But, while slightly disappointed not to make it a clean sweep, the 20-year-old Husqvarna rider from Mangakino was still satisfied to leave the South Island with a three-point championship lead in the hot MX2 (250cc) class.
With backing from WIL Sport Management and BikesportNZ.com, the Husqvarna Red Bull TC250 rider convincingly won the first two of his three MX2 class races at the challenging Pleasant Point circuit, on the outskirts of Timaru, but a slight miscalculation saw him clip a trackside marker while he was leading the day’s third and final race, handing the advantage over to his nearest rival, defending national MX2 champion Scott Columb (Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing YZ250).
That small mistake was just the sniff of a chance that Queenstown’s Columb needed to blast past and take the lead and he quickly opened up a gap of several bike lengths. But Lamont regrouped and dug deep, closing up to within a bike-length of Columb as the two riders approached the finish, Columb holding on for the narrow win.
“The day started well and continued to look good, until I had that little slip-up,” said Lamont. “I hit a tyre and got out of shape, then hit a trackside barrier. I was three seconds clear of Columb before that.
“I have been working hard on my starts and that certainly worked better for me than at the Woodville GP (an event he also won, a fortnight earlier).
“Norm Cobb has done a brilliant job with my suspension and with helping out in the pits. He’s been a great support. Now I’m looking forward to racing on my home track at Tokoroa in a couple of weeks.”
Visiting Australian rider Jay Wilson (Altherm JCR Yamaha YZ250F) took the third step on the MX2 podium on Saturday, 14 points behind Columb.
Expect to see CMR Red Bull KTM rider Hamish Dobbyn come on strong at Tokoroa, along with The Honda Shop Racing Team’s John Phillips, while now Auckland-based Takaka rider Hamish Harwood (CMR Red Bull KTM), Mount Maunganui’s national No.3 Rhys Carter (Bel Ray Pro Rider Suzuki Team) and Tauranga’s Peter Broxholme (Botany Honda) will all look to consolidate their top-10 positions.
Riders such as Taupo’s Cohen Chase, Elsthorpe’s Kieran Scheele, Nelson’s Nathan Clare, New Caledonia’s Laurent Fath and Otorohanga’s Hayden Kanters will be looking to push into those top-10 spots, something they are each quite capable of doing.
The four-round series arrives at Tokoroa for round two on February 23. Round three follows in Pukekohe on March 9 and, finally, it all wraps up in Taupo on March 22.
The Husqvarna Red Bull New Zealand Race Team is supported by WIL Sport Management, Shift, Fox, Workshop Graphics, Pro Taper, Motorex, Philip Parry Contracting, Kinetic Planning, Suspension Tech, BikesportNZ.com, Karl Mason Builders, Pirelli, FMF, Scar, Talon, Hammerhead and Advance Physiotherapy.
© Words and photos by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com
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