A global spotlight on Shooters Hill dirt-riding complex

CAMERAS ROLLING: Yamaha Australia's top-ranking superbike champion in 2018/2019, Cru Halliday (left), with Yamaha's Japan and Australia representatives at the advertising shoot at Learning To Fly at Shooters Hill.
CAMERAS ROLLING: Yamaha Australia's top-ranking superbike champion in 2018/2019, Cru Halliday (left), with Yamaha's Japan and Australia representatives at the advertising shoot at Learning To Fly at Shooters Hill.

LEARNING To Fly MX recreational dirt-riding track at Shooters Hill has played host to a global advertisement shoot.

Track owner Mark Weekes said Yamaha Japan and Yamaha Australia brought their Japanese film crew, interpreters and riders to conduct the shoot - for the Yamaha off-road range to be released in 2020 - three weeks ago.

"Our track was chosen out of all Australian tracks for the global campaign," he said.

"Yamaha Australia's top-ranking superbike champion in 2018/2019, Cru Halliday, accompanied the crew. Cru rides in the 1000CC class.

"There were some high-ranking riders and they even brought riders from Japan for the global shoot.

"This will be a big boost for Learning To Fly MX as the high-ranking riders all complimented the structure and soil on the tracks.

"We've been open for nearly three years and we've had factory teams book the facility solo for their test days.

"KTM and Honda have also been at our track for their demonstration days.

"These riders, plus more, are all coming back to the track through recommendations. With this comes other riders and clubs throughout Australia."

READ ALSO:

Mr Weekes said they initially sponsored Ryder Wilson, who rides in the nine to 12-year-old 85CC division.

"Ryder has won the state tiles in 2017 and came second in the 2017 Australian titles for his class.

"He rides for Yamaha now and is now riding in Canada in the country's Western Canadian Amateur Nationals, where he is currently in second position.

YOUNG TALENT: Learning To Fly MX owners Tania and Mark Weekes initially sponsored Ryder Wilson. He is now riding for Yamaha in Canada at amateur nationals.

YOUNG TALENT: Learning To Fly MX owners Tania and Mark Weekes initially sponsored Ryder Wilson. He is now riding for Yamaha in Canada at amateur nationals.

"To start off his career we purchased his new bike and decked him out in all the gear - concussion helmets, clothing and spare parts such as tyres.

"This is big for a boy that age. Vancouver has seven out of 10 of the best tracks in the world."

Mr Weekes said Ryder was only eight "when we saw the potential".

"Even with the other riders around him, you could see he was an absolute standout," he said.

"We are proud to have been his sponsor and to be part of his success. It goes to show what we are doing is the right thing for our youth.

"Learning To Fly MX was purpose-built and designed to cater for all ages, including young riders."

Mark and Tania Weekes consider their motocross track is a hub for junior riders without the intimidation of older riders around them.

"This recent Yamaha advertising shoot is putting us on the global map as a quality motocross riding facility," Mr Weekes said.

"Our team work hard and this recognition is a great reward for all the hard work."

Learning To Fly MX is 25 kilometres south of Oberon.

It is open every weekend, public holidays and school holidays from 8.30am to 4pm.

ON TRACK: Learning To Fly MX at Shooters Hill has three tracks suitable for beginners to the more experienced riders.

ON TRACK: Learning To Fly MX at Shooters Hill has three tracks suitable for beginners to the more experienced riders.

Mr Weekes encourages locals to come and have a look without having an obligation to ride.

"The tracks are designed to cater for all skill levels, from beginners to the more experienced rider," he said.

"There are five tracks and three tracks are designed specifically for junior riders."

The complex includes a check area, dedicated car park, picnic area, toilet facilities, a lock-up compound area and camping facilities.

"You never know, we could have a champion living in the local area," Mr Weekes said.