Motorsport: Luka sticks with his winning gloves

By Shane Hurndell


A huge grin enveloped the face of Hawke's Bay motocross rider Luka Freemantle when asked what the secrets to his successes are.

"Put it down to my black and white gloves.

"They're Hawke's Bay colours and while they are too small I still like to wear them," Luka replied.

Considering what Arthur Miller School nine-year-old Luka has achieved since taking out the 6-8 years 50cc Grand Prix title at Woodville back in February it's easy to gauge why he hasn't given his "lucky gloves" the flick.

The KTM rider who recently moved up to the 65cc 9-11 years ranks won the North Island championship, the Wellington championship, the Taupo Winter Series and the Hawke's Bay Magic Series.

Despite riding his 50cc bike he won the first round of the Hawke's Bay championships in the 65cc class recently and will be aiming to take out the second round at Patoka on Sunday in his first taste of competition on the bigger bike.

"It's a lot faster and has six gears. It's a huge jump up from what I'm used to," Luka explained.

At the June North Island champs in Huntly Luka recorded two second placings and a first. He had to win the last race to capture the title and he pipped his closest rival on the line.

At the Wellington championships he finished with two seconds and two firsts and again had to win the last race to secure the title, which he did.

"I seem to go pretty well under pressure," Luke said as he revealed another of his secrets.

To win the six-round Taupo Winter Series Luka had to finish in the top five in his last three races to win the title.

"I followed Dad's orders and it worked," Luka said referring to his father and coach Ricki.

He was one of three Hawke's Bay title winners in the Taupo series. Jacob Beal and Shannon Blake were the others.

Luka won all 18 races to take out his class in the six-round Hawke's Bay Magic Series.

"Plenty of lollies and energy drinks on race day is another of my secrets ... oh, and creamed rice for breakfast as well as olives," Luke said referring to his "favourite fuel".

"I like listening to Green Day - they are an American punk rock band - on the way to events, too. It gets me going.

"On the nights before racing I think about all the tips I get from Dad and other riders at our Hawke's Bay club," Luka said.

In December he will tackle the Summer Cross event in Whakatane and if he does well there the Foot Engineering, Bike Worx and Northern Accessories Auckland-sponsored Luka will race at Woodville again in February.

Because he is in a new class Luka will aim for a top-10 finish in next year's Taupo series.

In addition to his motocross commitments in the winter Luka also played eighth-grade rugby for Taradale.

Today he was to start gymnastics at the Omni Gym to help with his flexibility and fitness for motocross.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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