The name Jason Jones is likely one you’ll be hearing a lot more about before this summer is over.
The 16-year-old only moved with his family to New Zealand from South Africa three months ago, but already he’s making an impact on the Kiwi motocross scene.
He was certainly impressive over both days at the big annual Labour Weekend Motocross Extravaganza in Taupo.
He took his Henderson Yamaha YZ125 to finish 3-3-2 placings and end up third overall in the 15-16 125cc class, finishing Saturday just two points behind fellow Yamaha rider Logan Blackburn, of Tauranga, and 13 points behind the class winner, national champion Dion Picard (Suzuki), of Atiamuri.
Then Jones backed up his performance by entering the senior programme the following day.
In the first of Sunday’s senior 125cc races, Jones crashed soon after the start and found himself back in ninth position. But, within just a few laps, he was up to fourth overall and gaining ground rapidly when the chequered flag came out.
Unfortunately for Jones, sand in the carburettor prevented him from embellishing his weekend’s work and he was unable to finish the next race.
But at least his name is now familiar with the Kiwi elite and it won’t be long before the teenager from Johannesburg is again terrorising his hosts.
“I love New Zealand, although the weather bothers me a bit. I’m not used to riding in mud,” said the year 11 pupil at Long Bay College, not that mud was an issue on the dry, sandy track at Taupo over Labour Weekend.
“It was good weather at the weekend and we’re heading into summer, so it will probably suit me.
“The bike was great and I can’t wait for the next big meeting.”
© Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com