These Junior Nationals sounded pretty darn tough, but there were a few riders that really shone through. One was a regular student of mine who proved once again why he deserves to join the Junior World Academy that he missed out on. His name is Ben Wall, possibly the most consistent young rider at the top end of his circuit.
Hailing from the back country outside of Ashburton, Ben and his father have proven their commitment by setting up a van and bike in the north island for regular coaching and the competition that we have up here. It has served him very well- with the results to prove it.
Fluke? I Don’t Think So
Second overall at the Junior Nationals last month was only the tip of the iceberg. What few people might realize is that he backs that up as the winner of last years NZ Supercross Championship. He also won the Mercer Sand Prix, along with getting second at Summercross. His lowest result was fourth at Woodville- which is nothing to be sniffed at either.
All of this from someone who first met me to basically learn how to ride a bike just four years ago. His improvement was very rapid and I remember well the second time I coached him; this little rocketship aboard his KX65. He is very fast, but what impresses me the most is how he gets those results.
He doesn’t get the holeshot often, but is always pretty close to the pointy end around the first turn. His times are in the range of 2nd to fifth at all the big events, yet he manages to get 2nd overall. It has happened too many times to be a fluke, so I would put him down as the Ryan Dungey of the Junior ranks right now with a bright future ahead. Dungey didn’t start out right on the very top either, but his consistency was always there. It was the unstoppable drive that Ben might also possess that got him to the top.
He is now stepping up to the 125cc class, with a CRF250R soon to appear in the shed. With the Junior Worlds happening in April there is a giant carrot pulling him on, so make sure you keep an eye on this young man. I am pretty confident that he will surprise you.