Harry Khouri Interview
Australia has two lads strutting their stuff in worldwide championships that go by the title of “Harry” and each had a really confronting 12 months in 2021. I lined Harrison Voight within the final instalment, whereas the opposite Harry is after all Harry Khouri , extra generally referred to as ‘Hazza’, and he’s taken a special path as he goals to show his aspirations into success.
Not like many others that realized their early race craft in dust monitor racing, Hazz did little or no in that self-discipline; simply a few membership races, however heaps of coaching days to study the fundamentals earlier than he turned to street racing and entered the GP Juniors sequence in 2017, driving a Yamaha R15.
Such was his enchancment throughout that 12 months, he was offered the chance of an invitation from AMCN journal for a Wild Card experience on the remaining spherical of the ASBK Supersport 300 at Phillip Island.
Through the subsequent two seasons the progress to the entrance of the ultra-competitive class continued at a gentle tempo, and in 2018 he completed sixth and seventh respectively within the Yamaha R3 Cup and the Supersport 300 class.
Throughout 2019 Khouri travelled to Europe to strive his luck for the primary time and contested two rounds of the IDM German Championship, at Assen and Hockenheim. His performances at these two outings was sufficient to be invited to competed in the whole season of IDM in 2020.
At the start of that wretched 12 months, Khouri competed within the first spherical of the ASBK Supersport 300 title, held alongside the Superbike World Championship at Phillip Island, (that occasion appears so very way back now…) the place he banked an ideal rating of pole place and three wins.
With the implications of the pandemic, the German racing season didn’t begin till July, however he had already relocated over there in anticipation of the 12 months. The wait was value it, as he claimed his first two worldwide wins and a second place in the course of the sequence the place he completed seventh. After main the title at one stage, he had a crash on the remaining spherical which noticed him to drop down the order.
Clearly, the Australian season was decimated by the plague, with restricted racing, however the cloud lifted sufficient for a double header spherical at Wakefield Park in December. Harry underwent the mandatory necessities of quarantine to return to compete and claimed the shortened three spherical championship so as to add an Australian title to his quickly increasing resume.
2021 promised loads, with a transfer to the Supersport 300 World Championship, run alongside the Superbike World Championship, with the Fusport RT Motorsports by SKM Kawasaki Staff. With over 40 riders break up between two teams to find out grid spots, it’s a cut-throat class the place a couple of hundredths of a second can imply the distinction between qualifying and never even getting a spot on the grid.
The 12 months began nicely on the first spherical the place he claimed a ninth place, however within the race the subsequent day he was taken out by one other rider. From there, the season unravelled. On the subsequent spherical at Misano, he crashed in the course of the Superpole session and broke his hand. Hazza learnt shortly how little errors can imply extreme penalties as he battled all through the remainder of the season, with solely three level scoring finishes within the subsequent 10 races.
However the unthinkable occurred within the first race of the penultimate spherical, at Jerez, when he was concerned within the tragic accident that claimed the lifetime of Dean Berta Vinales, cousin of Maverick. Harry was completely distraught over the incident, and as such was not permitted to race the subsequent day.
The subsequent weekend he competed within the remaining spherical at Portimao, rounding out the season with an 18th place.
This 12 months Khouri will proceed within the Supersport 300 World Championship title and has signed with the Irish-based, Staff 109, and can return to Europe within the subsequent few weeks.
DOB 1 March 2004
Lives: Richmond (NSW)
Mark Bracks: So a brand new crew and renewed focus for 2022?
Harry ‘Hazza’ Khouri: “Yeah, after every thing that has occurred I’m actually trying ahead to the brand new problem. I’ll as soon as once more be primarily based in Andorra all through the season. It’s a very good place and nice for coaching as a result of it’s all at altitude.”
Bracks: Are you residing close to Jack Miller and lots of the different Aussies which might be primarily based there?
Khouri: “We aren’t too distant from one another. As you recognize Andorra isn’t a big nation, however I haven’t seen a lot of Jack as we’re doing various things and it’s not usually you meet up with different riders as you do your personal stuff.”
Bracks: Final 12 months was actually a fairly attempting 12 months for you.
Khouri: “It was a troublesome 12 months each mentally, and bodily. Coming into the 12 months I solely knew one monitor – Assen – from the 12 months earlier than, so I had rather a lot to study with the brand new crew and 7 new tracks on the calendar. It wasn’t a nasty begin; P9 within the first race then I used to be taken out within the second race. Then we went to Misano and I broke my hand and it form of all went a bit downhill from there. General I’m not fully upset with the season, however I’m upset in the way in which I do know I may’ve executed higher.”
Bracks: I don’t wish to dwell on it too lengthy however what occurred at Jerez is one thing no rider desires to consider.
Khouri: “Sadly this stuff can occur in our sport, and it’s one thing that I should stay with for the remainder of my life. I’d have favored to experience the subsequent day, simply to take my thoughts off it slightly bit – as that’s one factor that driving does for me. And having to race once more solely every week later with that also on my thoughts was not simply arduous for me, however all the opposite riders as nicely.”
Bracks: I wager. Was Dorna good to you?
Khouri: “They had been very respectful with it, nevertheless I want that they gave me the prospect to at the very least exit in warm-up. I can fully perceive why they didn’t, as a result of I used to be genuinely very upset in regards to the weekend however it could have helped take my thoughts off the accident. The response from throughout the paddock and likewise outdoors was overwhelming. Lots of the riders and groups got here to see me within the storage, and I obtained messages from a number of others world wide, and from again dwelling.”
Bracks: That was a steep studying curve for you. How a lot can you’re taking out of that – all of the knocks. Not solely Jerez, however every thing together with your accidents and many others. Has that made you stronger in your dedication and character?
Khouri: “I feel after having a 12 months as arduous as I did and nonetheless have the dedication to maintain going, I can draw from the negatives and deal with what I have to do for the approaching season.”
Bracks: What are your objectives for this 12 months? I do know it’s arduous becoming a member of a brand new crew and attempting to suppose forward…
Khouri: “My purpose is at all times to be up the entrance and difficult for the win, and I didn’t give myself sufficient alternatives for that final 12 months. I do know I’ve the potential to be there, and am assured that Staff 109 and I can obtain this collectively. Its tough to know the place you might be at till the primary check, the place you get a reference when it comes to different riders within the championship.”
Bracks: So the crew is shaping up nicely?
Khouri: “Staff 109 are an important bunch of men and their focus is younger rider improvement. They promote an important crew atmosphere and I’m trying ahead to getting the season began in March. Daniel Mogeda from Spain has signed with them once more. He and I are comparable in pace, and I feel we are able to actually assist one another out in the course of the 12 months.”
Bracks: I suppose one factor with an Irish crew they’ll educate you learn how to have a good time! How is your Spanish?
Khouri: “Hopefully we’ll have a couple of alternatives to have a good time this 12 months. I’m a bit ineffective at Spanish in the meanwhile so Google translate is my buddy!”
Bracks: All the perfect Hazz. Hopefully, all of it turns round for you and we see you battling on the entrance much more usually and also you crack a win.
Khouri: “Thanks Bracksy. That’s the principle intention mate!”