After last year's podium at Phillip Island the Australian is aiming to delight the home crowd again.
Arthur Sissis realised a dream at last year's Australian Grand Prix when, in his debut season in the World Championship, he climbed onto the podium in front of a cheering home crowd.
The Moto3 rider clinched third place to take his first – and so far only – podium in the category, and as the Australian round approaches this weekend the 17-year-old from Adelaide is hoping to repeat last year's heroics at the famous track.
Ahead of his most important GP of the season, Sissis sat down with his Red Bull KTM Ajo team to answer some questions...
What are your memories of the Australian Grand Prix last season?
"I have only good memories of that weekend. Everyone thought that I started with an advantage as it was my home race but, even though it seems like a lie, that was the first time I had properly ridden at Phillip Island.
"On the Saturday I got my best position on the grid of the year – which is still the second best in my career so far – and on the Sunday I took my first World Championship podium.
To achieve this in front of my friends, family and all the Australian fans was incredible.
Did you expect that result?
"No, I did not expect it at all. In fact, I had expected to do better in the European rounds, because thanks to the Red Bull Rookies Cup those were the tracks that I knew better. I’d only been to Phillip Island once, for half a day and putting in few laps. I was really keen to ride at such a magnificent circuit."
What were the most special moments from that weekend?
"Probably the last lap. Whenever I watch the race my heartbeat accelerates when I get to that last turn. It was awesome! We fought very hard on every lap, but when Danny Kent passed me on the last lap I thought that it was over and that Danny would take third.
"However, I knew that I had better braking at Turn 4 and overtook him there. Then I had to shut the door on the remaining turns, braking as late as possible. My heart was pounding."
What do you expect from the Australian Grand Prix in 2013?
"I'll definitely be trying to repeat last year's result."
Do you feel much pressure with it being your home race?
"Last year I did not notice it much. I really put more pressure myself that I got from others. I want to do well at home and I don’t want to disappoint the fans. In fact, it is the track where I am the most relaxed, because I feel at home and my family and my friends help me. In addition, Phillip Island is my favourite track on the entire calendar."
Casey Stoner was the king of this circuit and many other Australian riders have won here. What is the secret for Australian riders?
"I don’t know. It is probably the motivation that we get from our supporters. Bear in mind that we are always far away from our friends and our country. Although they might be in different countries, European riders are lucky in that their supporters can follow them easily.
Stoner won the MotoGP races here because he took risks in places where the other riders did not dare. In Moto3 we just have to give it full gas!