_THE _ past year has been an amazing one for 12-year-old Caleb Grothues with excellent results in two of America's most prestigious Motocross events.
At California's Mammoth Mountain in June, he won the second day to finish second overall.
He then produced some spectacular riding when he went back to the US in July/August for the prestigious AMA National Amateur Motocross Championships held at Loretta Lynn Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee, for the past 30 years.
Grothues was among 20,000 hopefuls who were whittled down to 1400 qualifiers.
He finished third overall on day one and first overall on day two, for second overall in the modified class and fourth overall in the stock category.
But the best was yet to come with the youngster jetting off to Bulgaria to contest the 65cc F.I.M. Junior MX Championship with just two practice sessions, followed by qualifying and two races each of 10 minutes plus two laps.
"In the first race I got a good start but at the end of the first lap I landed off a jump and snapped the rear brake but I just kept going," Grothues said.
"It was a bit hard (without the brake) but I settled into a good rhythm and Dad showed on the pit-board I had built up a 7sec. lead so I was able to control the race and not do anything stupid.
"I won by almost 7sec. which gave me a lot of confidence for the second race.
"In the second race I got a good start and again I was able to control the race and I knew so long as I didn't do anything stupid and crash then I could win it. In the end I won by about 4sec. to give me an overall 11sec. margin and the No. 1 plate."
Once back in Australia it was off to Coolum Pines in Queensland to contest two classes at the Australian Junior MX Championships, the 65cc and 85cc divisions.
He won both in convincing fashion, adding two national titles to his world championship.
Australia's newest MX world champion is the youngest of three children and lives in Perth's northern suburbs.
He has been riding in MX for just four years and his results over the previous three years gave little indication of what was to happen in 2012.
Grothues and his parents, Mark and Kylie, have just returned from attending the F.I.M. gala awards ceremony in Monte Carlo.
"It was absolutely amazing; I have never experienced anything like that, it was just a dream come true," he said.
"Just to be up there on the same stage as some of my heroes was just awesome. I got to talk to quite a few of them, including Max Biaggi, Jorge Lorenzo, Antonio Cairoli and Ryan Villopoto.
"I guess I spoke to just about all of them over the night. The whole night was excellent; we were picked up in a Mercedes limousine from the hotel and taken to the venue where we walked the red carpet. Then we were interviewed and that was followed by dinner and then the actual awards. I was presented with my certificate by Torsten Hallman, who is a legend of MX racing.
"The whole thing was just extraordinary and a huge thank you to the F.I.M - it was fantastic and to have both Mum and Dad there was just the best.
"It was just unbelievable; there I was standing up there on the stage with all the world champions."
Grothues also won the MWA Patron's Cup for the most outstanding performance by a competitor under the age of 21 years.
He was declared "the up and coming rider of the year for 2012" by ADB (Australasian Dirt Bike magazine) and was a finalist in the ANZ West Australian Sports Star of the Year Awards.
Grothues, who has now moved up to 85cc class, is hoping to again head to the US next month for the Loretta Lynn qualifying to hopefully score a chance to compete in the actual races.
In Australia he will contest the State and national titles and if all goes well he will be selected to race in the world championships at the end of the year.
This youngster has a huge future ahead of him and is certainly a rider to keep an eye on because he s destined for a very successful career in the sport.