News 13 Mar 2023

Paige, Dunker lead as MiniGP Australia Series commences

2023 season gets underway with round one in Port Melbourne.

Image: RbMotoLens – Rob Mott Photography.

A clean sweep from Jake Paige saw the youthful Queensland-based rider take the first 2023 FIM MiniGP Australia Series round win in the MiniGP 160cc category, as Cameron Dunker holds the early lead in the newly-introduced MiniGP 190cc class following the opening races in Port Melbourne.

In the MiniGP 160cc class – contested on Ohvale GP-0s between riders aged 10-14 years old – Paige launched from third on the grid to take the early lead and ultimately emerge on top at the conclusion of the first 16-lap bout, leading pole-setter Isaac Ayad by .999s as Rikki Henry completed the top three following a spirited charge from P7 on the grid.

Race two again saw Paige land on the top step, leading Henry by 4.044s come race-end, with Ayad in tow a further four-tenths adrift. In terms of the round results and championship standings, Paige leads on 50, with Henry awarded second on countback ahead of Ayad on 36.

Image: RbMotoLens – Rob Mott Photography.

The 190cc class – contested between riders aged 12-16 years old on Ohvale GP-2s – saw 2023 Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup (IATC) rider Levi Russo qualify on pole and lead throughout the first 14 laps of race one, only to be denied victory in the closing stages when an incident saw him crash out of contention, later remounting to finish eighth.

Amidst the drama, last year’s MiniGP 160cc champion Harrison Watts was able to claim the opening victory of the season, ultimately crossing the line 0.919s ahead of Dunker while Hudson Thompson completed the top three, 4.618s from the lead.

Race two proved decisive for the round win, with Dunker capturing a thrilling 0.115s victory ahead of Watts after the pair traded positions throughout the bout. The duo also went 1-2 for the overall, Dunker awarded the win on countback with 45 points, as another solid ride from Thompson secured him P3 in Port Melbourne courtesy of a 3-3 scorecard.

Of the support classes competing at round one, Paul Englezos won the overall in mini motard/grom and Matt Watkins stood tall in veterans. Meanwhile, Jai Russo was victorious in the Ohvale GP-2 (senior) class, as round two of the 2023 MiniGP Australia Series to take place between 20-21 May at Cameron Park, NSW.

Detailed results