As reported yesterday, Tony Smith from Palmerston North and Gary Smith formerly from Fielding have been competing at The Don Matthews CZ World Championships in Marysville, California, and have successfully concluded the event with a World Title and two class wins between them! Gary won the World CZ 500cc class title in the expert under-50’s class, and Tony won the intermediate class.

Gary, who was riding in two classes, also won the pre-1970 250cc expert class, and also ‘accidentally’ competed in a Legends Race, finishing in a very respectable second place against John Desoto and Gary Jones, to name a few.

The event was a fantastic experience, with the Kiwi boys rubbing shoulders with Jaroslav Falta, Brad Lackey, Mary Tripes, Jim Wilson… and banging bars with some of the best riders in the world. Both Gary and Tony enjoyed the event so much they are already planning return visits to defend their titles! Out of a field of 361 riders, the two Kiwi lads definitely left a lasting impression. Congratulations on the wins from the team here at DRD, you’ve made the whole country very proud.

 

 

 

 

 

Photos by JD Art Wrk, and Gary Smith

 

 

Two New Zealand riders have embarked on an epic journey to America to compete in the 2019 Don Matthews CZ World Championships in Marysville, California, taking place as this goes online (27th/28th April in California).

 

This year marks the centenary of CZ Motorcycles and also includes personal appearances from some huge names in the sport. These include Jaroslav Falta, Zednek Velky, Antonin Baboravsky, Brad Lackey, Mike Chamberlain, Mary McGee, Jim Wilson, Marty Tripes, Gary Jones, Lori Payne, and many more.

Some of the world’s best classic riders have made the pilgrimage to this racing mecca. Nations represented include England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, USA, and of course Team New Zealand.

 

Tony Smith (47) from Palmerston North, races in the New Zealand VMX series regularly on his 1973 CZ 380cc. He is a former Pre75 Open Class Champion and currently Number 2 in both the Pre75 and Pre78 classes.

Teaming up with Tony for Team New Zealand (aka Team Smith) is Gary Smith (47) from Feilding, who now lives in the UK. Gary cut his teeth in the New Zealand championships, 80cc and 125cc classes back in the 80’s and has now turned his attention to racing classic 1971 Greeves 380cc QUB’s and is a 3-time British Greeves Champion. Gary has also raced in the ECMO European Championships in France, Holland, Germany, Sweden, and the Czech Rebublic.

Both riders are racing CZ motorcycles in their respective World Championship Classes on bikes kindly prepared by American Sponsors Rick Nabers and Jim Palmus.

Also on the trip is Gary’s father and former New Zealand Speedway rider Graeme Smith, who is acting as navigator, manager, coach, mechanic, and most importantly bail provider in the event of a run-in with the local police!

Words and Photos: Supplied

Four new champions were crowned at the 2019 New Zealand Junior Motocross Championships near Palmerston North at the weekend.

The sandy course at Himatangi certainly sorted the men from the boys as three days of racing – seven races for each of the championship classes – pushed the young stars to breaking point and beyond at the Lucas Oils and Alpinestars-sponsored event.

Rongotea’s Seth Henson, Manukau’s Cobie Bourke and Tokanui’s Mitchell Weir respectively repeated national title wins, Henson adding the 12-14 years’ 125cc crown to the 11-12 years’ 85cc title he won in 2017, Bourke successfully defending his 14-16 years’ 85cc title and Weir adding the 12-13 years’ 85cc title to the 8-11 years’ 85cc title he won in 2016.

But for Pukekawa’s Jack Dunlop, Tauranga’s Madoc Dixon, Invercargill’s Seth Morrow and Oropi’s Levi Townley it was their first time on top of the podium at a New Zealand Junior Motocross Championships event, although Morrow had previously been a mini motocross champion.

