From Australia to Italian Championship, from dirt track to the full time debut in Moto3 class with Leopard Racing and Alessandro Tonucci as sporting director. From the start of 2018 to now something has changed for Joel Kelso, but the young australian has already show he can be one of the best riders in an Italian Championship even more international and now he can’t wait to start this new adventure…
You came to Italy from Australia to ride in the Italian Championship. But first of all, who is Joel Kelso? Tell us about your career before 2018.
I am Joel Kelso and I raced dirt track for many years and won many Australia titles. Then, I moved to road racing at age of 9 and fell in love winning many Australian titles on road racing as well, then I decided to make the change and racing internationally!
You changed your lifestyle to come to Italy. How did you feel during the 2018 season, living in a different country, with different language, traditions and so on?
“It definitely was different and difficult, but I had to make the sacrifice to better my career, even if the first times were very difficult and I was a little bit in trouble, but then everything went well. The language is different but it gives me something else to try and get better at!”
At the start of the season, you found some problems and you were a little bit in trouble. Than, everything change. How did you manage to do it? What was the key for the end of the season?
“At the start of the season unfortunately we had the 2017 RMU which was under power by a lot and I couldn’t show my real potential. Then from the third round we managed to get the 2018 Rmu, after this I started to show my potential and got 2 podium finishes at Mugello”
In the last two races, you raced both premoto3 and moto3 class. Why? And how did you feel riding two different classes in the same weekend?
“Riding 2 bike was difficult, because they were very different and asked for a different riding style, but I had a lot of fun. I did it because I needed to get use to it for the 2019 session, I had the chance to do it with a very good team and I decided to go. And I think it was the right choice!”
Your weekend at Mugello in september was amazing. What has been the feeling to be on the podium in CIV in one of the most historic tracks of the world?
“It was incredible, I felt very good that weekend! It was great not only for me but also my whole family, team and my sponsors, we have worked hard all the year long, we left home to come to race there and it was a massive eye opener on why we did it!”
During that weekend, you started working with the 3570 MTA team and Alessandro Tonucci. How was the feeling with the team? And how is to work alongside an expert and very good rider as Tonucci?
“Since the first session, I felt very good with all the team. I felt comfortable with them and first of all with Alessandro Tonucci, and the bike was very good, it’s amazing to be working with a team with experience at such an high level!”
For the next season, you got the opportunity to be one of the Leopard Racing riders in their debut in Italy and you’ll work with Tonucci again. What’s your feeling about that? How are you preparing for the 2019 season and what will be your target for the next championship?
“Next season my goal is to win the championship, I want to fight for it and I have the team to do it. I am really excited to be working with such a big team, a team who is the story of the Moto3, winning 2 world championship and a lot of races. I am getting ready for the 2019 season by cycling and putting some muscle on. I want to be ready to fight for my goal”
You did, with Jake Skate, Jack Mahaffy and JDS Moto, something different, as you let the Australia to come to Italy, and finally you got the chance with Leopard. Looking back, do you think it was the right choice? You’d recommend to Australian riders who wants to do the same? Why?
“Yes for sure I think what we did was great and was the best option for me but first of all for my career! I highly recommend for other Australian riders to follow my steps, coming to Europe, get a good team behind them and give it a go!”