The 20-year-old from Oparau, near Kawhia, had been forced to skip the opening two stanzas of this year’s New Zealand Enduro Championships due to enforced isolation when he contracted COVID-19, and, with the series only a three-round affair this season, it meant he had absolutely no chance of winning the main prize
The quick-fire series had started with a double-header, rounds one and two staged over the long Queen’s Birthday Weekend, and the third and final round was held just one week later, near Martinborough on Sunday. Joyfully, Scott was out of isolation just in time for that event.
Cambridge’s 2021 national enduro champion Dylan Yearbury had won the opening two rounds over Queen’s Birthday Weekend, but he met his match against Scott on Sunday.
Scott took his distinctive red Honda CRF250RX to win the first of the four tightly-timed “special tests” on Sunday and from there he kept up a terrific pace to run out as comfortable outright winner of Sunday’s final round, finishing the steep and slippery course an impressive 29 seconds quicker than runner-up rider Josh Jack, from Kaukapakapa.
Scott demonstrated that his nimble 2022-model 250cc bike still had more than enough power to out-run the entire competition, even with many of the other riders choosing to campaign 300cc two-stroke or 450cc four-stroke machinery.
“Because of COVID, I had not been able to ride recently, but I did take the opportunity to have a bit of a warm-up ride around Santoft Forest (south of Whanganui) on Saturday,” explained Scott.
“I obviously had a good day on Sunday. I felt okay and the bike never missed a beat. It was perfect. I did suffer a couple of crashes, so I wasn’t 100 percent, but no damage was done.
“Being in isolation for a period wasn’t ideal and it was certainly seven days on the couch that I didn’t need, but my fitness was not too bad in the end. I’ve got a few more events lined up for me to race at in the coming weeks, so things should improve.”
The victory on Sunday was perhaps scant consolation for Scott with his title chances ruined by him being ruled out of the previous two rounds through COVID, but it did serve to send a strong message that he was strong and fully prepared for his upcoming international campaign.
Scott, Yearbury, Yeoman and Jack will shortly head overseas, along with some of their domestic rivals, to contest the 2022 edition of the International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) in France.
The talented foursome – along with Helensville’s Tom Buxton, Howick’s Liam Draper, Whanganui’s Seth Reardon, Taupo’s Wil Yeoman, Wairoa’s Tommy Watts, Rangiora’s Ben Dando, Oratia’s Callan May, Waitoki’s Ben Cottrill, Auckland’s Dan Watson and Levin’s Dan Walker – will be keen to give a good account of themselves at the ISDE in France in late August and early September.
2022 NZ Enduro Champs calendar:
Round 1 – Saturday, June 4 – Whanganui;
Round 2 – Queen’s Birthday Monday, June 6 – Porirua;
Round 3 – Sunday, June 12 – Martinborough.
© Words and photo by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ.com
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