GP Juniors Sparkle Under The Queensland Clouds for Rd 2

GP Juniors Sparkle Under The Queensland Clouds

The second round of this year’s GP Juniors Australian Road Racing Championships took place at Morgan Park (Qld) on 18-19 June and the youngsters, as per usual, put on some enthralling racing. In fact, it was the closest class of racing of the entire weekend.

Unfortunately, the meeting had to be abandoned at lunchtime on Sunday when the vicious storm cell attacked the circuit and as such the young tackers only completed two of their scheduled four races

The juniors were made very welcome by the meeting’s promoter, Motorcycle Sportsmen club as part of the third round of the Southern Downs Racing Series and the Queensland Road Racing Championships. The welcome commenced on Thursday when the kids – who had made the trek from as far away as southern Victoria – were given some training by Dave Fuller and his crew of top coaches and instructors.

The assistance was invaluable as the coaches led the kids on slow laps to explain the lines and then cut the track up into sections before a complete track walk.

The weekend was almost over for Peter Nerlich and his Dad, Bill when they had six bikes stolen from their locked garage in Melbourne in the week before the event.

Of course, they were devastated with the crime, but they were more overwhelmed with the camaraderie and family atmosphere of GP Juniors as a variety of people loaned machines, engines and anything else they needed to be able to get out on track. A very impressive reflection on the close knit group that the GP Juniors clan is.

Most the kids were new to the technical and bumpy Morgan Park layout but with the Thursday and Friday practice days, by the time qualifying came around on Saturday morning, all of them had a good knowledge of the track.

One rider making his road racing debut was 12-year-old Oli Bayliss, son of three-times Superbike World Champion and GP winner, Troy and he quickly settled in to be competitive after the first practices.

The kids in the three classes compete in the same race and it was Joel Kelso who took his second pole position from his main title rival, Scott Nicholson with Travis Hall rounding out the front row in third fastest to lead the way in the 70cc two-stroke class. It was a remarkable effort by Travis on the little 70cc machine to be in front of older riders on larger capacity machines.

In the opening race on Saturday afternoon, the 80/85cc two-strokes led the way from the rest of the pack. Nicholson and Kelso quickly broke away to, yet again, become embroiled in a duel that continued until the chequered flag.

The pair swapped the lead numerous times over the five laps but it was Kelso who grabbed the top spot by just 0.119 of a second in the drag to the line, but Nicholson had the consolation of claiming a new outright junior lap record of 1:31.756, a remarkable time that would have put him and Kelso in the top six riders in the F4 400cc class!
Peter Nerlich gained some satisfaction after a wretched week with third place while Travis Hall was the first 70cc machine home in fourth place overall, just 0.024sec in front of Ben Baker for second and Travis’ brother, Joshua taking third. Baker had some consolation by recording the fastest lap of the weekend in the 70cc class. with a 1:34.270 – the only rider in the 70cc class to record a sub 1:35 lap!
Ben Bramich took out 160cc four-stroke class with fast learner, Ned Faulkhead in second.
Lap records were set in all three classes. Ben Bramich claimed the lap record in the 160cc four-stroke class as he took the win and a 1:39.399 lap during the race.
The times of these young tackers truly belie their teenage years and more so for their lack of experience in road racing.

Post race back in the pits there were “high-fives” all round as the youngsters looked at the result sheets and realised that many had put in personal best lap times. An inspiring sight.

Sunday downed under threatening skies, that  caused the nerves of the kids to build and the nerves of the mums and dads to reach another level as well.

One rider who was excited about the prospect of a wet track was Jack Cousens who couldn’t wait to get out there.

The track was wet when the GP Juniors hit the track, but the rain had ceased, for the time being.

The nerves were very evident on the grid – and along pit wall – as the riders faced the starter. The lights went out and the field charged off with an impressive start from Cousens to tag onto the back of the duo of Nicholson and Kelso. It was set for a duel, but on the third lap (of six) the red flag came out after Oli Bayliss crashed at turn 3 requiring medical assistance as he sampled the bitumen for the first time in his first road race meeting. He was ok, with severe bruising and is keen to return to the track ASAP, although his Mum, Kim wasn’t too impressed!

In the restart, it was a repeat performance with Nicholson, Cousens and Kelso, duct-tapped together as the trio swapped positions a monumental amount of times as Cousens proved that he has webbed feet. He absolutely loved the sketchy conditions as he spent a great deal of the race in the lead.

