The Kiwis came to the rescue.
Just when the Junior Motocross World Championship bid of Latvian motocross star Davis Ivanovs looked set to shrivel up, along came a couple of New Zealanders, armed with their world-renowned Kiwi generosity.
The 18-year-old, one of only three top-10 riders from last year’s junior world championships who have entered the 2009 edition of the big event in Taupo this weekend, suddenly found himself in trouble just days before he was due to catch his flight.
Ivanovs emailed the host Taupo Motorcycle Club on Monday to advise his sponsor had pulled out, meaning he could not pay for the lease bike that he had requested through KTM New Zealand, set to cost him around 2000 Euro (more than NZ$4400).
The young KTM rider, who was world No.9 in the 125/250cc class last year, had considered not making the trip until Auckland-based travel agent Kim Herd, of Venture Travel, and motorcycle shop owner George Moir, of ProMoto in Taupo, heard of his plight and offered to help out.
Herd came forward to organise travel and accommodation for Ivanovs, while Moir rolled a KTM off his showroom floor.
Moir has loaned Ivanovs a 2008-model KTM, free of charge, organised graphics, suspension, a mechanic and George Moir himself will all be Davis’ pit board man during the weekend.
Moir also made the drive to Auckland to pick up the rider (and his suspension) and drive him back to Taupo.
Moir has also organised a ride for Ivanovs today and the bike will be all ready for him to race tomorrow.
Ivanovs is due to fly out of New Zealand on Tuesday and, regardless of what happens on the track for KTM No.9 this weekend, the young Latvian will no doubt have fond memories of his first trip to this part of the world.
Photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com