Features 28 Jun 2022

Profiled: Harrison Voight

International talent on rise from adversity to podium contention.

Well and truly on the ‘Road to MotoGP’, 16-year-old Harrison Voight has shown plenty of potential this season in both the FIM JuniorGP World Championship and the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup. The talented Australian continues to rise despite multiple setbacks and achieved a podium in the latest round of the Rookies Cup at Sachsenring. He features in our latest Profiled piece.

In 2021 Voight stepped up to the Moto3 Junior World Championship with SIC 58 Squadra Corse and graduated from the Idemistu Asia Talent Cup (ATC) to the Rookies Cup.

Unfortunately, Voight suffered a number of injuries throughout the year, including a broken collarbone during round two of the Moto3 Junior World Championship at Valencia, before later sustaining multiple breaks in his leg from an incident in round four at Portimao.

“Last year was pretty tough, suffering a broken femur, tibia and fibula,” Voight explained. “I was out for about two months, which put me out basically for the remaining rounds of the Red Bull Rookies and Moto3.

“In the off-season I got my collarbone fixed up and I just spent the whole time working on fitness and trying to ride a bike I much as I could. I didn’t really try to think too much about what has happened in the past – it’s in the past you can’t really change it.

“When I was injured, I had Jack Miller and all of those sorts of people kind of around me and giving me a bit of guidance, so for sure those types of people helped me mentally.”

Voight entered the 2022 season on a mission and notched a solid 4-4 scorecard to open his Rookies Cup charge at Portimao, narrowly missing the podium. He then competed in the first round of this year’s FIM JuniorGP World Championship at Estoril, showing great pace to qualify second and lead during the race.

Image: Supplied.

“We started off the season first with Red Bull Rookies and I got two fourth places, which were quite good, but I was a bit gutted because I was so close to the podium and I overtook Casey O’Goreman four times on the last lap and just missed out,” Voight added.

“After Red Bull, I was kind of on a more of a confidence roll, you could say. Adapting back to the Honda [Moto3 machine for the JuniorGP World Championship] is a bike that I like a lot and Estoril is a track I like as well.

“Both are two strengths that I like and I was able to go out in Estoril and put it on top for the practice sessions, and then I put it on second in qualifying, which was quite good because I very happy with the times I could do, as all of them were alone, compared to having to use a reference. That gave me a big confidence boost going into the race.”

The SIC58 Squadra Corse rider ultimately crashed out of the race in Estoril and was injured with a broken collarbone, requiring surgery.

“From the crash at Estoril I broke my collarbone and I was out for a couple of weeks as they re-plated it again,” he continued. “I came back for Catalunya [round three of the FIM Junior GP World Championship].

“It wasn’t easy… physically I felt fine, but I just struggled a little bit to adapt to the track I guess you could say, it was basically a new track for me. From those races, I felt like I could go forward, and I did, but it’s really good having such a great team such as the SIC 58 Squadra Corse, it feels like a family and everyone is so caring.”

In his return at Catalunya, Voight stormed to 6-8 finishes from 14th on the grid and received praise from team owner Paolo Simoncelli for his determination, bravery and comeback from injury. From there Voight, returned to KTM Moto3 machinery to compete in the fourth round of the 2022 Rookies Cup at Sachsenring and secured an impressive second in race one for his first podium in the series.

Image: Supplied.

“To be honest, the podium was not a surprise, but as well I kind of felt like I was lucky a little bit because at the start of the race I really struggled – I got a bad start and I thought okay I’d try and charge forward and make some positions, and I had so many moments,” he said. “I almost tucked the front and high-sided a few times.

“I was sitting around 10th, and I thought ‘I don’t know if I will be able to get on the podium today’. Then I realised halfway towards the end there they all kind of struggled a little bit with the tyres, and they were kind of checking up a little bit into the first corner.

“Then I thought, ‘these are the parts that I am quite strong in and if I can make a few passes then hopefully I can closer towards the front’. It was good timing when I made those passes and towards the end I was in the fight for the podium and I thought ‘well I’ve got to have a crack now’.”

Looking ahead, Voight has the goal of getting a wildcard in the Moto3 World Championship at some point throughout the 2022 MotoGP season and has multiple races left to contest in both the Rookies Cup and JuniorGP World Championship.

“My goal for this year was to get a wildcard,” confirmed Voight. “That has not been confirmed yet, I’m just not too worried about all of the age rules and stuff, just focused on what is ahead of me at the moment because I’m on a great confidence boost and I don’t want to stress about the age limits. That is not in my control. Just focused on what I am doing and just keep plugging away and hopefully it all goes well and we will see if I can get a wildcard.”