Even bike problems could not prevent Whangamata’s Jason Davis from winning the Yamaha New Zealand Enduro Championships at the weekend’s fifth and final round near Taupo.
The 21-year-old logger proved to be a consistent performer all season and this was his salvation when his 300cc KTM bike suffered a “cold seizure” early in the day’s racing at the Tahorakuri Forest, about 20-kilometres north of Taupo on Saturday.
Davis was remarkably still able to nurse his sick bike home in second spot overall, just ahead of Mokau’s Adrian Smith (Yamaha) and his main championship rival, Auckland’s Karl Power (Honda), and that was enough for him to celebrate winning the expert grade outright, his first major New Zealand title. He also took bike category honours by winning the over-200cc two-stroke class.
Outright winner on Saturday was Yamaha’s Rory Mead, of Whitby – the defending national champion — but he was not in contention for the championship this season because he had been forced to miss earlier rounds in the series.
“It’s my first outright title,” smiled Davis afterwards. “I’ve won my bike class before but never the title outright. This is the big one. When the bike problem came up, I realised I was down on power and needed to ride smart, just bring it home and, hopefully, finish in front of Karl.”
And that’s exactly as it panned out, with the 25-year-old Power also having a tough day at the office.
“I had already wrapped up my (250cc four-stroke) class title at the previous round but I really needed to win outright today to win the overall and also hope that Jason had an ‘off’ day,” said Power. “I made a few too many mistakes today and crashed in two places. It was just silly stuff really but it cost me valuable time.”
Defending champion Mead missed round one at Operau and round two at Whangamata in February because of overseas racing commitments and crashed to the sideline while leading at round four near Dannevirke in March.
“I knew that meant I had no chance of defending my title,” said Mead.
Even with just three of the five rounds to his credit, Mead still managed to finish ninth overall in the series this year.
Other class winners this season were Smith (under-200cc two-stroke), Waihi Beach’s Chris Power (over-300cc four-stroke) and New Plymouth’s Dougy Herbert (over-40 years’ veterans).
© Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com
Full story and more photos in your next issue of KIWI RIDER magazine.