Possibly one of the best motorcycling exports to come out of New Zealand this season, Rangiora’s national champion Jake Lewis is now opening eyes and turning heads in the United Kingdom and beyond.
The 17-year-old Yamaha ace has spent time recently at Snetterton Park in the UK, racing at the British Superbike Championships round there and making useful contacts as he seeks out opportunities to race in the future in a full season of the British Superbike Championships.
Lewis has a test last week at Mallory Park, trying out for team GR Motorsport.
After meeting and working with Lewis last weekend, GR Motorsport team owner Brent Gladwin then offered the young Kiwi a full day test on one of their bikes.
“I am really excited about the opportunity to test for GR Motorsport,” said Lewis.
“Just watching the racing here in the weekend you can’t help but want to get out there and give it your best shot.
“I have to give a special thanks to Johnny Hepburn from Timaru Metal Recyclers for the contact with team owner Brent Gladwin.
“I will make the most of this opportunity,” said Lewis.
Lewis raced a Yamaha R6 to win the 600 superstock crown when the New Zealand Superbike Championships wrapped up with the fifth and final round in Taupo in March.
That made it two national road-race titles in consecutive seasons after he had picked up the New Zealand 125GP title last year.
Meanwhile, Lewis races at Misano, near San Marino, on the east coast of in Italy, this weekend at round three of the European Junior Cup.
The European Junior Cup competition was conceived to allow talented young riders the opportunity to develop their skills on some of the most legendary racing circuits as an official support series to the World Superbike Championship.
The teenage racers – aged 14 to 19 – compete on completely identical race-prepared 690cc motorcycles, ensuring equal competition and allowing the most promising riders to shine as they begin their international racing careers.
The ultimate goal for the championship is to provide a clear career path of European Junior Cup, then graduating into the Superstock championships, and for the most talented young riders, ultimately a career in the World Supersport or World Superbike championships.
In order to allow riders from all over the world to compete at an affordable cost the organiser’s arrange the transportation of the motorcycles and paddock equipment to the circuit and provide workstations, hospitality facilities, a technical support area plus all spares and consumables within a dedicated EJC paddock village.
The series features a comprehensive coaching programme under the guidance of Kiwi Zealand’s former World Superbike racer Simon Crafar.
This includes on-track observation and debriefs, classroom lessons on riding techniques, briefings on race and qualifying strategies plus practical advice on machine set-up. The programme also features guest lectures from top World Superbike and Supersport racers who offer advice on establishing a career in international level racing.
Regardless of the outcome at Misano, the future is starting to look very bright indeed for the intrepid Kiwi fighter.
© Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com