Rac­ing ahead in mo­tocross

Matamata Chronicle - - Front Page - REXINE HAWES

A mini mo­tocross rider says she loves to race, but the best thing about com­pet­ing in her sport, is beat­ing the boys.

Five-year-old Hazel Lang was re­cently placed sec­ond in New Zealand in her age group (four-tofive-years) at the New Zealand Mini Mo­tocross Champs in Pukekohe.

She races in the 50cc in­tro trail class. Held an­nu­ally, it is the big­gest mini mo­tocross event in New Zealand.

As of round one of the Pukekohe Sum­mer Series, the Mata­mata Pri­mary School stu­dent is also lead­ing in the 50cc trail class.

She started mo­tocross ear­lier this year rid­ing around a pad­dock of her nana and poppa’s farm, with sis­ter Penny, 8, who is also a com­pet­i­tive mo­tocross rider.

Hazel’s first mo­tocross event, held early this year, was in the Mata­mata Mo­tocross club champ rounds at the Hin­uera-based Wil­son Sands.

Since then she has placed sec­ond in her age group (four-to-fiveyears) in the club champs for South Waikato Mo­tor­cy­cle Club in Toko­roa and placed first in the Waikato Mini­cross Champs in Toko­roa for four-to-five years.

She also placed first for her age group at MX Fest 2016 at the Taupo Mo­tor­cy­cle Club one day event over Labour Week­end.

Mum Melissa Lang is very fa­mil­iar with mo­tocross. As a child she rode in mo­tocross events.

‘‘It’s a sport you hope they will com­mit to, but also just try their best,’’ she said.

‘‘There are no lim­its as to how far you can go in this sport.’’

Penny be­came in­ter­ested last year af­ter the fam­ily at­tended a mo­tocross event in Taupo. Hazel soon took an in­ter­est as well.

The sisters will race in the sum­mer series with Pukekohe and Tau­ranga Mo­tor­cy­cle clubs.

At only three-years-old, lit­tle brother Percy is too young for mo­tocross, the min­i­mum age is 4-years-old, but prac­tises on a quad bike with the girls on their grand­par­ents’ farm.

‘‘He re­ally wants to get into it,’’ said Melissa.

Com­ing up for the young rider is the Auck­land champs this Satur­day at Pukekohe, Sum­mer­cross on De­cem­ber 28 in Whakatane and the Jan­uary Mini Un­der Lights in Toko­roa. The Chron­i­cle will fol­low Hazel through the sum­mer series, and keep you in­formed of her, and Penny’s progress.

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