Ki­wis miss out on ju­nior podium

Horowhenua Chronicle - - SPORT - By ANDY McGECHAN Bike­sportNZ.com

There were mixed feel­ings in the Kiwi camp on Sun­day af­ter rac­ing wrapped up at the 2018 FIM Ju­nior Mo­tocross World Cham­pi­onships at Hor­sham, in Aus­tralia.

None of the New Zealand con­tin­gent man­aged to end the week­end on the podium — some­thing that had been ex­pected in some quar­ters — but im­pres­sive per­for­mances were cer­tainly seen from the Ki­wis rac­ing at the deeply-rut­ted Vic­to­rian track.

Best of the Ki­wis was Opa­rau’s ¯ James Scott, who fin­ished 7th over­all in the premier 125cc class, which came de­spite his mak­ing life dif­fi­cult for him­self with a shock­ing start in the first of his two races on Sun­day.

From nearly last po­si­tion as the bikes ex­ited turn one, the 16-year-old Scott went on the charge, pow­er­ing through to 22nd by the end of the first of 15 laps. He con­tin­ued to work for­ward and even­tu­ally claimed sev­enth at the fin­ish line.

He also crossed the fin­ish line sev­enth in race two, af­ter a thrilling bat­tle with French Euro­pean 125cc Cham­pi­onship leader Thibaut Benistant, those com­bined re­sults giv­ing Scott a world rank­ing of seven.

Be­hind Scott, it was Tau­ranga’s Brodie Connolly who was next best of the Ki­wis in the 125cc class, fin­ish­ing 13th over­all, while Tai­hape’s Hay­den Smith ended up 14th over­all and Ron­gotea’s Zac Jilling fin­ished up 31st over­all in the 34-rider 125cc field.

In the 85cc class, best of the Ki­wis was Ran­giora’s Co­bie Bourke, who fin­ished 12th over­all.

Ron­gotea’s Rhys Jillings claimed 28th over­all and Darfield’s Tyler Wiremu fin­ished 31st in the 39-rider 85cc class that lined up at Hor­sham.

Best of the Ki­wis in the 65cc class was en­trants was Waitoki’s Cole Davies (15th over­all), with Nel­son’s Wil­liam Har­vey fin­ish­ing 32nd, Cam­bridge’s Har­ri­son Find­lay end­ing up 34th and Palmer­ston North’s Lachie Barr 35th.

Mean­while, it was Aus­tralian teenager Bai­ley Malkiewicz who made the most of home turf ad­van­tage to win the 125cc class ti­tle, United States rider Caden Braswell was the top 85cc class rider at Hor­sham and Aus­tralian Braden Plath took the 65cc class honours.

“For me, Brodie (Connolly) was the most im­pres­sive of the Ki­wis,” said Bay of Plenty’s Ben Town­ley, the for­mer world cham­pion who had worked as men­tor to Scott, Connolly and Smith.

“Brodie was the rider of the week­end I feel. He’s tena­cious and had quite high ex­pec­ta­tions, but I said to him he needed to lower them and he didn’t want to. The mis­sion for Brodie this week­end, at only 14, was to get two good starts and show the world what he could do and he did ex­actly that.

“For James (Scott), it was a nice ef­fort by him to fight back from his poor start, but he should not have had to do that. We had ex­pected him to be in a podium po­si­tion and he didn’t achieve that, which was dis­ap­point­ing.

“For Hay­den we had a lot of ex­pec­ta­tion. He hasn’t done a lot of in­ter­na­tional rac­ing and so it was al­ways go­ing to be tough.”

LVN050918rhys PHOTO / ANDY McGECHAN

Ron­gotea’s Rhys Jillings claimed 28th over­all in the 39-rider 85cc clas at the Ju­nior World Cham­pi­onships in Aus­tralia.

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