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.