Taranaki’s Mitch Rowe is back and possibly even better than before.
The versatile motorcycle racer showed he was fully recovered from his latest injury when he took his Yamaha YZ450F to dominate the veterans’ over-40s class at the New Zealand TT Championships near Turangi at the weekend, winning four out of five races and losing out in just the one race when beaten by fellow Taranaki man Greg Ngeru (Honda CRF450).
Then, just for good measure, the 46-year-old building business manager went out and finished third overall in the premier grade too, the senior open class. Masterton 21-year-old Mason Wilkie (YZ450F) won the senior open grade, ahead of Taupo’s Cameron Dillon (Honda CRF350).
“I only started riding again three weeks ago,” said Rowe, the multi-talented motocross-turned-roadracer who crashed his modified 450cc dirt bike while racing at the Greymouth street races on Labour Weekend last year.
“It’s the same bike I’m racing here now. I just change over the wheel rims and tyres to convert the bike from tarseal to dirt mode.
“I feel like I’m riding better than ever at the moment. I guess I just know better now what it takes to get the job done properly and I’m better prepared.
“I do all the concrete work for my building business and that keeps me very fit. I poured five truckloads of concrete last Wednesday … that’s what keeps me strong.”
Fellow Yamaha rider Toby Summers, of Auckland, dominated the younger veterans’ category, for riders aged 35-39. Summers was unbeaten in all five races in his class, easily finishing ahead of the man who was runner-up each time, Taupo’s Daniel Scrimgeour (Honda CRF450).
Taumarunui bike dealer and former national superbike champion Russell Josiah (Suzuki) won the eldest age classification for veterans, the over-50s category, winning ahead of Peter Kempthorne.
© Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com