At the completion of each lap, the trio were locked together and so it all came down to that final drag to the lead. Cousens led onto the straight and looked like he might hold on to claim his first road racing win but Nicholson pipped him right at the stripe with Kelso third, the trio separated by just 0.094 of a second. Remarkable, but then, we should be used to it, as every race has been fought out to the very end. Travis Hall again took out the 70cc class from Baker and dirt track dynamo, John Lytras, third.

The tables were turned in the 160cc class as Faulkhead took the win,  demonstrating his dirt track heritage as he mastered the conditions, to claim his first overall round win from Bramich.

Unfortunately, that was all the racing to be completed on the weekend, as just on lunchtime the heavens opened, the massive deluge forcing the abandonment of the meeting, however, many onlookers related that the GP Juniors were the most exciting racing of the weekend.

“I felt really good this weekend,” explained Nicholson. “It’s a shame we couldn’t get out for the last two races due to the weather but I’ve had so much fun this weekend hanging out with my mates and having some good battles. It was an awesome weekend for us.”

GP Juniors would like to extend a massive thanks and appreciation to Motorcycle Sportsmen for making us welcome and also assisting with some financial help for GP Juniors along with Ricondi Leathers for picking up the tab for the trophies along with Dave Fuller, and his coaches, for thei assistance, guidance and training to the boys over the weekend.

As for myself, I’d like to express my gratitude for everyone that put in the effort to head to Morgan Park and to see people of the calibre of Troy and Kim Bayliss supporting the series with their son, Oli makes me feel very humble. Hope to see you at some more events.

A difficult decision had to be made on Sunday afternoon but I feel that it was the right one in the conditions.

Finally, it is very satisfying to be involved with GP Juniors and to see the camaraderie, friendship and loads of banter that happens in the pits during the course of the weekend The behaviour of these young adults is truly inspirational. All of them could teach many a thing, or two.

Congratulations and thanks to all involved.

Rd 2 GPJA results 1

Oli Bayliss To Make Road Racing Debut

The second round of the 2016 GP Juniors Australian Road Racing Championships at Morgan Park on June 18-19 will feature a famous name when Oli Bayliss, the son of three-times Superbike World Champion, Troy makes his road racing debut in the 12-16 year-old class, on an 80cc machine.

It seems only natural that one of Troy’s three children would have a crack at racing and the youngest, Oli has embraced the sport with gusto. The 12-year-old from the Gold Coast is a very enthusiastic learner, and has competed on the dirt tracks of Australia for a few years and now wants to have a crack on the bitumen.

“He is really looking forward to it and has been on to me for a while about getting out on the bitumen,” explained Troy. “Morgan Park isn’t too far away from us, so it is easy to get to and we would like to be a part of GP Juniors Australia. It’s a great concept and provides a great foundation to start with.

“He is super excited, but we are not expecting too much, so we will be going out there for him to have a ride and have a bit of fun.”

Oli will be up against teenagers with a few years experience on the tar so it is going to be an intense learning curve for him this weekend as the likes of Victorians, Scott Nicholson and Ben Bramich as well as Joel Kelso from the NT, are now in their third season of road racing.

The GP Juniors Australian Road Racing Championships are split into two age groups, and three classes.

In the 12-16 year group the kids can ride 85cc two-strokes or up to 160cc four-stroke machines. while nine to twelve years olds are allowed to ride 70cc two-stroke machines

This weekend at Morgan Park the youngsters will get four races as well as practice and qualifying providing plenty of track time for them.

GP Juniors Australia would like to thank the organising club, Motorcycle Sportsmen, for making room on the program to accommodate the juniors this weekend at the technical Morgan Park lay out.

