He is just over four years away from getting his learners’ permit, but Year 6 student Josh Schiller is already making a mark on the South Australian motorcycle racing scene.
Josh, 11, has secured one of only 10 places in the 2023 Yamaha bLU cRU SA Junior Cup road racing team – and is its youngest member.
He only started in the sport in January this year, after attending a track day in Mount Gambier, although he has been riding dirt bikes recreationally for years.
“I had to go out there and I had to borrow a bike. I tried out for the first time and I enjoyed it,” Josh said of the Mount Gambier track day.
“One of the coaches there, he endorsed me to race a 150 (a Yamaha R15 V2 150cc race bike). And then we tried out for the bLU cRU and I got in. I am the youngest member of the team by a couple of months, which is good because I have more time to improve.”
As part of the bLU cRU team, Josh has access to a race bike as well as all the safety gear. He loved the fun and freedom of motorcycle racing.
“You can chill out and get outside and get some fresh air and I like that,” he said. “It’s a little bit daunting, but it’s more fun than scary.”
Based on the year’s performances, Josh has the opportunity to win a place on the national team.
“You go and do six rounds around SA and whoever is fastest, but also kind, respectful and good in interviews, will get a free pass to the national level,” he said. “But I think this year, I just want to get into the swing of it, keep up with the guys who have been racing for a season already and then next year that will be one of my goals.”
Josh – who also plays tennis, lacrosse and guitar and is part of Blackfriars’ choir – can see a long-term future in the sport.
“I think I would like to consider maybe doing the Australian Superbikes or Moto3 or something, that might be something I’d look forward to. But if it doesn’t happen, so be it.”
Josh’s mum, Stacey Kovac, described the bLU cRU selection as an “honour and a privilege”.