ZAC Zanesco is gearing up for the biggest jump yet in his short but successful motorcycling career.
The 16-year-old is about to graduate from the junior ranks and compete in his first ever senior tournament next weekend in Broadford, Victoria on a new 450cc bike.
Then the former Griffith junior sportsperson of the year is off to the iconic Woodlands Speedway in Temora for the Australian Classic Championships early next month.
Zanesco has been lent a powerful Yamaha 650cc for the occasion and says he is more than ready for what shapes as a big few weeks in his burgeoning career.
“I’ve been given a ride on Rod Watts’ bike, and I’d like to really thank him for that,” he said.
“It’s huge. It’s the most powerful bike I’ve ever ridden. I gave it a test last week and I didn’t go too bad.
“There’s a few things that I’ve got to practice but I love the power of it. It’s an awesome bike to ride, and pretty smooth.
“I was cautious for the first few laps but after that you start winding on the power. I wasn’t too scared of it.”
Nor is he scared of the increased level of competition in the seniors.
“The age groups change – once you turn 16 you’re racing against blokes of all ages,” he said.
“I’m really looking forward to that – it’s going to close, tight racing but it should be good.
“I’ll just go out there and do my best. If a good result comes I’ll be very happy. If it doesn’t I’ll just need more practice.
“Right now all I want to do is win as many Australian championships as I can and maybe ride overseas for a little bit, if anything, after that.”
Zanesco is coming off a good run at the Australian Junior Dirt Track titles, which were held in West Wyalong in July.
He came away with a third-placed finish in the 250cc class and ended up fourth in the 125cc.
His father, Laurie, said motorcycling has long been his passion.
“He’s just got himself an apprenticeship fixing bikes, which starts next year, and that’s good too,” he said,
“He gets to test-ride them, helps build them – that’s right up his alley.
“He lives for it.”