The third round of the GPJA Road Racing Championships is set down for Wakefield Park (NSW) on Aug 6-7 (depending on track resurfacing) and the final round of the 2016 championships will be run alongside the final round of the 2016 YMF Australian Superbike Championships at Winton Raceway Sept 30 – Oct 2)


1 Scott NICHOLSON 25 20 25 70

2 Joel KELSO 18 25 20 63

3 Peter NERLICH 20 18 18 56


1 Ben BRAMICH 25 25 25 75

2 Ned FAULKHEAD 20 20 20 60


1 Travis HALL 20 20 25 65

2 John LYTRAS 18 17 20 55

3 Joshua HALL 17 18 18 53

4 Ben BAKER 25 25 0 50

5 Taiyo AKSU 15 15 17 47

6 Thomas BROWN 16 16 0 32

Chris Vermeulen at Rd 2 at Morgan Park (Qld)


Here is a link to the entry form:…rd3.pdf

Only a few weeks to go before the second round of the GP Juniors at Morgan Park Raceway, on June 18-19, and things are looking good, with plenty of people getting excited about the trip to the Sunshine State.
The biggest news about the second round is that Chris Vermeulen will be coming out to have a look over the weekend!
Chris has been a long-time supporter of junior racing and has been an Ambassador for the MRRDA since its inception, a position he is continuing with the GP Juniors.
The GP Juniors are very happy to see him continue in the role and, he will no doubt be passing on words of encouragement to many over the course of the weekend.
The Motorcycle Sportsman Club has been outstanding in its support as well and a big thank you to them. On the Friday there is track day with three x 20 minute sessions for the juniors with the cost included in the entry fee – a special token of support from the club for the youngsters.
Also, we will be organising a track walk with one of the locals for the many first timers that will be making the trek to the complex, that is situated on the outskirts of Warwick.
Camping is available, but if you take that option, bring plenty of warm blankets etc as it can get quite chilly out there, with temperatures having no trouble in getting close to freezing.
Spread the word, and see you there!

Round 1 Australian Junior Road Racing Championships

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GP Juniors Australia (formally the MRRDA) kicked off the new 2016 season at Broadford State Motorcycle Complex (Vic) on 9-10 April with the first round of the Australian Junior Road Racing Championships, held with the opening round of the Victorian Road Racing Championships.

13 entires for the juniors were the healthiest turnout at the track in some years with the best supported being the 70cc class for 9-12 year-olds with six entries. This was double the amount of competitors in the class in 2015. 

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Joel Kelso takes off from pole position. Pic: Shondelle Mathews

The kids had three, very entertaining six-lap races (the classes all combined), over the weekend, with the battles not limited to the action at the front as some very intense competition unfolded through the field.

Peter Nerlich leads the field on the opening lap. Pic: Cameron White

Up front, it was Scott Nicholson, Joel Kelso and  Peter Nerlich who led the way. It was Kelso’s first start in the class after competing the 70cc class for the last few years.  Nicholson was competing in three classes (125cc GP and 300cc Production) over the weekend while Nerlich has improved immensely as he constantly hounded the leading pair.

Joel Kelso leads Scott Nicholson with Peter Nerlich ready to pounce. Pic: Cameron White

Kelso took one win but it was Nicolson with two wins and a second that took the major silverware from Kelso with Nerllch third overall.

The battles in the 70cc class between Ben Baker and Travis Hall was absolutely enthralling. The pair were rarely more than a bike-length apart in every race, amply demonstrated at the end of every lap as they crossed the start line side-by-side. The second race went the way of Baker by just 0.02 second!

Travis Hall leads Ben Baker – for the moment Pic: Cameron White

It came down to the last race with the chance of Baker taking three from three but, sadly, a mechanical woe decided  the outcome as he came to a halt on the start finish line after three laps. He was absolutely distraught with disappointment, and just shows how much the little tackers put into their racing.

It’s Ben’s turn to lead Travis. Pic: Cameron White

The retirement gave Travis the race win and the round overall from another rapid improver, John Lytras with Travis’ brother, Joshua third.

In the 160cc class there were two competitors, with last year’s series victor, Ben Bramich continued to ride the well worn Honda CBR150 with another new comer, Ned Faulkhead competing the class. While there were only two competitors, it didn’t preclude the pair from having some tremendous tussles with others in the field.

All the juniors were grouped together in the pits and it ensured there was a real family atmosphere to the event. It was inspiring to see the enthusiasm and unbridled joy of the kids racing and getting on so well together, in between races and in the evenings, as they mucked around with a motorbike never far away. Every one of them had an absolute ball and was a good reflection of the camaraderie of the sport.

The fun wasn’t only confined to the bitumen as at day’s end they were allowed to sample the motard track in one of the practice sessions. The chance was enthusiastically received with a variety of dirt bikes on hand for the kids to ride, a few of them kindly supplied by sidecar racer, Justin Foot.

