Oparau’s James Scott and New Plymouth’s Rian King will be in the thick of the action at the spectacular Matterley Basin circuit, near Winchester, in southern England, the two young men determined to measure themselves against the world elite.
Scott has raced in Europe before, but for 17-year-old King (pictured here) it will be his first foray into a motocross cauldron as hot as this.
Scott has been chosen for the first time to represent New Zealand at the season-ending Motocross of Nations (MXoN) in France next month, the talented South Waikato rider understandably proud to wear the Silver Fern apparel for the first time and race at this prestigious annual “Olympic Games of Motocross” event.
It will provide an ideal warm-up for Scott ahead of his racing in the MX2 class at the MXoN at Ernee, in north-western France, on the weekend of October 7-8.
King, meanwhile, will be racing in the lesser European Motocross Championships (EMX) 250cc class in the UK this weekend.
Teenager King follows in his father’s wheel tracks, the now-53-year-old New Plymouth businessman Shayne King first heading to Europe when he was aged just 18 to represent New Zealand at the MXoN at Villars Sous Ecot, in France, in 1988 (Note: Shayne King had already performed international duties before then, however, representing New Zealand at the MXoN at Unadilla, in the United States, the previous year, in 1987).
New Zealand finished 17th overall in France in 1988.
Shayne King is, not unsurprisingly, extremely proud to be both the co-manager of Team New Zealand at this year’s MXoN in France and also proud that his young son is ready to take on the world at a level just below Grand Prix status.
“Rian is super excited to be heading to Matterley to race for the first time in Europe aboard the VRT KTM factory junior team,” said Shayne King, who had the distinction of becoming the 500cc world champion in 1996.
“He has no expectations, other than giving it his all in both motos and enjoying the experience.
“Matterley Basin is a track he’s enjoyed watching over the years and to be racing it is super exciting.”
This will be a short “interlude” for Shayne King before he steps back into the role of MXoN team manager, guiding the current crop of Kiwi stars at an illustrious competition in which he helped Team New Zealand in the past to achieve podium finishes on two memorable occasions, in England in 1998 and then third again in Belgium in 2001.
The UK circuit at Matterley Basin has been a happy hunting ground for Kiwis in the past, with Team New Zealand again finishing third when the MXoN was staged there in 2006, so perhaps that augurs well for this weekend.
© Words and photo by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ
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