Young riders on track at Troy Bayliss Classic


THE Riverina contingent that headed to the Troy Bayliss Classic in Taree on Saturday has returned - and their heads are still spinning.

A record crowd of more than 6000 people were on hand for what is fast becoming one of the largest annual dirt track events in Australia.

Griffith's Brandon Burns and Garry Lorenzi, as well as Leeton youngster Kruze Brady, were fortunate enough to soak up the atmosphere as they rubbed shoulders with some of the biggest names in the sport.

Burns had the best finish of the locals, running fourth in a field of 10 for his 7-under 9s KTM 65cc race.

Lorenzi was 10th in the invitation-only evolution class event and Brady came 10th of 24 in the 9-under 13s KTM 85cc division.

"For the texture of the track, he took it all in his stride and handled it well," Brandon's mum Michelle said.

"It was extremely slippery and oily out there but we were very proud.

"They were all really just lucky to have time to talk to their idols, get autographs and a bit of advice from some of the legends of dirt track racing."

Even old hand Lorenzi was taken aback by the magnitude of the event, which attracted international stars such as Japanese YouTube sensation Masatoshi Ohmori and the likes of decorated Australian veterans Paul Caslick, David Armstrong and Vaughan Style.

"It was a pretty mad sort of event and very big," he said.

"I was middle of the field but it was a fantastic experience.

"The competition was huge and Taree was just buzzing.

"It was good to see the kids there. 

"To be able to ride in an event like that is huge in itself.

"Whether they want to stick with dirt track or go to road racing, it seems to be that a lot of the faster people that have succeeded in road racing come off dirt tracks."

Wayne Lorenzi was in line to race on Saturday but was forced to withdraw the day prior due to the recurrence of a nagging injury, instead serving as a mechanic for Garry in Taree.

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