A TEENAGER from Denbighshire is living the dream in France as he continues to impress in the motocross world.

Back in 2014, the Denbighshire Free Press covered the story of then 10-year-old Joel Rizzi from Denbigh.

Back then, Joel who was a pupil at Ysgol Bro Cinmeirch in Denbigh, was already a British class motocross champion.

He enjoyed a brilliant first full season in the British Motocross Championship and the Red Bull Pro-Nationals for eight to 11-year-olds.

There were seven rounds to the championship, taking in races at Landrake, Weston Super Mare, Whitby, Canada Heights, Hawkstone Park and twice at Culham.

Following the completion of the season, Joel brilliantly became the youngest class winner in the championship’s history and he finished third overall in Britain.

During a season of memorable performances, Joel’s best display came at Hawkstone Park, where he won the race by a mammoth 30 seconds.

A now 17-year-old Joel, who went on to be a pupil at Ysgol Glan Clwyd in St Asaph, has added several more honours to his list and is a professional motocross racer

He became the MX2 British under-19’s World Champion aged just 15 in 2019 and was also fifth in the world 125cc championships and 3rd in a prestigious tournament based in the USA in the same year.

The Free Press recently caught up with Joel’s father, Tino, who told us a bit more about what he’s up to in 2021.

And it’s set to be a big year for Joel, after he signed a deal to race the MX2 World Championship with the 114 Motorsports Honda team.

He recently enjoyed some great results in the EMX125 and the EMX250 championship with the PAR Homes Husqvarna team.

Dad Tino said: “Joel now lives in Capbreton in the South of France - where his team Honda 114 motorsports are based.

“He’s there with his cousin Fabio Rizzi who’s had to go as a chaperone and to help with his practice bike because he’s under 18.

“He trains six days a week in preparation for the first of 20 world mx250 championships events which starts in Oman in March.”

Joel first took an interest in racing due to his dad Tino being a former racer himself.

Tino added: “He’s always been around the motocross paddock from when I raced and it’s just evolved from there.”

As motocross is not as highly regarded as football, rugby or other sports who obtain sponsorship to reach their goals, Tino says he has had to privately fund Joel and Fabio’s day to day living.

If you are interested in helping the team out with their sponsorship in future, just as the likes of Reec plant hire, Pentre motors and Niel Watkins have done so far, then contact joelrizziracing@gmail.com