Features 14 Feb 2023

Profiled: Cambell Williams

Freshly-signed Empire Kawasaki rider on 2023 MX3 challenge.

Last season was somewhat of a breakout year for Cambell Williams, who surprised competitors and teams alike by winning races, rounds and cementing himself as a force to be reckoned with in the MX3 category of ProMX. With new Empire Kawasaki horizons for 2023, he features in our latest Profiled interview.

The Victorian-based teenager entered the 2022 Penrite ProMX Championship with little to no experience in the MX3 class, due to the covid-19 affected 2021 season. Williams raced his way to eighth overall in the series that year, which concluded after only three rounds of racing.

Williams came out firing in the opening round of the series at Wonthaggi last year, dominating the day by qualifying fastest and winning both motos in convincing fashion.

“Winning round one was awesome, I hadn’t won anything at ProMX or had a podium result at all,” Williams reflected. “I wasn’t really expected to win, I also had a shoulder blade injury two weeks prior to Wonthaggi, so it was an awesome feeling to get it done there and leave with the red plate.”

The number 82 entered 2022 as somewhat of a privateer under the ‘Ride Red’ program, but his dominant display at Wonthaggi quickly caught the eye of Honda Racing, which signed him for the remainder of the championship. As the series moved to Mackay, Queensland, Williams would debut for the team, continuing his form to land on the overall podium for a second consecutive round, logging 4-3 moto scores.

Image: Supplied.

Williams, with a head full of steam, entered round three of the championship at Albury as one of the clear favourites to take the MX3 championship, and the run of results wouldn’t end there him, once again qualifying fastest and racing to second in moto one behind Ryan Alexanderson.

Moto two would once again see Williams at the head of the pack, grabbing the holeshot before dropping back to second behind Connor Towill. Williams would go on to stalk Towill for half the race before making a well-executed pass back for the race lead and never looking back from there, holding off a hard-charging Alexanderson to take the moto win and securing his second overall round win.

Unfortunately for Williams, a lower leg injury prior to the fourth round in Gillman would slow his progress. Determined to not let the championship slip out his grasp, Williams would continue on despite the effects of a fractured ankle and torn ligaments in his foot, toughing it out at Gillman with 6-10 moto scores.

“I was still confident coming into Gillman, it was just hard to ride and focus on winning with the ankle and foot injuries, I tried to put everything together, but it was tough,” Williams added. “I had a few crashes which didn’t help. But from there to Coffs Harbour I had some bike problems and continued to struggle with the injuries a bit, it’s really hard to put your best foot forward riding injured, but I gave it everything I had, it just didn’t quite work out the way we wanted in the end.”

The following rounds would see the injuries take their toll on the former points leader, eventually bowing out of the championship after separating his AC joint in his shoulder prior to the penultimate round at Queensland Moto Park (QMP).

Image: Supplied.

“Obviously the end of last year’s motocross season didn’t go to plan with those injuries that sidelined me,” Williams continued. “But I’m excited to get to the races and try and win a championship in 2023.”

Season 2023 sees a change of scenery for Williams, joining forces with the Empire Kawasaki team, in what will be a fresh approach aboard a KX250 to the upcoming eight-round ProMX season, making the switch from the Honda CRF250R platform.

“I’m really excited about coming to Empire Kawasaki,” he said. “It’s a fresh start for me. These guys were happy with what they saw in me throughout motocross last year.

“It’s really cool riding for a team, this is the second team I’ve been on now, but there’s definitely a lot more opportunities riding for a team like Empire Kawasaki, just the exposure and all the help behind the scenes, it makes life a lot more stress-free and gives you time to focus on what you need to do to win races for the team, cause that’s what they really want at the end of the day.

“The bike’s great, it’s my third week on the Kawasaki now. I’ve never ridden one before, but this 2023 model is awesome, we’re working really hard to fine-tune certain things to make me even more comfortable so that when March 5 comes around, we’re ready to battle for wins, but all in all, I’m really liking the KX250.”

With the new bike, team and environment for 2023, Williams has his sights firmly set on finishing the job in MX3 and tasting national title glory in the category come season-end at Coolum on 19-20 August.

“The goal is for sure to win the MX3 championship,” he said. “Last year the injuries definitely stopped me from getting that done, but I just want to be consistent at every round this year, make the most of every race and hopefully by the time we’re finished, that turns into a championship.”