Features 15 Mar 2012

Privateer Profile: Daniel Banks

MotoOnline.com.au meets one of the rising privateer contenders of Aussie motocross.

With the opening round of the Monster Energy MX Nationals fast approaching, we have seen that the factory teams, riders and the like have all been working hard in the off season and will be ready to make a statement come 1 April at Conondale.

However we can’t forget the many privateers out there working just as hard, doing their time over the summer months, hoping to put in a good showing in this years’ series and step up to that next level. South Australia’s Daniel Banks is one of those guys.

The 18-year-old from the town of Kimba put in a solid showing in his first year in Under 19s competition last year, finishing 11th in the series aboard a KTM 250 two-stroke. This year will see him contest the Under 19s series once again, and with some added support and a big off-season effort that included a move to Victoria, Banks is looking to be right in the thick of it.

“Last year I was on a KTM 250 two-stroke with support from Jeff Leisk. It was the first year I’d done it [Under 19s Nationals] and it was a really good lead up for this year,” Banks told MotoOnline.

“This year I’ve got a support deal through Choice Motorsports and KTM, they’ll be helping me out, taking my bike to the races and that sort of thing, so I’m very fortunate to have guys like that on my side.

Daniel Banks will enter his second season in the Under 19s of the MX Nationals in 2012.

“I’ve just made the move to Benalla in Victoria to stay with a rider for the rest of the season. It’s a bit closer to the racing, better for travel and that sort of thing and its good to have someone to ride with all the time,” Banks added.

Banks also had to deal with an off-season injury, but trained hard during recovery, even taking the time to head over to the Australian Institute of Sport to attend the training camp run by Stephen Gall, despite not being able to ride a motorcycle.

“The AIS camp was really good, it was an awesome guide for me to be able to go there and be with the pros and see how they train,” he continued. “I’m just coming back from injury, I had both my knees operated on last season so I was unable to ride at the AIS camps.

“I just went there and took it all in, did the training side of it and it was a really good experience. I’ve been training hard. I have a good trainer, Tim Cole, who’s helping me out, so everything is on track at this stage.”

Although still sticking with KTM machinery, after choosing the two-stroke route for last year’s series, Banks has chosen to jump back on the four-stroke for 2012.

Banks holeshots the Under 19s field on his KTM 250 SX two-stroke at Coolum.

With a solid bike under him, a good support program and a year of experience, he sees himself being at the pointy end of the Under 19s field this season.

“I’m on the four-stroke this year, it’s bit of a personal preference type of thing,” he explained. “Choice Suspension are hooking me up with a really good bike, the two-stroke last year was a really good option for me budget wise and that sort of thing, but I’ll be on the four-stroke this year and I’m really enjoying it so far.

“For Under 19s this year I’m coming in with the goal of a podium, that’s what I want. I’d be happy with a top five at the end of the series if everything goes consistent, but yeah I’m going in at every round looking for a podium.

“It’s my last year and I only get one chance at it, I’m putting everything in this year, I’m riding full time now and just putting everything I can in to hopefully get the best results.”

With good support and a good head on his shoulder, fans should keep an eye out for Banks in this year MX Nationals series, he could be somewhat of a surprise package.