Learmonth descends to 7.1s on way to Willowbank win

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Pro Bike saw a first time victor at New Years Thunder with Western Australia’s Ryan Learmonth taking his first 400 Thunder event over Daniel Rabnott.

Learmonth was in career form, running personal bests in round one and round two before getting to the stripe in a survival-of-the-fittest final round.

“It feels awesome for my team to get this win,” he said. “So much hard work has been put into the bike and now for it all to come together at our sixth event in Pro Bike feels amazing.”

Learmonth took out tough Victorian rider Glenn Wooster in round one with a 7.16 and then Queenslander Andrew Badcock in round two with another 7.16, setting up the final against Rabnott. There Learmonth had some issues at the start line, but luckily the problems were worse for Rabnott.

“I haven’t pulled it apart yet but it looks like we fried the clutch in first gear and there never going to be recovery from that,” he said. “My bike also locked the rear wheel for about 100m in the braking area which was pretty crazy. I was lucky to get away with the win with Daniel’s foot peg snapping off as he had his own troubles.”

While Learmonth has plenty of experience of his own, he drew on the support of Queensland local Luke Crowley, a former Pro Bike champ, to provide advice across the event.

“We had some help from my mate Luke this weekend and with the two of us together we finally got the gearing and ignition timing right for it to hook and drive in low gears,” Learmonth said. “The track was great but the weather was not so good so we know there’s a lot left in there.”

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