Tinonee's Hayden Nelson will take a six point lead into the second round of the Australian Supermoto Championship to be contested at The Bend in South Australia next month.
This follows his win in the opening round held at Port Macquarie. Hayden is the Manning River Times-Iguana Sportstar of the Week, earning a $50 open order at Iguana.
The 12-year-old Taree Motorcycle Club member was contesting the discipline for the first time. Supermoto has been described as a mixture of road racing, motocross and dirt track. It is promoted by former Taree resident Damian Cudlin.
Hayden is in the junior lite class for riders aged under 13 on 85cc bikes.
Three races were contested over two days, with Hayden winning two and finishing fifth in the other. He did so after gaining pole position following qualifying.
The races consisted of eight laps of a 1.1km track that was 75 per cent bitumen and 25 per cent dirt. There were 13 riders in his class.
Hayden said all races were hard fought affairs. Hayden took honours in the opening event, however, the second, held the following morning, was conducted on a wet track following rain.
"It was a big learning curve,'' Hayden explained.
He admits he went into the second race with the wrong tyres and he came to grief late in the race when in the lead. However, he hopped back onto his bike and worked his way into fifth.
Hayden then prevailed in the third race by the closest of margins.
Now he'll set his sights on the second round next month. Fortuitously, it will be held much the same time as the Australian Junior Dirt Championships in South Australia.
"We were going there anyway, so it's worked out well,'' Hayden explained.
The supermoto will be decided over three rounds, however, the venue for the third has yet to be announced. Initially the first round was to be held at Toowoomba but was switched to Port Macquarie because of council concerns about noise.
Hayden started riding competitively when he was four with the Taree club.
He's won two Australian titles and another at NSW level. Hayden will be riding in the 85cc big and little wheel classes this year in State and national championships around the country. This will include the NSW junior dirt track titles at the Old Bar Roadside Circuit, where he hopes local knowledge will help his chances.
He's eventually hoping to put his name forward to selection in the Asian Cup, which is considered a pathway for world championships, although he said that won't be for another couple of years.