Challenge attracts stars
If there is one piece of silverware that is coveted most by the Kiwi dirt bike fraternity, it is probably the trophy for the Suzuki Six-Hour Dirt Bike Challenge.
The event at Ohakuri Forest near Tokoroa is set for October 5 and has typically attracted the cream of New Zealand’s off-road motorcycling community.
It has been 23 years since the first race, this is the third year at Ohakuri Forest.
The iconic Suzuki Six-Hour will be followed by the second annual Suzuki Junior Three-Hour race on the Sunday.
Tokoroa’s enduro legend and organiser Sean Clarke said Saturday’s race would really ‘‘sort the men from the boys’’.
And the course set out for Sunday would be ‘‘much more forgiving.’’
Traditionally entrants pair up for the gruelling course and share a bike.
However, this year’s race will allow riders to ride their own.
The course will also run in reverse direction to last year, with steep uphills becoming steep down-hills and vice versa.
Last year’s champions Brad Groombridge and Daryl Hurley will be back on the track to defend their title.
Taupo international motocross ace Groombridge and Hurley, Hawera’s multi-time former national and Australian motocross champion, may stick to the one bike this year.
‘‘I’ve been doing quite a bit of riding lately, so my fitness is good, but it’s a different race to prepare for. We’ll need to have spare wheels and things like that on standby, but really, I just ride it like a big motocross race.
‘‘The trick is to keep your concentration levels up. One mistake and you’re into a tree.’’
The event will bring in those far and wide including Woodhill Twoman Cross-country series leaders Josh Jack and Luke Mobberley, from Kaukapakapa and Muriwai Beach.
The riders are off, bikes funnel through the track tape at the start of the Suzuki Six-Hour at the Ohakuri Forest in 2012.