News 10 Jul 2017

KTM RC 390 riders in the thick of a classic 300 stoush at Hidden Valley

KTM Australia press release:

When KTM RC390 rider Billy Van Eerde described the weekend’s fourth round of the Hi-Tec Batteries Australian Supersport Over–300 Cup it was with concise enthusiasm; “like a mini version of Moto3 – it was sick!”

Fifteen-year-old Van Eerde and his KTM team mate Max Croker were in the thick of some of the toughest battles of the series as it turned to Darwin’s Hidden Valley circuit, and despite the scorching conditions, both came away with solid points hauls.

Van Eerde was highest placed of the KTM pair with 4, 4, 7 results from the three races, finishing the day fourth overall.

Croker took a brilliant podium in the first outing on his way to 3, 5, 10 results for sixth on the day, but shared a conspicuously high third race result like his team mate, and for the same reason.

Both riders were forced off track and onto the grass by another rider’s out-braking technique, on subsequent laps, putting paid to both their podium hopes.

The round win went to Tom Edwards, Jack Mahaffy and Tom Bramich.

Van Eerde now holds fourth in the Hi-Tec Batteries Australian Supersport Over–300cc championship, with Croker 11th and Brook 14th.

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Billy Van Eerde – KTM RC 390: “Darwin was good. It’s an awesome track to race on, there are a few sketchy corners but the rest of the track is awesome. Fast and flowing, with a bit of everything.

The battles were crazy, I could go from sixth to first on the straight one lap, and then first to fourth on another lap. It was pretty awesome. It was like a mini version of Moto3 – it was sick!

When it’s like that the lap times don’t matter much, because in the group you can get baulked anywhere. I just go for whatever position I can get and try and get up there.

It was a shame in the last race, because I’d just got into second and another rider cut over the top of my front wheel, which caused me to stand up and go onto the grass. I lost so many positions. He also did it to Max the next lap, and Reid Batty the next lap, so he got penalised.

It’s so good to be back on the RC 390. I love it. I just like the speed of road racing, and the battles are a heap of fun. Like in dirt track you’ll have a battle of two riders sometimes, but on the 390, it’s like eight guys – it’s awesome!”

Max Croker – KTM RC 390: “In race one we got a podium, but race two a few riders had a few moments in front of me, so I wasn’t able to close the gap back down. Race three saw all the carnage. I was battling for the lead and got taken off the track at 200kph onto the grass in turn one!

It was very, very hot here. The track temperature was as hot as I’ve ever ridden on, and it got up to about 50 degrees at one stage so it was pretty hard to keep the grip in the tyres – they were squirming everywhere. Other than that, it’s a very nice track to ride.

The bike definitely felt strong – we felt strong. I definitely think we could have won it. It’s just unfortunate that there were a couple of mishaps, but it was a fantastic weekend.”