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The 2016 New Zealand Moto Trials Championships

 

VISITING INTERNATIONAL STAR SIMPLY TOO SLICK

   CAPTION: Wellington's Dylan Ball, a winner in two separate categories at the weekend. 

OCTOBER 26, 2016: It was very much a "one-horse contest" in the upper echelon of New Zealand's moto trials community at the nationals at the weekend.

 

Visiting international star Jack Sheppard scampered away with the main trophy at the annual New Zealand Moto Trials Championships in the South Island, the British rider simply stunning over the three-day event.

 

This was exactly as most pundits probably expected, however, with record eight-time national champion Jake Whitaker unable to compete at the Blenheim event because of injury.

 

The Wainuiomata man was convalescing after recent knee surgery and had to content himself with checking in on results on-line as this season’s championships unfolded over the Labour Weekend (October 22-24).

 

Runner-up to Sheppard was Nelson's Peter Oliver, with visiting French rider Jules Huguenin third, while Oliver's elder brother Nick Oliver and Blenheim's multi-time South Island champion Jason Baker rounded out the top five in the Expert Grade.

 

This was Sheppard's second visit to New Zealand and also his second title win here.

 

Sheppard was world No.13 when he last visited New Zealand in 2014 and he proved to be a sensation at the nationals that year too, certainly clever enough to put a kink in Whitaker's win streak and steal the title for himself.

 

Fourth in the Scottish Six-Day Trial earlier this year, the 23-year-old Sheppard would have been even more heavily favoured this time around and he certainly made light work of the gnarly New Zealand terrain at the weekend, recording "clean" results through 105 of the 108 sections he had to face.

 

In contrast, runner-up Oliver managed to go clean through 43 sections over the three days.

 

Meanwhile, Wellington's Stuart Lawton, Kaikoura's David Trewin and Wellington’s Carl Robson topped the A Grade.

 

A stand-out rider over the weekend was Wellington's Dylan Ball, the youngster winning titles in two separate categories – he topped the intermediate grade, finishing ahead of Ashhurst's Kevin Pinfold, and Ball was also No.1 in the junior grade, finishing ahead of Mapua's Dylan Cox.

 

In May this year, Ball was a finalist in the Best Up And Coming Off Road Rider category at Motorcycling New Zealand's Hall of Fame awards ceremony.

 

Other grade winners at the weekend were Taumarunui's Cody Davey (clubmans' grade); Christchurch's Stefanie Downes (women's grade); Nelson's Stephen Oliver (presidents); Nelson's Karl Clark (twin-shock); Tauranga's Nigel Shilton (sportsman's grade).

 

With this branch of motorcycling sport, the emphasis is not on speed, but on fine balance, bravery and throttle control.

 

The prime aim is to conquer the extreme terrain without touching feet on the ground or falling off. Points are lost for these “faults” and a rider with the lowest score wins.

 

The championships were sponsored this year by MTF Vehicle Finance.

 

Credit: Words and photo by Andy McGechan,

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KiSS Navarra
an important moment for the FIM ISDE

The occasion of the 91st edition of the FIM International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) to be held in Navarra, Spain from 11th to 16th October will see yet another landmark moment in the long history of this unique event as KiSS Navarra (Keep it Shiny and Sustainable) becomes the first time that this type of programme has been brought to the discipline of Enduro.

This particular initiative is highly important and significant as the FIM continues to work persistently to deliver sustainable events in all the disciplines with the FIM Ride Green Programme. Environmental awareness, sustainability and responsibility is vitally important for events such as the ISDE which operate in potentially sensitive areas.

Reinforcing this point, the woodland areas in the Navarra region are an integral part of the culture, tradition and livelihood of the local community with them representing one of Europe’s largest forests in terms of coverage proportional to the size of the region.
 
The routes that the ISDE will follow over the six days of competition have been designed in cooperation with the Department of the Environment of the Government of Navarra, and all the municipalities and councils through which the course will pass have had the opportunity to express their preferences and suggest modifications in order to minimise the impact of the event on the region.
 
In its constant plight to organise and deliver sustainable sport, the FIM ensures that all its competitions comply with environmental standards through a series of measures that include:
 
• Application of the regulations to protect the environment contained within the FIM Environmental Code.
 
• Technical verification to control sound levels in order to ensure that the motorcycles produce acceptable sound levels with the aim of protecting the environment, the riders, the spectators and the officials.
 
• Compulsory use of environmental mats at all times during refuelling and mechanical work including in the parc fermé.
 
• Use of unleaded fuels.
 
• Use of special “ecological” tyres to minimise erosion.
A CLIMATE-FRIENDLY EVENT
As part of the 2016 FIM International Six Days of Enduro, and within the framework of the FIM Ride Green programme, there will be a number of initiatives in and around this event designed to offset any negative impact on the environment. Some of these are in line with the standards imposed by the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme while others are initiatives of the organisers themselves. These projects will be pioneered at this year’s event, and hopefully incorporated into future editions.

Below are three key elements that make the 2016 FIM ISDE a climate-friendly event:

1. This will be the first motorcycle Enduro event in the world to aim at a low carbon footprint through offsetting of emissions into the atmosphere via certified projects to help reduce the overall impact.

