Team Suzuki is fizzing to go racing at this year’s New Zealand Motocross Championships.
With Kiwi internationals Daryl Hurley and Scotty Columb to head the yellow brand’s assault on the Demon Energy-sponsored four-round series, there’s no reason to doubt it will again be a glorious campaign for Suzuki.
Hawera’s Hurley showed his versatility by winning the MX2 crown last season, after dominating the MX1 class the previous year, and Columb is also a rider very capable of switching from bike to bike with ease.
Queenstown rider Columb (pictured above) raced a Suzuki RMZ-450 with outstanding success in the United Kingdom this season, constantly featuring as one of the leading riders in the British Motocross Championships.
While Hurley returns to the big-bike MX1 class this season, Columb was happy to accept the role as the team’s MX2 rider.
“We are very pleased to have both these riders in the team,” said Suzuki New Zealand sales manager Simon Meade.
“It’s a high quality team and both riders have a proven history. With his experience racing in Europe this year, Scotty will have no problem at all with the new three 30-minute race format in New Zealand this season.”
Hurely and Columb are no strangers to the winners’ circle — they teamed up to race away with both the MX1 and MX2 supercross championship titles in New Zealand last summer.
With additional backing from Sports Pro, Fox, Scott goggles, Elf Oils, FMF pipes, Asplundh and Demon Energy, the two men present themselves as very strong contenders in challenging for the MX1 and MX2 motocross titles this year.
The two-pronged Suzuki assault kicks off with round one near Timaru on October 11, while the second round is just a week later, at Rotorua on October 18. Round three is set for Patetonga, near Morrinsville, on November 8, with the fourth and final round in Taranaki on November 15.
However, Columb will be cutting it fine. He is in New Zealand’s three-man team to contest the annual Motocross of Nations in Italy on October 4 and only arrives back in the country from Europe on the Friday night before racing begins in Timaru.
“I’m excited about the season ahead,” said Hurley. “With Scotty’s results, and mine too, over the past few seasons, we’ve got a very good chance of taking titles.
“I feel very motivated right now. I feel rejuvenated and fresh.”
In his first ride on the new 2010-model RMZ-450, Hurley reaped instant results, running away with all three races at the inaugural Sand Prix in the Manawatu recently.
“The new bike is awesome. I can’t say enough about it. Bring on the nationals … let’s go racing.”
Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com