Those with a good eye for talent-spotting should remember the name Ben Baker. From the time Ben was seven years old he spent most weekends traveling around the country with his family racing on dirt track, before graduating to road racing at age nine. Around the age of 10 it became apparent that racing was more than a hobby.
“The level of experience for a young child was insane,” says Ben’s father, Daniel. “He could out-ride adults on 450cc bikes on his little 65 dirt bike, and his lap times on the tar were fast. Very fast. He has gone about three seconds under every lap record on nearly every bike he rode as a junior.”
Over the years Ben won a few Australian and state dirt track titles and was still in primary school when Kawasaki signed him up to race with them when he turned 13. He also was selected to race in the Asia Talent Cup, a support class for the Moto GP and Superbikes at the Asian rounds.
By 2021 Ben had the 300-class sorted and won both the R3 cup and the Supersport 300 classes in Australia, which is something no one had done before. Now, the newly minted 18-year-old combines his training and racing with a successful career in real estate. Meeting his boss Greg Epis, the owner of BMW Alliance Racing superbike team in Australia and his son Lachlan, who rides for the team, lifted Ben’s confidence, and inspired him to do even better.
Ben started racing a 600cc bike but in an early event a loose radiator hose caused water to leak under the rear wheel, resulting in a serious crash on his first flying lap. His year was over before it began. Ben ended up with a broken collarbone, wrist and toe, and after an operation spent much of last year recovering. Unable to work or train his prospects were looking dim.
Ben’s positive attitude and determination saw him attend a track day where he was introduced to Marco Viglietta, Managing Director of Avion Australia, who brought up the topic of sponsorship.
“Avion Australia’s sponsorship is 100 percent the reason we are giving it another go,” says Ben’s mum, Karen. “It means so much to him and us. We are very grateful for the help.”
Ben had an opportunity to compete in the Asia road race series in 2023, but instead is aiming for a win in his first year on the 600. He’ll next compete at the Australian Superbike Championship at Sydney Motorsport Park in March. “Ben is setting the bar probably out of his reach, but he loves to surprise us all,” Daniel says.
“Motorcycle racing is built on a love of competition and a desire to always be prepared to perform,” said Marco Viglietta, Managing Director, Avion International Australia. Marco has been a passionate motorcycle rider since a similar age to Ben and understands the thrill of the ride.
“At Avion Australia we are thrilled to be part on Benny’s journey. The dedication to motorsport through fostering the development of promising young riders like Benny will influence motorcycle racing in the future.”
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