The Kiwis are on track for gold at this year’s International Six Days Enduro in Finland.
After one day of action, the Wellard New Zealand Yamaha Club team trio is seventh overall in the club team section of the competition, a category that is so far dominated by three-man club teams from nearby Sweden.
Two Swedish teams lead, ahead of a team from the Czech Republic, with more Swedish teams in fourth, fifth and sixth spots overall.
However, less than five minutes separate the leading Swedes – Team Ostra Junior – from the seventh-ranked Kiwis (Mokau’s Adrian Smith and Auckland cousins Karl and Chris Power).
Smith (Yamaha YZ250F) (pictured above) is the best-performed New Zealand rider so far, first overall in the C1 (club teams’ under-300cc four-stroke) class. Smith leads Italian rider Maurizio Gerini (Husqvarna) by just a fraction over 45 seconds.
Karl Power (Yamaha YZ450F) is third overall in the C2 (club teams’ over-300cc) class, just one minute 13 seconds behind the leader, Sweden’s Pontus Hogberg (Suzuki) and only a minute behind the second-ranked rider, Sweden’s Olle Lothman (KTM).
Chris Power (Yamaha YZ450F) is 20th overall in the same class, 52 minutes behind Hogberg.
In the main contest for Senior World Trophy honours, Finland leads from Spain, Australia, the United States and Italy, with Eero Remes (Finland, KTM) the top individual outright.
Remes leads the E1 class from fellow Finnish rider Juha Salminen (Husqvarna).
American Kurt Caselli (KTM) leads the E2 class from Australian Matthew Phillips (Yamaha) and Finland’s Marko Tarkkala (Husaberg) leads the E3 class ahead of Spain’s Ivan Cervantes (Gas Gas).
The battle for Junior World Trophy glory has Sweden in front, followed by France, Great Britain, Australia and Spain.
Day one of the ISDE was filled with controversy when, after repeated warnings by the organisers, stressing the fact that Finland’s penalties on speeding were harsh, five riders had their licenses taken from them by the police. This means they can no longer compete in the event.
Finnish law allows police to take licences on the spot from anyone exceeding the speed limit by more than 30kmph and considering the road out from the Pit Paddock is just 40kmph, that can happen easily.
Fortunately none of the Wellard Yamaha riders were in the unlucky five.
© Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com