Is there no stopping Taupo’s Brad Groombridge?
That’s possibly the question being asked after the Suzuki man further strengthened his position in two separate national motorcycling competitions held in Hawke’s Bay over the weekend.
Groombridge took his Suzuki RM-Z250 to finish the day third overall in the MX2 (250cc) class at the third round of four in the 2018 New Zealand Motocross Championships at Fernhill on Saturday and then, after cleaning up his muddy gear, he travelled further south to Ormondville to ride his Suzuki RM-Z450 to victory at the second round of four in the 2018 New Zealand Cross-country Championships.
Groombridge (Kea Trailers Suzuki) finished with a 3-4-5 score-card in his three MX2 motocross races at Fernhill, battling the elite of Australasia as well as extreme mud when rain arrived a third of the way through the event.
This not only earned him third overall for the day, but is also solidified his position in second place for the series standings, with one round remaining, set for his home track at Taupo this coming Saturday (March 24). He is currently 49 points behind defending national MX2 champion Hamish Harwood (CML KTM Racing Team).
Groombridge also raced his 450cc bike in the MX1 class at Fernhill and he is now ninth overall in that category.
Despite the obviously tiring task of racing two classes at the motocross nationals – six races – on Saturday, Groombridge was in total command in the cross-country race at Ormondville 24 hours later.
Groombridge took the lead early in the three-hour senior race on Sunday afternoon and never looked back from there, gradually stretching out his advantage to more than a minute over the day’s eventual runner-up, Raglan rider Jason Dickey (KTM).
Taupo’s Nathan Tesselaar (KTM) finished third overall, barely a bike length behind Dickey.
The 27-year-old Groombridge, who first became national cross-country champion in 2016 and then successfully defended his title last season, has been relentless in his charge towards making it three consecutive national titles this year.
Groombridge also won the muddy cross-country season opener at Huntly last month and, with riders to count points only from three of the four rounds, discarding their worst score, the Suzuki man is already looking unbeatable.
“I got a decent start, took over the lead on the first lap and then just put my head down and opened up a gap,” Groombridge explained.
“My body was feeling a bit sore after the racing the day before and I was riding cautiously at the creek crossings, so that I didn’t tip off the bike or get stuck. But it all worked out in the end.”
After the fourth and final round of the motocross nationals in Taupo this weekend, the multi-talented Groombridge will prepare for another “home” event, with round three of the cross-country nationals set for farmland off Western Bay Road, west of Taupo on April 8. The cross-country nationals wrap up near Mosgiel on May 12.
© Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com
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