The next round of the Australian Junior Road Racing Championships is at Morgan Park (Warwick, Qld),  18-19 June


1 Travis HALL 20 20 25 65

2 John LYTRAS 18 17 20 55

3 Joshua HALL 17 18 18 53

4 Ben BAKER 25 25 0 50

5 Taiyo AKSU 15 15 17 47

6 Thomas BROWN 16 16 0 32


1 Scott NICHOLSON 25 20 25 70

2 Joel KELSO 18 25 20 63

3 Peter NERLICH 20 18 18 56


1 Ben BRAMICH 25 25 25 75

2 Ned FAULKHEAD 20 20 20 60



2016 GP Juniors Australian Road Racing Championship Calendar

Here is the calendar for the 2016 GP Juniors Australian Road Racing Championships.

Rd 1 April 9 – 10 Broadford, Vic (with VRRC)

Rd 2 June 18 – 19 Morgan Park, Qld  (with Southern Downs)

Rd 3 September 3 – 4  Wakefield Park, NSW (with St George MCC)

Rd 4  September 30 – Oct 1 Winton, Vic (with ASBK) It is great news that the final round of the GP Juniors Australia will be conducted alongside the final round of the YMF Australian Superbike Championship

November 5 –  Eastern Creek – South Circuit, NSW (with St George MCC). One off special event to celebrate 10 years of competition..

Testimonials From Graduates


Former junior racers in the series include;

Jack Miller, Ollie Simpson Mike Jones, Josh Hook, Daniel Falzon, Jed Metcher, Lachlan Epis, Troy Guenther, Kane Burns, Nic Liminton, Kyle Buckley and Lochie Taylor.

Put your name in the record books and move onto international racing like many of our graduates have done

Here are a few words from some of our successful graduates:

The History of GP Juniors

The History

The Motorcycle Road Racing Development Association (MRRDA) was started in 2007 under the direction and management of Paul “Woody” Edwards.

With Honda and Red Bull quickly joining the team, the series was initially dedicated to the Honda CBR150’s which still to this day have been the mainstay of the series.  Other classes and bikes have been introduced such as the 70cc nippers, the 80cc 2 strokes and the Moto3 classes that have helped the series to become well-known and respected around the world as well as allow many of those junior riders to reach the heights of the sport both locally and internationally.

The close relationship with Red Bull has meant that the series has become a stepping stone into the Red Bull Rookies cup that runs alongside MotoGP. A series that has helped Aussie juniors such as Josh Hook and Olly Simpson establish themselves on the world scene.

More than just riding, the MRRDA has put a lot of effort into developing the riders off track skills such as Marketability, Attitude and Character.  All essential attributes of the successful modern racer.

Other names such as Jack Miller, Jed Metcher, Matt Barton, Mike Jones, Daniel Falzon and many others have all spent time developing their skills as riders in the MRRDA championship. 

The MRRDA Philosophy

Due to the commercial nature of top level motorcycle racing, to be a professional in the sport of Motorcycle racing these days requires the rider to be more than just a talented rider.  Successful riders now need to be super fit athletes, need to be able to market themselves, be mentally very strong and have something that makes them stand out from the crowd.  The MRRDA set out to ensure that Australian Junior racers, not only had a national series to race in, but somewhere that they could start to learn the other attributes of their chosen sport.

MRRDA officials have also been chosen to recgonise the requirements of dealing with riders and their parents.  Education involves the entire family. This has meant that the MRRDA has ensured that there is a rider Liaison at every event who can act on behalf of the rider and their parents with all interaction with officials. This has ensured that the series participants have recognised faces that they can turn too and know what sort of response they are going to get.

The training provided as part of the series not only looks at working with each rider as an individual to see where their riding can be improved, but also working with all participants on Marketability, attitude, character, fitness and technical setup. Thus ensuring that the series provides a real learning ground on all aspects of the modern day sport.

Welcome to GP Juniors Australia

GP Juniors Australia is a new name for what was the MRRDA (Motorcycle Road Racing Development Association ).

2016 makes the 10th year of competition for the successful series. There has been a lot happen in the past few months and this year will be spring-board for an expanding series with support from many areas.

First up was the name change from MRRDA to a more easily identifiable name; GP Juniors Australia.

The series will culminate with the final round held alongside the final round of the Australian Superbike Championship at Winton.