RYAN Keegan says he can’t remember how many bones he has broken.
The 16-year-old has been riding motorbikes since he was three years old and has made a visit to the emergency room countless times.
“I’ve been to the hospital a fair few times with broken bones,” he said.
“Mum stresses out a bit when I race, but I won’t stop riding. I love it too much. It’s the only sport I do and the only one I’m interested in.”
The Warrnambool teenager has proved he has talent, racing with the Victorian number one ranking as a 10-year-old in the pocket-bike class.
He has since made the switch to motocross and will compete in this weekend’s season opening Shipwreck Coast Open at Allansford’s Lake Gillear track.
He will ride his 250cc two-stroke KTM in the open C class.
The competition marks his elevation to senior level racing.
Ryan said he wasn’t sure what to expect.
“In seniors you can be riding against guys up to 45 years old. They have been riding for heaps longer than I have and obviously have more experience,” he said.
“I want to finish on the podium, but I’d be happy with top five.
“I’ve been working on my fitness, so hopefully I can give it a decent shot. It’s hard to know what to expect. It’s a new year and a heap of juniors have come into seniors.
“I just want to ride well.”
Shipwreck Coast Motocross Club president Murray Stutchberry said 180 riders had registered for the open across the junior and senior categories.
“We have riders from everywhere between Maffra to Mount Gambier, as well as 25 locals,” he said. “Being the home track, the locals should give it a red hot go and be able to have some decent results.
“There will be some of the state’s top riders competing, so it will be a great weekend of racing.”
Stutchberry said each class would have two races each day, with overall points accumulated to determine the winners.
The action kicks off at Lake Gillear today and continues tomorrow.
Admission is free.