Champ thrives on mo­tocross

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By NI­COLA STEWART

Ten- year- old Brodie Con­nolly has taken out the ti­tle of New Zealand Mini Mo­tocross Cham­pion for the sec­ond year run­ning.

The Wal­ton School stu­dent was un­beaten at the two-day cham­pi­onship at Waitoki, near Auck­land last weekend.

He com­peted in the nine to 11 years 65CC class and won all five of his races, fin­ish­ing up on 125 points.

Run­ner- up Luca Palmer- Don­ald­son from Nel­son was on 93 and in third place was Car­lin Hedley from Otoro­hanga with 79.

‘‘He had won it with one race still to go,’’ said Brodie’s dad Gavin.

Last year, Brodie won the na­tional ti­tle against 10 and 11-yearolds just one day af­ter his ninth birth­day.

In Oc­to­ber, he won the North Is­land Ju­nior Mo­tocross Champs and two weeks be­fore that was in Aus­tralia com­pet­ing in the Aus­tralian Ju­nior Cham­pi­onship.

Un­for­tu­nately he was sick for the three days lead­ing up to the com­pe­ti­tion near Mel­bourne and, al­though he had qual­i­fied third in his class, he came away 13th in the 65cc class and 15th for 85cc.

‘‘It was good ex­pe­ri­ence though,’’ said Mr Con­nolly.

He also came sec­ond in the eight to 10 years 85cc class at the ju­nior na­tion­als in New Ply­mouth ear­lier this year, and a week later beat the win­ner at another event.

Brodie has been com­pet­ing in mo­tocross for five and a half years and seems to have a nat­u­ral abil­ity, said Mr Con­nolly.

‘‘ He just lives and breathes it,’’ he said.

‘‘ It’s fun,’’ said Brodie.

He tried out his cousin’s mo­tocross bike for the first time just be­fore his fifth birth­day and hated it.

‘‘I de­cided I wanted to try again, rode it and loved it,’’ he said.

‘‘So I got a bike and started rac­ing.’’

Brodie is a mem­ber of the Mata­mata, Pate­tonga, Pukekohe, Taupo and Toko­roa mo­tocross clubs and com­petes al­most ev­ery weekend.

He has trained with Broxy Rider coach Peter Brox­holme and more re­cently, with top Aus­tralian coach Greg Moss.

Over the years he has won mul­ti­ple ti­tles, in­clud­ing the King of the North three times and the New Zealand Grand Prix Cham­pion twice in the mini class and once in ju­nior.

Mr Con­nolly built him a small mo­tocross track on the Wal­ton farm where he sharemilks and Brodie prac­tices at least three times a week.

Next up for Brodie is the Auck­land Champs this weekend and the Val­ley Champs in three weeks time.

He is also set to com­pete in the Sum­mer­cross event held be­tween Christ­mas and New Year and the New Zealand Grand Prix at the end of Jan­uary.

He would like to say a big thanks to ev­ery- one who supports him, in­clud­ing Dave at Chal­lenge Mata­mata, Janet at Mata­mata Physio, Ja­son at PGG Wright­son, Brad at Eco­lab, Rus­sell and Leanne at Colch­ester Engineering, Roger and Denise at Dr Trim, Makz Gear, Mo­torex, Ex­tract Vi­su­als, Trusport – JT Rac­ing Gear, ev­ery­one who helped with his trip to Aus­tralia, and his teams MX An­tix and Moss In­sti­tute.

In ac­tion: Wal­ton School stu­dent Brodie Con­nolly out on the track.

Num­ber one: Brodie Con­nolly, 10, is the New Zealand Mini Mo­tocross Cham­pion for the sec­ond year run­ning.

ni­cola.stewart @wrcn.co.nz

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