Shaky start for cham­pion

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE -

Na­tional MX2 cham­pion Scott Columb be­gins the de­fence of his ti­tle this weekend af­ter a shaky start to the sea­son. Rac­ing 10 days ago at the 53rd an­nual New Zealand Mo­tocross Grand Prix at Woodville, he was hit by a rider on his left head­ing into the first turn and was then clipped by another rider be­hind him, send­ing him spin­ning sev­eral me­tres into the air be­fore land­ing on his back and head. ‘‘I’ve got whiplash and slight con­cus­sion,’’ Columb said from his Queen­stown home where he was re­cov­er­ing last week. The 30-year-old man­aged to gather him­self to­gether and fight through the 40-rider field to even­tu­ally fin­ish 16th. The next race saw him fin­ish fourth be­fore win­ning the third leav­ing him an un­ac­cus­tomed fifth over­all. ‘‘Con­sid­er­ing how things went the re­sult was pretty good,’’ he said. ‘‘I qual­i­fied sec­ond and ev­ery­thing was good but af­ter a whack to the head you aren’t 100 per cent. ‘‘I was rid­ing with my feet down like I had trainer wheels on.’’ Af­ter a few ad­just­ments to the bike Columb raced at the Gold Nugget Mo­tor X Champs hosted by the West­land Mo­tor­cy­cle Club last weekend. There he took five wins and five races and a sec­ond in the fea­ture race against 39 of the other rid­ers. The four-round New Zealand cham­pi­onship se­ries starts in Ti­maru this weekend.

Photo: ANDY MCGECHAN/WWW. BIKE­SPORTNZ.COM

Battler: Queen­stown’s Scott Columb rac­ing at the New Zealand Mo­tocross Grand Prix at Woodville.

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