Dunlop was in sensational form in claiming the premier 14-16 years’ 250cc title, winning five of his seven races over the weekend, clinching that trophy ahead of Otautau’s Jack Treloar and Dunedin’s Grason Veitch, while Dixon had more of a battle on his hands in the 15-16 years’ 125cc class, local hero Luka Freemantle giving him plenty to think about before he eventually won the title by just two points from the Palmerston North teenager.

Morrow, only recently recovered from injury, won four of his seven races in the 8-11 years’ 85cc class, winning the title by 11 points from Hamilton’s Jack Coleman.

Townley showed consistency counts as he finished no worse than sixth all weekend and took the new 8-11 years’ 65cc title by 15 points from Auckland’s Jack Ellingham, who rose up from fourth after day one to capture the runner-up spot. This class was a support class only last season, but now elevated to full championship status in 2019.

The event attracted the cream of Kiwi rising stars, with Motorcycling New Zealand motocross commissioner Ray Broad, of Ngatea, commenting that he believed it would be “close to record entry numbers this year”.

“This sand track is one that has to be respected and rewards the riders who have good skills and good fitness too.”

A non-championship support class was run for the female racers, with Motueka’s Roma Edwards winning the 125cc/250cc division and Rotorua’s Ticayla Manson winning the 65cc/150cc division.

The battle-within-a-battle for best club honours was won by the Southland Motorcycle Club, earning them the inaugural Bryan Davidson Memorial Trophy.

Southland scored 474 points over the weekend, edging out the host Manawatu Orion Motorcycle club by just three points, with the Tauranga Motorcycle club finishing third, 20 points further back.

Davidson, a long-time stalwart of the host Manawatu Orion Motorcycle Club, passed away last year. He was well loved and respected by the Kiwi motorcycling community and had held the post of MNZ motocross commissioner.

Motorcycling New Zealand general manager Virginia Henderson said it was “terrific value having the 65cc class and women’s support classes included for the first time this year and it will continue to be our focus”.

Pukekawa’s Jack Dunlop (Yamaha YZ250F), winner of the premier 14-16 years’ 250cc title this season.

Words and Photo by Andy McGechan

The X-Trial event in Andorra has brought the 2019 FIM X-Trial World Championship to a close. Toni Bou, the Repsol Honda Team rider, with the championship already mathematically sealed, was able to savour the thirteenth title in front of the home Andorran spectators.

The Repsol rider, making his debut in an Andorra X-Trial, arrived on the back of four 2019 championship victories with the title already bagged after winning the Marseille trial, a month and a half ago. Bou was able to ride without pressure and command the trial to claim a fifth win of the season. Bou cleaned the first two rounds and later picked up just a single point, compared to the 11 of rival Adam Raga, in the final.

This marks a career 75th podium place for Toni Bou and victory number 62 for the multi-time Spanish champion.

The X-Trial World Championship had returned to Andorra after a sixteen-year absence. Toni Bou hadn’t yet taken part in the championship back then, unlike team-mate Takahisa Fujinami. In the most recent edition of the indoor event in Andorra, disputed in the Palau de Gel de Canillo, the Japanese Repsol Honda Team rider had finished in fifth position.

The trial was the 139th participation for Takahisa Fujinami in an X-Trial World Championship event – an outright record in this competition. The Japanese rider accomplished his mission of qualifying for the second phase and went on to post an upbeat fifth overall position.

Repsol Honda Team will participate next weekend in the second round of the Campeonato de España de Trial (Spanish Trial Championship) which will take place in Sant Julià de Lòria, also in Andorra. Bou is the leader of the national contest after winning the inaugural race.

Toni Bou

RACE: 1ST   STANDINGS: 1ST

It was a difficult race for me with the pressure of competing at home, but I’m very excited to win. In my first year as a resident in Andorra I lost both outdoor races, so I had this one outstanding. The trial was pretty easy, so we had to concentrate to not make any mistakes. I performed well throughout the event, riding great confidence. I am very happy as I think we managed to find the physical point that I had been lacking. Finishing the championship with five out of six possible victories is spectacular.

