It’s hard to imagine Bay of Plenty’s Cameron Negus not racing motorcycles.
Even he can’t imagine that juncture will come any time soon, despite his “advanced” years … he is 36 afterall … although many of his teenage rivals are quietly hoping that he will hurry up and opt for the slippers, pipe and comfortable rocking chair option.
The Yamaha ace is currently fourth overall in the 125cc class at the halfway stage of this year’s Demon Energy New Zealand Motocross Championships and, with the third round of four on farmland just outside Rotorua on Sunday, he’s anticipating he will be able to move up a couple of positions.
He is just 25 points off third spot overall and a productive day’s racing from Negus on Sunday could see that deficit quickly evaporate.
It’s unlikely that Negus will be able to catch the series leader, 19-year-old Yamaha ace Ethan Martens, who has won five of the six races in the series thus far, but the drystock farmer from Ngakuru has realistic hopes of finishing the series on the podium.
“I’m pretty happy with how I’ve been going this season. I’ve been able to put a bit of time into training and that’s helped,” said Negus (Yamaha YZ125).
“The track on Sunday is going to get nice and rough and that suits me. I’m more of a technical rider.
“I’m the only rider out there on a stock standard bike and I’m giving away a lot of years to my rivals. I’m also the oldest guy in the class … by a long way. I’m older than the combined ages of the two riders who topped the podium at round two.”
But what Negus gives away in age, he more than makes up for in experience and it is some of that cunning and wisdom that he will employ to good effect on his “home turf” on Sunday.
Negus has plenty of local support too, with a number Bay of Plenty firms rallying to back him. Negus is sponsored by Priceright Parts and Machinery, Mark Patterson, Craig Stevens Motorcycles in Tokoroa, Pinnacle Insurance Brokerage, Conning Signs and AT Cook Agricultural Contractors.
The men jointly in second spot in the standings, Waitakere’s Shaun Fogarty (KTM) and Tauranga’s Scott Barr-Smith (KTM), will need to keep a watchful eye over their shoulders as Negus makes his charge.
Similarly, Negus should be wary of the gaggle of young men chasing him — Wanganui’s Tom Managh (Suzuki), Kaukapakapa’s Josh Jack (Suzuki) and Atiamuri’s Dion Picard (Suzuki) — all of them just a point or two away from overtaking the “old timer”.
© Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com