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Western Australian Brayden Hahn has come a long way over the last few seasons, and when the 2020 WAMX State Championship fires back up, he’s eyeing off a top 10 finish inside the highly-competitive MX2 category.
It’s been a progressive rise for the 24-year-old, throwing himself in the deep-end of the MX2 class in 2016, winding up with a ranking of 30th in the 2017 season before improving in 2018, where he finished 28th in the championship standings despite missing two rounds.
Last year marked a major improvement for Hahn, who lodged his best championship result to date with a ranking of 16th.
He believes the step forward came as a result from finding comfort in his Yamaha YZ250F - a bike he’s been racing aboard for a number of years now - as well changing his mindset on race day, which has really allowed him to reach his potential.
“I think just building on the comfort I have with the bike and being on Yamaha for a fair few years now - comfort is a big thing for me,” Hahn says of his improvements.
“I also used to get very stressed on big race weekends, and I have kind of taught myself just to have fun with it because I ride so much better when I’m just out there having a good time.”
His racing is very much a family effort - you’ll often find his father by his side, while his mother will be watching on from the fence line.
Hahn indicates it’s his family who have been the biggest supporters in helping him get to the races, with his old man playing a big role in ensuring his bike is set-up and ready to go on race day.
“Most of my help comes from mum and dad mate,” he continued. “Dad’s from a racing background himself, so when it comes to bike work and set-up, he’s pretty onto it. And if he's not, he’s researching every little thing, which is good because without the help I wouldn’t be able to go racing.
“There are also a few bike shops that have helped me along the way - Steve’s Motorcycles and Midvale Yamaha, but they’ve now closed down. I also had Little Jays Jersey Prints helping me out last year with some prints, which was cool.”
While there’s still a lot of uncertainty of when we’ll return to racing, Hahn is targeting further improvements when the 2020 championship kicks off. And he’s not slouching in the current downtime, recently taking to cycling to keep himself fit and ready for when the gates drop.
He’s hoping to cement himself inside the top 10 of the championship, which he plans to achieve by bringing greater consistency to his program.
“I feel like things have been going in the right direction - I finished 16th in MX2 last year, which I was really happy about. This year I’m hoping for a few more top 10 finishes and hopefully through consistency, end up in the top 10 by the end of the year.”