2022 FIM MiniGP Australia Series
Round Two – Eastern Creek – Supports Report
With Mark Bracks – Images by RBMotoLens
Besides the two races for the FIM MiniGP Australia class, there were seven different support categories with four races each; the combined 190 cc capacity Ohvale GP0 (10” wheels) and GP2 (12” wheels) classes, Supermoto 250 and 450s, a Mini-Moto/Grom class and a Veterans class that compete on the Ohvale 190s.
See the MiniGP report from Round 2 here:
FIM MiniGP Australia Series endures tricky conditions at SMP
Round 1 Report & Round 1 Gallery links.
Ohvale & Veterans
The Veterans and the Ohvale classes were the best subscribed with 12 and 15 competitors in each. The additions to the Ohvale GP0/GP2 class were the younger brigade, including leading ASBK Supersport 300/R3 Cup rider Glenn Nelson, and OJC race winner Cameron Rende.
Plus fellow OJC riders, Jai Russo (brother of Levi) and Marcus Hamod, whose younger brother, Darius competed in the FIM MiniGP class, while Marcus also competed in the 250 cc Supermoto class.
Reflecting the ever-growing popularity of the Ohvales with experienced road racers – as well as those kids trapped in more mature and expanding bodies – the “old blokes” class and GP2 saw three-time ASBK champ Glenn Allerton as an enthusiastic entrant.
Joining him was long-time ASBK privateer Nathan Spiteri, who was having his first ride since his crash at Phillip Island during the opening round of the ASBK back in February. As well as accomplished classic rider Dean Oughtred, who had a dip as well. Although Deano asked for the races to be cut in half due to his supreme level of fitness!
Other notables in the class included BMW Alliance Team co-owners Nathan Webb and Wayne Hepburn, as well as one of the FIM MiniGP Series promoters, Nick Angelopolous. Lachlan Epis – who bore the scars and band-aids from arm pump surgery three weeks ago – straddled Oughtred’s steed for a race when it all got too much for the proprietor of Dynoverks!
As expected, Glenn Allerton was the benchmark for both classes. However, in the opening leg of the GP0/GP2 class on Saturday afternoon it looked like he might have to fight hard, as Nelson wasn’t too far behind in lap times and right on his tail from second on the grid.
Unfortunately the Queensland teenager pushed too hard on the opening lap though, hit a bit of moisture and high-sided big time. He was launched into the air as the bike snapped back and he landed heavily, injuring his hand, forcing him to exit the meeting very dejectedly.
That incident brought out the red flag, but the re-start didn’t last long with another red flag forcing the race to be abandoned in accordance with the GCRs.
Allerton expressed his disappointment that Nelson would be taking no further part, as it was evident during the practice sessions that they would be close together on track – in the same manner that the three-time Superbike champ had done at the first round with Scott Charlton , Chandler Cooper and Alex Phillis.
Allerton was virtually untroubled, winning each race by a very comfortable margin. Although in the third leg he started from the rear of the grid to provide a very entertaining spectacle as he scythed his way through the field.
One casualty of his progress was Buzz Kiely (from Race Center and mechanic for Jed Mitcher in the 727 Moto Team), who was quite surprised when Allerton went underneath him at the T6 hairpin, Kiely exiting the spectacular trackly as the bike tumbled into the tyre wall, both escaping unscathed. Kiely stood trackside and may have given Allerton a little bird but it was all good afterwards back in the pits.
This incident was further proof of the ‘crashability’ of the Ohvale, as he was back in action for the final race.
The last leg was red-flagged after nine laps when rain started to fall and later when declared; Allerton took the win by eight seconds from Matt Watkins, with Paul Rose third.
For the Ohvale GP2 class overall, Allerton took the from Kiely and Rikki Watt.
It was a repeat performance in the Veterans class for those over 35, as Allerton streaked the field in three of the four races. While Allerton was in another postcode, the rest of the field had some entertaining duels, particularly the brothers Matt and Paul Watkins, Rikki Watt, Kiely and to a certain extent Oughtred, before the fatigue set in.
By the time the last race for the Vets came about later in the day, the track was damp and cold, and only four riders headed out, Allerton not one of them. With his absence, Matt Watkins took the final win and the round from Allerton, with Kiely third overall.
OHVALE GP-0 Results Round Overall
OHVALE GP-0 Standings
OHVALE GP-2 Round Overall
OHVALE GP-2 Standings
Veterans Round Overall
The Supermoto races were superb as the two Joshes; Sydney lad Soderland, and Horsham-born McLean, had four fantastic duels, a Husky 450 vs a KTM SXF250.
McLean had recently returned from the US where he claimed an AMA title and on his smaller capacity machine really made Soderland fight hard for every win.
McLean’s extreme competitive nature was on full display as after grabbing the hole-shot in three of the races, he made his bike as wide as the track. The contests were intense and Soderland really had to put a move on to make a pass stick.
Once in front, Soderland was able to use the extra mumbo of the 450 to break away, but it would’ve been an even greater spectacle with both on the same capacity bit of kit.
Also taking part in the class was Zac Johnson, who until last year was a top runner in the ASBK Proddie classes. Johnson muscled the RM-Z450 around, fighting valiantly to keep the pair in touch, taking second in class from renowned Sydney tattooist, Loic Barbot.
Marcus Hamod was the only other rider on a 250. If it wasn’t for a couple of crashes due to the over-enthusiasm of youth, Hamod would have figured more prominently in the overall race results, as his pace was right up there with them and gave the top three a run for their money.
A mention should also go to Supermotard stalwart Mark Cooper from Echuca who supplied a number of bikes for the round.
SuperMoto Pro 250
Round Overall & Standings
SuperMoto Pro 450
Round Overall & Standings
In the Mini Moto/Grom class, Barbot was untouchable in the three races he contested but he didn’t front for the last race.
Reece Oxley took the win in that last stanza, to add to his three second places, giving him the round win from Barbot, while Reece Oxley was bumped down to third overall.
In the background, Kenji Yamada, Max Duffy and Oxley had four great races against each other with plenty of bench racing afterwards to relive their fun duels.
The FIM MiniGP Australia Series is a brilliant initiative by the FIM and Dorna, and the inclusion of Australia in the world-wide series will ensure that there will be more Aussie kids taking part in international series. This will no doubt prove to be a successful extension of the ‘Road To MotoGP’ program that has unearthed so many European-based future champions.
The additional support classes are sure to expand, as the little bikes hurtling around go-kart tracks are so much fun, fairly cheap to run compared to their bigger capacity siblings and they are easy to cart around, plus did I mention the fun factor?
A big positive for the Ohvales is the durability in a crash. The bikes are already fairly close to the ground, but the bike was designed to limit damage in the event of a crash, with Teflon pads on the handlebar and foot peg ends.
The next round of the Australian FIM MiniGP Championship will be held at Ipswich Kart track (adjacent to Queensland Raceway at Willowbank) on August 13-14.
For more information: www.ohvale.com.au