Hailing from Ngatea in New Zealand, the eighteen year old high school graduate ventured to Australia and entered his KX250F into the MXD class of the MX Nationals series with assistance from Kawasaki Motors Australia.
Having never ridden the Wonthaggi circuit, Benjamin excelled and position himself as one of the country’s most capable rookie riders.
“The weekend started off well. We came over prepared but not really knowing what to expect in terms of the competition and circuits because I haven’t raced in Australia for about three or four years,” commented Benjamin who competed at Appin in NSW once before where he placed 4th in the Junior Motocross Nationals at 15 years of age.
“I thought a top 5 or top 10 result was realistic but I was happy to qualify 6th, close behind the leaders. In race one I got a really good start. I was about 3rd and then dropped back to 4th and sat there so I was pretty happy with that,” Benjamin said.
“Compared to New Zealand, we don’t race so late in the day with a long break in between, so it was quite different getting used to that and having to warm up again for the second race. Luckily I got a pretty good start again and I tried to hold my position for most of the moto but a few guys got past and we swapped places.”
The modest New Zealander was relieved after the first round, saying “That was sort of where I want to be and it was a good start to the series. It was good to get the first round out of the way and we will go back home for two more weeks of training and then come back here and move up a couple of positions.”
An additional solid overall result at the next round may see Benjamin prolong his 2017 MX Nationals effort, saying “Now that I know the schedule and have done a round, there won’t be as many nerves next time and I’ll know what to expect. I like Appin, it’s similar to a few of our tracks back home. I love motocross and I’m passionate about racing so hopefully we can race the entire series if my results at Appin are good enough.”
Benjamin’s father, Ray Broad said, “I am really pleased with Ben’s performance and we did the best we could here today so if he keeps it up at Appin, we will aim to do a few more rounds. I can’t thank Kawasaki enough because they have gone above and beyond with all of their support.”
Benjamin will now head home to New Zealand and continue to prepare himself while working casually at a motorcycle workshop to fund his training efforts in the lead up to round 2 of the 2017 MX Nationals in Appin NSW on 23rd April.