The event itself will be held from 1st to 6th July, however the talented 2015 Australian Track and Junior Dirt Track Champion will land on United States soil a month earlier in an effort to ready himself for the prestigious four round event.
Max will subject his KX450F racing motorcycles to the Mile Dirt Track, Half Mile, TT and Short Track events, with the goal of becoming the highest scorer over the four rounds which would ultimately grant him the AMA number 1 plate.
Competing in the AMA Grand National Championship will be Max’s first ever competition abroad and the allure of an international championship was strong for Max who has already reached the pinnacle of racing in Australia at a junior level in recent years.
Max receives copious amounts of support and inspiration from his father, Brett Whale who owned and managed a successful Kawasaki dealership in Australia for a number of years and managed the Australian Kawasaki factory motocross racing team from 2007 to 2009. Brett explained, “Max has been dominant over here for the last couple of years and we really want to gauge ourselves against the Americans, as they are amongst the best in the world given their Flat and Dirt Track racing history. In the Grand National Championship Max will be racing against men on a Kawasaki KX450F, where he has to be 16 years old to do that in Australia, so he has been racing here as a junior.”
“Predominately for many years, the junior who gets the number 1 AMA plate at the event has gone on to receive a factory ride,” commented Brett.
Max will be campaigning two Kawasaki KX450F motorcycles. An unmodified 2016 KX450F will be acquired locally in the United States and the other will be a modified 2008 KX450F, provided by Henry Wiles (17).
“Henry Wiles has been long term Kawasaki rider who is in the position to be lending us a spare racing motorcycle. Max and I met the Kawasaki clad warrior and developed a relationship with him at the Troy Bayliss Classic events over the years where he has competed here as an international rider,” said Brett.
Max Whale competing at 2016 Australian Junior Track Championship, Photo credit: Stephen Hope.
In the four weeks leading up to the 2014 AMA Grand National Championship, Max will be training with the highly acclaimed Bryan Smith (#42).
“Bryan is a factory rider and he is a real character. Max turned 15 last week so he got onto social media and contacted Bryan. Sure enough the next day Bryan told Max to come over to Michigan and do some riding with him, so Max will be doing some practicing with Brian Smith and he is so excited that he can’t even sleep!”
Practicing with Bryan in the United States won’t be the first time for Max to be saddling up on a KX450F. The 14 year old Queenslander recently mounted a KX450F at the Macarthur Motorcycle Club (Appin) in preparation for the upcoming venture.
“Two days of practice at the Appin track allowed Max to train on a KX450F. It was a lot of driving to get there from Queensland but we are determined and it’s just about the only place Max can train on his KX450F due to their unique regulations,” Brett commented.
Max Whale is unmistakably thrilled at the prospects and adventures that lie ahead saying, “I’m just so excited that I’m struggling to sleep. All I can do it think about this amazing opportunity and I’ve just been counting down the days.”
To find out more about Max Whale of the KX Junior Squad, visit his rider profile by clicking HERE and follow the #KXJuniorSquad hash tag.