With two wins from three starts, Auckland motorcycle ace Callan May has put himself back in the driver’s seat for another cross-country title win.
The Yamaha rider from Titirangi was a comfortable winner at the opening round of six in this season’s NZXC Cross-country Series near Tokoroa in June, but tyre problems forced him out of round two in the Woodhill Forest last month.
However, he bounced back in the Manawatu at the weekend.
Riders are to count just five of their six best scores, as they discard their one worst result, and that means May (Yamaha YZ250FX) now has a perfect 1-1 score-card to count on, his Woodhill disaster the obvious result for him to drop.
His main rival, fellow Aucklander Sam Greenslade (KTM 250 SX-F) was runner-up on Sunday and his score-line for the series thus far is 2-3-2, effectively giving him a best score of 2-2 if his third placing at Woodhill is discarded.
“I didn’t get a great start on Sunday. I was one of the last riders to get away and that meant I was getting filled in and eating a lot of sand for the first lap or so,” said May, a 24-year-old electrician.
“But, once I got some clear air, I passed a few riders and was able to make up ground on the two race leaders – Adam Reeves (Suzuki RM-Z450) and Cam Smith (on a 17-year-old Kawasaki KX500).
“When I finally got into the lead I just put the hammer down to give myself some breathing room.
“I knew I still had the endurocross phase of the day to come and so I wanted to be able to conserve some energy for that near the end of the (two-hour) cross-country race. I was able to back it off and still get the win and Then I won the endurocross as well, so it was a great day all-around really.
“I know I can’t afford to discard another round, so I must avoid making mistakes. I need another three more solid results to wrap it up.”
Coatesville’s Greenslade and Palmerston North’s three-time former national cross-country champion Reeves finished second and third overall respectively on Sunday and that keeps the pressure on May.
The next round of the NZXC series is set for Matata on October 15.
“I will be racing round three of the Woodhill Two-man Series this weekend, as a solo rider though, just to keep me sharp.”
May is no stranger to winning titles on a dirt bike.
Then riding the two-stroke Yamaha YZ250X, he won the over-200cc two-stroke class title in the New Zealand Cross-country Championships earlier this year and has also previously won national enduro titles in the 250cc four-stroke class and the 125cc two-stroke class as well.
May is supported by Yamaha Motor New Zealand, Kiwi Rider magazine, BikesportNZ.com, Dunlop, Forma Boots, Moose Racing, EKS brand goggles, Graphic Creations, City Electrix, Construct Now, Muc-Off, Renthal and Carbsport.
© Words and photos by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com
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