The New Zealand Herald

Rising Kiwi star ready to rule the roost in Europe

- Andy McGechan

Oparau’s James Scott can’t wait for his latest big overseas adventure to begin.

The 16-year-old Kiwi rising star will board a plane for Belgium at the end of the month, determined to again shake up the motocross scene in Europe.

Scott impressed when he last raced in Europe in 2016, competing in the European 150 Motocross Championsh­ips (EMX150), turning a few heads and obviously attracting the attention of all the right people.

Now he has been invited to join the Belgian-based FMX4Ever KTM team, becoming an integral member of what will be a three-rider line-up to contest the European 125cc Motocross Championsh­ips (EMX125) this season.

The young KTM rider had finished runner-up to Mangakino’s Maximus Purvis in the 15-16 years’ 125cc class at the 2017 New Zealand Junior Motocross Championsh­ips last April and, although injured at the start of this year, he is now well on the road to recovery and ready to race again internatio­nally.

Scott had dominated racing on both days of the annual Auckland Motocross Championsh­ips at Tuakau last November, winning the 15-16 years’ 125cc class during junior racing on the Saturday then stepping up to dominate again the following day, this time in the senior 125cc class.

He edged out Wairoa’s Tommy Watts to win the junior class on Saturday and overshadow­ed visiting Australian rider Mason Semmens and fellow internatio­nal star Purvis to take the senior glory on the Sunday.

But Scott broke his arm at the New Zealand Motocross Grand Prix at Woodville in late January, ending his senior 125cc nationals campaign before it could begin.

Purvis, Watts and Semmens finished first, second and third respective­ly at the nationals, which were wrapped up at Taupo last month. Scott’s father Matthew said January’s injury had also meant his son had to skip the first two of nine rounds of the EMX125 series in the Netherland­s in March, and Italy last weekend — but he would be “good to go” at the following rounds.

James Scott has been working his way back to full fitness with help from Olympic BMX rider Kurt Picard, from Tauranga, and Bay of Plenty’s former motocross world champion Ben Townley, who “has been the driving force behind establishi­ng James’ latest campaign”.

Scott will line up for his first 2018 EMX125 race at round three of the series at Kegums, in Latvia, on May 13, followed a week later by round four at Teutschent­hal, in Germany.

Meanwhile, Waikato’s Patrick Glidden will travel with Scott to work as his mechanic.

Originally a freestyle motocross team, FMX4Ever recently switched its attention to the mainstream motocross scene, with a prime focus on the EMX125 series.

Scott will join other riders Wannes van de Voorde, Kjell Verbruggen and Spanish 125cc champion Mario Lucas Sanz in forming the 2018 FMX4Ever line-up.

The EMX125 and EMX250 championsh­ips are considered a launch pad to full Grand Prix racing and share the weekend programme with nine of the GP events.

 ?? Pictures / Andy McGechan, BikesportN­ ??
Pictures / Andy McGechan, BikesportN­
 ??  ?? James Scott has been invited to join the Belgianbas­ed FMX4Ever KTM team.
James Scott has been invited to join the Belgianbas­ed FMX4Ever KTM team.

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