New Zealand has a proud legacy in this most demanding of motorsports, producing world champions and international title contenders well beyond any expectations for a country so small and geographically so far from the hotbed of the sport in Europe, and the weekend’s racing near Pukekohe showed why this is possible.
The KTM-sponsored 2016 New Zealand Mini Motocross Championships event at the MR Motorcycles Raceway at Harrisville was the site of another spectacular display of bright young Kiwi talent, with riders aged between four and 11 locked in fierce battles throughout Saturday and Sunday.
The nine-year-old from Waitoki won all five races over the weekend, romping to his fourth national mini motocross title in four years. He won the 4-7 years’ 50cc title in 2013, the 6-8 years’ 50cc title in 2014, the 7-8 years’ 65cc class last year and was unstoppable again this season.
Runner-up to Davies at the weekend was Bombay’s Reuben Smith – whose two runner-up finishes were his best results of the two-day event – with Methven’s Luke Watson filling out the podium.
Burnham’s Tyler Wiremu staged a massive comeback to recover from a poor start to his weekend on Saturday, eventually rising up on Sunday to claim fourth place overall, while consistency gave New Plymouth’s Nikk Rangi a national ranking of fifth in this class.
Christchurch rider Kobe Thoms was similarly dominant in the 7-8 years’ 65cc class, also shooting off to five wins from five starts, finishing the championships safely 19 points clear of Eketahuna’s Sheldon Brown and Tuakau’s Alex Maitland.
It was double celebration for the Thoms family, with Kobe Thoms’ brother Kase bouncing back from a shock fourth placing in race one on Saturday and eventually claiming the 6-8 years’ 50cc class title.
Kase Thoms was runner-up to main rival Aydan Hall, of Whakatane, in race two on Saturday and he then strung together a hat-trick of wins to dramatically take the title from Hall by just one point.
Other class winners at the weekend were New Plymouth’s Cameron Bond (7-11 years’ trail bike class); Cambridge’s William Pluck 6-8 years’ trail bike class); Whangarei’s Hannah Perris (4-5 years’ intro trail bike class); New Plymouth’s Lucas Robinson (intro MX class) and Rotorua’s Ticayla Manson (9-11 years’ 65cc support class).
Leading final results from the 2016 New Zealand Mini Motocross Championships in Pukekohe at the weekend:
9-11 years’ 65cc class: 1. Cole Davies (Waitoki); 2. Reuben Smith (Bombay); 3. Luke Watson (Methven).
7-8 years’ 65cc class: 1. Kobe Thoms (Christchurch); 2. Sheldon Brown (Eketahuna); 3. Alex Maitland (Tuakau).
6-8 years’ 50cc class: 1. Kase Thoms (Christchurch); 2. Aydan Hall (Whakatane); 3. Delton Manson (Rotorua).
7-11 years’ trail bike class: 1. Cameron Bond (New Plymouth); 2. Jack Saunders (Herne Bay); 3. Tyler King (Silverdale).
4-7 years’ 50cc intro class: 1. Lucas Robinson (New Plymouth); 2. Arama Te Whetu (Mount Maunganui); 3. Lochie Cornish (Cromwell).
6-8 years’ 50cc intro trail bike class: 1. William Pluck (Cambridge); 2. Travis Andrews (Whanganui); 3. Matthew Bell (Whanganui).
4-5 years’ 50cc trail bike class: 1. Hannah Perris (Whangarei); 2. Hazel Lang (Matamata); 3. Michael Bell (Whanganui).
9-11 years’ 65cc support class: 1. Ticayla Manson (Rotorua); 2. Alexander Fitzgerald (Temuka); 3. Ajah Sullivan (Whanganui).
© Words by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com
Photos by BikesportNZ.com staff
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