2. For the first time, we are also creating the position of environmental ambassador by country, with students of a well-known University in Navarra, in order to raise environmental awareness among the participants.

3. The creation of the “Ride Green Cup” trophy for the participating country that shows the best environmental behaviour.

 
The KiSS Programme was launched in 2013, at the legendary Mugello circuit, with the aim of minimising the environmental impact caused by the event and encouraging the participation of the fans. One of the fundamental aims of the programme is to include the normal environmental standards applicable to all our events and to incorporate other actions for the benefit of the environment and to reduce the footprint of the event, thereby contributing to sustainable sport and the achievement of all the objectives of sustainable development.
 
Speaking ahead of next week’s ISDE event Kattia Juarez HERNANDEZ – FIM Director of  International Environment Commission (CIE) said. “KiSS Navarra marks an important moment for the ISDE, Enduro and for the FIM The Ride Green Programme. Enduro is a discipline that operates in some of the most sensitive areas on our planet, so it is a great opportunity to show to the World and to the local community that through careful management and respect of the natural terrain, that motorcycle sport can exist in a region such as Navarra in a responsible and sustainable way.”

05/10/2016

              Spain ready to welcome               91st edition of the ISDE

The ninety-first edition of the FIM International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) is set to take place in Navarra from 11th to 16th October when the event returns to Spain for the first time since 2000. Held then in Granada where Italy and Spain won the World Trophy and Junior World Trophy categories respectively, this time around twenty-two World Trophy teams, twenty Junior Trophy teams, seven Women’s Trophy teams and more than three hundred and eighty Club team riders will take to the start of this iconic event being held in the north east of the country.

Dominating the 2016 edition of the event in Slovakia last year Australia return looking to continue their winning ways. Topping the World Trophy, Junior World Trophy and Women’s Trophy classes in Košice, Australia will be hoping for more of the same in Navarra, but face tough competition in their bid to successfully repeat their amazing winning performance in all three classes.

With the 2015 ISDE delivering a number of memorable firsts – Australia claimed their first ever World Trophy team victory while USA’s Ryan Sipes became the first American to top the overall individual results, it is expected that Australia and the USA will be the two leading nations in the battle for World Trophy team victory this year. Whatever team does win will be the first to do so under the new four-rider World Trophy team rules.

Fielding what is arguably one of their strongest World Trophy squads of recent years, Daniel Milner – Yamaha, and Daniel Sanders – KTM will compete together with Josh Strang – Husqvarna, and Lachlan Stanford – Husqvarna, for Australia. Bringing together a team filled with experience, youthfulness and determination the Australian quartet will likely see their biggest threat come from the USA.

Despite losing Ryan Sipes – Husqvarna to injury at the eleventh hour, Team USA are unquestionably looking to capture the World Trophy team win. Kailub Russell – KTM, Taylor Robert – KTM and Thad Duvall – Husqvarna form a formidable trio who together with an as yet unnamed fourth member of the team will certainly give Australia a run for their money. The question everyone is asking is will Team USA finally secure the ISDE’s biggest prize?

Spain will be lead by Ivan Cervantes – KTM, as the former five-time FIM World title winner teams up with Victor Guerrero – KTM, Jaume Betriu – KTM, and Jonathan Barragan – Gas Gas in their bid for a World Trophy podium result.

In the Junior World Trophy category Australia start as defending champions with their three-rider team of Tom McCormack – Yamaha, Jack Simpson – KTM, and Nic Tomlinson - KTM. However with numerous nations putting forward teams capable of fighting for the Junior World Trophy win the likes of the USA, Sweden, Great Britain, Finland and Italy are all ready to challenge for the podium.

Without question it is Australia’s Women’s World Trophy team who start as favourites for class victory as Jessica Gardiner - Yamaha, Tayla Jones – Yamaha, and Jemma Wilson – Yamaha, aim for yet more ISDE success and a fourth consecutive win. The most dominant team in ISDE competition in recent years, the experienced trio will again likely set a pace few others can match having finished close to one-hour ahead of their closest challengers in last year’s event. Leading the battle to challenge Australia, are Sweden, USA, Slovakia, Canada, Germany and Spain who are all hopeful of a trouble free run through the ninety-first edition of the International Six Days Enduro.

The 2016 ISDE takes place in Navarra, Spain from 11th to 16th October.

 

               2016 ISDE  - Key Facts  

  •     91st Edition of ISDE – Navarra, Spain
  •    Australia ready to defend World / Junior / Women’s titles
  •    22 x World Trophy Teams
  •    20 x Junior Trophy Teams
  •    7 x Women’s Trophy Teams
  •    +380 x Club Riders

 

Mr Jake Miller | ISDE Press Officer  | press.isde@fim.ch | Tel. +44 161 763 6660 | Mobile +44 7787 564 563

ABOUT THE FIM (www.fim-live.com)

The FIM (Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme) founded in 1904, is the governing body for motorcycle sport and the global advocate for motorcycling. The FIM is an independent association formed by 113 National Federations throughout the world. It is recognised as the sole competent authority in motorcycle sport by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Among its 50 FIM World Championships the main events are MotoGP, Superbike, Endurance, Motocross, Supercross, Trial, Enduro, Cross-Country Rallies and Speedway. Furthermore, the FIM is also active and involved in the following areas: public affairs, road safety, touring and protection of the environment. The FIM was the first international sports federation to impose an Environmental Code in 1994.

