Tom Drane update

0
209

Tom Drane, the young Superbike champion partially sponsored by CSS, has been able to compete overseas for the first time in a year in March when he flew to Doha, Qatar, to represent Australia in the Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup for Round 1 and 2. He was on a plane less than 24 hours after competing in the Australian Superbike championships at Winton Victoria, where he had finished with multiple podium finishes. He came third overall in the 300 Supersport and sixth for the round in the R3 Cup after having a crash in the last race.

Tom, now 15-years-old, was one of three Australians to represent our nation in the 2021 series of the Asia Talent Cup. In fact, he was one of 23 athletes up to the age of 21 identified to contest the Cup from the international region and one of only five ‘rookies’ to take his place on the grid.

Racing a grand prix bike for the first time, he really stepped up to a new level of competition. There is little opportunity to race these bikes in Australia, but Tom held his own with the up-and coming of the world’s elite MotoGP riders in the opening rounds.

The schedule was punishing: 14-hour days with little downtime for the entire three and a half weeks Tom was over there, with COVID tests every three days. The month-long journey began with a four-day test, Tom’s first opportunity to take the track on the Moto 3 bike. In qualifying, the young Australian earned 14th position on the starting grid, and set himself the goal of a top 10 finish as he headed into the competitive rounds.

The two rounds of the competition were held back-to-back on successive weekends. In round 1, Tom secured a 13th place in the first race and a 12th in the second. In round 2 he placed 9th in both races, achieving his goal of a top 10 finish.

He will not travel again now until October where he will finish the remaining four rounds in Japan, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, all alongside Moto GP.

While he was in mandatory 14-day quarantine he missed a round of ASBK at Wakefield Park, so his goal in Australia is to go into the next few rounds of ASBK and get his points back up in both the 300 Supersport and the R3 Cup.