Callan May (Yamaha YZ250FX) is expected to be among the leading riders again this weekend. Photo by Andy McGechan

There’s no rest for the wicked and, it seems, there can be no rest for the very good either.

This weekend is the second of three rounds in the popular Motomuck Two-Man Cross-country Series, and that means Titirangi’s Callan May will most likely be back on his Yamaha YZ250FX and racing yet again.

Fresh from winning the third and final round of the parallel-but-separate Dirt Guide Cross-country Series near Tokoroa last weekend, the 26-year-old May is obviously in hot form at the moment.

Riding solo, he also won the opening round of the Motomuck Two-Man Series last month and so is heavily favoured to win again on Sunday, with this second round of the series at the same weather-proof venue.

Organised by the appropriately-named Endless Dirtbiking group, Sunday’s course at The Sandpit riding park, in the Woodhill Forest, near Helensville, is sure to be as challenging as it is enjoyable for the riders, the sandy soil able to cope with any weather conditions. Sunday’s course has been set out in a fresh part of the park.

The Sandpit also offers terrain that suits May’s fast and flowing riding style, although plenty of top riders go fast there and any number of riders who could snatch victory on the Sunday, including other solo (ironman) riders such as Muriwai’s round one runner-up Luke Mobberley, Rotorua’s Bradley Lauder, Cambridge’s Ashton Grey or Ararimu’s Richard Sutton, to name a few.

As the event name implies, two-rider teams may share riding duties over the gruelling three hours, and Tokoroa brothers Jake and Nick Wightman teamed up to finish third overall at round one, suggesting that May should also consider them a threat.

Sunday’s programme features a two-hour race for junior riders, followed by the three-hour race for the seniors and there are categories included for expert, clubman, novice, veterans, women, father and son teams and mixed (male and female) teams too.

Some of the juniors to look out for on Sunday include the youngsters who finished on the podium at round one, Auckland’s Ryan Webley, Muriwai’s JayRoy Skinner and Warkworth’s Finn Tomlinson, with others such as Mangawhai’s Robyn Turnbull, Morrinsville’s Liam Calley and Whangaparoa’s Jacob Refoy also expected to shine this weekend.

The third and final round of the Motomuck Two-Man Cross-country Series is set for Woodhill again, on Sunday, September 2, that event doubling up also as the third round of six in the parallel-but-separate Yamaha NZXC Series.

Words and photo by Andy McGechan

Calvin Vlaanderen has had a stellar race day at Loket as he wrapped up the MXGP of Czech Republic with a second place overall – and third consecutive podium finish – despite a difficult starting position. With a win in the first moto, a third place in the second race and 45 points overall – the same as the GP winner – the standard bearer of Team HRC in MX2 is now only 13 points shy of fourth place in the standings and 40 points away from the top-three.

Despite the 21st gate pick, Vlaanderen had an excellent start and was fourth as the MX2 field completed the opening lap of the race. After getting the better of Henry Jacobi and Michele Cervellin in the early stages of the moto, the 22-year-old rider from Cape Town put himself on the chase of the leading duo and powered his Honda CRF250RW machine first past Jorge Prado (lap ten) before taking the lead on lap 14 from Thomas Covington. Once at the front, Calvin never looked back and was five seconds ahead of the battle for second place before entering the final lap.

Vlaanderen was in eleventh place entering the first full lap of the second moto, and soon began his charge to the front. By lap six, he was all over Pauls Jonass for third and, after the two swapped positions a couple of times, Calvin lost a little bit of rhythm and ground from the Estonian opponent. Calvin did not give up and by lap 12 he completed the perfect pass on the reigning champion; it was a little bit too late, however for a last go at the overall win, which would have required a second-place finish after Prado edged Covington for first place in the moto.

The MX2 World Championship will return to action in a fortnight’s time (4-5 August) at Lommel in Belgium.

Monster Energy Honda Team continues with the preparations for the 41st edition of the Dakar while the official confirmation that the event will go ahead has been announced. It has also been revealed that the world’s toughest race will take place, in its entirety, in Peru over a total of ten stages.

