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    Starsport Jake Gartside    
    "Pocket Rocket" Jake Gartside  
    Proud as punch.
    Star picture: Luke Plummer
    Eight-year-old ATV state champion Jake Gartside with his two 50cc quad bikes  
    Eight-year-old Jake Gartside is already living life in the fast lane. The pint-sized Pocket Rocket has recently won the 2006 Yamaha ATV State Championship, and did so in memorable style.

Jake won 24 consecutive championship races on his 50cc ATV (all terrain Vehicle) or quad bike and travelled all over Victoria in the process.

From Bairnsdale to Warrnambool and back to his home club Maffra-Sale, Jake has been riding rings around his opponents since he first began racing in April.

The Springvale Valley Primary School grade two student said he loved riding his bike all over Victoria. "There's racing most sundays and I get to go all over the place. It's great fun." He said

Reaching speeds of up to 70kpm, Jake knows all about catching some serious air. "I love the speed, turning and getting some air off the jumps", he said, "Jumping can be a bit scary though."

Jake's Dad, Grant, who won the Jumbo Junior Championship, said he always got a bit nervous when his son was soaring through the air. "I was really nervous when Jake first started racing but now I relax as much as I can. He's very good at what he does." He said.

Grant said Jake's dedication to the sport didn't stop when he wasn't racing. "He has started taking to the mechanical side of things, He can pull wheels off and keep his quad clean." Grant said.

Having eclipsed the junior 50cc division, Jake now has his sights set on competing in the 90cc championships. "Next year I'll probably do both the 50cc and 90cc." He said.

Luckily Jake has the support of passionate sponsors, including ProMechA Suspensions, Dandenong Motorcycles, and ATV spares Australia. Grant said their support made Jake's racing career possible. "They are local businesses and have really given Jake the support he needs, he couldn't do it without them," he said.


2006 Star News Group
Reprint courtesy of Star News