You know you’re on to a good thing when you look down the start line and see a Who’s Who of dirt biking talent stretching away into the distance … all there to make sure you don’t have too easy a time of things.
Or perhaps it’s testimony to the calibre of the man who has put it all together – Tokoroa’s Sean Clarke – and his team of volunteer helpers (affectionately called “The Mess”), his wife Adele and son Jesse, and perhaps a dozen others who work tirelessly to sign on entries, record results, wipe down dirty number boards and pick up broken bits and pieces around the track.
We’re talking about the popular Dirt Guide Cross-country Series, the second round of two being held in forest land at Ohakuri, about halfway between Taupo and Tokoroa, last weekend.
More than 190 elite riders lined up to race the opening round of the Dirt Guide Cross-country Series on June 26 and that figure was massively exceeded at round two last Saturday – with more than 240 individuals showing up to race – all perhaps due to the splendid organising skills of legendary former Kiwi international and Motorcycling New Zealand Hall of Fame inductee Clarke Sean Clarke and his in-depth knowledge and understanding of the sport.
The third and final round of the series is set for August 21, also at the popular Ohakuri venue, but you’d better get there early because pit space was at a premium last Saturday.
Special note too was made of surprise entries last weekend by multi-time national motocross champion, multi-time New Zealand Motocross of Nations team member and 125cc and 250cc European Motocross Championships star Josiah Natzke, the Hamilton man making his cross-country debut on a Kawasaki KX450F, and of four-time former national cross-country champion Adrian Smith, the Awakino man lured out of retirement for a cameo appearance on Saturday.
For the record, Smith finished eighth overall on Saturday and Natzke chimed in with a placing of 12th overall.
The Dirt Guide Series is sponsored by Michelin, Bel Ray, Renthal, O’Neal, DRC, Zeta, Kiwi Rider magazine, Oakley goggles, Ogio, TCX boots, Yoshimura, Forest Trail Events and SatCo Logging Equipment.
© Words and photos by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ
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