Is this our next MotoGP champion?

13-year-old wins motoCHAMPION competition

Fresh-faced teenager James Weaver has been chosen by computer data to compete in the 2022 Oceania Junior Cup (OJC), the official Road to MotoGP series for young Aussie road racers.

The 13-year-old NSW Central Coast rider was chosen via a world-first method developed by motoDNA whose Digital Academy technology is used to analyse and coach riders.

MotoDNA motoCHAMPION James Weaver

Riders from around the nation were invited by motoDNA last year to compete in the first motoCHAMPION competition for the coveted prize of a $10,000 fully sponsored ride in the 2022 OJC.

MotoDNA boss Mark McVeigh says the Cup runs alongside the Australian Superbike Championship.

“If James wins the Oceania Junior Cup he gets placement to the Asia Talent Cup, the next step to MotoGP,” he says.

James is a passionate rider/racer competing from the age of five and would like to race at the highest level, like his idol and fellow central coast rider Casey Stoner.

At the age of 11, James was selected for the Oceania Junior Cup and competed in the support class to the World Superbike at Phillip Island.

He was only 12 when he won the junior North Coast Road Racing Series.

Now he is the world’s first rider to be chosen to race via a data-driven digital championship developed by motoDNA and sponsored by Bendix brakes.

James being followed by his coach

Aussie racers from 11 years old took part in the motoCHAMPION competition at racetracks and go-kart circuits around Australia using bike-mounted GoPro cameras. 

Data from the GoPros and sensors on the bike allowed motoDNA to use their unique propriety algorithms to measure a rider’s skill level, rather than their lap time.

It meant racers could compete against even though they were on different tracks. 

The motoDNA algorithms measure and grade the riders enabling leaderboards to be created for any riding skill such as throttle, braking and steering. 

Throughout the competition the leaderboard changed back and forth between James, Cameron Swain and Hudson Thompson with James winning by a whisker from Cameron, the 2021 bLU cRU Oceania Junior Cup Champ who is moving up a class for 2022. 

MotoDNA CEO Mark McVeigh says they have been supporting young Australian riders for more than 10 years and he wished James good luck in the 2022 OJC.

motoDNA Mark McVeigh Riders Briefing
Mark McVeigh at a motoDNA riders briefing

“Our team is also pleased with how our new digital platform performed technically,” he says. 

“If the riders all lined up to race each other at the same event they would finish in the same order. 

“That’s pretty cool and now positions motoDNA to expand to other series in Australia and overseas. We also learnt heaps, refining our algorithms performance and customer experience. “

The motoCHAMPION was launched in partnership with Motorcycling Australia, who develop riders through the bLU cRU Oceania Junior Cup (OJC) and the Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK). 

Motorcycling Australia CEO Peter Doyle says the OJC Academy is designed to open a pathway into junior road racing and, through its development academy format, lift our youngest motorcycling talent through national competition and set them on a path to international success. 

“Developing and facilitating our next generation of riders is a key focus for Motorcycling Australia,” he says. 

“We’re excited to be a part of motoCHAMPION in partnership with motoDNA which provides riders with an additional tool in their tool kit to further develop their riding technique and skills.” 

Apart from James’s sponsored place in the OJC, the next four motoCHAMPION riders will earn an automatic place in the bLU cRU Oceania Junior Cup selection event where they will have the chance to qualify for the 2022 season. 

The motoCHAMPION event is sponsored by Bendix which is now taking its stopping expertise to the two-wheeled category says company GM George Kyriakopoulos. 

Motorcycle riders will gradually see Bendix brake product become available for their bikes in the Australian market and also see an increased presence of the Bendix brand in the two-wheeled scene. 

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