The fifth round of seven in the Mitas tyres and Yamaha-sponsored series is scheduled for farmland near Masterton this weekend and time is perhaps running out for riders with title ambitions.
Racing on Saturday could be pivotal in determining where the silverware goes this season.
Whanganui’s Seth Reardon leads the championship overall, with Helensville’s Tom Buxton, Cambridge’s Dylan Yearbury, Thames rider Jason Davis and Cambridge’s Beau Taylor in close company on the points table and none of these riders can afford to relax just yet.
Reardon is perhaps best positioned to go on a clinch the crown for 2019 because Buxton and Yearbury are currently overseas and not expected in the Wairarapa this weekend, although other leading riders such as Manawatu’s Paul Whibley (pictured here), Stratford’s Josh Hunger, Wainuiomata’s Jake Whitaker and Tokoroa’s Jake Wightman could certainly shake up the points table.
Whibley finished runner-up to Reardon at the previous round of the series near Martinborough two weeks ago. Because this was Whibley’s first and only appearance in the series this year, he is not in contention for the title, but he has proved he is certainly capable of winning the day.
Points from only six of the seven rounds are to be counted towards the championship, with riders to discard their one worst result, so the race for the outright win, and the various class titles too, could remain wide open right until the double-header final showdown near Hokitika in July.
Round five this Saturday takes riders to Callaghan’s property, 366 Mangarei Road, off the Te Ore Ore Bideford Road, about 26 kilometres east of Masterton.
“The course is steep farmland and will be moderately challenging,” said Motorcycling New Zealand (MNZ) enduro commissioner Justin Stevenson.
“The course will be similar to what the riders encountered at Martinborough, with a bit of forestry thrown in. It will be something for everyone, certainly a very interesting ride, with creek beds to deal with too.”
The 2019 Yamaha NZ Enduro Championships are supported by Mitas tyres, Macaulay Metals, Best Build Construction, Silver-bullet, Kiwi Rider magazine, Dirt Rider Downunder magazine and Moto Events NZ.
2019 Yamaha NZ Enduro Champs calendar:
Round 1 – Saturday, March 16 – Thames
Round 2 – Saturday, April 6 – Kapiti
Round 3 – Saturday, April 20 – South Waikato
Round 4 – Sunday, June 9 – Martinborough
Round 5 – Saturday, June 29 – Bideford, Masterton
Round 6 – Friday, July 19 – Hokitika, Westland
Round 7 – Saturday, July 20 – Hokitika, Westland
© Words and photo by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ.com
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