Mangakino’s Kayne Lamont is hoping it is third time lucky as he gears up for another Motocross of Nations campaign in Europe in just a few weeks’ time.
The 22-year-old former New Zealand MX2 (250cc) champion and multi-time former national junior motocross champion joins his two team-mates – Mount Maunganui’s Cody Cooper and Tauranga’s Ben Townley – in north-western France on the weekend of September 26-27, the trio there to represent New Zealand at the 69th annual Motocross of Nations (MXoN) at the hilly track at Ernee, just inland from the D-Day landing beaches of World War Two.
This year will be the third time that Lamont has represented his country at the MXoN – often referred to as the “Olympic Games of motocross” – and he is anticipating that his previous experiences will stand him in good stead this time around.
“I’m proud and thrilled to be selected again for the Motocross Nations team,” said Lamont, who raced for the national squad in Belgium in 2012 and again in Germany in 2013.
“I thought perhaps my recent wrist injury would have put the selectors off, but I suppose I’ve shown in the past few weeks that I’m almost back to 100 percent again now.”
Lamont is current based in the United Kingdom where he is racing selected national-level meetings in preparation for the MXoN weekend.
The New Zealand team, co-managed this time around by Karaka’s Howard Lilly and Palmerston North’s Neil Ritchie, has as good a chance as any of winning, or at least perhaps repeating the Kiwi successes achieved at this great event in 1998, 2001 and 2006, the three occasions when the men from New Zealand placed third on the podium.
Unfortunately, none of these riders were available for the MXoN when it was staged in Latvia last year, where Team New Zealand failed to qualify among the top 20 countries and therefore slipped well down the world rankings.
But with generous support for this year’s campaign coming from Kiwi companies WIL Sport Management and Workshop Graphics, and with massive fundraising undertaken by the Taupo Motorcycle Club with their Battle of the Clubs motocross event adding to the coffers, the Kiwi contingent leaves for France in a confident mood.
Lamont raced a KTM in Belgium and Germany (pictured above and below), but he’ll be on Yamaha this time around (main photo, top).
© Words and photos by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com
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