Whanganui’s Richie Dibben is making a name for himself overseas and, with extra support from within the Kiwi motorcycling community, he should continue to do so in the coming weeks.
Perhaps considered one of the most talented, albeit also one of the unluckiest, super motard bike riders that New Zealand has produced, the 27-year-old Dibben jumped at the opportunity this year to race in the FIM Asian Supermoto Championships this season.
He has contested the first three rounds in series – in Australia, Indonesia and the Philippines – and he managed a mixed bag of results. This week he heads away to race at the fourth and final round in Malaysia.
Motorcycling New Zealand, the governing body for the sport here, is the latest to offer financial assistance to Dibben, offering $1000 to help see him on his way to Malaysia.
“I can’t believe how much bad luck I’ve had in the series so far and, after being ranked second overall after round one, I’m now back in sixth position (in a field of about 30 riders from the UK, Australia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China and Indonesia),” said the Whanganui bike mechanic.
“I took my bike with me, stripped down and packed into five suitcases, for the Australian round.
“I finished third in the first race in Australia, beaten by former Australian motocross champion Luke George, but was then disqualified in race two when I was adjudged to have not re-entered the course at the point I’d left it … and that was after I’d been smashed into by another rider.
“I won both races in the Indonesian round and then had bad luck again in the Philippines round when I crashed during warm-up and blew a hole in my engine case. It was a nightmare really.
“After the Australian round I had bikes supplied for me and, while they were okay, they weren’t the best. They didn’t have a slipper clutch and so I felt a little disadvantaged with the gear I had.”
With a Give-A-Little internet page raising $3800 and another $3000 coming from other sponsors, the cheque from MNZ helps make the Malaysian trip possible.
“We’ll have to wait and see what happens, but I’d like to do the whole series again next year.”
© Words and photos by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com
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