Downe is set to hit new high

ENGINE problems and last-minute preparation were shrugged aside by Brodie Downes as he cruised to three third placings and second overall in the south-east Queensland juniors series in Ipswich at the weekend.

The Bundaberg 13-year-old made do with his troublesome 85cc, holding off nearest rival Callum Spriggs to maintain his podium spot after five rounds of racing.

In the end only six points separated the pair, and Downes could not have been happier.

“I had to beat Callum or finish one place behind him in every race to stay in second, so it was pretty close,” he said. “But I was heaps happy with it. It’s my best ever result.”

The competition was not limited to riders from south-east Queensland, with the region simply playing host to the event.

“Top, serious riders come from everywhere – we had the recent 15-year-old world champion riding on the weekend,” Downes said.

Downes will upgrade to 125cc and 250cc machines in competition and has the off-season to finetune his trade before racing kicks off in 2010.

A fitness regime of gym, jogging and track work, with the help of father Phil, is the preparation he hopes will propel him to number one.

“I need to get stronger again, increase my ability to handle the bigger bikes, but I know I can match it with the other riders now,” he said.

The young talent has aspirations to ride in the US, but knows there is some work in front of him yet.

“That would be an awesome experience, but at our age you can’t really tell how good you’re going to be,” he said.

Once he turns 16 and joins the senior ranks, it will mean a whole new level of commitment is required to break into the next level.

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