Motorcycle Apprentice Racing to Success

Each year at the end of January, the southern hemisphere’s largest historic motorcycle meet, the International Island Classic, is held at Philip Island. The event features motorcycles that span a century, from pre-war through to the new era of modern machines. The headline event is the ‘International Challenge’ which includes teams from Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom, who battle it out for glory. This three-day event is a motorcycle-lovers paradise, and one which second year MTA Institute motorcycle mechanical apprentice Kye Van Es, was lucky enough to attend.

Invited by the Yamaha Racing Team, Kye attended the 27th International Island Classic from 24-26th January saying, “You get an opportunity like that, you don’t pass it up.”

The Yamaha Racing Team has a long history in road racing and is the flagship team for Yamaha Motor Australia. The team is known for its polished presentation and immaculately prepared Yamaha R1s and Kye was very keen to get up close to the all the action.

“I’d previously done some work with the Yamaha Racing Team’s Head Mechanic and his father, so I came to mind when they were looking for people to join them for the weekend,” said Kye. “I was really keen to get involved. It’s a hell of an opportunity to get a foot in the door and I’m very lucky to have been considered.”

Although only 21 and two years into his apprenticeship, Kye shows a level of maturity and professional drive that marks him as someone who is going to achieve big things in the motorcycle industry.

“Working in the racing industry is something that I absolutely aspire to do.

“I want to enjoy my job and working with motorcycles is something that I love… but working with the top of the line motorcycles is a whole different world and simply put, you’re working with the best of the best. Learning from experts and working on supreme bikes is an incredible experience, especially for someone as young me.

“I helped everywhere I could and just being amongst the atmosphere, you learn so much and even at my level you need to be really quick whether you’re changing tyres, cleaning the bikes or checking suspension. There’s definitely pressure, but to get experience working under pressure in such an environment was awesome.”

Kye’s work ethic and attitude is something that comes across in his apprenticeship and Terry Palfrey, Kye’s trainer has no doubt that the opportunity was well deserved.

“Kye currently works at Recovery Motorcycles and Repairs in Maryborough and it’s obvious when training him that he’s got the passion and the right attitude to succeed. This has been a fantastic opportunity for him, and I’m absolutely thrilled he got to experience it,” said Terry.

“I’m so appreciative,” said Kye. “The opportunity was incredible, and I will be first in line if the opportunity to work with them presents itself again. If there’s someone thinking about doing the same thing, I’d highly recommend it. In just three days I came away with a wealth of knowledge and I just want to express how thankful I am to the Yamaha Racing team for giving me the opportunity.”

Source: Motor Trader E-magazine (June 2020)

21 May 2020