Belfast Telegraph

Young Luke in hunt for more big prizes on new machine

By Paul Lindsay

Luke Clements, the 14-year-old who claimed the Irish Moto3/125GP title last season, is aiming to take in some British championship and Thundersport rounds this season.

The Larne schoolboy has been supplied with an Moto3 Grand Prix machine, previously ridden by Remi Gardner, son of Aussie legend and 1987 500cc Grand Prix World champion Wayne Gardner.

Speaking of the trick new machine they have acquired, his father Norman explained: "We have bought the ex-Remi Gardner Honda from the RVA Spanish team with the aim of competing in the Irish Championship along with a few meetings on the mainland.

"The plan is to then take in a full season of Moto3 in British championship in 2018 with Luke," Norman commented.

As one of the youngest ever Irish champions last season, the quietly spoken teenager's racing journey began when he was eight-years-old in Mini Moto racing where he went on to become the 2013 Irish Lightweight Mini Moto champion some years later.

"It was a great feeling being crowned champion," explained the Larne High School pupil, who went on to finish third in the Mini Bike World Championship (B Class) in Spain the following year.

His move into the Irish tarmac championships had to wait until 2015, as he was too young to compete previously, but gave a good account of himself finishing fourth in the Ulster and Irish championship aboard a production Aprilia.

Thanks to Larne man John McAllister, he was able to jump aboard a Grand Prix racing 125 Honda last season, decked out in PBS Larne livery and the rest, as they say, is history, wrapping up the title at his first attempt.

Selected British championship rounds will now be on the cards for 2017, but the modest youngster was keen to thank his loyal sponsors.

"I couldn't have done it without the support of sponsors like John McAllister of PBS Larne, Slemish Water, Andy Loughlan, Hanlough Construction, Crew Barbers in Larne, the Carwash Company Larne and all my family and friends," Luke said.

"It was all down to a great team and consistency," he added.

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