Mokau’s Adrian Smith has made a cracking start to his 2011-2012 season, bagging two wins in as many days at the weekend.
Fresh from winning the Waitomo Sportsperson of the Year award last week, Smith raced to convincing outright and under-300cc class wins at the opening round of the Taranaki Motorcycle Club’s inaugural Energy Honda Cross-country Series at Tarata, east of Inglewood, on Saturday.
Yamaha’s Smith was first across the line at the end of Saturday’s three-hour marathon, finishing two-and-a-half minutes ahead of Huntly’s Michael Vining (KTM300), who also captured the over-300cc class honours.
Third overall – and runner-up to Smith in the under-300cc stakes – was fellow Taranaki man Renny Johnston (Yamaha YZ125).
“It was a pretty tough event,” said the 25-year-old Smith. “There were lots of steep hills and the hard clay rock base was very slippery. If it had rained I doubt anyone would have been able to get around.
“I did enjoy it though; It was great fun,” said Smith, who completed eight laps of the 20-kilometre course in the three hours.
The next round of the four-round Energy Honda Cross-country Series is set for Kaipikari Road, Urenui, on January 14.
Smith then packed up his Yamaha YZ250F and travelled across the middle of the North Island to race at the opening round of the Bush Riders’ Cross-country Championships at Pahiatua on Sunday, finishing the day there more than four minutes ahead of Palmerston North’s national cross country champion Adam Reeves (Yamaha YZ450F).
“It’s certainly a good, positive start to the season,” said Smith.
“I’m still riding a 2011-model bike and it’s done a bit of work now but I’m still able to win races on it.”
© Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com