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2019 HANDLEBAR HEROES CHAMPION

What a night of speedway! The end result couldn't have been any better.


The journey from 2015 to 2019.


In 2015 for the first ever annual HANDLEBAR HEROES, I was racing motocross at National level and had never ridden a speedway bike. I was a starting marshall on the start gate and watched in awe as Jason Crump totally dominated the competition in his 'comeback' ride after retiring from Grand Prix speedway in 2012. Being on the infield was the closest place to the action and that's the night the speedway bug bit me and let the methanol/castor oil mixture enter my veins! Within a month, Crumpy was back in Rockhampton hosting a coaching day and I had my first ride on a skinny bike with no brakes. I thought I went OK. If you ask Jason, he'll say something along the lines of "these motocross riders have got no idea". The next month I'd bought my own bike and set the goal of racing the 2015 Queensland Championship at Rockhampton in December which was only a few months away. I was still competing in motocross but the transition to full time speedway was imminent.


Many local spectators will remember my first laps at the big, fast Showground circuit. It was certainly a hard transition for a motocross rider and it's about then I realised that no other form of motorcycle racing could prepare you for a speedway machine. They are completely different to everything else and it was time to start from scratch.

Fast forward to 2018 and I had been working with Crumpy regularly to try and take my racing to the next level. The 2018 HANDLEBAR HEROES was set to be a cracker and would be a battle between the master and the apprentice, not to mention the quality field of riders all gunning for glory. Crumpy dominated the first lap of the final that year as always, before Ryan Douglas and myself were able to sneak by the master and claim 1st and 2nd respectively.


In 2019 I was determined to go one better. I wanted to be the first local rider to claim the HANDLEBAR HEROES CHAMPION trophy. I wanted to be the first local to win in front of a strong Rockhampton grand stand crowd in over 15 years.


The scorecard looks perfect with a 7 ride, 21 point maximum but it certainly wasn't easy! The strong lineup of riders were all eager to show their wheels in front and the track conditions provided perfect racing and passing opportunities, making it an edge-of-the-seat, action packed night! On the fourth lap of the A Final I managed to cross the line in 1st place and the local crowd erupted into celebration like you wouldn't believe! I couldn't believe it either. To win in front of my friends, family, supporters and everyone who follows my racing was amazing! It's a night I'll remember for many years to come and I personally would like to thank everyone for cheering me on and all the messages of support.



Thank you #Z22

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©2020 by Zane Keleher.