 
 

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Cervantes ready to lead Spain at home ISDE

On Tuesday 11th October the FIM International Six Day Enduro (ISDE), the longest running FIM off road motorcycle competition, will begin in Navarra, Spain. For one rider in particular the event will be a truly memorable occasion. Ivan Cervantes – KTM, Spain’s most successful international enduro racer with five FIM World titles and one overall ISDE victory – will compete in what will be both his first and last ISDE on home soil.

Competing as a member of Spain’s World Trophy team aboard a 450cc KTM, the fact that the 2016 ISDE takes place in Navarra, Spain ensures Ivan’s career as a professional enduro racer will come to a celebratory close. Not competing in the 2000 ISDE in Granada (the last time the ISDE was held in Spain) and having announced his retirement from full-time enduro competition only a few weeks ago, Ivan’s participation in Navarra will be a special occasion not only for himself personally, but also for Spanish enduro as well as the ISDE, as it says goodbye to one of the great enduro champions of the last decade.

“The ISDE is a very important race for me and especially for the Spanish team,” commented Ivan. “Spain has never won the World Trophy team competition, and this year we believe we can fight for the victory. We have a very good team so we will do all we can to win. It’s a very special event for us and there will be a lot of support. For me persnally it will be my last ever ISDE.”
 
As Spain’s leading enduro racer Ivan is no stranger to success. In 2008, at the ISDE in Serres, Greece, he became the first and so far only Spanish rider to win the ISDE outright. “I’ve enjoyed the ISDE so much over the years, I have some incredible memories. Winning the event overall in Greece in 2008 was one of the highlights of my career. I was very fortunate to win because many riders had problems. It was a tough race that ended in the best way for me. It was fantastic to make history by becoming the first Spanish rider to win an ISDE overall.”
 
“The ISDE has given me a lot of great memories over the years,” added Ivan. “I know I’m not as fast as I used to be, but together with my team mates I believe Spain has a very good chance of fighting for the World Trophy team win. So much can happen during the ISDE, like it did in Serres in 2008. Working together as a team is very important and something the Spanish riders are very good at. I want to enjoy the race, my last Six Days race. It will be a very special event, one that I am very much looking forward to.”

 

               Ivan Cervantes - Key Facts  

  •     First / Last ISDE on home soil
  •    2008 ISDE Overall winner - Greece
  •    First ever Spanish FIM Enduro World Champion
  •    4 x FIM Enduro World Champion 2005 / 2006 / 2007  2009
  •    1 x FIM Indoor Enduro World Cup Winner 2009
  •    2016 Spanish World Trophy Member

 

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Brive will host the 2017 edition of the FIM ISDE

The FIM, FFM and Organizing Committee ISDE2017 are pleased to announce that the 2017 FIM International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) will be held in Brive-la-Gaillarde, France from 28 August to 2 September.

The region of Corrèze is well known to Enduro having hosted the FIM Enduro World Championship in Servières-le-Château (1994) and in Uzerche (2008), multiple European Enduro Championships, and of course the ISDE in 2001, which was a declared a success by all that took part in it.

The organizing committee chaired by Jean-François Buisson, who was head of the team that delivered the successful 2001 edition will be joined by new members who will support the preparations to ensure that the 2017 edition meets the high standards of the Corrèze motorcycle clubs. For sure, they can count on their 16 years of experience since the last Six Days to make sure 2017 will be another amazing event.

The town of Brive-la-Gaillarde is a very dynamic city and has played host to many sporting events and will provide the ideal set-up for the 2017 FIM ISDE. Familiar with this event, the city is already working with the Organizing Committee to ensure that riders and fans will have the best experience in France.

More information on http://www.fim-isde.com/

Left to Right: Jean-Guillaume Meiller (Director FIM CEN), Alain Blanchard (ABC Communication) and Jean-François Buisson (President of the Comité Organisateur ISDE 2017)

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YAMAHA TIGHTENS ITS STRANGLEHOLD ON NATIONALS

MARCH 1, 2016: The grip continues to tighten as the high-profile Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing Team heads into the second half of its New Zealand Motocross Championships campaign.

Australian import Dean Ferris was again in command at the second round of four in the series near Palmerston North on Sunday.

The new venue at Himatangi became progressively rougher as the day wore on, the sand-based track offering no let-up as it wore down both man and machines, but Ferris seemed to thrive in it and posted an impressive 3-1-1 score-card in the MX1 class, extending his championship lead to 14 points over the new man in the No.2 position, fellow Gold Coast rider Todd Waters.

With the series now at the halfway stage, Ferris can look back and feel extremely satisfied with his performance – he has won five of the six races in the championship thus far.

The only "blip" on Ferris' performance was his finishing third in the day's first race at Himatangi.

"I made a mistake in choosing the wrong tyres for the first race," explained Ferris, who had led until two-thirds of the way through the race and then began to drop back before settling for third.

"Todd (Waters) and Cody (Cooper, the defending national MX1 champion from Mount Maunganui) are riding really well and my arms tightened up because I couldn't get any rest ... they were on me all day.

