VICTORIAN Benjamin Bramich has a dream: to one day become a multiple world champion like Valentino Rossi. The 14-year-old, however, is realistic and knows there is much more he needs to learn before he can step up and compete against the fastest motorcycle riders in the world.
Ben, from Beaconsfield in Melbourne, will this year compete in the Ninja 300 class in all four rounds of the 2016 Victorian Road Racing Championships and the 2016 GP Juniors on a Honda CBR 150.
The aspiring professional credits most of what he’s learnt on the bike so far due to the State Motorcycle Sports Complex’s Junior Development Days that teaches juniors the right way to ride a motorcycle, competitively or non-competitively, in a safe and controlled environment.
JDDs take place throughout the year at Broadford’s State Motorcycle Sports Complex, just an hour north from Melbourne, and comprise of classroom sessions discussing riding theory and skills which are then put into practice on the track. Kids from 7-years-old to 16-years-old can take part.
“The JDDs are awesome. You get heaps of track time, everyone’s so nice and all the juniors come together to learn as much as they can,” Ben said. Coaches follow juniors out on the track and advise them later back in the classroom as to how they can improve.
“The coaches that are there help you out heaps in anything that you need help with. The days are split between classroom sessions where the coaches explain to you what to do, and track sessions where the coaches watch what you do and encourages you where you can get better,” Ben added.
Ben took part in most of last year’s JDDs and without them he wouldn’t have progressed enough to go to Malaysia and tryout for the Asia Talent Cup and also Spain for the Red Bull Rookies Cup.
Broadford’s Administration Manager Ann-marie Upton encourages youngsters who want to learn how to ride a motorcycle the right way to give JDDs a go: “JDDs are not always about those wanting to go racing. Some juniors come along because they want to develop skills that will make them more aware of the road when they are eventually a fully-licensed motorcycle rider,” Ann-marie said.
JDDs will take place at Broadford on February 27, May 28, June 25, July 10 and October 29 for just $85.00 per rider. “We pride ourselves on the family-friendly atmosphere the days generate and the help that the juniors give each other. Parents are also encouraged to provide advice when they can too,” she added.
“It’s exciting to know that there could be a potential world champion out there but it’s heartening to know that we’re teaching our kids the right way to ride so they can enjoy motorcycling safely,” Ann-marie added.
Ben was lucky enough to be at Phillip Island last week to take part in testing for the upcoming 2016 MotoGP season. “I know Valentino Rossi’s team (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) from my previous years at the MotoGP and I was lucky enough to be invited into his pit shed to look at his bikes and one of his mechanics asked me if I wanted to sit on it so I got comfortable,” Ben said.
“It was a massive thrill. I told (the mechanic) that I won’t just get to sit on it but I’ll get to ride it one day,” Ben, who believes Broadford’s JDDs will help him achieve his dream, added.
Ben would like to thank Ann-marie Upton and Trevor Upton who administer the Junior Development Days, as well as his sponsors Ron Angel Classic Racing, and Nolan Helmets.
To find out more about JDDs please visit https://www.motorcyclingvic.com.au/junior-development-day-program/ or to book please contact Broadford’s Administration Manager Ann-marie Upton at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: (03) 5784 4163.