News 13 Jan 2023

Recovering Malkiewicz readies for 450 transition

Positive sensations with new YZ450F despite prolonged injury.

Image: Foremost Media.

WBR Yamaha returnee Bailey Malkiewicz believes he is well suited to a 450 as he fights to recover to 100 percent fitness ahead of his premier class step in 2023.

Malkiewicz competed domestically in 2022 with Serco Yamaha, taking the MX2 overall victory at Wodonga before ultimately finishing third in the championship standings, despite suffering a torn MCL at Gillman.

He continued in the Australian Supercross Championship (AUSX) with Serco in SX2, but his season was brought to a premature end following a crash at Marvel Stadium’s opening round that resulted in surgery on a dislocated ankle and multiple fractures sustained.

The recovery process has admittedly taken longer than expected, however, Malkiewicz is excited at the prospect of stepping up to the premier class, especially being equipped with the all-new 2023 YZ450F.

“The injury was a bit worse than what we thought, the recovery time is a bit longer than what we wanted,” Malkiewicz explained to MotoOnline. “Not up to 100 percent yet, just slowly chipping away but still got some time.

“I really like the 450, I rode it a few times, few years in a row just to try and learn stuff. I really think a 450 really suits me well, my size and it definitely helps me get out of the corners. Definitely going to improve my riding for sure.

“The new 450 is really good, especially when you haven’t ridden in a while. You can tell it is definitely it is a lot lighter, and they have done a lot to it so I’m really happy with it.”

Malkiewicz was initially slated to make the step to MX1 in 2021 with WBR before the reunion was short-lived due to a knee injury that saw him miss the complete season domestically. He has achieved prior success with the outfit, notably winning the MXD category in the 2018 MX Nationals, also the 125cc Junior Motocross World Championship that same season.

Right now, regaining full fitness is the top priority of Malkiewicz, with gate-drop for the opening round of the 2023 Penrite ProMX Championship taking place at Wonthaggi, Victoria on 5 March. Once at 100 percent, the WBR rider is eyeing some rostrum finishes before the season end.

“We will sort of see how we go coming into it, get to 100 percent first then before it all finishes hopefully get a few podiums under my belt,” Malkiewicz added. “That’s the plan, and we will see how we rack up.”