Takahisa Fujinami

RACE: 5TH  STANDINGS: 8TH

After the trial in Barcelona I did not go back to indoor training so I am very happy with my riding. I feel very well physically. This trial has motivated me for the outdoor season which is just about to begin. Many people have asked me if this was my last indoor race. This I will have to decide, and today, with the fifth place I think I can still do well here, right?

 

Miquel Cirera

Team Manager

We must congratulate Toni Bou for this great victory. We already had the title won so today Toni was able to show off a bit without pressure in front of the home crowd. Finishing the championship by winning is fantastic. From here, in one month we will start the outdoor world championship, so we hope that all goes well too. Today Fujinami rode very well, he is very happy as he got through to the second round for the first time this season, so this gives him a lot of motivation for the outdoor season. Congratulations as always to the whole Repsol Honda team for the work that they have done this X-Trial season.

Rider Standings – Overall

Pos. Rider Num Nation Points Team
1 BOU Toni 1 SPA 115 Repsol Honda Team
2 RAGA Adam 67 SPA 89 TRRS Factory Team
3 FAJARDO Jeroni 4 SPA 58 Gas Gas Factory Team
4 BUSTO Jaime 69 SPA 51 Gas Gas Factory Team
5 BINCAZ Benoit 16 FRA 43 Beta Factory Racing
6 GELABERT Miquel 34 SPA 24 Sherco Factory Team
7 CASALES Jorge 33 SPA 15 Vertigo Factory Team
8 FUJINAMI Takahisa 3 JPN 11 Repsol Honda Team
9 PETRELLA Luca 98 ITA 8 Beta Factory Racing
10 MARCELLI Gabriel 38 SPA 6 RG Team
11 FERRER Alexandre 29 FRA 3 Sherco Factory Team
12 DABILL James 22 GBR 3 Beta Factory Racing
13 GELABERT Aniol 18 SPA 2 Scorpa Factory
14 HAGA  Sondre 99 NOR 2 TRRS Factory Team
15 COLAIRO  Téo 13 FRA 1 Gas Gas
16 PEACE Dan 17 GBR 1 Sherco Factory Team

Words and Photos: Honda Racing Corporation

Repsol Honda Team riders Toni Bou and Takahisa Fujinami will participate, this Saturday, in the closing event of the 2019 X-Trial season to be held in the Polisportiu d’Andorra in the Pyrenean capital.

Toni Bou will wrap up the X-Trial season on home soil this coming Saturday, April 27, as the 2019 FIM X-Trial World Championship campaign celebrates its final competition – the Andorra X-Trial. The Polisportiu d’Andorra will receive Bou as world champion, having sealed the title in the previous event in Marseille.

Alongside the Repsol Honda Team rider, who triumphed in four of the five trials disputed, will be Japanese team-mate Takahisa Fujinami, who will take part for the third time this season as a wild-card rider in one of the world championship events.

The Andorra X-Trial will kick off at 18:00 this Saturday, with the dispute of the first round. The start of the second round is expected to take place at around 19:45, followed straight after by the final, to be contested by the two top remaining riders.

 

Toni Bou

CHAMPIONSHIP: CHAMPION  POINTS: 95

I am very motivated to compete in this final race of the X-Trial World Championship, which will be held in Andorra. I hope to give a good show to the fans that come and, especially, to all my friends who will be here supporting me. The fact of having won the title in the previous race makes it easier for me to compete here without the pressure or the obligation not to mess up; I hope the spectators have a good time.

Takahisa Fujinami

CHAMPIONSHIP: 9TH  POINTS: 5

Andorra is the last event of the X-Trial World Championship and it is also my last chance to try to qualify for the second round of a trial. In the two events that I have participated this year I haven’t achieved it; in Barcelona I came close, but without managing to do it. On the other hand, the championship is already decided and there is no position to play for, so in this last event I can just ride without pressure and go out to have fun and give the spectators a good time.

Words and Photos: Honda Racing Corporation