Euroka's Clay Clegg will look back on his first hit out in the Oceania Junior Cup as the time he learned valuable lessons.
The 13-year-old was selected to compete as a wild card in the final round of the Under-16 competition, only six months after hopping on a road bike for the first time.
Clay finished the weekend in 18th spot out of 24 riders but impressed by recording the fourth fastest lap time of the Sunday session.
The Macleay District Motorcycle Club junior's father Damien claimed Clay gained a lot of experience.
"It was a pretty big learning curve for us both, we learned a lot on how to approach these competitions," Damien told the Argus.
"In qualifying, Clay started at the back because it was his first event and wasn't able to get the slipstream from the other riders at the front of the pack. This meant Clay was left battling the field.
"But Clay proved he had the speed to match it with the quickest competitors because he recorded the fourth fastest lap time when in practice.
"Clay now knows qualifying in a good position is very important to earning success over the weekend."
Despite finishing in the bottom quarter, Clay left his mark in his first Oceania Junior Cup competition.
"Clay rode really well and impressed the right people. He did everything right," Damien said.
"He has proven he has the talent and drive to make it.
"People told us that he's at the level of someone who has been riding for three or four years and he's only been racing for six months, so he's doing really well. We are very proud of him."
The Melville High School student will return to the race track this weekend for the Victorian Championships at Broadford but his eyes will be firmly on the Oceania Junior Cup trials on Monday.
"Clay's main aim in life right now is to make the Oceania Junior Cup for next year," Damien said.
"I think they are limiting it to 21 riders next year and hopefully he can be selected into that.
"The Oceania Junior Cup opens up so many more doors and is the stepping stone into more prestigious overseas and international tournaments."
The Oceania Junior Cup is a Junior Road Race Academy aimed at developing Oceania's next road racing stars.
It will provide young riders with everything they need to take to the track, opening the pathway to the next generation racers through an exciting experience. Clay is determined to make the Oceania Junior Cup.
Clay expressed his gratitude to his sponsors Akubra, Williamson Bros, Col's Motorcycles and Central West Electrical.
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