Cambridge diesel mechanic Yearbury had to accept runner-up spot behind Helensville’s Buxton at the first round of seven in this year’s Yamaha-sponsored New Zealand Enduro Championship near Whangamata last month, but Husqvarna-mounted Yearbury had his revenge at round two at the weekend.
Their respective roles were reversed on the steep and treacherous forestry course at Moonshine, near Porirua, on Saturday as this time it was Yearbury who led the way through the timing zone at the end of the gruelling day.
With results shared, it means Yearbury and KTM’s Buxton are equal first in the championship standings and both riders are now looking forward to continuing their scrap at round three of the series near Tokoroa in just two weeks’ time, on April 20.
It will all really just be for bragging rights with these two individuals as they soon afterwards will head to Europe for a stint of international competition and they will have to drop out of the Kiwi series.
“Tommy and I are both heading off to the Erzberg enduro in Austria at the end of May and then we go to the Red Bull Romaniacs enduro in Romania at the beginning of August,” said the 24-year-old Yearbury.
“We will work as track managers at the Romaniacs event, but actually racing the Ezberg,” he explained.
Hopefully their recent racing on the Kiwi domestic scene will turn out to have been an ideal warm-up for that adventure.
Yearbury took his Husqvarna FE250 to beat Buxton (KTM 350EXC-F) to the chequered flag by just 16 seconds on Saturday, although even a relatively short duration such as that can seem like a lifetime in the motorcycle racing world.
Third overall on the premier AA course on Saturday was Wainuiomata’s Jake Whitaker (KTM 350XC-F), with Stratford’s Josh Hunger (Husqvarna TE300) and Whanganui’s Seth Reardon (Yamaha YZ250FX) completing the top five.
In terms of the championship, Yearbury and Buxton jointly lead by 14 points from Whangamata’s Jason Davis (Husqvarna FE350), who finished eighth on Saturday, with Reardon just one point further back and Whitaker an additional point back in fifth spot overall.
“I was feeling good on the bike and enjoyed the special tests at Moonshine,” said Yearbury.
“I had no problems today and quite enjoyed the track. It was tight in places and hard work, but I liked it.”
“It was cold and I couldn’t feel the fingers on my hand. Winter is finally here … for the Wellington region anyway. There is always room for improvement in my riding, but I’m looking forward to the next round near Tokoroa.”
Meanwhile, in the A course battle, it was Tokoroa’s Nick Wightman (KTM 150XC-W) who led the way at Moonshine, crossing the finish line 46 seconds ahead of runner-up rider Ethan McBreen (Husqvarna TE150), from Omihi, while Thames rider Natasha Cairns (KTM 150XC-W) was third overall on the day.
With back-to-back wins in the series thus far, Wightman leads the trophy chase for the A course riders, with Cairns and Masterton’s Philip Bly (KTM 300XC) second and third overall respectively after two rounds.
Bly finished the day fourth overall at Whangamata and at Moonshine too.
2019 NZ Enduro Champs calendar:
Round 1 – Saturday, March 16 – Thames
Round 2 – Saturday, April 6 – Kapiti
Round 3 – Saturday, April 20 – South Waikato
Round 4 – Sunday, June 9 – Martinborough
Round 5 – Saturday, June 29 – Bideford, Masterton
Round 6 – Friday, July 19 – Hokitika, Westland
Round 7 – Saturday, July 20 – Hokitika, Westland
© Words and photo by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ.com
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