Nine-year-old Joel Kelso has stormed onto the Australian road racing scene.
Nine-year-old Joel Kelso has stormed onto the Australian road racing scene. Tanya Easterby

Nine-year-old Kelso has need for speed

SEVEN time Australian dirt-bike champion Joel Kelso is well on his way to achieving his ultimate goal - to one day race professionally here and overseas.

The nine-year-old speedster has only recently made the transition from dirt to road bike racing and says he loves every second of it.

"You can go much faster on the road bikes, which is way more fun," he said.

"Depending on the straight, I can get the bike to go around 160kmh."

With roughly ten motorbikes and five race bikes, the young gun takes his sport seriously training several times a week to prepare himself for races.

"It's all about technique on the track," he said.

"You need to have a great path and know when to go fast and take it slow."

Already labelled by some as the next Casey Stoner, Kelso has been invited to Sydney this month to feature on Speed TV.

Following the interview, the local rider will travel to Philip Island and race in the third round of the Australian series, which he is currently leading by 24 points.

Racing on his hand-built Italian bike, Kelso said he hoped to make the move to overseas competitions.

"Competition is much tougher overseas," he said.

"To make the step into professional racing I need to prove myself against the world's best riders."

Kelso's mum Nayelle said they travelled all over the country to help her son fulfil his dreams.

"Luckily we have sponsors who help with the costs involved but it's definitely hard to travel to a different state almost every weekend," Nayelle said.

"He is showing so much talent and it would be a shame to let that go to waste."

The proud mum said her son got "in the zone" on race days.

"You can tell when he goes into race mode, he really starts to focus and prepares himself mentally," she said.

"He zones into the track and nothing can distract him."

Although the youngsters wear protective gear, the sport is known for its severe crashes and injuries.

Dad Kane said they had only experienced one bad incident when Joel came off his bike last year at 100kmh.

"It was in Warwick and he went flying across the ground," he said.

"Thankfully Joel had a great landing, got back up and finished the race."

Hoping to one day follow in Troy Bayliss and Casey Stoner's footsteps, it appears Kelso is well on his way to becoming the next Australian road bike sensation.

Lookout for his biography and full story on Speed TV later next month.