It is important to understand the motorsport culture in Italy before you can appreciate what Callum O’Brien achieved.
Racing is not a hobby in Italy, it is both passion and obsession.
Anything that can be raced gets given 100% commitment from those involved.
The action on track is world level and so is the support in the paddock.
What would seem like MotoGP technology to us, is the norm for teams in the CIV Championship as Callum was about to find out.
After spending the weekend with fellow Aussie racer Matt Price and his team (KRT) at the Misano World Circuit, it was clear to Callum and his father Stephen this was the place to be.
Due to a licencing issue that was not discovered until the day before Cullum’s test, he was not able to ride the Misano World Circuit on Monday morning.
What seemed like a massive blow turned out to be one of the best learning experiences possible for the young rider.
The King Racing Team (KRT) took no time to act on this dilemma and hired Adria International Raceway, a track further north for Callum to test SK Racings World Supersport300 machine.
He would spend an entire day on track with only one other rider who helped Callum with race lines and on track information to get him up to speed as quickly as possible.
With on track help, 2 mechanics to prepare the bike, a data acquisition engineer, his coach and family support, there could not be a more perfect situation for Callum to shine.
And shine he did….
The team discussed with Callum’s coach what was expected of the rider. Not just lap times but how he rode the bike.
As Callum discovered, mistakes no matter how small can’t be hidden from all the data collecting sensors and keen eyes on track.
Every time Callum returned to the pits, his coach and data engineer had something for him try based on what they saw on track and electronically.
Even though Callum took to the new circuit like a duck to water, every improvement he could make would help lower his lap time to what the team were chasing.
After nearly 3 hours of riding in 36-degree heat with short breaks to rehydrate and eat, Callum achieved the target set by the team.
“We are happy with Callum’s lap time and even more so with his control input. These were impressive and a great base to work from to develop the young rider” Alex Scaglioni (Data Engineer)
After the successful test, KRT (King Racing Team) discussed the many options available to Callum with his father Stephen.
“There are multiple championships Callum could ride in to pursue his racing career and we look forward to working with him if he chooses to race in Italy.” Alex
With so many options on offer to Callum in Italy and here in Australia, it will be interesting what he chooses to do in the future.
No matter what his decision, not many 15-year olds get an opportunity like this.
“Here at Motorcycling WA we love being able to offer our outstanding participants from JET CAMP these types of opportunities but without the huge contribution from BanhamsWA Plumbing, Gas and Fire Services we could not make it a reality” Mark Gill (Project Officer)
Now with all these options for Callum to consider, it will be interesting to see what his plans are for 2018.
For more information and photos from the test, follow him on his Facebook page to see if he could be the next rider from Perth competing in Italy.
Callum O Brien Road Racing
BanhamsWA Plumbing, Gas and Fire Services