It is a massive weekend coming up for Bay of Plenty’s Wyatt Chase.
The recently-crowned New Zealand junior 15-16 years’ 125cc motocross champion from Taupo is poised to make his debut appearance in the European 125cc Motocross Championships (EMX125) in the United Kingdom, the two-day event being held at Matterley Basin, near Winchester, on Saturday and Sunday.
The event shares the programme with round 11 of the MXGP and MX2 motocross world championships and is actually the fifth round of eight in the EMX125 series and so, with this being his first appearance, Chase has no realistic chance of featuring among the top rankings at the season’s conclusion.
But that won’t prevent the 16-year-old Yamaha ace from pushing for individual race glory and it’s also quite possible that he could win a round or two outright before it all wraps up in Switzerland in August.
Chase’s preparations have been going well, with the Kiwi hero already registering solid results against classy opposition in Europe.
“Since I left New Zealand I have just been training and getting ready for my first round,” he said.
“I am feeling prepared and confident for Matterley Basin because I raced the 125cc class at the Dutch Masters at Markelo (last weekend) and was feeling really good with that.
“In race one, I was 12th around first corner and come back to finish fourth.
“In race two, I got boxed in by two other riders, so was right at the back of the pack. But I fought back through to 10th at the end for sixth overall on the day and that was on basically a stock bike.
“If I can do a good job over there I might be able to set myself up for a racing career in Europe. That’s the plan anyway. It’s going to be a steep learning curve and I’ll take as much experience from it as I can.”
The EMX125 championship frontrunners after four rounds thus far are Belgium’s Jago Geerts and French pair Stephen Rubini and Pierre Goupillon and Chase hopes he will be fast enough to challenge them this weekend and also in the months that follow.
After this weekend’s round, the EMX125 series heads to Mantova, in Italy, for round six on June 25-26. Rounds follow in the Czech Republic (on July 23-24); Lommel, in Belgium (on July 30-31) and, finally, it winds up at Frauenfeld, in Switzerland (on August 6-7).
Soon after Chase returns to New Zealand in August, he will make his senior debut at the big annual MX Fest in Taupo in October.
Chase is supported by Yamaha-Motor New Zealand, Total Oil, Fox, Dunlop, MX Timing, Backflips, CFX Seats, ODI, Talon, Sevenee Distributors, Pro Taper, Ethika, Exquitize Homes, Nano Energizer, Oxford Pies, Aspiring Health, Team Taupo Scholarship, BikesportNZ.com and Mizuno.
© Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com
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