Knowles wins Australian Championship
15 year old Geraldton resident Declan Knowles took out the 250cc Speedway Championship last month with what was described as a "dominating display."
He now has his sights set on the world championships in Europe later this year.
According to Gillman Media, "Knowles had to come through the hard way after a big crash in his fourth ride."
Following the crash he had to repair his bike with gaffer tape, which held together long enough to make it over the finish line.
Declan also had a stroke of luck when the race favourite, Matt Gilmore, fell early in the race.
Declan Knowles is the first W.A rider to ever win this event.
In speedway solo racing motorcycles use only one gear and have no brakes. Racing takes place on a flat oval dirt track. Competitors use this surface to slide their machines sideways, powersliding into the corners. On larger tracks the bikes can reach up to 110km/h. 4-6 riders compete in each heat over 4 laps in an anticlockwise direction.
Here's a short video of Declan's winning final.
Background and the future
Declan Knowles is a talented 15 year old Solo rider from Geraldton W.A who is in his 5th season of racing this year. He is the current 250cc Australian Champion and the only Western Australian to ever hold the title. He has his sights set high on this year's World Title.
Declan began his riding career on a 125cc junior bike and rode competitively at Pinjar Park on the 125cc in Perth for 3 seasons. During this time he had great success including runner up W.A State title, club championships and the Chum Taylor Foundation Cup.
From there Declan stepped up a level to the 250cc class. In his first year in this division he once again excelled, winning the W.A State Title, Fairest and Best and Club Championships. He competed in his first Australian Title on the 250cc in 2014 coming in 7th. At the 2015 Australian Title he improved on that coming in 5th which earnt him a place in the 2015 FIM World Youth Cup in France. Unfortunately he was not able to attend that event due to financial hardship.
It was then decided that Declan should begin competing at a higher level again to improve his skill and gain more experience on other tracks, competing against other top level riders around the country. His parents put a massive amount of effort into sending Declan to various tracks and events in the eastern states which was difficult financially for the family, but a necessary step towards his goal and dream of riding overseas for Australia. It was an effort that has paid off greatly with Declan having various successful rides in State titles and events across the country and then winning the Australian 250cc Title. This win has earnt him a place to compete at he 2016 FIM World title in Germany in July this year where he has a chance at becoming World Champion 250cc.