Race organizers of the 2019 Dakar Rally have made public the first details of the forthcoming edition with the announcement that odyssey will play out entirely on Peruvian territory. The race will get underway on January 6 with the start scheduled to take place in the country’s capital Lima.

From Lima, the entourage will head south, covering the coastal region with stages in Pisco, San Juan de Marcona and Arequipa – places already visited in the most recent edition of the rally. In Moquegua will held the unique Marathon stage before arrive to Arequipa for the rest day that will be held on January 12 before the rally begins the return journey back to Lima with looping stages in San Juan de Marcona and Pisco. In total, about 5000 kilometres of race, where there will be 3000 km of special stages and about 2000 kilometres of liaison.

Technically, riders can expect tough days full of demanding navigation. Monster Energy Honda Team is deep in preparations for the Dakar, with a busy summer programme that will include three South American races this summer. First up is the Atacama Rally in Chile which is followed by the Desafío Ruta 40 in Argentina, both of which have points which count towards the FIM World Championship. In addition the team is set to take part in the Inca Challenge in Peru, a Dakar Series event, to be held in September.

TWO KIWI RIDERS ATTEND YZ65 CUP

The first round of the Yamaha YZ65 cup took place at MX Central alongside the Raymond Terrace
round of the 2018 MX Nationals in Newcastle Australia over the weekend, between 14-15 July.
Yamaha Motor New Zealand was delighted to have two Kiwi riders (Will Harvey and Richard
Spencer) represent New Zealand at the event as well as provide an opportunity for the riders to have
a full bLU cRU experience.

Developed for Yamaha’s newest bLU cRU members, the YZ65 cup experience aims to provide riders
with a money-can’t buy experience of racing in front of a national crowd.
The two Kiwi riders, Will Harvey and Richard Spencer had their throttles wide open in every Moto to
gain a well-deserved overall position in the final cup.

Both Harvey and Spencer were incredibly excited to have an opportunity for the full factory race
experience, being able to pit under the bLU cRU truck awning, with assistance from Yamaha factory
technicians. Another event highlight was attending a bLU cRU BBQ on Saturday evening with the
Yamaha factory teams, an opportunity for autographs and signed merchandise.

The all new YZ65 is fitted with Yamaha’s YPVS system, this feisty two-stroke has heaps of easy-to-use
torque and handling is predictable and assured thanks to tried and tested chassis design and
industry leading KYB suspension.
YZ65 offers all the fun, performance and dependability of Yamaha’s bigger YZs. It’s the first step on a
long journey – a journey that will keep young guns with the bLU cRU and firmly within the
VictorYZone.

Yamaha Motor New Zealand is looking at hosting regional training clinics in the coming months for
riders who have purchased a YZ65 in New Zealand. All YZ65 riders are encouraged to contact their
local Yamaha dealer to register their interest for a locally based training event.

SUZUKI GIVE SNEAK PREVIEW OF 2019 MX2 MACHINE

 

Suzuki has announced the first details of its 2019 RM-Z250, with the new MX2 machine boasting a brand new chassis and heavily revised engine. (Details yet to be released)

Taking cues from the bigger RM-Z450 – which itself was new for 2018 – the 2019 RM-Z250 gets an all-new frame and swingarm, which further optimises rigidity and improves handling characteristics, along with a new rear shock and updated front forks.

Stopping power is improved with a new front brake setup, that includes a bigger disk, and grip is enhanced with new Dunlop tyres.

The new chassis – complete with newly designed plastics that sharpen up the styling of the MX2 racer – is wrapped around a heavily updated engine. The 2019 RM-Z250 makes more power and torque while remaining manageable and easy to ride with improved throttle response.

It also gets the newest version of Suzuki’s Holeshot Assist Control and improved traction management system, changes to the exhaust, and revised gear ratio.

All the changes come together to make the the 2019 RM-Z250 the more complete package for racers while making it easier to ride and exploit for less experienced riders.

It is expected to arrive early next year. Further details will be announced soon.