REVOLVING RACER- LEVI DAY | Columns | Gassit Garage
I broke my back in two places and suffered a grade 4 liver laceration
‘I want to be a motorbike racer’. My answer to a question I was asked as a schoolboy growing up in South Australia. I was reminded of this when I was back home over summer and visited my high school to give a presentation about life after studies, and it took me back to just how young I was when I had made up my mind.
My Dad, Robert was a big influence on my decision. He raced his TA125 and CB72 350 at classic meets around Australia and I just thought that was the coolest thing ever. He and his mates would just talk about bikes, fix bikes, and race bikes. I remember going to McNamara (Mac) Park, our local track in Mount Gambier, regularly and even had birthday parties out there where I’d ride BMX bikes with good friend Jack Wright (now classic Australian champion on 500’s) through the old quarry and then settle in to watch our Dads’ race.
There was no junior road racing in my area when I was younger, so I took to BMX from the age of 4 until 11. I also did MX for a year to learn more about riding a motorbike before getting a Honda RS 125 at 15. My family and I didn’t have this goal that I was going to ‘make it’, or in fact ever think I would even race in the ASBK, we just enjoyed club racing and that’s where it all started from. I would watch Dave Johnson on his 125 at Mac Park in the early 2000’s, then later on the late Tim Inkster, and they were my hero’s. To me, if I could be anywhere near as fast as them, that would have been awesome! When I started getting a little better I started taking it more seriously, I wanted to do better, so I had to learn how. I’m happy to admit I’m not the most naturally talented rider out there, far from it, but I realised that to be good anything you have to practice. I soon worked out that if I thought about what I was doing a bit more, focused my attention on improving my ability, I could become better than I first thought. At 19, we decided that my obsession to progress would be pushed even further by the competitive level of talent from all over Australia, so we worked our way through 125’s and 600’s in the ASBK, with me and my Dad, just doing what we loved most. An avenue that I didn’t see my career taking is classic racing which I started competing in from the age of 20. Riding a Honda CB 350 and 500 for Jerry Kooistra and Ron Angel. This helped get my name out there in different circles and I must admit, have definitely been some highlights of my career with winning at the International Island Classic and a few Aussie titles.
For a ‘non professional rider’ I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to various countries and have had a great time riding bikes. I was lucky enough to be able to enter in to two 125GP wildcards at Phillip Island, 125 CEV in Jerez in Spain, travelled with Mick Grant to South Africa where I competed in the 600 class at Kyalami along with riding Frankie Chili’s 916 Ducati. I have raced at the prestigious Suzuka 8 hour in Japan, enjoyed riding at the Goodwood Revival, and now I’m in my fourth season of racing in the British Championship.
For 2016 I have now progressed through to British Supersport. In 2015 I was in the sub category called Supersport Evo. This was for slightly lower spec bikes, making it more cost effective for most teams. I was running 2nd in the championship until I broke my back in two places and suffered a grade 4 liver laceration at Brands Hatch in July, ruling me out with injury for the remainder of the season. They cancelled the Evo class this year, under the pretense that the financials involved would be less for all but the big budget teams are still able to take strides against the smaller teams and our CPE Motorsport Kawasaki is certainly punching above its weight. Nevertheless, we will work hard to fight and represent Australia in this fiercely competitive class. I’d like to give a big thanks to all my sponsors especially Cobra Precision Engineering, Henri Post Jewellers and Brenmar. You can follow all of my progress on www.leviday57.com