FACTORY RIDE: Luke Clout 2020 Honda CRF250R | News
We talk Luke Clout about the 2020 Penrite Honda CRF250R he was riding in the AMA Supercross 250SX West Coast Championship before the series was postponed.
THIS FEATURE WAS PUBLISHED IN ADB ISSUE #487
THE RIDER LUKE CLOUT
Yarrive and I have worked together twice before. The first time was when I returned from the US as an Under-19 amateur and the second time was when I returned from the US after competing in the SX2 class in 2016 and filled in for the injured Jimmy Decotis. I know how well his team is run so I was excited to return to Honda.
I feel I am a better rider than I was when I raced with him three years ago. I have learnt a lot and I owe that to riders like Justin Brayton, Chad Reed, Jason Anderson and Brett Metcalfe. Those guys have achieved so much overseas and they have elevated all of us by competing in the Australian championships.
Coming to the US to take on the world’s best is next level and I want to do the best I can. I’m glad to have Aaron here [Clout’s brother is spinning spanners for him], he’s always got my back, we work well together, which is so important, and we both want to achieve the best results we can.
I was pretty surprised at how much better the CRF250R was from when I used to race them. Obviously, it was a bit of an adjustment going from one of the most powerful 450s to a 250 but I got comfortable pretty quick and it was easier than I expected.
The first 250 I rode was Chris Blose’s and that set up was different to mine so we adjusted the suspension and looked for more power. I am so used to more power so it’s just been a big change. I am enjoying it though, it’s been lots of fun.
THE MECHANIC AARON CLOUT
Luke likes used ’grips on his bike, he doesn’t like the feel of new ones so we’d rather put ’grips that have been on for three or so rounds for him to race on. He doesn’t really do anything else that’s weird. Actually he also runs his engine stop switch and engine start switch on the opposite sides to manufacture spec.
Easiest part is knowing what he likes, I can generally set up his entire bike without asking him anything. The confidence that he has in me and the bike is just there, so it makes it really easy. There aren’t any challenges working with Luke, we work really well together. I love working with him and supporting him through all of this.
THE MANAGER YARRIVE KONSKY
I have followed Luke since he was racing on 60s. He is a very determined rider and I admire that. He has an unwavering desire to win and be the best and he is extremely focused.
In 2012 he returned to Australia and we provided him with some support through one of our satellite programs. Instantly he showed Australia how much he had learnt overseas. I was impressed from the first moment he hit the track. Again he returned to our program in 2016 and I’ve always appreciated Luke’s tenacity and skill on a motorcycle. Throughout last year, talks between management at Honda and I took place regarding our 2020 program. It was decided that we would increase our presence in motocross from one rider. We had several riders reach out but when Luke called, I had no doubt that he would be the best fit. This happened before the Australian Supercross Championship had started and, within one hour of our initial talk, we had come to a verbal agreement.
He’s a controlled, aggressive rider with a desire to succeed. He will buy into something first and then decide if he likes it. He is raw, hungry and exciting to watch. We will surround him with the best people to help him reach his full potential.
Racing in the US is something I have wanted to do forever and now it’s happening with Luke. I truly can’t believe it. Our plan is to do our best and see where we can finish against the best teams and riders.
5 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT LUKE CLOUT
1 Clout finished second in last year’s Aussie MX1 and SX1 championships.
2 He won his first SX1 Australian Supercross final last year and posted the fastest qualifying lap, in the final round of supercross at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne.
3 Clout rode a CRF250R for less than a month before the AMA kicked off at Anaheim.
4 It’s been nearly four years since Clout raced a 250F.
5 Clout was the leading Aussie in SX2 West after Glendale, with Jett Lawrence injured.