BACK IN THE SADDLE

After six months off, Kaukapakapa motocross rider Josh Jack took out the opening round of the Woodhill Two-man Series a week ago.

The popular Woodhill Two-man encourages two riders to tag-team for the event, taking it in turns to race a lap of the forestry course. For this opening round of the three-round series, 19-year-old Jack (Colemans BikesportNZ.com Suzuki RM-Z250) teamed up with the son of his boss, 15-year-old Luke Mobberly (Yamaha YZ125), to create the NZFX Builders Team.

A builder by trade, Jack had not had time to train or race in recent months, but none of that was obvious when he shot off the start line, rocketing from the third row of the grid and into the leading bunch.”We got into the lead on about the third lap when race leader Chris Power had mechanical problems,” Jack says. “I pushed pretty hard, because I thought there were other riders close behind, and opened up a good gap.”The NZFX Builders Team was the only pairing to complete seven laps in the three hours. Jack and Mobberly crossed the line ahead of Auckland pair Sean Fogarty and Aiden Kiff, with fellow Aucklander Callan May joining Northland’s Mitchell Nield to take third place overall in the opener, a competition sponsored by Spectrum Motorcycles.

Meanwhile, Mokau’s Adrian Smith was one of several key riders who did not split the workload with anyone and virtually did the job of two men as he finished fourth overall to win the solo section of the race. The 27-year-old sheep and beef farmer made only a last-minute decision to race at Woodhill and he lined up on the 11th row of the start grid determined to tackle it as an ironman on his Blackwood BikesportNZ.com Yamaha YZ250. He soon made up ground on the riders who set off ahead of him. The three-time national cross-country champion battled hard on the sandy, tree root-covered course and said he knew, once he had caught up to fellow Yamaha ace Adam Reeves, of Palmerston North, he had probably done enough to win his class. Smith was credited with a time of 3h 4.09m while Reeves’ time was 3h 5.08m, finishing fifth overall and making it a Yamaha double at the head of the solo class. Sixth overall and third best solo rider was Hamilton’s Sam Brown (Gas Gas EC300).

“It was hard work in the trees and I must have passed 30 or 40 riders from my row 11 start spot,” said Smith. “Just as well the solo riders were scored separately from the two-man squads.”

Round two is on August 25 and the third and final on September 29.

PIRELLI SCORPION MX32 DOMINATE MXGP ASIA

Semarang (Indonesia), 8 July 2018 – The Grand Prix of Asia – the second back-to-back race held in Indonesia and the thirteenth round of the 2018 FIM Motocross World Championship – was hosted at the new track of Semarang, located on the northern shore of Java island. Hot and humid weather and the hard soil of the Asian track that was watered abundantly to avoid dust, created grip problems that Pirelli-equipped riders were able to cope with and tackle thanks to the excellent SCORPION™ MX32™ Mid Soft front and rear tyres that showed their supremacy and unbeatable versatility.

 

 

Race results (Pirelli riders in bold):

MXGP race 1
1. HERLINGS Jeffrey (NED)
2. GAJSER Tim (SLO)
3. CAIROLI Antonio (ITA)
4. DESALLE Clement (BEL)

This weekend, the FIM Maxxis EnduroGP World Championship will have a taste of “Hard Enduro” in Pietramurata for the Trentino GP… After the Akrapovic Super Test on Friday night and an Enduro Sprint-type race during the day, the stars of the discipline will tackle “The Wall”, a notoriously tough event, during the evening!
With such a format, ABC Communication has decided to go all out and offer EnduroGP Facebook fans a full live stream of the evening.
To do this, the Italian company Movie & Click, which works on the Italian Enduro Championship, will offer a quality broadcast with four cameras to cover the entire Xtreme special.
You will see Alex Salvini (I – Husqvarna), Wade Young (RSA – Sherco), Steve Holcome (GB – Beta), Brad Freeman (GB – Beta Boano), Christophe Nambotin (F – Gas Gas) and many more – all ready to attack this well-known race on the other side of the Alps!
Two giant screens will also allow the audience to follow the race in every detail. An exciting “Hard Enduro” race that will be contested in four rounds with progressive difficulty and elimination.
Keep an eye on the official EnduroGP Facebook page to follow in full the final part of the Trentino GP and discover who will win the first ever “Hard Enduro” race in the history of the World Championship!

Mount Maunganui’s Cody Cooper (Honda), seen here racing in England last season. Photo by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ.com

New Zealand boxes above its weight on an international motocross stage and this weekend’s annual Battle of the Clubs event at Taupo is one of the reasons why that is so.

The country’s most talented motocross racers will put aside their traditional rivalries and brand allegiances when they compete at the ninth annual Battle of the Clubs (BOTC) motocross in Taupo on Saturday (June 23), on this occasion banding together under provincial or club colours.

It’s all for a good cause, this event a fundraiser to help send a three-rider New Zealand team to contest the annual Motocross of Nations (MXoN) – the Olympic Games of motocross – this year to be held in the United States.

