Mcliesh unleashed in Newie
PROSERPINE'S Andrew Mcliesh has done it again, this time not only taking home a win but also rubbing shoulders with world champions and supermoto royalty over the weekend.
Off the back of a disappointing trip to compete in the United States in April, the star rider travelled interstate to win the Pro class at Newcastle international Supermoto, featuring the inaugural FIM Oceania Supermoto Championship.
It was a nail-biter of a race until the end.
Mcliesh was trailing a close second to friendly rival and dirt track champion Michael Kirkness.
But on the last lap Mcliesh passed over the second last jump to claim the coveted title.
"It's not like him to let me past,” Mcliesh laughed.
"We are good mates, I always stay at his place when I'm near him, we've raced each other plenty of times around Prossie and championships.
"I sort of sat behind him before I worked out where on the course I was a little quicker and could make a safe and easy pass.
"I've been fighting the flu for the last few weeks so the 20-minute races seemed very long race in the heat.”
But things didn't go entirely to plan for Mcliesh as the Pro class was only one of three events he had entered across the championship.
Plagued by bad luck, the battler copped a flat tyre in the first qualifying session and also did not finish the first race of the FIM Oceania Supermoto Championship round with the same issue.
"I finished third in race two and then fifth in the third race,” Mcliesh said.
"After the mishap in those races, I'm pretty happy to come away with positives for the weekend.”
Also competing in The World Vets Supermoto Challenge saw Mcliesh finish fifth behind three-time world super bike champion Troy Bayliss, who claimed the overall win, and Australian bike legends Ben Attard and Rob Jones.
"It was awesome rubbing shoulders with world champions and legends,” he said.
"I got a kick out of racing Troy Bayliss and Jason Crump, who is a three-time Speedway World Champion.
"The challenge saw you take off from oldest to youngest and I think I was fourth youngest.
"To finish fifth I was pretty stoked.”
The determined race winner now has his sights set on the Australian Championships in Perth in November.
When asked about his preparation training routine, Mcliesh responded; "drinking beer”.
"Nah, I'll be putting my head down to train at home to concentrate on getting the best result.
"I've been invited to race in Malaysia and the Philippines.
"But it will all just depend on money and work I guess as to whether I get out there.”
The 25-year-old manages a rock quarry in Mackay and said his work is supportive of his sporting achievements.
"Lately it's just been a lot easier thanks to my major sponsors, it's a tight sport to get sponsorship and it's expensive,” he said.
"I've got a lot of good sponsors on board like KYT Helmets Australia, SF constructions Townsville, big Bretto in Proserpine and Stay Upright Rider Training.
"I really appreciate all the people who help and support me.”
It was his siblings racing bikes who first inspired Mcliesh to sit on a motorbike at age four.
"I guess the rush that keeps me going after so long.
"Once you start lining up for the race, nerves go away and adrenaline kicks in.”
After 21 years racing motorbikes, Mcliesh hasn't escaped without some battle scars but good-naturedly laughs them off.
"I mean I've come off a few times, I have three screws in my right foot, done the AC joints in my shoulder, broken fingers and wrists,” he said.
"I'm not too bad to some of the others out there.”