13 year old Cameron Swain (born 2008) is an Australian Junior Motorycle Road Racer, currently (2022) racing in the Asia Talent Cup which is a Dorna endorsed Road to MotoGP program after an almost perfect 2021 season in which he dominated the junior road racing scene in Australia.
The early days – dirt bikes
When Cameron was just 4 years old, he jumped on his first motorcycle – a PeeWee 50. Unfortunately, he soon fell off and refused to ride it again and lost all interest in motorcycles, determining that they were boring!
Fast forward to late 2015 and Cameron was starting to develop an interest in Motorcycles again after having gone to a local track day to watch his father ride. After watching his friend ride his PeeWee 50 around his street, at the age of 7 Cameron finally tried riding again. One twist of the throttle was enough to have him hooked, and from that moment on, every day after school he was practicing riding around his street.
Cam joined a local riding group where he trained on the dirt bike every Friday night, running laps around a circuit, graduating through the 3 levels of classes, and graduating from the Yamaha PeeWee 50 to the larger and faster klx65 and cr80 dirt bikes. By the end of 2017 after having started in 2016 as the very slowest beginner rider, Cameron was by far the fastest and too fast for the Friday night events and advised to move on to race events.
The move to road racing
At the age of 8, Cameron was invited to try a Honda NSF100 road race bike at a local go-kart track. Cameron declared that it was the best day of his life! (at that point!) It was decided to switch to road bikes as Cameron far preferred the adrenalin to the dirt bike.
Following this, Cameron started riding on a Metrakit 80 2 stroke junior race bike, and at the end of 2017, just after he had turned 9 and was just eligible, he attended his first race meeting. Cameron’s first race meeting was a success with him starting the weekend at the back of the pack, but by the end of the weekend, managing to get on the podium. Cameron had found his passion!
Through 2018 Cameron raced in a variety of Australian junior championships, learning his craft and climbing the junior ranks. In 2018, his first year of road racing, Cameron finished third overall in the Australian Junior road race category, and 2nd overall in his State’s short course championship. He backed this up in 2019, finishing 2nd overall in the Australian Junior Road Racing category, while winning his States Title. Notably Cameron was the youngest competitor in each of his classes, against a field some years older. Cameron was also able to set track records at a variety of tracks across the year.
Oceania Junior Cup
By 2020, Cameron was ready to join the Oceania Junior Cup, which is part of the Dorna endorsed official Road to MotoGP path. At age 11, Cameron was again the youngest in his class which comprised competitors aged from 11-15 year olds. At official testing at Phillip Island at the start of the year Cameron showed early promise, breaking the track record on his first outing at this track, however, during the race weekend a few weeks later, nerves got the better of him and he finished the weekend in 6th place overall.
Unfortunately Covid then took hold of the world, and racing around the world came to a halt after the first round which had taken place in February. Finally, in December a final round took place which allowed Cameron the opportunity to improve his overall position to 4th with 2 podium positions over the weekend. In 2021, Cameron again entered the Oceania Junior Cup, however, this time he was better prepared and the nerves were gone. Cameron dominated the series, breaking track records over the year, and taking 6 wins from 9 races, 2 x 2nd places and 1 x 3rd place. Cameron is the only competitor ever to have been on the podium in every race, and the only competitor to have won 6 races over the course of the championship.
Asia Talent Cup
Following Cameron’s success in 2021, he was selected to advance and ride in the Asia Talent Cup in 2022. This is the next step on Dorna’s Road to MotoGP program, racing on Honda Moto3 machinery. Events take place at select rounds alongside MotoGP, including at Motegi in Japan, Mandalika in Malaysia, Doha in Qatar, Sepang in Malaysia and Buriram in Thailand.
Competitors are selected for this championship from around the Asia Pacific, and learn to race within the strict confined of the MotoGP paddock, learning not only to improve their race craft, but also the focus on fitness and media training.
Cameron is still very much in the learning phase of his racing, being still only 13 years old and with a lot developing still to come. The jump from Australian national level racing to racing at an International level in Asia Talent Cup is vast, and as a consequence takes time to master. Accordingly, the first 2 rounds of Asia Talent Cup were a big eye-opener for Cameron about the difference in level when racing Internationally, and saw Cameron finish towards the back of the pack. While this year is Cameron’s rookie year in Asia Talent Cup, he aims to improve steadily throughout the year, having been training hard while on the winter break back in Australia, with the hope to be invited back again in 2023 when he has had the opportunity to have learnt the bike and be competitive.
To follow along with Cameron’s racing and progress, check him out on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Cameron-Swain-Racing-26-1438459916241453
Cameron has big plans for his future, and with the determination to succeed which he possesses, his chances of success, in what is an incredibly competitive field, are good.