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Racer of the week- Corey Briffa | Columns | Gassit Garage

Glory ahead for Corey

I live on 40 acres in Howes Valley in NSW and started riding motocross and dirt track on my Pee Wee 50 when I was three years old. My dad built a motocross track and a flat track on our property so I could practice before and after school, and this has been a big help in preparing for competition. It’s led to many podium places in dirt track, as well as the long track Australian and NSW titles, but after a couple of years the expense, and effort of changing all the bike settings over each weekend for dirt track and motocross became too much for my parents, so I had to make a choice between the two disciplines. I chose to continue competing in motocross fulltime which proved to be a good choice as I went on to win lots of trophies and finish second in the NSW titles which in turn paved the way for me to be selected to be part of the NSW motocross team.

I’d been racing every weekend for around two years in 2013 when I decided to take 12 months off to concentrate on my schooling. Around this time my dad got himself a road bike and one day my mum and I were following him in the car and I thought that looks like a lot of fun. When I asked my dad could if I try road racing he bought me a Yamaha 150 and we quickly headed off to the go kart track for my first taste of roadracing. I ended up winning all my races that weekend and absolutely loved it – I knew straight away that I wanted to keep racing on the tar. After one year of riding on bitumen I applied to try out for the Asia Talent Cup in Malaysia. My whole family came along to support me but I didn’t make it past the first round and quickly realized that this competition was going to be harder than I initially thought. After that, we sat down as a family and decided it was all or nothing. I knew there were tryouts for the Asia Dream Cup in a year’s time so we got a personal trainer to help with my fitness and diet, and also we had meetings with my school principal and teachers about the road ahead. Everyone was really supportive – I’d take my grilled chicken and brown rice to school and the teachers would heat it up for me in their office!

Last year I submitted my resume for the tryouts at the Asia Dream cup and was accepted to do a two-day test in Malaysia at the Johor Bahru circuit. It was the most pressure I have ever felt as the other Asian riders are extremely fast and it was the first time I had ridden on a full size grand prix track. We experienced temperatures above 40 degrees celsius during the tryout but I said to myself, “This is my ride. I have worked so hard for it I’m not going home again”. As the two days progressed you had to keep setting faster lap times to keep going through, and I was so relieved and excited when I was selected as only two riders were picked to join the existing team from last year.

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Since I made it into the team I have finished 13th and 12th in Johor, crashed out while in 4th place at Thailand then got a 10th. In Japan at Suzuka for the 2-hour endurance race it was torrential rain and I have never ridden in the wet before so this was both exciting and scary. I was team mates with an Indian rider and even though I crashed out on the 23rd lap we managed to finish 5th overall.

I would like to thank Honda Japan for giving me this opportunity and everyone at the Asia Dream Cup. My school principal Darren Cox from St Phillips Christian College in Cessnock, East Coast Supplement’s, and New West. At this stage we’re looking for sponsors and a riding coach so I can continue to compete and pursue a career in motorcycle road racing.

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Nung Maesot photography