Young­ster wins his class to make a step up

Waipa Post - - Sports - BY ANDY McGECHAN

Cam­bridge’s Jared Han­non was seem­ingly un­stop­pable, win­ning the eight-12 years’ 85cc class at the Kawasak­ispon­sored an­nual New Zealand Mini TT Championships.

The 12-year-old Te Miro Pri­mary School pupil showed he truly was ready to make the next step up the age rank­ings where he will of­fi­cially be bat­tling the man he fought with un­of­fi­cially at Taupiri all week­end, O¯ pa¯ rau’s Hunter Scott, the win­ner of the el­der 13-16 years’ 85cc class.

Young Han­non was one of only a few rid­ers to dom­i­nate so com­pre­hen­sively on his Kawasaki KX85.

Run­ner-up to Scott in the 13-16 years’ class was Paeroa’s Ash­ton Whyte, also rid­ing a Kawasaki KX85.

The two 85cc classes were raced on the track to­gether at Taupiri, but scored sep­a­rately. On each oc­ca­sion it was Han­non and Scott out front, trad­ing blows.

Han­non had fin­ished third over­all in the 11-12 years’ 85cc class at the New Zealand Ju­nior Mo­tocross Championships near Mos­giel last month.

With Han­non due to cel­e­brate his 13th birth­day be­fore the 2019 ju­nior na­tion­als, next April, he and Scott are on a col­li­sion course for fu­ture ju­nior ti­tles.

An­other Kawasaki rider from Cam­bridge, former world cham­pi­onship racer Damien King, was sim­i­larly dom­i­nant in win­ning his Vet­er­ans’ 35-44 years’ class at Taupiri.

The 42-year-old fa­ther-of-two, who raced in Europe be­tween the years 1996 and 2000 — with a ca­reer-best Grand Prix fin­ish of fifth over­all in Ger­many in 2000, then rac­ing for a fac­tory sup­port team — was al­most un­beat­able on the Satur­day and Sun­day.

He won all but one of his five vet­er­ans’ class races and was run­ner-up in the other one, earn­ing the vet­er­ans’ ti­tle by a mas­sive 26 points over Taupiri rider An­drew Hansen.

“I don’t ride as of­ten as I’d like to th­ese days,” said King.

“The KX450F is a great bike though and I ride it when­ever I can. This is a great event too. Two days of rac­ing dirt bikes on a track as cool as this is not to be missed.”

Also im­pres­sive in the dis­tinc­tive green Kawasaki colour scheme was multi-times former na­tional mo­tocross cham­pion Mike Cot­ter, the Cam­bridge man who is now gen­eral man­ager of Kawasaki New Zealand.

De­spite hav­ing raced only once since De­cem­ber last year, the 43-year-old Cot­ter man­aged to fin­ish an im­pres­sive fourth over­all in the MX2 (250cc) class, won by 17-year-old former na­tional cham­pion Hay­den Smith, of Massey, who is about to race in­ter­na­tion­ally.

Other class win­ners at Taupiri in­cluded Nga¯roma’s Rachael Archer (women’s class). Photo by Andy McGechan, Bike­


WHIZ KID Jared Han­non (Kawasaki KX85) un­beaten in five races over week­end at Taupiri.



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