Auckland’s Jason Jones does not consider himself a greedy person but he does want to win more than half of the national motocross titles on offer this coming season.
The 17-year-old Northcross Yamaha racer will tackle the four-round 2012 New Zealand Motocross Championships, starting in South Canterbury in February, and he has realistic hopes that he can claim three of the four titles that are up for grabs – the MX2 (250cc), 125cc and under-21 age-group titles.
“I will race the 125cc class for the nationals and hopefully that means I will be in contention for the 125cc and under-21 titles, but, depending on how I feel, I might race the MX2 class as well.
“I will race a YZ125 in the 125cc and under-21 categories and I’ll possibly ride a Yamaha YZ250 two-stroke in the MX2 class, the same model bike that (Hamilton’s) Darryll King raced to win that class last season.
“The YZ250 is a strong bike … very powerful … and I think I can win on that but it’s a lot to ask anyone to challenge for three titles.”
Jones finished runner-up in the national 125cc class at the big annual Taupo Motocross Extravaganza at Labour Weekend, a remarkable result for a rider on the rise back after injury.
“I was a little surprised with how well I did at Taupo, to be honest,” he said.
“I broke a bone in my hand two months before that and only came out of the cast two weeks before the Taupo event.”
“My fitness was good, even though I hadn’t been able to do a lot of training on the bike. To finish second overall when I wasn’t 100% was pretty good.”
The Henderson Yamaha-sponsored rider was not able to contest the nationals last season because he was recovering from injury during that period too and, prior to that, he was not a New Zealand resident, the family only moving here from South Africa about 18 months ago.
That makes the 2012 season a benchmark one for the young rider.
“I’ve been putting in a lot of effort with training, so hopefully I will be rewarded with the national 125cc motocross title and maybe the 125cc supercross crown as well.”
The year 12 student at Long Bay College will certainly be considered a contender and, for the time being at least, that’s good enough.
© Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com