The format being used for racing at the BOTC in Taupo is similar to what the Team New Zealand trio can expect when they line up at the MXoN in Buchanan, Michigan, on October 6-7, where they will race against three-rider teams from all around the world.

The New Zealanders have faced exceptionally strong teams, from nearly 40 countries, every time they’ve raced at the MXoN and yet they have typically also managed to impress.

New Zealand has finished a remarkable third outright at the MXoN on three memorable occasions in the past – in 1998, 2001 and 2006 – incredible achievements for a country with such a relatively small population and for a team that typically has the furthest distance to travel.

Team New Zealand finished a respectable eighth overall when the MXoN was staged in France in 2015, Bay of Plenty riders Ben Townley, Cody Cooper and Kayne Lamont impressive at the event near Rennes.

A different trio – Cooper, Takaka’s Hamish Harwood and Tauranga’s Josiah Natzke – were chosen to go into battle when the MXoN was held in Italy the following year and again they finished among the top 20 nations, 17th overall.

Last year’s effort was not a great one for the Kiwi trio – and again it was Cooper, Harwood and Natzke – the team on that occasion failing to qualify for the main races in the treacherously-muddy conditions in the UK. They were eventually credited with finishing 21st overall, a rare occasion that New Zealand has not ended up in the top half of the field.

France won the 2017 event overall, finishing ahead of The Netherlands and Great Britain, the fourth consecutive time they have won the MXoN.

These motocross “powerhouse” countries, along with Belgium, Switzerland and Italy, are favoured again this year, with the Americans also fancied to excel at home.

For New Zealand to have any chance at all, this year’s team, which is yet to be named, first has to get there and it can be very expensive to send a team of three riders, their bikes, mechanics and everything else they need to compete, to the other side of the world.

It was with this in mind that the Taupo Motorcycle Club first came up with the BOTC fundraiser in 2010, a domestic equivalent of the MXoN.

“We want to thank in advance the motorcycling community for their support,” said Taupo’s Bevan Weal, the man who will again manage the Kiwi team at the MXoN.

“The entry fee from each of the clubs at the BOTC, plus donations from the hundreds of spectators expected to flood the circuit, and the proceeds from raffle ticket sales, will be a welcome boost for the team heading to the US,” he said.

“The MXoN team’s naming rights sponsors, along with support sponsors, will be announced at the BOTC event this weekend. Team supporters’ apparel will also be on display and orders will be taken on Saturday for purchase by the public.

“The MXoN is the pinnacle for any rider chosen to compete. To ride for your country is a huge honour and fundraising from this weekend’s event will also help to develop our participation into the future.”

Saturday’s racing at Taupo’s Digger McEwen Motocross Park kicks off at about 10am.

Words and photo by Andy McGechan

Rotorua’s Ethan Harris, the outright winner of the senior race at the opening round of the Dirt Guide series last month. Photo by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ.com

There is simply no excuse for not tackling the Dirt Guide Cross-country Series and Rotorua’s Ethan Harris and Taupo’s Wil Yeoman would be the first individuals to tell you that.

These two riders were the day’s main winners at round one of the series near Tokoroa last month, Harris winning the two-hour senior race and Yeoman winning the 90-minute junior race that was held earlier in the day.

It’s the second of three rounds of the popular competition this weekend, set for the same Ohakuri venue, in forestry about halfway between Taupo and Tokoroa, and it is guaranteed be another thriller.

More than 100 riders lined up for the senior race at round one and, just as race organiser Sean Clarke had predicted during the earlier riders’ briefing, someone was going to win that had not really won a big race before and he was right, with Harris borrowing his dad’s bike and taking the win by nearly two minutes from Cambridge rider Ashton Grey.

Grey put up a good fight, fighting through traffic after a bad start to take second overall. Whitianga’s Blake Wilkins snatched third overall, passing Drury rider Richard Sutton within sight of the finish line.

Te Awamutu’s Rachel Archer was also impressive that day – she failed to quickly start her 250 four-stroke bike and, by the time she got going, she was 20 seconds behind the entire field.

Archer rode the wheels off her bike, finishing eighth overall, just behind her father, veterans’ class rider Kevin Archer.

In the juniors it was a great battle for the win between Yeoman and Whangaparoa’s Daniel Refoy, a tussle that went down to the wire with Yeoman taking the win by less than two minutes.

Now into its 10th year and continuing to grow, the secret for the Dirt Guide Series’ success is that it caters for young and old alike and, while it does offer something to tempt the less-experienced novice and junior riders, it is also a challenge for the more serious and highly-competitive senior racers.

The series will have nudged past the halfway stage by late Sunday afternoon and the third and final round of the series is set for July 22, also at Ohakuri.

The final round doubles up as the opening round of the parallel-but-separate NZXC cross-country series, that competition piggy-backing onto select major events throughout the North Island.

The Dirt Guide Series is sponsored by Michelin, Bel Ray, Renthal, O’Neal, DRC, Zeta, Kiwi Rider magazine, Oakley, TCX boots, Yoshimura and Forest Trail Events and SatCo Logging Equipment.

Words and photo by Andy McGechan