This week’s bLU cRU Oceania Junior Cup (OJC) Profile we look at New South Welshman #18, Tom Connors, from Wylong Motorsports Club.
The 13-year-old who describes himself as competitive, thoughtful, tough and prefers not to stand out in a crowd has only been competing in road racing for eight months. On any given day Tom takes his KTM SX 250cc out of his back gate for a trail ride as part of his training. Tom who is stoked with being part of the OJC series gives us his run down on how and why he fell in love with two-wheel racing.
Tell us about where your love for motorcycle racing began and why?
I got my first bike, a JR50cc, when I was three years old. My dad took me to the local track for a Kickstart course and I have wanted to race ever since. I first started flat track racing when I was four years old and found the passion for two wheel competition then.
Previous achievements off and on a bike?
I have made the podium numerous times at state and national level in both track and dirt track disciplines. I am also a keen Rugby League player and have played at representative level for a few years now. I like off road riding and as I’m getting taller, I’ll possibly do a few more enduro events next year.
Your strengths and characteristics that you think set you apart?
I listen well and put into practice what I’m being told. I’m competitive but not to the point where it’s all that matters, my safety and the safety of my competitor’s factors into how hard I will push myself.
Thinking back, tell us about one of your favourite memories growing up when it comes to motorcycling?
Travelling to and seeing different places with my family is awesome, meeting new people and riding with friends have been some of the best motorcycling memories for me.
What career do you hope to end up in? For example, WSBK or MotoGP racer?
To be honest probably a professional Rugby League player! I’m still 13 and nearly 6 feet tall!
Tell us who your sporting idol is. How have they impacted your dedication to sport?
Cameron Murray from the South Sydney Rabbitoh’s, he is hard working and never gives up. It’s an attitude you need to succeed in anything you do.
What have you learnt from the bLU cRU Oceania Junior Cup?
Where do I start? It has been such an amazing experience and I have enjoyed every minute of it so much – except the few crashes I’ve had! I had no experience on a road racing bike whatsoever before the Oceania Junior Cup. To be able to try and learn what I have done this year would have taken years on my own. It’s not just the riding but also the bike setup, media skills, marketing and projection of our sponsors-all of it has been a brilliant experience.
Tell us about your bike, helmet, leathers, gloves and boots. How are you adjusting to the new bike? How do you find the products that have been chosen specially for you?
I ride a Yamaha R15 which is great, the AGV helmet has protected my head very well all year. I had a big off in Broadford and the Ricondi leathers and TCX boots came out fairly well unscathed. The Ricondi team were onsite at every meeting and ready to repair or replace anything that needed it.
Tell us about the first time you hopped on a motorcycle.
I was only three years old and dad took me out to the bush, put me on a bike and off I went- I’ve never looked back!
Images: Andrew Gosling – tbgsport (head shot)