Auckland’s Callan May spent the past couple of seasons racing major cross-country events in the United States, but he has wasted no time in settling back into the Kiwi scene this year.
In his first full season of racing in New Zealand since he won the under-300cc four-stroke class at the enduro nationals in 2013, Titirangi’s May claimed third place overall in the 2016 New Zealand Cross-country Championships that wrapped up in Nelson at the weekend.
To add icing to the cake, he also won the battle-within-a-battle for class honours, taking his Yamaha YZ250FX to win the over-200cc two-stroke class title.
“I had a good start to the (three-hour) race on Saturday and actually led for a couple of laps,” he said.
“Unfortunately my quick-fill broke and I lost too much time in the pits refuelling. I didn’t want to crash by going nuts after that and so I just settled for third in the end.”
Taupo’s Brad Groombridge eventually won Saturday’s race and won the series outright, with Howick’s Liam Draper taking the overall runner-up spot, but May was more than satisfied to position himself on the final podium, the class win coming as a nice bonus.
With points from only three of the four rounds to be counted, as riders were to discard their one worst score, it meant Groombridge had been declared champion for 2016 champion even before the start of Saturday’s final race, but the battle was still tight to determine the lesser placings.
While Groombridge dominated with his unbeaten run this season, Draper posted a 5-2-2-2 score-card for the series, while May had skipped round one, making that his “discard” result, and he therefore had 3-3-3 results to count on.
There is still plenty of work for May to do this season with the 24-year-old electrician also contesting the (parallel) New Zealand Enduro Championships this season.
That series wraps up next month, with two rounds left to run, at Waimiha on June 4 and at Tokoroa on June 5, and May is also well-positioned there for a possible podium finish and/or class podium finish as well.
May is fourth overall in the enduro series standings and second overall, behind Christchurch’s Hamish Macdonald, in the expert over-200cc two-stroke class.
May is supported by Yamaha Motor New Zealand, Kiwi Rider magazine, BikesportNZ.com, MotoSR, Golden Tyres, Fox, Graphic Creation, GYTR and Yamalube.
© Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com
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