"Races two and three were a huge battle between me and Todd. We've been racing each other like this for 10 years now," he laughed.

"Todd was strong today but I managed to get the job done.

"I have the (stand-alone) Conondale Cup to race at home this weekend and then I'm back for the final two rounds in New Zealand. I'll just keep working hard. I know Todd and Coops won't be giving up."

The results were mixed for the Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing Team's two MX2 (250cc) class riders.

Waitakere's Ethan Martens, riding a YZ250 two-stroke bike, and Mangakino's Kayne Lamont, on the four-stroke YZ250F, set the two quickest times in qualifying, and looked on track for a positive afternoon of racing.

However, it then unravelled for Lamont, who finished runner-up to series class leader Hamish Harwood in the first race but then crashed out while leading the next race. Lamont's head struck the ground and, shaken by the incident, he opted to withdraw from the rest of the day's programme.

Martens battled throughout the day and came away with 6-3-3 results, good enough for third overall on the day, behind KTM rider Harwood and Australian Triple B Valley Fresh Yamaha Team rider Jed Beaton, but it also meant Martens moved himself up from sixth overall after round one to now sit fourth overall for the series.

The second half of the Kiwi motocross calendar takes riders to the Rotorua Motorcycle Club's track for round three on March 13, with the fourth and final round set for the Digger McEwen Motocross Park facility, on the outskirts of Taupo, on March 20.

The Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing team is supported by Altherm Window Systems, Yamaha, JCR, CRC, Ados, GYTR, Yamalube, Fox Racing, Hollands Collision Centre, Star Moving, Ward Demolition, Fulton Hogan, Pirelli, FMF, DID, NGK, Matrix, Renthal, Motomuck, Workshop Graphics, Motoseat, Hammerhead, SKF, Vertex Pistons, Rtech Plastics, Etnies, Biketranz and Fulton Hogan.

Words and photo by Andy McGechan,

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KIARA FONTANESI GETS A GUTSY, APPEALING LOOK, BUT she didn't know  about pocket rocket from New  Zealand!
Glitter Sidi Crossfire 2 boots for the Queen of motocross.
 

Maser (Treviso), 28 February, 2016 – A Queen must always stand out, even among the dusty masses in the middle of a motocross track. At Losail in Qatar, for the season opener of the 2016 WMX World Series, the four-time women’s World Champion was sporting a very stylish, attractive new look. She was wearing her Crossfire 2 boots, with new colours for 2016, chosen by the champion herself. For the occasion Sidi Sport tricked them out with a touch of glitter, to help make Kiara look even more fashionable.
Her 5th overall place (11th in race 1 and 3rd in race 2) in the final standings of this inaugural GP is certainly not enough to satisfy the Women’s World Champion, but the race for the title has just begun. It’s still going to be a long season, and it’s sure to bring plenty of thrills.

SIDI SPORT LIGHTS UP THE MOTOCROSS WORLD SERIES!
Luminous Sidi Crossfire 2 boots for Tony Cairoli.
 

Maser (Treviso), 28 February, 2016 – The new Motocross World Series season opened on the raceway in Losail, Qatar. It was a spectacular show with the MXGP race being held by night. Tim Gajser provided a thrilling performance that won him the race. In keeping with tradition, for the third year in a row Sidi Sport lit up the Crossfire 2 boots worn by their super champ Tony Cairoli (Ktm), with a fascinating, magical led light show. The right boot was all yellow and the left one all blue. Thus the new adventure began!
Tony Cairoli came in 6th in race 1 and 4th in race 2 to close out this first test in 5th place. However, beyond the result, what matters now is that we have finally seen Tony Cairoli back on track, motivated, gutsy and competitive as he recovers from the injury to his ribs which slowed him down so far this season.

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KIWI GIRL TO TACKLE THE WORLD'S ELITE

CAPTION: Otago's Courtney Duncan (Yamaha), ready to take on the world's elite. Photo by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ.com

JANUARY 12, 2016: It is a long way from New Zealand to the motocross hotbed of central Europe, but that's the journey on which South Island teenager Courtney Duncan hope she is about to begin.

It probably comes as no surprise to those who know of the Yamaha rider's exploits and to travel from the small Otago town of Palmerston to the hustle and bustle of racing the Motocross World Championships in places such as Belgium, Germany and France has always been the aim for the Kiwi Yamaha rider.

The 19-year-old Duncan heads to Qatar in a few weeks' time to tackle the opening round of the Women's World Motocross Championships – that event sharing the programme with the start of the parallel but separate men's competition – on February 27.

If she impresses at that event, she's hoping it will lead to a full campaign with the six-round women's series continuing in The Netherlands (March 28), Germany (May 8), France (June 5) and Switzerland (August 7) and wrapping up at Assen, in The Netherland again, on August 28.

She has beaten most of the motocross boys in New Zealand and has turned heads each time she's raced overseas, whether it be winning in Australia or the United States, and it was just a matter of time before she hit the world stage, although she will still have to prove herself.

She has the backing of New Zealand's two-time former world No.2 Josh Coppins, of Motueka, the head of the Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing Team and has been training regularly with him as she builds towards her world campaign.

