The third round of five in the Yamaha-sponsored series was held in forestry in the Moonshine Valley, halfway between Porirua and Upper Hutt, last weekend and the gruelling action there has set up for a thrilling double-header climax in the Wairarapa Region this coming weekend.
It could be a winner-takes-all final two days of racing, at separate venues in the Wairarapa. Round four is set for farmland near Masterton on Saturday (June 12), with the fifth and final round due to be fought near Martinborough the following day.
Cambridge’s Dylan Yearbury leads the series overall in the premier grade after three rounds, but he has close friend and fierce rival Tommy Buxton, from Helensville, snapping at his rear wheel and anything can still happen in this most unpredictable of sports.
Oparau’s James Scott is a motocross ace but enduro rookie and he’s in third position, while Whanganui’s 2019 national enduro champion Seth Reardon and Taupo’s national junior cross-country champion Wil Yeoman round out the top five on the championship table and there’s really very little to separate them.
In fact, the margins at the top of those sport are so tight that only a solitary second separated the leading duo after two days of brutal racing at Moonshine last weekend.
Motorcycling New Zealand enduro commissioner Justin Stevenson said he was “looking forward to a thrilling weekend” in the Wairarapa.
“It is still possible for any of the top six riders to clinch the series overall,” he said.
The battle for individual bike class honours will also be sorted out this coming weekend, although Reardon (expert under 300cc 4-stroke class) and Yeoman (expert under 200cc 2-stroke class) seem to have a solid lock on their respective classes.
The tussle for overall championship honours and also for the trophy in the expert over 301cc 4-stroke class could go anywhere, although Yearbury and Buxton are the two favourites, assuming they can both stay out of trouble this weekend.
The fight for the top spot in the expert veterans over-40 years class is tight between Tokoroa’s Sean Clarke and Rotorua’s Spence McClintock, while it is extraordinarily close between Cambridge’s Ashton Grey and Wainuiomata’s Jake Whitaker in the expert over-201cc 2-stroke class.
In terms of capturing an individual class win, riders will discard their one worst result, ensuring the chase for class titles will be tight until the end. However, all five rounds of the series are counted in determining the overall championship winner.
The 2021 Yamaha NZ Enduro Championships are supported by Mitas tyres Macaulay Metals, Best Build Construction, Silver-bullet and Kiwi Rider magazine.
2021 Yamaha NZ Enduro Champs calendar:
Round 1 – Saturday, April 11 – Tokoroa;
Round 2 – Saturday and Sunday, April 24-25 – Marlborough;
Round 3 – Saturday and Sunday June 5-6 – Moonshine, Kapi-Mana;
Round 4 – Saturday, June 12 – Masterton;
Round 5 – Sunday, June 13 – Martinborough.
© Words and photos by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ.com
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