It was another giant-killing performance from Matamata’s Brodie Connolly at the weekend.
For a second consecutive event, the 13-year-old KTM ace demonstrated that winning motocross races is more about riding talent and confidence in a bike than it is about raw horsepower.
The Matamata Intermediate pupil was unstoppable during junior grade racing at the annual Waikato Motocross Championships near Te Kuiti on Saturday and that probably came as no surprise because he’s been dominating the sport for quite some time.
But, as he had at the big annual season-opening MX Fest at Taupo a fortnight ago, Connolly stunned onlookers when he rode an 85cc bike to win the 12-14 years’ 125cc class at the weekend’s Waikato Motocross Championships.
Despite the horsepower handicap, Connolly won all three races, finishing the day ahead of Christchurch’s Marshall Phillips (Yamaha YZ125) and Ngatea’s Cole Dalley (Yamaha YZ125), with another 85cc KTM rider, Auckland’s Ryan Webley, finishing just one point behind in fourth overall.
“I didn’t get the holeshot in every race, but each time I was in the lead by the end of the first lap,” said Connolly afterwards.
“I don’t ride any differently than I normally would when I’m against 85cc riders, but I really have to wait until I get a bit bigger and heavier before I can race a 125 bike.
“I actually have a bit of a cold at the moment, so I wasn’t at my best and that’s the reason why I didn’t also race the 85cc class.
“It’s a busy season ahead and, when I feel comfortable about it, I’ll be out there on a 125,” he said, although his 85cc bike was obviously good enough to get the job done anyway.
Meanwhile, it was a similar David versus Goliath story from Oparau’s James Scott, who took his KTM125 to finish runner-up to Cambridge’s national junior 250cc champion Trent Collins (Honda CRF250) in the combined 14-16 years’ 125/250cc class on Saturday. Scott also finished runner-up, this time behind national MX1 champion Cody Cooper, in the senior 125cc class the following day.
KTM rider Webley dominated the 13-16 years’ 85cc class, scoring a hat-trick of wins and finishing the day ahead of Okato’s Kiwi international Zak Hetherington, while it was a KTM 1-2-3-4 sweep in the 8-12 years’ 65/85cc class with Rangiora’s Cobie Bourke topping the class ahead of Rongotea’s Seth Henson, Palmerston North’s Rhys Jillings and Tauranga’s Madoc Dixon.
The next big event for many of these riders will be the Auckland Motocross Championships near Pukekohe on December 3-4.
© Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com
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