Planning for NEXT Year!
An update on Alex's performance and some news for next year.
As you may know on our recent visit to the European Championships, He came home 11th, the highest placed Brit in the history of the class. At the moment he is leading the ACU National Championships, which was our prime objective for this year. He is also sitting a very close third in the MMRA's British Championships. In the last round, in front of his home crowd at Edinburgh, we set the bike up with new tyres (which frankly I cannot afford to do at every round).
The result? He won, scoring more points than any other junior rider; in any of the rounds so far.
He was also very honoured this weekend to receive the offer of a fully sponsored ride in next year's Aprilla challenge. While this is a fantastic opportunity, we had to decline, as both Alex and I agree that he is still too small to race big bikes.
We are already planning for next year. At this point in time it looks like there is going to be a unified National Championship under the mantel of the ACU, and we would like to know if we could count on your continued support for Alex in 2003.
Plans are already afoot to run a British ZPF Minibike team in this championship. To this end I have already secured 4 outstanding riders, and two excellent mechanics. Discussions with the factory in Italy have confirmed the availability of works machinery for the team and their full back up. We have purchased a transporter, a picture of which is attached, along with an artist's impression of what it could look like for next season. We are therefore in the process of trying to attract a major sponsor for the team.
So as you can see, we do not lie still. In just two years Alex has
Become one of the best and most recognizable riders in minimoto. He has taken the names and logo's of his sponsors throughout the UK and Europe, and on to the podium no fewer than 45 times out of 50 meetings Next year we hope to have the biggest presence in the paddock and on the track.
If you are an individual or company who might be interested in backing this team, please let us know.
Alex and Alex Jnr.
Alex now leads the ACU National Pocket Bike Championship, in its inaugural year this series, has and is, creating a lot of interest, and already a great opportunity has arisen. Alex has been offered the chance to compete in the U.E.M. EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS.
With two rounds taking place in Italy, one in Germany & one in the Check. Republic, during June and July. This will mean 3 trips to the continent. As I am sure you will agree this is a great opportunity for him, although it is once again, down to funds. As you may know, we did not accept the wild card to race in the Geneva Minimoto Gp. Estimated costs of around £800 was too much for me to pay for one race. So he has had to miss out on that one.
However I feel, if possible he must attend this championship no Britain has ever came higher than 16th in this UEM championship, with the highest placing in one race of 12th, I think there may just be a chance of him bettering that, and the experience alone will be of great use to him in the future.
Now to the point. We need more help, if he is to go I will give my all, but it is not enough. I will be driving to the events; this means hefty fuel bills, ferry crossings and road tolls. However taking the camper will save on accommodation, there is additional costs in licensing and insurance, entry fees and getting the bike to conform to the UEM rules.
If you can help out in any way, no matter how small, with any of the above, it would be of great help to Alex and myself, if you have any tips as to how we could make the trip less expensive please let us know. Of coarse any help will be covered in all press releases by way of sponsor promotion and given priority on the websites, stickers on bikes and vans where available, along with race pictures for your usage, and if you wish to attend any race meeting you will be made most welcome by Alex Junior, myself and our hospitality unit".
Bear in mind, this is an extra championship which was not envisaged at the start of the season, Both Alex and myself, thank you for your continued support towards his British campaign and hope you will not be offended by this letter. It is as much of an update of his progress and an acknowledgement of how your assistance has brought him this success, as an appeal for help.
Keep up with the results on www.minimotoracer.comHis next big race is at Donington Park on the 3rd of June.
Thanks again Alex & his dad.
The Italian (Job) Trip
Well it was all organized, Ferry from hull to Zebrugge, travel down through Belgium, Luxemburg, France, Germany, Switzerland through the Gothenburg Tunnel and in to Italy. We arrived at the ZPF factory on Friday morning, to
once again be greeted by the Zanetti Family.
We spent that day settling in and being shown the latest innovations to ZPF products.
Saturday: we all made the trip to the track at Bergamo, where Alex tested last year, and under watchful eyes, Alex got down to the business in hand, and proceeded to circulate almost a second faster than last years times.
Also on display were the talents of Alex younger brother Ryan who prefers the sun and dry tracks, to damp and slippery ones and he to showed great improvement through the day.
Sunday: and the trip to Flori, the track at Alexandria which on the following Sunday is to stage the first race of the year which counts towards qualifying for the Italian championships, and indeed Alex first race in Italy. Both Alex and Ryan enjoyed the experience, Although once again Ryan after a few hours practice decided that he had better thing to do and
diapered into the camper to play his gameboy, Alex stayed out and got his times down to what I thought was a respectable 34.4 that was until I timed the Italian riders constant 33's the track record set at 32.2 on a restricted bike! We have indeed got a long way to go.
Monday: Was spent at the factory stripping the junior bikes. Both Alex and Ryan helping Alessandro (Zanetti's youngest son) build some other minibikes. That evening we travelled to Curno to meet Andrea Cavalries "Cava" web master of www.minibike.it The Curno circuit is similar to the one at Bayford Meadows, so we planned to return to it before or return to set the bikes up for the first round of the British. Cava brought along his friend "WHEELER" so named, as he seems to race minibikes on the back wheel. Alex practiced with the two for over an hour and a half and had a really good
Tuesday: was spent rebuilding the junior bikes for the trip to Cattolica on Wednesday to the NEW MOTOR PARK track for training with the ZPF team and in particular "Billo" Gregorini. Arriving at around midday the two boys met and took to the track Alex first, Then "Billo", the difference in style and speed noticeable immediately, After only six or so laps a high side saw Alex rolling around on the ground, this is unusual as Alex is always first back on the bike after an incident. A quick trip to the local hospital, and I mean local, we could have walked to it. Resulted in Alex in a cast with a fractured wrist. That evening we visited Billo's home, to sample some more Italian hospitality.
