’t going to race at Horsham, but got clearance a couple of days before and did some work in a paddock. He then got a really bad flu and couldn’t ride one of the days, he was up against it the whole time and under done and under prepared. He managed to pull it out in the 125s somehow, a few things went his way – he also won two motos and had a big crash trying to pass Meico Vettik – that was crazy. It was quite miraculous for him to win that and we’re very proud of him. I couldn’t be more proud of Mason, he’s been on the team for four years, his first couple of years were pretty lean to be honest and then last year he did the double. This year he dominated all week, only to have a massive crash at the first turn of the first 250 final. To bounce back from that and claim the 125 title was really good and a great way for him to finish his junior career with KTM. Blake went 2-4-1 in his motos, but in the final one he got a penalty for jumping on a yellow, which put him back to fourth. I’m really happy for Blake as well, he’s new to the team and I think in the next few years it’s going to be really exciting for him and he’s the whole package. He’s very smart, well presented and has a great family – he cycled his pushbike to the track everyday, so that shows you where he’s at. Deegan Mancinelli was very impressive as well, he’s really young and it’s his first year on the team. He was probably a bit overwhelmed by the whole set-up that we had there, it’s a fairly big deal for that event. He rode really well, he had a tough first moto, but bounced backed for two really good motos – it really showed how good he can ride. I think if he got a few good starts, he would’ve really been in that podium mix. I think next year will be his year as well as Foxy.
Mason Semmens – 125 SX and 250 SX-F: It was an awesome week, it started off really well – I qualified fastest on both bikes and won all my heat races on my 250, and won my first three finals on the 125. In the first final on the 250 is where it went a bit pear-shaped, another rider came into me and I think his foot-peg went into my front wheel and ripped all the spokes out, so that sent me into the ground and I couldn’t finish that race. I was pretty sore after that crash and to forget about it and move on, I was leading the 125 championship by 11 points at that stage, and then in the fourth final I got fourth, so I had a four-point lead going into the last one. At worst, I had to get second if Bailey Malkiewicz won, and I came out and won that race and wrapped up the 125 championship. It was awesome to have the team there, Kyle Blunden did an awesome job making sure everyone was comfortable and had everything they needed. To have the truck there for us to pit under and the support, it’s just awesome.
Regan Duffy – KTM 125 SX and KTM 250 SX-F: It was pretty tough, I hurt myself five weeks earlier at Coolum and only rode a couple of times in a flat paddock before it. Then I fell ill two days before the event started, I actually had to pull out of one day because I was so sick that couldn’t ride, then I ended up winning. I wasn’t too sure if I could get the 125 title, Meico Vettik who was leading had gone 2-1 and I was 1-7, so I just went into the final race with the mindset of doing my best. I got lucky that he had a bad final moto, I wasn’t sure what to believe when I found out I won it – 1-7-1 is a crazy scorecard to win it. I was pretty stoked really. It looked like it was going to be a really bad week for me, but yeah, that cheered me up a bit.
Blake Fox – KTM 85 SX and KTM 125 SX: It was pretty good and a long week, we had a few ups and downs, but in the end I felt pretty good with my riding. It was the first time I’ve raced both classes, I certainly got a little more tired towards the end of the week, but with track time and everything, it was pretty good. I didn’t meet my expectations so much with positions, more so with how I was riding – I was definitely where i thought I would be, but position wise, it wasn’t the best after a couple of downfalls, but it was still pretty good.
Deegan Mancinelli – KTM 85 SX: I didn’t go too bad in the first moto, I got a bad start and made a few too many mistakes, but in the last two motos I rode a lot better. I really like how the track was rough, it’s what we train on at home, so I liked it more towards the end of the week. It was a really good experience being there with the KTM, I think it was really good being for everyone and it gave me a lot more confidence. Overall, I was hoping to do a bit better, but it was pretty good considering I just came back