North Shore’s Chris Power is in top form at the moment and he’s only just starting to warm up.
The 33-year-old Yamaha YZ250 rider and his team-mate Mitchell Nield (Yamaha YZ125) are in an ideal position to claim their first series win of the new season as they head to the Woodhill Forest near Auckland this weekend for the third and final round of the Woodhill Two-man Series, although Power would be the first to tell you he has “even bigger fish to fry”.
“Me and Mitchell (from Kaikohe) stand a good chance of winning the series outright on Sunday because it’s double points allocated for this final round, but, to be honest, I’m really only using this series as a build-up for the national enduro championships,” said Power.
Power and Nield finished runners-up at round one of the Woodhill series and were third at round two, but they only trail series leaders Josh Jack (Kaukapakapa) and Luke Mobberley (Muriwai Beach) by a scant two points.
“I was leading at round one until the final lap when I made a mistake and Josh Jack got past me. Round two was just one of those events I’d rather forget,” said Power.
Power and Nield finished third overall at round two, behind winning pair Chris Birch (KTM) and Simon Lansdaal (Husqvarna) and runners-up Jack and Mobberley. Birch is currently overseas and won’t be a threat on Sunday, but BikesportNZ.com rider Jack (Suzuki) and his team-mate Mobberley (Yamaha) certainly will be.
Young up-and-comers James Mancer (Yamaha) and Jake Wightman (KTM), from Auckland, and Morrinsville pair Hayden and Nathan Tesselaar (KTM) should also be contenders for the win this weekend.
Mancer/Wightman are just three points behind Power/Nield in the series standings and the Tesselaar brothers and just one point further back.
“It would be nice to win on Sunday and maybe take the series outright, but I’m really looking further ahead to tackling the Suzuki Six-Hour Dirt Bike Challenge (near Tokoroa on October 4),” said Power.
For the six-hour race he will team up with three-time former national cross-country champion Adam Reeves, of Palmerston North.
Reeves (Yamaha YZ450F) rode solo to win the ironman section of the Woodhill Two-man series last month, so he is also obviously exhibiting great form at the moment.
“I picked up my new 2015 model bike two weeks ago and I’m really loving that,” said the 32-year-old Reeves.
“As far as me winning the ironman class on Sunday, I certainly plan on repeating what I did at round two,” he said. He was forced to skip round one but finished an astounding third overall at round two, easily the best of the solo riders competing, although Auckland moto trials convert Liam Draper (Husqvarna) was also impressive in finishing fifth overall (and solo class runner-up) that day.
After Power and Reeves join forces to tackle the big annual Suzuki Six-Hour Dirt Bike Challenge, Reeves will revert back to an ironman role for the Acerbis Four-Hour race near Taupo, which follows in November.
© Words and photos by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com
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