Close fought races start season
The opening battles of a new summer of motocross were fought during Taupo’s traditional season opener at Labour Weekend.
The Huka Honda MX Extravaganza at Digger Mcewen MX Park is the first new season hit out for top riders and chance to watch those stepping into new classes and switching bike brands over the winter.
First blood in the senior racing went to Yamaha riders with MX1 race wins for Kayne Lamont (Mangakino) and new Yamaha recruit Rhys Carter (Mt Maunganui) who finished 1-2 in the big bike class.
Carter held the initial advantage by winning the first two motos but a spill in the third moto with only one corner remaining allowed Lamont to close the gap to three points. The decider was the Huka Honda Shoot-out with its unique format ensuring plenty of final race intensity.
The leading riders across the three senior classes are eligible for the shoot-out which is staged in a series of elimination sprints.
When Carter crashed out in the Tauranga teenager Brodie Connolly made a winning debut as a senior racer with victory in the 125cc National class.
top-10 phase and Lamont raced through to win ahead of MX1 rivals Ben Townley (Tauranga) and Cohen Chase (Rotorua) was the deciding move of the day and pushed Lamont nine points clear of Carter.
The MX2 racing was closefought with three motos producing three diffeent winners.
Rotorua’s Wyatt Chase (Honda) won the opening race and Oparau’s James Scott (KTM) was the race two winner before Mangakino’s Maximus Purvis (Yamaha) made the winning moves in the third moto.
Purvis was the leading MX2 rider in the shoot-out dropping out in the penultimate stage and took the overall win by a single point from Chase. Taupo’s Brad Groombridge (Suzuki) recovered from an 11th in the opening moto to gain a second and third and finished third overall while Scott’s chances of a podium were dashed when he was eliminated in the first phase of the shoot-out.
Another star of the season
— 1 Brodie Connolly (Tauranga) Husqvarna, 76pts; 2 Joshua Bourke-palmer (Rotorua) Yamaha, 60pts; 3 Ethan Waters (Nelson) Yamaha, 58pts; 4 Tommy Watts (Wairoa) Husqvarna, 51pts; 5 James Rountree (Whanganui) Yamaha, 48pts.
— 1 Maximus Purvis (Mangakino) Yamaha, 79pts; 2 Wyatt Chase (Rotorua) Honda, 78pts; 3 Brad Groombridge (Taupo) Suzuki, 66pts; 4 Ethan Martens (Auckland) Kawasaki, 65pts; 5 James Scott (Oparau) KTM, 64pts.
— 1 Kayne Lamont (Mangakino) Yamaha, 92pts; 2 Rhys Carter (Mt Maunganui) Yamaha, 83pts; 3 Cohen Chase (Rotorua) Kawasaki, 80pts; 4 Ben Townley (Tauranga) KTM, 78pts; 5 Tyler Steiner (Te Puke) Kawasaki, 52pts.
Huka Honda Shoot-out
—1 Lamont; 2 Townley; 3 Cohen Chase; 4 Purvis; 5 Martens. 6 Wyatt Chase.
opener was Tauranga’s Brodie Connolly who was making his debut in senior racing and having his first race since moving to LMC Husqvarna Racing.
Connolly had dominated Saturday’s Junior 15-16 years 125cc racing and retained the momentum on Sunday winning all three of the National 125cc races to win the class by 16 points from Rotorua’s Joshua Bourke-palmer.
Rotorua’s Cam Negus (Yamaha) doubled-up winning the 35-44 Years veterans class and the MX3 support races while Taupo’s Jake Tomblin rode his Honda CR 250 to victory in the Vintage MX Class. Hamilton’s Darryll King (Husqvarna) won the 44+ Veterans class and finished runner-up to Negus in the MX3 racing.
The next early season event for top racers is the Waikato Champs hosted by the North King Country Motorcycle Club at its Mangarino Rd track near Te Kuiti on November 3-4.
125cc national MX 2 (250cc) MX 1 (450cc)