For most of last year she was in recovery mode, regaining her strength after tearing her ACL ligament in her left knee – in a freak basketball accident, totally unrelated to motocross.

"I knew straight away what had happened. I was just passing a basketball around before I was to go into the gym and something felt funny.

"It had happened before, so I knew what it was," said Duncan.

She was flown to Auckland for surgery on her knee and then began the long process of rehabilitation.

"I did my exercises pretty much every day. Had the weekend off, but every day it was just about getting fit again.''

She got back on the bike in late October.

"I thought I would be a bit nervous getting back on the bike, but it just felt like home."

She is now back to full fitness and her coach and mentor, Coppins, is quietly confident that she will impress in Qatar and says "she needs to".

"Courtney is only officially confirmed for Qatar at this stage," he said. "It's quite an expensive undertaking to do a full campaign and she's not got a factory ride. She needs to show what she's made of at Qatar and we can go on from there.

"We in New Zealand know how good she is, but you're only as good as your last ride and nobody has seen her overseas for a while. Her biggest competitor is herself. Keeping the bike on two wheels is very important.

"The idea last year was for her to do two rounds and build from that, but then she injured herself and had a lengthy lay-off.

"I don't know what she'll make of Qatar. I raced there myself in 2002 and finished second to (Belgian former world champion) Joel Smets. It was among the sand dunes and Joel was on a 450 four-stroke and I was on a 250cc two-stroke, but the track is all man-made now and a lot of it is clay-based, so it's totally different really.

"Unfortunately, the Qatar race clashes with the date for round two of the New Zealand Motocross Championships and I can't be in two places, but I will be following her progress as closely as I can."

Duncan's Yamaha YZ250F bike is currently being prepared for her in Belgium.

"Yamaha New Zealand has really stepped up to make this possible," said Coppins. "They can see the potential in Courtney and they are helping to bridge the gap."

Fellow Yamaha rider, 21-year-old Italian Kiara Fontanesi, was the 2015 women's world champion and she will no doubt be the one to beat again in 2016, unless a Kiwi girl called Courtney Duncan can upset the form book.

Duncan and the Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing team is supported by Altherm Window Systems, Yamaha, JCR, CRC, Ados, GYTR, Yamalube, Fox Racing, Hollands Collision Centre, Star Moving, Ward Demolition, Fulton Hogan, Pirelli, FMF, DID, NGK, Matrix, Renthal, Motomuck, Workshop Graphics, Motoseat, Hammerhead, SKF, Vertex Pistons, Rtech Plastics, Etnies, Biketranz and Fulton Hogan.

Words and photo by Andy McGechan,

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Paul Whibley Race Report : Rider: Paul Whibley  Team: Yamaha  Bike: Yamaha YZ 125  Event: NZXC Rnd 4/GNCC Rnd 2  Result: 1st

The NZXC series reached its penultimate round at Maddix Park and was co-sanctioned

with the GNCC series. I hadn’t done hardly any riding since having my appendix out and

was still supposed to be on light duties so I took my YZ 125 to Tauranga with the plan to

get some seat time and just have fun.

Off the line I got smoked by all the 450s but was able to sneak around the outside and

dropped into third. Dust was really bad early on but as we got further back into the bush

evidence of the last rainfall still remained. My stomach was a little sore early on but as

the race progressed I loosened up. I moved up into the lead late in the lap after the

leaders made mistakes. Simon Lansdaal took the lead for a lap but I soon regained

control on the following lap. It really was a lot of fun on the 125. The track got choppy and

a few slick spots made finding traction hard work but the little YZ just handles so well. It

was easy to switch up lines to alternative smooth ones seemingly inaccessible to others.

As the track got rougher and rougher the more being creative paid off. I ended up

winning the race comfortably. Simon held out Jason Davis for second, while Peter

Broxholme and Adrian Smith filled out the top five. I was also happy with how consistent

my lap times were. As well as capturing the fastest lap of the day, over 8 laps my times

only varied 20 seconds with the last lap just 10 seconds off my fastest.

1st: Paul Whibley

2nd: Simon Lansdaal

3rd: Jason Davis

---------------------------

Rider: Paul Whibley  Team: Yamaha  Bike: Yamaha YZ450 F  Event: GNCC Rnd 1 Matata  Result: 1st

Sorry for the delay in getting this out but straight after the race I had to get my appendix

out so have been laid up for a few days. This is a quick recap of how the race went.

A good start had me lead the way around the first lap but as we closed in on scoring

Mitch Rees caught and passed me with some youthful excitement. He had started on the

second row and used some local knowledge to close in quickly over the first lap. I jumped

back past him as we started the second lap. I was able to open a small gap but I was

unsure how far he started behind me and how much I needed to put between us to stay

ahead on adjusted time. Mitch rode a smart race and kept me in sight, possibly all he

needed to do to take the win. He took the lead again as we left the pits after 3 laps. I kept

him in sight but needed to be in front to give myself a shot at the win. Mid way through

the next lap he got stuck in a bog and I powered to the front. I tried to keep pushing and

over the last few laps couldn’t see Mitch but again was not sure how much time I needed

to take the win.

As it turned out Mitch had crashed out late in the race and I ended up winning by a safe

margin.

