MX MASTERKIDS 2016
By Chris Abbink
The weekend of 15th, 16th and 17th July saw the 2016 MX MasterKids event in Verdun, France hosted by 24MX. This event is one of the largest youth motocross events in the world, attracting over 600 of the best youth riders from around the globe ranging from 4 all the way up to 22 year old open class riders. There is also a Dad’s class as well as an Open class for riders over 22 years old.
The weekend starts with scrutineering and sign on the day before racing, followed by a day of practice, timed qualifying, and your first qualifying race. The next day is practice and your final two qualifying races. During the evening a parade of all the teams and countries takes place with music and fireworks. The final day consists of practice, your final Gold and Silver race, and the presentation once all the racing is complete.
This year, three South African riders who are currently living in the UK entered the event with hopes of doing their country proud as well as measuring themselves up against some of the best riders in Europe and the rest of the world. These are their reports:
First up was 10 year old Jayden Abbink competing in the 65cc 10-12 year class. Jayden was consistent through all 3 of his qualifying races. He just missed out on making it into the Gold final, but the points he had racked up in his qualifying races put him in P2 going into the Silver final. Jayden got a great start and was sitting in 7th around the first corner, he worked hard to get around the riders ahead and knew that he had to push early on in the race if he wanted to battle for the top spot. By the second lap, he was comfortably in 2nd position and could see 1st place ahead of him; he pushed hard every lap to close the gap and gradually the gap grew smaller. A couple of mistakes in the final laps saw him just missing out on the top spot by a narrow margin, but well ahead of the other competitors, finishing comfortably in 2nd.
As he placed in the top 3 in the Silver final, Jayden was able to enter into the Gold final. Starting at one of the last gates available right on the outside, he had his work cut out for him. He didn’t quite get the jump out the gate and was second from last coming round the first corner. Slowly he moved forward and gained places, and even though he wasn’t quite on the same pace as some of the older kids in the group, he pushed as hard as he could and was still able to secure a well deserved 30th place in the Gold final.
Next up was 13 year old Jordan Styer competing in the 85cc/ 150cc 13-15yr class. Jordan did well in his qualifiers considering there was a problem with his bike that no one had detected until after the final. He managed to qualify 13th for the Silver Final. Jordan definitely didn’t get the start that he wanted, and struggled just to make it out of the gate pushing his bike along the start straight. It was clearly apparent that he had an issue with the clutch slipping. Eventually the clutch engaged and he was able to gain speed, but by this time he was dead last and about 30 seconds behind. He was cheered on by spectators who saw what had happened on the start, and how hard he was pushing from so far behind, which motivated him to push even harder to make it back up to a well deserved 10th position over the finish line.
Finally it was 13 year old Cullen “The Iceman” Scott also competing in the 85cc/ 150cc 13-15yr class. Great results throughout his
qualifying races saw him comfortably securing his place in the Gold final. His lap times were only a few seconds off the leader on a factory bike, while Cullen was on a stock bike that has not been tuned at all. Cullen didn’t get the start he had hoped for and was about 10th around the first corner. But he was on top form and his “never back down approach saw him getting himself up to 8th spot before a little mistake and hitting neutral going up a hill saw a couple of riders able to make a pass on him. Cullen now lay in 10th with only a few laps remaining, so he got his head down and pushed hard to try regain the positions he had lost. He was able to take back one position but there just wasn’t enough time for him to take back 8th place, and he had to settle for a well deserved 9th overall.
Well done to our three bright young future Champs!
- Jayden would like to thank his parents and Racestar Graffix.
- Cullen would like to thank Abil Office Solutions, Premier Bikes Didcot, RG3 Suspension, Dunlop Tyres, and Putoline.
- Jordan would like to thank O’Neal, RockOil, Ducksmart, Malcolm Rathmell Sports, Merge Decals and Cannonballs Bearings.