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Junior motocross rider back on top

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Justin Patjas second in province, has his eyes on the nationals

Eleven-year-old Justin Patjas was leading the Canadian Motocross Racing Club’s Fall Series last year, the top circuit in the province, when he was involved in a head-on collision on his way back to Whistler after training on the dirt track in Pemberton.

He suffered a broken femur as a result of the crash, and had two surgeries to fix his injuries. After six months of rest and recovery, he got back on his bike at the end of April. So far he has been unstoppable.

He started the year competing in the B.C. Provincial Series, and stood alone at the top of the standings when the four race series wrapped up.

Last weekend he attended a Canadian Motocross Association National Series race in Aggasiz, and after two days of racing, he found himself in second place overall.

Training several times a week with the Green River Riding Club (GRRC), which runs the dirt track south of Pemberton, Patjas plans to spend his summer racing. On his to do list is a Canadian Amateur National race in Raymond, Alberta, and a U.S. Pro National Race in Washougal, Washington.

Although he’s young, he rides with his dad and other older motocross veterans with the GRRC, and has picked up an aggressive style of racing.

In every race he takes his biggest chance right out of the start gate, pinning it into the first corner with the other riders. If all goes well, he’s the first one out the turn, and doesn’t look back for the rest of the race. If that doesn’t work, he doesn’t let up until he’s in a position to pass the leader.

Patjas is currently training in Gibsons to get ready for the upcoming CMRC Canadian Amateur Nationals in Alberta.

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