Not content with merely retaining his New Zealand motocross crown, South Islander Hamish Harwood is now chasing a title across the Tasman Sea as well, two titles in fact.
It would be unfair to call the KTM ace a greedy man, he’s quite the contrary in fact, and quite happy to give away a few positions on the race track, as long as he ends up on the podium.
The 21-year-old took his CML KTM Racing Team 250SX to successfully defend his New Zealand MX2 (250cc) title at the fourth and final round of the Kiwi domestic series at Taupo last weekend and then immediately boarded a plane to head to Wonthaggi, in Victoria, to line up in the MX2 class for the first round of 10 in the Australian MX Nationals this weekend.
Harwood also finished 13th overall in the MX1 class in the New Zealand Motocross Championships and this was despite him skipping five of the series 12 MX1 races.
Just as he did at home, Harwood will also race in the MX1 class (also known in Australia as the 450cc Pro class) across the Tasman, this time riding a KTM XC300 cross-country version of the bike.
Originally from Takaka, near Nelson, but now based in Takapuna, where he works as an apprentice builder, Harwood is no stranger to international competition, having raced for New Zealand at the annual Motocross of Nations – the ‘Olympic Games of motocross’ – in Latvia in 2014 and again in Italy last year.
He is also well known in Australia, after winning the Motocross Development Under-19 class title there in 2013. He finished runner-up in the MX2 class in Australia in 2014.
Harwood announcing that he was tackling two separate classes in Australia this season was met with a few raised eyebrows from a few of the Australians, with MX Nationals series co-ordinator muttering “crazy Kiwis” when he learned of it.
But Harwood is an extremely fit athlete and, provided he can steer clear of injuring himself, he should be rated a title contender in both the MX1 and MX2 categories.
Round two of the Australian series is set for Appin, in New South Wales, on April 23.
© Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com
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