News / Media
  • Home

Nauta and Paige brothers top Oceania Junior Cup qualifying at Phillip Island

By MA Media 0

Riley Nauta will be joined by siblings Jake and Bodie Paige on the front row of the grid for this weekend’s three bLU cRU Oceania Junior Cup races at the 2023 Guru by Gryfyn Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix.

Nauta was the big improver in this afternoon’s 20-minute qualifying session, improving 10 positions from his practice result as he extracted every ounce of horsepower out of his Yamaha YZF-R15 around the 4.448km Phillip Island circuit.

The outcome was record-setting, with his pole time of 2m09.9115sec a new best lap for the OJC class at Philip Island, as well as eclipsing the current lap record (2:09.581) held by New South Welshman Valentino Knezovic.

Knezovic (2:09.884) was fourth in qualifying behind Jake Paige (2:09.273) and runaway championship leader Bodie Paige (2:09.778), who has won five of the nine OJC races this year as part of the 2023 mi-bike Motorcycle Insurance Australian Superbike Championship, presented by Motul.

The second row for the three seven-lap races will be completed by Archie Schmidt (2:09.938) and Oscar Lewis (2:09.999), who was the last rider in the nine-second qualifying bracket by the barest of margins.

Bodie Paige leads the championship on 177pts ahead of Schmidt (150), who’s in a tight battle for second with Haydn Fordyce (149) and Nauta (148).

All 20 riders, coached by former 125 and 500 GP winner Garry McCoy, qualified, with the opening two races to be held at 12:15pm and 4:45pm (both AEDT) tomorrow, followed by race three at 9:00am on Sunday. Nauta’s the slight favourite thanks to his qualifying deeds, but the races are all likely to boil down to last-lap slipstreaming battles along Gardner Straight.

For full results across the weekend, click HERE.

The 2023 OJC riders have already enjoyed a packed off-track schedule at the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix, including meeting Fabio Quartararo during a Yamaha factory pit tour and taking centre stage at a trackside fan forum.

Want to join the 2024 bLU cRU Oceania Cup grid?
A reminder that expressions of interest to compete in the 2024 bLU cRU Oceania Junior Cup close on October 26, 2023. For more information and to submit an expression of interest, click HERE.