1st: Paul Whibley

2nd: Simon Landsdaal

3rd: Scott Birch

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Event: Sandpit series Rnd 4

Rider: Paul Whibley Team: Yamaha Bike: Yamaha YZ450 F Event: Sandpit series Rnd 4 Result: 1st

Final round of the Sandpit series was held north of Helensville.

I got a good start from the second row and quickly passed the team riders who started on

the front row. Once up front I pushed hard to make a break on the other riders.

The track was half the usual pine forest and half scrubby farmland. The soil was still sandy

and the farmland had an awesome flow to it. Weaving through stands of Manuka, up and

down rolling hills with a couple natural jumps.

After three laps I gassed up and set out for another hour and a half. I had a good lead

although I didn’t know how much of the lead. All I knew was I couldn’t see anyone coming

through scoring after I gassed.

I continued to put in safe laps, although careful not to put it in cruise mode as my

teammate Adam Reeves had been riding well recently and I didn’t want him sneaking up

on me.

With the clock ticking down I came through scoring a few minutes before it ticked over to

the three hour mark and got out for an extra lap.

With the win I wrapped up the series. First time I had competed in this series and I really

enjoyed the tracks and the racing.

1st: Paul Whibley

2nd: Adam Reeves

3rd: Cody Davey

-------------------------

Rider: Paul Whibley Team: Yamaha Bike: Yamaha YZ450 F Event: Dirt Guide Series Rnd 3 Result: 1st

There must be some kind of weather god smiling down on the Dirt Guide series because

just like the last round we emerged from rain and miserable conditions on the drive to

the event to race in perfect conditions.

I grabbed the holeshot again and led the way around the first 26 minute lap. A couple

small mistakes on lap two allowed 2nd placed rider Hadleigh Knight close in and put some

pressure on. I had a small lead when I came into gas on lap three but Hadleigh had gassed

up the lap earlier and just snuck through scoring and into the lead as I came out of the

pits. The race was on. Hadleigh was riding really good and it made for an exciting race.

I pushed hard and shadowed the husky pilot putting the pressure back on him but not yet

finding a way past.

Just after we started the 5th and final lap Hadleigh appeared to hesitate for a second and I

took full advantage and moved back into the lead. I later learned he was attempting to

check fuel in his bike. I opened up a gap and rode a good pace into the finish. Hadleigh

struck problems and actually ran out of gas late in the lap.

It was an exciting race and hats off to Hadleigh who really showed some impressive

speed.

With this win I wrapped up the Dirt Guide Series for 2015 with around to spare.

1st: Paul Whibley

2nd: Sam Greenslade

3rd: Jake Whitaker

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Event: Moonshine Run Extreme Harescramble 

Rider: Paul Whibley Team: Yamaha Bike: Yamaha YZ450 F  Result: 2nd

A shotgun blast signalled the start of the days torture. The YZ 250 fired up fast and I took

the holeshot and lead the way up the hill through the clear-fell slash. A couple mistakes in

the EX track cost me some positions and got me a burnt butt when someone’s expansion

chamber kissed it while I was off my bike pushing. I think I was in third or fourth after a

couple kms of the 25km lap. A missed turn dropped me even further back with myself and

Taylor Grey lost for what seemed like minutes. Eventually we found where we went

wrong. An arrow and peg lay on the ground, run down by someone. A couple passes and I

think I was back inside the top 3 again, hard to tell though in these kind of races. I soon

struck the next problem with wire getting wrapped around my wheel on a hill climb. I

unwound it only to get snagged again as I tried to ride off. The rest of the lap was

completed with the expected loop-outs, getting stuck and plenty of lifting and pushing. I

think I was 4th at the end of lap 1. Lap time was just under an hour and a half for me with

two laps to go.

The track was pretty tough with slick soil and lots of tree roots. Plenty of hard hill climbs

and steep down hills.

The last two laps were completed without any unexpected drama. Just the usual loopouts

and endos. By the time 3 laps were done I was up to 2nd. I was pretty tired at the end

but satisfied to complete all 3 laps. Think only 6 guys completed all 3.

1st: Jake Whitaker - TE250 Husky

2nd: Paul Whibley YZ450F

3rd: Jacob Hyslop ?

-----------------------

Event: Dirt Guide Series Rnd 2  Rider: Paul Whibley Team: Yamaha Bike: Yamaha YZ450 F  Result: 1st

Driving through snow on the way to a race is never very inviting. Once at the venue for

Round 2 of the Dirt Guide Series the skies seemed to clear and the sun had even made an

appearance before the start of the race. There were a few puddles in low spots but the

majority of the track was in great shape.

I grabbed the holeshot and lead the way. I was being pretty careful in some of the

puddles as the odd one was a lot deeper than it looked and even though the sun was out

the air was still chilly. I didn’t feel like being soaking wet!!! The second lap I still hadn’t

really warmed up with cold fingers and tight arms. I had built a lead of nearly a minute

during lap one and this didn’t help as I was riding too careful to really warm up.

Consequently I was caught by Sam Greenslade and Jake Whitaker at the end of the 3rd lap.

These guys were riding good and pushing hard. This wake-up call was just what I needed

and a little boost in adrenaline kicked in and the following lap I upped the pace to reestablished

my lead. I kept a solid pace going for the remainder of the event to take the

win.

