Oparau’s James Scott likes to squeeze every last drop out of his motorcycle.
The 12-year-old races his bike almost every weekend and if it’s not at a motocross, then he’s firing up his Kiwi Rider-sponsored Kawasaki KX85 to tackle cross-country or enduro events … and typically he’s putting his distinctive green bike somewhere near the front.
He raced to victory at the big annual Tarawera 50 cross-country dirt bike marathon near Kawerau in November, becoming the youngest rider ever to win the iconic race, then finished a startling fourth overall in the junior class at the annual Raglan Rocx cross-country race just over a week ago.
That result was remarkable because he was again racing his beloved 2014-model Kawasaki KX85 and, despite the horsepower handicap, he finished ahead of so many riders on board much more powerful 125cc, 150cc and 250cc bikes.
Scott was again back on top of the podium at the weekend after he totally dominated the 11-12 years’ 85cc class during Saturday’s racing at the big annual two-day New Zealand Motocross Grand Prix at Woodville.
Scott scored an impressive hat-trick of wins at Woodville on Saturday, leading Australian ace Tyler Darby (KTM) and Dunedin’s national champion in the class, Grason Veitch (KTM), to the podium.
“I crashed my was out of the Woodville GP last year, so it was nice to come and win it this time around,” said Scott.
“I’m mostly self-taught but I have to thank my dad, (Kiwi international and former Kawasaki ace) Ben Townley (from Tauranga) and Kiwi Rider magazine owner Pete McPhee for getting me to this level.
“I race the bike at as many different events that I can but I probably enjoy motocross the best,” he said.
“When I started out riding when I was about eight, I used to spend lots of time riding with Tokoroa’s (Kiwi international) Sean Clarke. I learned a lot from him too.
“One day I hope I can race motocross in the United States. That would be a dream for me.”
© Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com
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