Young Nixon Frost has some big boots to fill but, with each passing week, he’s looking more comfortable fitting in with the massive task he’s set himself.
Thanks to the initiative and combined support of Motorcycling New Zealand (MNZ), Motorcycling Australia (MA) and his own dad too – multi-time former New Zealand road-racing champion Sloan ‘Choppa’ Frost – the 11-year-old Nixon Frost surely now has the world at his feet.
The pre-teen and his dad are currently in Melbourne, Australia, where the young man is already partway into the innovative FIM Oceania Junior Cup series, trying to see how far he can go with the sport in Australia and, as it transpires, possibly even into Europe.
The Oceania Junior Cup provides young riders with everything they need to take to the track, opening the pathway to the next generation of elite racers.
Nixon Frost’s father, mentor and coach, former motocross racer Sloan Frost, was twice New Zealand Superbike Champion, in 2016 and 2018, and Suzuki International Series champion in 2015 and so it’s his experiences with that which has been the foundation for Nixon’s growth and development within motorcycling.
“It’s going really well. Obviously Nixon hasn’t really got that much experience and it’s been a steep learning curve for him. MNZ and MA have been great and this FIM Oceania Junior Cup has been really helpful,” said Sloan Frost.
“We’ve had three days at Phillip Island, but we missed the test beforehand, so all the other kids had a bit of an advantage over him there, and for some this is their second year of the series, so we have not put too much pressure on Nixon with seriously high expectations of him. But he did his qualifying and races and, although it was all new to him, he did really well.
“He was at the back of the pack, but right there with the pack. It’s like watching Moto3 or GIXXER Cup, with every rider really close together. There’s a big split in age difference between the eldest and the youngest too, with Nixon the second youngest. He’s only just turned 11 and some of the riders are aged 15, so there’s quite a difference in maturity levels.”
After Phillip Island, the six-round series heads to Queensland for round two on March 20, with Sloan and Nixon Frost returning home and then heading back across the Tasman Sea to rejoin the competition.
“Nixon has dropping something like two seconds a session in his training (between the Oceania rounds) at Winton with Garry McCoy (the now 49-year-old Australian icon who won races in the 125cc and 500cc World Championships, as well as in the Superbike World Championships).
“McCoy was on the factory team with Kiwi Simon Crafar, back in the Red Bull days. He’s been really good for the kids.
While we’re over in Australia there is another new series happening called the FIM MiniGP Australia Series and it’s basically a world series qualifier, with top racers from all over the world being selected to go to Spain.
Like the Oceania Cup, the FIM MiniGP Australia Series also provides an ideal entry level platform for young riders looking to begin their two-wheeled motorsport journey.
The new “Road to MotoGP” program will take part utilising Ohvale GP-0 160 machinery designed specifically for racing on karting circuits – a perfect entry level platform for riders aged between 10-14 years who are new to the sport of motorcycling.
The series involves events hosted in Australia, Italy, Malaysia, France, Netherlands, North America, Spain, UK, Alpe Adria (a bioregion in Central Europe, embracing all of Slovenia, the Austrian states of Carinthia and Styria, and the Italian regions of Friuli-Venezia-Giulia and Veneto), Indonesia, Ireland, Portugal, Qatar and Austria.
The winner from each national, regional or continental MiniGP Cup will have the opportunity to participate in the World MiniGP Final in Europe.
“We have been offered help to enter this in Melbourne and so we are staying over here a little bit longer. It’s a big ask and we don’t really expect Nixon will end up going to Spain. But we are taking every opportunity and I’m a sucker for punishment I guess. We’re jamming everything in and jumping in the deep end.
“MNZ and MA have been super supportive. Nixon is the only Kiwi doing this and it’s great to have that backing.”
MNZ general manager Michael Kerrisk said he was thrilled to see it all come together for Nixon Frost.
“We’ve offered this opportunity to get young Nixon over to Australia and represent New Zealand and put his best foot forward,” he said.
“We are delighted to have this relationship with Motorcycling Australia and they absolutely want this too.”
Credit: Andy McGechan