The track got some awesome lines and was a lot of fun. If anyone ever wanted to get a

hint of a US GNCC then these Dirt Guide events are the probably the closest thing we

currently have here in NZ.

1st: Paul Whibley

2nd: Jake Whitaker

3rd: Sam Greenslade

-----------------------------------------

Third round of the Central Enduro Series was held at Waitawhiti Station out from Pahiatua.

Rider: Paul Whibley Team: Yamaha Bike: Yamaha YZ450 F Event:Central Enduro Rnd 3 Result:1st

Trail consisted of one loop repeated four times with trail time tightening as the day

progressed. Two tests per lap.

I signed up on minute one. We were warned at briefing that windy conditions had

knocked a lot of arrows down and they weren’t kidding. The first test was really hard to

ride fast with some of the arrows missing. The second test was down a creek and through

some clear-fell slash and was a little easier to follow. Also on laps one and two a cool bush

section was included. Plenty of roots were exposed on the second lap, as was expected,

so this section was removed for the last two laps. A few creek crossings got a little boggy

too with some deep ruts waiting for the unwary.

Once the track was burnt in and we weren’t relying on arrows for direction I was able to

pick the pace up and sneak home with the win.

1st: Paul Whibley

2nd: Jacob Hyslop

3rd: Charlie Richardson

-----------------------------------

Event: Sandpit 2 Man Series Rnd 2

Rider: Paul Whibley Team: Yamaha Bike: Yamaha YZ450 F

Result:1st

Race Report

With Chris Birch (Redbull KTM Extreme Enduro rider) teaming up for this event with fellow KTM rider Jason Davis I knew I would have push hard for the whole event to stay near this

pairing let alone some of the other high calibre entrants.

The Solo class starts on the second row behind the Expert teams. I holeshot my row and pushed hard to catch the leaders from row one. I got up to second on lap one and wasn’t

far behind Birch who had started for their team. I couldn’t quite see him but could hear his bike every now and then. Jason Davis tagged in and with one lap under my belt I soon

caught him. I relaxed when I latched onto his tail and caught my breath for a second.

Once in the lead I upped my intensity again and pulled away. With Birch tagging in on the third lap I rode hard to maintain my lead. Completing the lap without being caught I

relaxed again. Feeling happy with my pace, if I just maintain that for the 3 hours I probably wouldn’t be caught. I was comfortable that the intensity that I was running

could be held to the end, with a little in reserve if needed.

A gas stop at the end of the fourth lap, thanks to Reuben and Sarah in the pits, and back into it. The rain was becoming steady now so I ended up coming into the pits for each of

the remaining laps to grab fresh Smith goggles. I kept the pace up right to the end and won by a couple of minutes over the team of Birch and Davis with Jake Wightman coming

home in third.

1st: Paul Whibley

2nd: Chris Birch/Jason Davis

3rd: Jake Wightman

Paul Whibley is supported by:

Sidi, Smith, G2, Asterisk, MotoSR, Vortex Ignitions,

EC3D, Bush Riders MCC, Darbis, GHQ, Freedom Moto,

Yamaha NZ, Rosscos Start Up Services, Works

Connection, Pro Taper, Race Pace Services, Unabiker,

Leatt Brace, Tire Balls, bikesportnz.com, CarbSport,

KettleClamp, Alliance Offroad, Ride Eng MotoSeat

FMF Kenda Yamalube CV4 GYTR IMS MSR Rekluse

Twin Air Wiseco Ride Eng Workshop graphics

 

-------------------------------------

Taikorea 500 Cross Country Report

James Galpin KTM XC200  1st XC2 3rd Overall   

The day was wet and cold, but I wasn’t complaining after the previous two years having temperatures around 30 degrees.

With over 60 bikes on the line, a good start was needed. Hadleigh Knight ran me wide and I came out of the 1st corner

in 3rd. During the first lap I find myself following Jake Whitaker and finding my pace. On lap 2 Jake put a bit of

a gap on me and I had no one following close. By the third lap it really started to rain which made visibility minimal

and put my new Scott roll offs to the test, I had clear air in front but I could see Sam Greenslade gaining slowly. I wanted

to keep my distance but at the same time i didn’t want to break my pace as I knew I had another one hour race

to come. Sam closed the gap going into the last 1km; It was a great battle especially going round that

last lap of the motocross track just before the end. I managed to hold my position finishing 1st in class

and 5th overall.

The second 1 hr race I got off to a better start pulling the holeshot and maintaining a solid position.

During the first lap a couple of riders got past but I wasn’t to fussed knowing that I will catch them up at

the end of the race with my endurance that I have been working on. In that second lap I passed a couple

of riders back including Adrian Smith. I managed to keep a decent gap on Adrian for the rest of the race.

In the third lap I was pushed by Luke Mobberley following close behind. He stayed with me that whole

lap but I knew I had more energy than him going into that final lap. I put the hammer down and made

myself a solid gap not knowing who could be chasing close behind. I finished in a solid 1st in class and a

6th overall.

