KTM New Zealand poured out a giant-sized serving of “orange crush” at the 2018 junior motocross nationals in the South Island at the weekend.
Riders of the distinctive orange bikes stole the limelight at the two-day New Zealand Junior Motocross Championships near Mosgiel, with six of the seven various categories dominated by KTM riders.
Dunedin’s Grason Veitch won five races from five starts in the premier 14-16 years’ 250cc class, comfortably winning that title, and he also ranked overall runner-up in the 15-16 years’ 125cc class, in that class finishing behind Wairoa’s Tommy Watts (Husqvarna), the only battle that wasn’t won by a KTM rider.
“I will be back to defend my 250cc title next year and again I’ll ride two classes, hopefully winning the 125cc title in 2019,” said Veitch, a year 12 pupil at Otago Boys’ High School.
“The track was good at the weekend, until the rain came Saturday afternoon. Sunday was fine and the track got quite rough, but I like it that way. It sorts out the good riders.”
Veitch is now making plans to tackle the big annual stand-alone Manjimup 15,000 in Australia in June.
“I raced at this event last year and finished among the top five in one race. I’m aiming to improve upon that.”
Also scoring maximum points at the weekend was Tauranga KTM rider Brodie Connolly, who won five races from five starts in the Junior 12-14 years’ 125cc class.
Connolly had only earlier this season stepped up to the 125cc class and he immediately began dominating.
The 14-year-old had been unstoppable during the junior phase of racing at the annual King of the Mountain motocross near New Plymouth in January.
He not only seemed comfortable in storming to a hat-trick of wins during his debut in the 12-14 years’ 125cc class on that occasion, but he then lined up against the elder riders too, some of them on 250cc bikes, and dominated the all-in junior feature final, leading that end-of-day race from start to finish.
Connolly also won the Junior 12-14 years’ 125cc class at the big annual New Zealand Motocross Grand Prix at Woodville in late January, all of which would possibly have forecast his outstanding success to come at the junior nationals at the weekend.
Other class winners at the weekend’s junior nationals near Mosgiel were Rangiora’s Cobie Bourke (KTM, Junior 13-16 years’ 85cc class); Darfield’s Tyler Wiremu (KTM, Junior 11-12 years’ 85cc class); Leeston’s Kobe Thoms (KTM, Junior 8-10 years’ 85cc class) and Invercargill’s Charlie Baynes (KTM, Junior 8-11 years’ 65cc, support class).
© Words and photos by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com
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Leading final standings from the 2018 New Zealand Junior Motocross Championships near Mosgiel:
Junior 14-16 years’ 250cc class: 1. Grason Veitch (Dunedin, KTM) 125 points (maximum); 2. Mitchell Stocker (Ashburton, KTM) 108; 3. Max Singleton (Nelson, Kawasaki) 90.
Junior 15-16 years’ 125cc class: 1. Tommy Watts (Wairoa, Husqvarna) 125 points (Maximum); 2. Grason Veitch (Dunedin, KTM) 104; 3. Joshua Bourke-Palmer (Rotorua, Yamaha) 96.
Junior 12-14 years’ 125cc class: 1. Brodie Connolly (Tauranga, KTM) 125 points (maximum); 2. Jack Treloar (Otautau, KTM) 110; 3. Ryan Webley (Auckland, KTM) 90.
Junior 13-16 years’ 85cc class: 1. Cobie Bourke (Rangiora, KTM) 110 points; 2. Ben Wall (Ashburton, Husqvarna) 94; 3. Luke Freemantle (Palmerston North, KTM) 88.
Junior 11-12 years’ 85cc class: 1. Tyler Wiremu (Darfield, KTM) 116 points; 2. Mitchell Weir (Tokanui, KTM) 112; 3. Jared Hannon (Cambridge, Kawasaki) 93.
Junior 8-10 years’ 85cc class: 1. Kobe Thoms (Leeston, KTM) 117 points; 2. Cole Davies (Auckland, KTM) 107; 3. Jack Coleman (Hamilton, Husqvarna) 103.
Junior 8-11 years’ 65cc (support) class: 1. Charlie Baynes (Invercargill, KTM) 75 (maximum); 2. Wills Harvey (Nelson, Kawasaki) 62; 3. Ryder Sheehan (Otatara, KTM) 60.