Features 29 Oct 2019

Fast Thoughts: Joel Wightman

AUS Supercross privateer on his early form and more.

Honda-mounted privateer Joel Wightman has got off to a strong start in the 2019 Australian Supercross Championship, most recently scoring an impressive sixth place result Port Adelaide’s second stop of the series. MotoOnline.com.au caught up with the New South Welshman for this edition of Fast Thoughts.

Image: Foremost Media.

Finishing sixth at Port Adelaide’s AUS Supercross…

I was pretty happy with it, to be honest. I felt like it was a good race and that I rode quite well. I got some pretty good starts from the inside gate – I snuck around just behind the top pack. I knew the track was so gnarly with a lot of triples in the rhythms, so if I could just hit them for 20 laps, I thought I would hopefully stay in that top group. I ended up sixth, and I was pretty happy with it.

Early supercross form…

I think I mainly look forward to this time of year, and I just enjoy supercross. I’m lucky enough to have a track at home, which is quite big and gnarly. That’s why when I get to the race track, nothing really intimidates me too much. I think with Adelaide, it showed there – that track was big, and everyone was talking about how steep the jumps were and how big the sections were. I just enjoyed it and couldn’t wait to get out there and ride the track. I think I just enjoy supercross more, to be honest.

Image: Foremost Media.

Championship target…

Well, in 2017 – which was my first year in the 450 class – I finished up 10th overall for the year, so I definitely want to try and do better than that. At the moment I’m in eighth after the first two rounds, so my goal would be to consolidate that, or get better if I can. If I’m in there, I’ll be happy.

Racing in front of mega crowds at the S-X Open Auckland and AUS-X Open Melbourne next month…

It’s really great, and I think as a rider, you always look forward to racing in bigger stadiums, and hopefully that results in bigger tracks if they have the floor space to do it. For someone like myself, where it’s just dad and I, it’s sometimes a little bit of a headache organising something like New Zealand. It’s also exciting – now that I’ve organised to go, I’m pretty keen for that round and Melbourne as well. I’ve been looking forward to them all year really.

Facing AMA Supercross regulars in New Zealand and Melbourne…

It’s cool, and it gives me more respect actually racing them and seeing how fast those guys are. I know they’re at a crazy level over there, but when you put it into perspective of where I’m on the track compared to them, it shows how good they are. I raced Dean Wilson and Jason Anderson in the final at the AUS-X Open Sydney – I’ve done it before, so I don’t think they’ll intimidate me too much. I’ll just enjoy my racing, which is what I usually do.