KTM Australia press release:
KTM Junior Supercross took centre-stage in the 2019 S-X Open Auckland and AUS-X Open Melbourne events as a total of 30 capable seven and eight year-old riders took to the stadiums aboard KTM 50 SX machinery.
The S-X Open International FIM Oceania Supercross Championship, which features a round each in New Zealand and Australia, is recognised as one of the most prestigious in the world outside of the United States.
For the KTM Junior Supercross challengers – 10 participating in NZ and 20 in Australia – the exhibition event marked an opportunity of a lifetime to line-up on the very same supercross circuit during the day and night program that the professional racers do battle on.
Riding a fleet of KTM 50 SX race bikes dressed in KTM Junior Supercross graphics by Kustom MX, fitted with KTM PowerParts supplied by FMF Racing and Nihilo Concepts, the riders of the KTM Junior Supercross thrilled spectators as they negotiated the highly-technical tracks in truly impressive fashion.
S-X Open Auckland at Mt. Smart Stadium featured Levi McMaster, Kase Shuttleworth and Jayden Bryan on the podium, before near 35,000 fans at Marvel Stadium for AUS-X Open Melbourne witnessed Ollie Birkitt take victory over Nate Perrett and Jake Single.
Each rider and their families enjoyed a full factory VIP experience as part of the KTM Junior Supercross entry, also receiving a KTM gift pack, which included a full set of riding gear from Troy Lee Designs and trophies were awarded to podium finishers in special post-race presentations.
KTM Junior Supercross participants were featured in rider signings, mentored from KTM professional racers including Hamish Harwood in Auckland, as well Daniel Milner and Lyndon Snodgrass in Melbourne. They also met a selection of their heroes throughout the fun-filled events.
Kyle Blunden – Event Coordinator, KTM Australia – New Zealand: “The KTM Junior Supercross is a program we are proud to host at the Oceania Supercross Series. With the assistance of the team at AME and all of our partners who have jumped on board with KTM Junior Supercross in 2019, we are able to give the riders and their mechanic a true factory experience for a day. Witnessing the smiles and the connection between the riders and their parents ignited by the sport of supercross is just awesome. The crowd love it and we hope to continue bringing KTM Junior Supercross to these events for many years to come.”
Levi McMasters – Winner, 2019 KTM Junior Supercross S-X Open: “Our day started early in the morning where we were able to meet and greet the other successful applicants. We were all given a goody bag which had our race kit, t-shirts for mechanic and rider and drink bottles. We then got to walk the track, it was so slippery, the triple was slippery and steep, there were a couple of doubles that I thought I could clear. Next came the signing session, which I loved – I signed 200 posters, it was amazing. Lining up before the start gates I was so pumped, When the gates dropped I didn’t have a great start but still managed to be in first coming out of the first corner. I led for half a lap until Kase Shuttleworth done a good pass on me. A lap later Kase dropped it, so at that stage I was happy but knew I couldn’t slow down and pushed to the finish. After the race I was so happy I cried, we then went back to our pits and had our prize giving. I got a first place number board and also a KTM bear. We then watched Jason Anderson win, he was my favourite person out there. It was a dream day and I am extremely grateful for the experience.”
Ollie Birkitt – Winner, 2019 KTM Junior Supercross AUS-X Open: “The KTM Junior Supercross day was an awesome experience. I got to meet my idols, be up close to the action and see how the pros prepare for their races. I got to experience what it feels like to be a factory rider with KTM, all of which makes me want to chase my dream of being a supercross rider even more! The track was hard and I came off in practice as it was quite slippery, because coming from WA I’m used to the soft sand tracks. I knew I could jump a few of the doubles to gain more speed, but I chose to play it safe and just try to stay on the bike, take the lead and hold it for the win. Huge thanks to KTM and the team for making the day possible and giving us 50s a go! P.s, the Troy Lee Designs gear set we got to take away from the day is wicked, thank you.”