You know it's funny, but the difficulties adults have with the language barrier does not seem to affect children, both Alex, Ryan, Billo & another young Italian pilot Nazzspidi (pronounced Nazerano) managed to play together with no problems what so ever, I put it down to children talking a lot of nonsense all the time anyway.
Billo gave the boys a parting gift, one of his many impressive trophies inscribed, "In Italy it is not important to finish first, But to finish in front of the second place".
The next day we returned to the factory, to the obvious disappointment, every one had been looking forward to the race on Sunday, now the trip that was supposed to see Alex train and learn from the Italians had turned into a holiday. We spent the rest of the time making the most of the weather, and with visits to local theme parks and attractions, both boys enjoyed the rest of their time in Italy.
We would like to thank every one, for making this, despite the obvious disappointment. Such a great experience for both boys, for every ones help, generosity and hospitality. If possible, we will be back!
25 February 2002 - Alex Gault shows the Southerner's how it's done
Alex came 1st at the weekend when he raced at the Winners Action Drome, Wroughton, Wiltshire having travelled 400 miles overnight on Saturday to attend this one meeting. This was the final round of the Southern Minibike Winter Championships.
Alex has now raced in every regional championships in the U.K. and gained valuable experience, trophy's and new friends in each.
The meeting also gave him the chance to meet up with some of his sponsors, Trevor Baird of MAG Sport and Pete Devine who also runs Ridernews2002.co.uk were there to welcome our arrival on Sunday morning after our long drive with breakfast and hot coffee.
Among the welcome visitors who also attended were Ian Wiltshire, fellow MAGSPORT team member who turned up just to watch but ended up blagging a helmet and gloves to get involved. He's keen is that lad. Ian had a few sessions on Alex's ZPF Production bike which had been made into a midi (as we had heard Ian isn't as supple as he used to be), we also met up with Philip Gilder, North Gloucester Racing Club Champion in 2001 who put in an appearance, although he hadn't brought any kit with him, and couldn't accept Alex's offer to take the production bike out, but was amazed, like Ian at the speed and power these bikes produce.
Once again Alex junior managed to come away with two top trophies as he did well in both classes entered.1st overall in Juniors after some fantastic riding.Then in Junior production Alex came home in 3rd place against some very stiff local opposition, not bad considering that this was his first time on this track and he was using his "T" bike in this class.
At the prize giving presentation the same evening, Alex was one of the youngest there, and as it was in a public house at 8pm he should never have been there in the first place as the landlady moaned about under age kids being on the premises! That just shows you the ages of racers he was up against at this meeting.
At the end of a very enjoyable weekend, Alex Junior would like to thank everyone who made him feel so welcome. Too minimoto racing for organising such an enjoyable meeting; to Pete & Michele, Trevor & Flo for their hospitality, Sunday roast dinner and great company and to Ian W for not crashing Alex's Production bike, and to MAG Sport and all his sponsors for their help in 2002.
Alex Gault (Senior)
Alex has just been asked to contend a New Era & ACU-backed championship.
The four-round series is to be staged on major tracks alongside big bike meetings. Two rounds will be competed on a purpose built track at Mallory Park in April & October the other two at Donnington Park in June & Silverstone in August. Alex Senior says: "This, I am sure you would agree, will raise Alex's profile to a new high, along with any person or company associated with him"
He has also been invited by the organisers to ride on a wild card basis in the Geneva Minimoto GP in Switzerland on the 4th & 5th of May 2002, & has been asked to contend the Italian championships as part of the ZPF factory team. Sadly, costs rule out both of these wonderful opportunities. Alex Senior continues: "Although he would love to contend the Italian championship, personally I do not think he is ready to mix it with the best in the world. Give him a few years, though, and it will be a different story"
So what does the future hold for this talented 11 year old?
Alex Senior comments again: "Who knows? What I can say is Alex is only 11 years old and still a child at heart. His mentors think he has an exceptional talent (already nicknaming him The Wizard) & he loves racing motorbikes. If the truth be told he enjoys racing anything. As long as he is enjoying what he does, I will back him 100%. At the moment I know Alex would like to move to big bikes, for instance JRA 80cc Racing, which he can do legally at age 11. However, I think he is still too small and would prefer to see him stay on minimoto's for at least another 3 years. Although he has an 80cc Cagiva to practice with, Alex sees the sense of staying with minimoto's until he is big enough to handle the larger bike.
Then there's the little brother Ryan. Up until now he has just been playing on the bikes but at aged just 7, Ryan started racing seriously 4 meetings ago and has won his group every time"
Did you know? Almost all Italian and some of Japan's GP stars served their apprenticeship racing minimoto's as children. Names such as Rossi, Goi, Charello, Barros, Biaggi, & Caperossi, Akoi, Haga & Abe started small.