SMALL MAN SYNDROME.
Words: John Bahr···· |···· Pictures: Jarryd King & Haydn Rees
In the fast paced world of Mini Motocross, not many can stand as tall as Queensland’s Andrew Guerry. We recently caught up with ‘The Guru’ to see how he’s recovering from a string of recent injuries and what his plans are for the year ahead.
They look like they’d be better suited having ten year olds riding them as opposed to fully grown adult men however there appears to be no slowing the craze that is Mini Motocross.
One man who’s been ‘banging bars’ quite possibly for just as long as the scene itself is Andrew “The Guru” Guerry.
Andrew is no stranger to the motorcycle industry. A super likeable guy, willing to help just about anyone and a performance bike mechanic by trade, Andrew has caught the eye of some of the industry’s biggest factory teams with high profile riders seeking his services over the years including an offer a few years ago to head over to the USA to become AMA Supercross star, Grant Langston’s personal mechanic. Unfortunately Andrew had to turn down the offer due to personal reasons at the time.
Originally starting his riding career on big bikes and initially doing quite well, Andrew’s riding career got a major downgrade (literally) when a relocation by the family to Queensland’s South coast forced him to give up riding full sized bikes. Guru, still inflicted with a serious bite from the ‘bike bug’ turned to his only other option in his new suburban surroundings… Mini’s!
Starting out riding around the streets on a beefed up TTR 90, Guru eventually turned his attentions back to the race circuit and very soon got a reputation for being a real threat on the track with the support and sponsorship of his good friend Haydn (Hache) Rees from The Moto-Pit at Helensvale on the Gold Coast.
Guru began to take his riding more seriously and made the decision to head over to the USA for the annual Vegas Mini SX. Now into his fourth year competing in the event, he was ranked thirteenth in the world in 2011 for the 12” inch Super Modified Class. Things were looking up for him. He had opened his own workshop (The Motorcycle Guru), whilst also working as head mechanic for Pro Motorcycles Ipswich, Australia’s biggest dealership, and was planning a return to Vegas this year. He had Red Bull flying him to Indonesia for an event, was dominating the Australian race scene and was even planning to hold a Guinness World Record Jump Attempt. He was at the top of his game. Then like all highs, it suddenly came crashing down…
Whilst competing in the Newcastle round of the High Roller Energy Mini Moto Series, late last year. Guru landed atop a “lapped” rider off an 80ft triple jump whilst in 1st place, shattering his pelvis.
We sat down with the man himself last week to see how he’s been recovering and what his movements are for the year ahead.
(JB) Hey Guru, How are you mate?
(Guru) Hey, yeah I’ve been good mate. Spending a bit of time on the couch lately but finally feeling back to where I was before my Newcastle crash.
(JB) That’s good mate. So all on track for a big year?
(Guru) Yeah Mate, Well sort of. After my broken pelvis in Newy, I was well enough to be back on the bike in time for the last round of Super X last year. I didn’t quite get the result I wanted but it was just so good to be back on the gas after so long off the bike. After Super X, I headed back down south to practise for my upcoming record distance jump, where I had another little crash and busted my sternum, broke a couple of ribs and did some damage to my neck… So I really haven’t had a good run towards the end of last year but 2012 is the start of big things. I’ve moved house and am now living at a property on some acreage. It’s great as i’ve built a full sized practice track there, which is helping my riding big time. I'm also in the process of pushing up dirt for a huge landing out there for when my distance ramp arrives, so I can start practicing for my world record attempt. Also as part of my contract with Yamaha I've recently taken ownership of a brand new YZ250F to race in the Lites Class. So 2012 will also see my return to competing on a full sized bike. So yeah mate, all looking set for a big year.
(JB) Sounds like the start of some big things. Tell us more about your upcoming pilgrimage back to the mecca of pit bike racing… The Mini SX in Las Vegas and also your Guinness World Record Jump at the end of the year.
(Guru) Well, first things first… I'm back to Vegas on the May 6th for Mini SX. I’m really hoping to better my 13th place finish from last year. Not only that it will be good to see some of the boys such as Hart (Carey) and that again and PARTAYYY… Haha Nah seriously, It should be a good trip and I’m really looking to get some good results and have some fun. It’s the biggest event in the world for pit bikes and I’m just stoked I get the chance to compete there every year and do my sponsors proud.
Than once I get home from Vegas it’s off to Tassie (Tasmania) to do some events with the BRAAAP boys and get some time on the bike before I knuckle down and start practicing for my record jumps (Andrew let slip whilst we were talking that if all goes well he will be aiming to break more than just longest distance record on a pit bike – JB) It’s crazy how many offers I’ve had to do the record jump with different tours & such. I’ve even had some Saudi Prince contact me and offer me some big bucks to perform the jumps in his country so that the record can be held there, although I think I’d really like to keep it all on Aussie shores and give the Australian pit bike scene some well needed extra exposure. The most recent offer I’ve had was actually Bubba from Crusty Demons rang me one morning to ask if I’d consider doing it along side their “Night of the Records” show to be held in Australia later in the year.
So now it’s up to me to decide whether I want to do it with them or hold it as my own event and try to support the local scene and run it as an action sports demo along side my record attempts. Looks like I’ve got some big decisions to make and soon, as I’m also in the middle of trying to organize our own “Australian Mini SX Championship,” which I was hoping would coincide with some rounds of the High Roller Energy Mini Moto Tour and hopefully serve as the final couple rounds of the tour but will have to wait and see if that is still being run this year or not. However, regardless of the other tour I am aiming to organize this event & it will all hopefully be on purpose built Mini Supercross Tracks and not just run on ordinary motocross circuits. Just to give the riders something a bit more technical and challenging to sink their teeth into. I’m hoping to model it off of the Vegas SX tracks actually. I’m just trying to smooth out details and see if I can get enough backing and support to hold the events.
(JB) Well Guru, hope everything pans out for you mate. Looks like you’ve got a big 12 months ahead of you and hopefully you can gain some backing from the industry and outside support as it would be good to have some more mainstream events (such as the ones you’re planning) taking place on Australian shores. I can guarantee I’ll be first in line for tickets to them when they’re released! Haha.
Before we finish is there any final words you’d like to say?
(Guru) Haha cheers mate. Um, yeah. Big shout out to all my family, my clothing sponsor KickStart Co. You guys are awesome and I couldn’t do it without your support and thanks for keeping me decked out in the latest threads. I’d also like to thank Pro Motorcycles for supporting me and giving me a ride to compete in the Lites class aboard my Yamaha again this year, My buddy Hache from the Moto-Pit for all the support and for supplying my bikes (Mini’s) over the years and all the performance parts and extras that go with it. Also give props to my graphics sponsor Style Mx for ensuring that my bike looks the part, Bahrstool Creative Media for doing all my design work for ‘The Motorcycle Guru,’ Pitster Pro for helping me out with bikes at Vegas last year when Australian Federal Customs stopped my bike from entering the U.S. and also Oxenford Meats for helping me out and supplying all the meat for my BBQ. Haha.
Oh & a massive thank you to JB for this interview.
(JB) Cheers Mate. Have a good one.