The Honda Xtreme Academy enjoyed a great day during Monday’s pro rider training at the Doon track in Southern Ireland with Honda World Motocross rider Rui Gonçalves taking time out of his hectic schedule to coach the Irish youngsters.
Despite heavy rain following a weekend of racing at the loamy, undulating track, Gonçalves joined Mark Reville of Rev Racing from the UK to coach the under 23 Honda pilots and thankfully the track improved throughout the day to almost perfect conditions. The coaches focused on technique training with Gonçalves’ expertise from a racing point of view and Reville’s experience in coaching young riders.
With the circuit broken down into sections the youngsters, who varied in ability greatly, made vast improvements with their style in ruts, berms, cornering, braking, lines and body position. In fact two of the riders present were very new to the sport, having only ridden a motocross bike on two occasions before being thrown into the deep end with the coaching from Gonçalves and Reville.
“The Xtreme Academy is very good and the competition is really close here in Ireland. The CRF 150R is a great bike over jumps, in the hard ruts, off the starts and cornering; I really like it,” said 15-year-old CRF 150R rider Adam James.
“Today was great and a big help to me. I’ve only been on the 150 for two years and it’s been good to learn more about how to ride the bike. Rui and Mark did a great job, as they explained everything really well and I could feel a difference with the improvements I made, especially in going through ruts and choosing lines. I got third in the Academy race at the weekend, but I hope to be faster at the next one and get closer to the top of the podium,” concluded the youngster.
The day, which included a healthy lunch of pasta and salad, concluded with a lesson in starts and how to get the very best from their Honda machinery.
“Today’s event has been massively impressive with the organisation from Honda Europe together with our colleague Gavin Craigie, who is the Honda Xtreme Academy representative in Ireland. It’s been a great turnout, and also good to see Honda with Gavin put something into the grass roots of the sport” said Eric Davis, Honda Ireland.
“You can see we have some youngsters coming through and for them to gain experience with some coaches they can look up to is really a great thing for us here in Ireland. I hope we can continue to help youngsters and encourage new people into the sport, as the Academy is really important in showing our commitment to helping young talent. We’ve got guys here that have only just started riding, and for them to feel the benefit of a Honda event to bring on their riding so early on will certainly help them as they continue through the ranks, as well as showing how diverse we can be with supporting our riders. The Academy has been very well received here with youngsters being able to receive a huge array of benefits for being a Honda rider,” concluded Davis.
This training event forms part of the European initiative by Honda to help develop young riders with the Honda Europe and the Xtreme Academy now running events in eight countries. The next training event will take place with Brian Jorgensen on the 10th of August in Finland, followed by the 23rd of August in the UK. If you’re a Honda rider aged under 23 in either of these countries, please visit our websitewww.hondaproracing.com/xtreme-academy for more information about the forthcoming schools.
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Images by Patrick O Donnell