ON ISLAND: Aiden Wagner.
ON ISLAND: Aiden Wagner.

Wildcard needs to fire from 31st place on grid

COAST rider Aiden Wagner was so intense while preparing for his world championship debut on Phillip Island, former MotoGP legend Garry McCoy feared the youngster might injure himself.

The 20-year-old wildcard held nothing back after he travelled 134km west from his base at Wamuran to McCoy's dirt track in Cooyar for some last-minute sessions before heading to Phillip Island, after his shock inclusion in the MarcVDS Racing team for today's Moto 2 race.

"He was going hard and I was a little worried because it would have been pretty hurtful if he came out here and injured himself before the big race," McCoy said.

"I thought he was going to come out here and I was going to pass on some of my knowledge, but he was intent on getting on the bike."

Wagner qualified in 31st place, out of 34, yesterday for today's race. Teammate Esteve Rabat took first place on the grid.

McCoy, who had three Grand Prix victories and 10 podium finishes during a career that spanned from 1992 to 2006, sees big things on the horizon for Wagner.

"His future is limitless," McCoy said.

"He looks very dedicated, he's training every day and he's definitely got his mind set on it.

"As long as he keeps it that way there's no reason he can't become a world champion.

"You can never predict these things, but he's definitely got the will and want to become one."

Wagner, who grew up racing on dirt tracks on the Sunshine Coast before switching to road racing three years ago, has become a regular at McCoy's property.

McCoy also came from a dirt track background before making his road racing debut in the 125cc World Championship in 1992.

"It's unlimited the amount of things I'd be able to teach him, but there's only so much time," he said.

"He was only here a couple of days and there's only so much I can tell him and you don't want to put too much in his mind either because it just overloads and they forget important things."

McCoy said it was important for Wagner to keep it simple today.

"He's just got to keep his head clear and think about what he needs to do," he said. "It's not often you get these opporunities given to you and a lot of the times if they are given to you the window closes quickly, so you've got to jump through it."

"You've just got to keep a clear head and make the best of it and not try and override or do things you're not ready for."

MOTOGP champion Marc Marquez will start from pole in the main race after dominating yesterday's qualifying.

Caboolture's Callum Spriggs is also at Phillip Island this weekend, competing in round two of the Phillip Island Championship, a part of the Australian Supersport season.

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