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AMCN Revolving Racer – Brayden Elliott | Columns | Gassit Garage

I came to the UK two years ago as an Australian champion and with the best wishes of some of our greatest riders; Troy Bayliss, Jason Crump, Chris Vermeulen and Shawn Giles.

Now, just one round into this year’s British Superbike Championship my contract with Mission Racing has been terminated immediately. This happened after what the team described as “its hardest weekend in 12 years of motorsport”.

Something had to give and so now I sit here, at 2am, writing apologies to my sponsors and fans for the lack of updates since Easter and announcing I won’t be at the second round at Brands Hatch.

I’m not the first rider this has happened to and I won’t be the last. 

It’s time for me to put into perspective the efforts I made to get 2018 to work, the sacrifices and commitments but also the lifetime my family and I have dedicated to this sport. I came to the UK with realistic goals and the motivation to do everything in my power to make 2018 my year of success. But right now we are facing a huge loss of investment, no bike, no infrastructure and no team to do what I came here to do.

As a racer, all of those things aren’t what hurts the most; it’s watching other riders be at the rounds knowing you can’t be on track because of things out of your control. Of course, I’m not saying a successful life of racing doesn’t exist or that young riders shouldn’t go overseas. We have all seen our heroes make it to the top. If I didn’t think this success
could exist I wouldn’t still be here – I would be on a flight back to Australia.

Thing is, I still believe I can do it, that 2018 isn’t a write-off, that the motivation and determination I arrived with is burning brighter and fiercer than ever.

My point in writing this is that other riders with the same ambition need to know it’s not always perfect and there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes that no one usually wants to know about until it shows in your results.

I’ve learnt the hard way that not too many people have your best interests at heart overseas so do your research, and have a good understanding of the situation before you commit to a binding contract. Make sure you will be getting the bike, the mechanics, the test schedule, and the critical performance parts essential to your success. BSB is the world’s toughest domestic championship so you need to be fully aware of the pitfalls, but it is the proving ground for future world championship riders.

I’ll be the first to admit that us international racers appear to have a magical lifestyle. Using the various social media platforms, we try to make things look perfect and often only present the rock-star lifestyle everyone wants. It’s true that I have felt highs racing bikes that can’t be matched by anything else and I have felt on top of the world in this sport.

In hindsight, I was naive to think that once I got myself overseas I’d finally be one of the riders living the dream. But at the time I was an Australian champion who had qualified third in the first round of the championship in 2017, so started on the front row for my first race in the BSB championship. I could take on the world … right?

I know young riders back home or elsewhere look up to competitors like me as an example of the perfect life of an international racer. But if this little story can stop another rider from ending up in my current position, then a positive can be taken from it.

At this stage I don’t know if it will be Round 3, or even what I’ll be riding, but one thing is certain: I will be back. I will keep fighting and I won’t let events that are out of my control stop me from chasing my dream and achieving what I came here to do.