Jacob Roulstone left Jamberoo last year with his eyes set on chasing his MotoGP dream.
He arrived in Spain to a rapidly deteriorating COVID-19 situation and a three-month lockdown.
It's fair to say it's not what Roulstone had in mind when he relocated to Lloret de Mar, just outside Barcelona to compete in the European Talent Cup.
The 16-year-old rode out the crisis, however, and eventually found himself back doing what he loves, racing motorbikes.
After a solid 2020 season, Roulstone has burst out of the gates this year. In the opening round of the series, the teenager became the first Australian to win a race in the competition.
He was again in the mix for victory in two races in Valencia on Sunday night and now sits fifth in the standings.
"There's 52 kids entered into the class, only 38 qualify to race and then they fight it out," Jacob's father Chris said. "The best kids from all over the world race in this series.
"He's the first Australian to win a race in that series.
"Remy Gardner and Jack Miller both came through that, they're two current grand prix drivers who weren't fortunate enough to win a race."
The European Talent Cup acts as a breeding ground for the next batch of MotoGP stars.
The series is split into two age brackets, Roulstone currently competing in the junior division.
The senior class sees racers ride the same motorbikes as the Moto3 category, the third tier in the World Championships set up.
Roulstone, who grew up idolising Casey Stoner, hopes to work his way up the ranks, with a seat in the MotoGP the ultimate goal.
He is under no illusions, however, of just how hard it is to achieve that dream.
"Only 24 guys in the world get to do it," Chris said. "There aren't too many people to do it each year, but that is the goal and what he'd ultimately like to do.
"Next year he will step up to the junior Moto3 class. He will hopefully get offered a ride in his same team in that category and from there is a pathway to the senior World Moto3."
Roulstone's journey to Spain started with dirt bike racing at the Mt Kembla motocross track, the youngster winning multiple junior Australian titles.
He slowly started to dabble in road racing, partially fuelled by a desire to reach higher speeds.
The transition to asphalt was complete in 2019 when Roulstone competed in the Asia Talent Cup, his outstanding performances laying the platform for a start in the European Talent Cup.
While the Illawarra Academy of Sport athlete has excelled at all levels of racing, Chris said Jacob recognises he must continue to impress if he is to climb up the ranks.
"For him to achieve his goals, he's really put his mind to it and has been training hard. He knows he has to do well if he wants to stay there, that's the way the world is.
"He's been determined, he said he could do it and he's backed it up."
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