Now the fun begins with the two Enduro X races. In the first race I get to line up in the front line next to

Adam Reeves. It was a dead engine start which gave me the advantage over some of the others because

of my lighting fast action electric start. I get off to a great start in 1st, but am quickly passed by Trials ace

Jake Whitaker, I try to follow closely but he got away on me with his great skills, Adrian got past as I

managed to jam myself in the tyre pit. I pulled my bike out and finished the race in a confusing 2nd in

class and a 3rd overall.

The start of the second race started off just the same as the first race with a great jump off the line but

getting passed shortly by Jake, I had I smooth second race without crashing and was jumping the tyre pit

to keep out of trouble. I tried to hold my position but lost it to Adam as he out skilled me over the

massive logs. I finished the second race in another 2nd class and 3rd overall, pretty happy with that!

---------------------------

HONDA'S WILTSHIRE CONSISTENT, CONSISTENTLY GOOD

JULY 13, 2015: Bay of Plenty's Aaron Wiltshire was in dynamic form at the New Zealand Motorcycle TT Championships near Kuratau at the weekend.

 

Representing The Honda Shop Racing Team, the 18-year-old showed a never-say-die attitude and a reliably fast bike would eventually take him to the top during a brutal two days of action on the icy farm paddock on the Central Plateau.

 

Tauranga's Wiltshier (CRF250) started the weekend the way he meant to end it when he won his first of five races and he finished the first day with a narrow six-point advantage over his nearest rival, Taupo's Cohen Chase, with Rotorua's Scotty Canham another eight points further back.

 

Wiltshier was 10 points ahead of Chase with just one race to go when the riders lined up for their final MX2 outing of the weekend and he knew that fifth or better would be enough for him to sew up the title.

 

After a handlebar-bashing battle with Taupo's Brad Groombridge through the opening laps, Wiltshire eventually found a way past and crossed the line in fourth position, the result more than he needed to wrap up the trophy.

 

"I was probably not the fastest rider today, but consistency got me there in the end," said Wiltshier afterwards.

 

Wiltshire posted a 1-3-2-3-4 score-card to win the title by six points from former national junior motocross champion Chase.

 

"I would have won the last race on Saturday too, had I not slid out on the last corner. It was like riding on an ice-skating rink," said the apprentice engineer.

 

"It was so cold. I could barely feel my hands on the handlebars. I wore rubber latex gloves under my normal racing gloves but my fingers still felt like solid blocks of ice."

 

Fellow Honda star Ian Ffitch, from Christchurch, was also in scintillating form, racing his Honda TRX450R to a convincing win in the ATV open class.

 

Ffitch finished the weekend with a 1-2-1-1-1 score-line.

 

Meanwhile, Groombridge won both the MX1 and the enduro bike classes, ahead of Mangakino's Kayne Lamont and Howick's Liam Draper respectively, while Otorohanga's Aaron King won the 125cc title ahead of Pukekohe's Kurtis Lilly.

 

Other class winners at the weekend were Sarah Elwin (Taihape, women's class); Kotemaori's Reece Lister (junior 12-16 years' 125cc and 14-16 years' 250cc); Oparau's James Scott (junior 13-16 years' 85cc); Matamata's Brodie Connolly (junior 8-12 years' 85cc); Taupiri's Mark Fuller (veterans over-50 years); Whakatane's Darren Capill (veterans over-45 years); Motueka's Josh Coppins (veterans over-35 years); Taupo's Vinnie Bol (intermediates over-300cc); Morrinsville's Shane Tunnicliffe (intermediates under-300cc); New Plymouth's Greg Ngeru (classic bikes); Stratford's Cameron Keegan (clubmans); Taupiri's Zak Fuller (junior support); Kaiwaka's Cullen Curtis (ATV 450cc production); Auckland's Levi Nairn (ATV 12-16 years); Auckland's Bill Burborough (ATV veterans over-40 years); Rotorua's Emma Goldstone (ATV support and women).

 

Credit: Words and photo by Andy McGechan

---------------------------

Tarawera 100  -  James Galpin race report

The day was cold and wet, I knew the track was going

to be soft and boggy, just how I like it. I got off to

great start coming round the bend in 3rd place behind

Ben Townley and Paul Whibley. The first part of the

track had one too many gravel roads in it as I found

myself getting dragged off by other riders on 450s. I

finished the first 40km lap in 9th and made a quick pit

then back onto the track. As the race continued I found myself a good distance ahead from 10th

place. Going into the third lap after having a quick goggle change and a top up of fuel, it really

started to rain. 10 mins into that lap I go to pull my roll offs and find that it’s jammed to the

lens due to the water sticking them together. No goggles was alright in the trees where it was a

bit drier but once I got into a bit of a boggy spot or a long gravel road I really felt the effects.

Half way through that lap I run into one big sloppy up hill that had been badly carved out by

some of the 150 riders the lap before, I get a good run at it and only just make it by a few

inches. Going into the last lap I make a quick pit stop then put the hammer down hard putting

every last bit of energy into it. I had a fast and clean first half lap until I run into the steep

sloppy climb. This time was different to the rest as there were many more riders stuck at the

bottom and blocking my way, this meant I couldn’t get a good run at it. I push my way through

and gave it my best shot but failed. I rode back down to find another way up just to the side

where I got told Paul Whibley had gone up, my first reaction was that it was a great line choice

for that reason. I managed to eventually push and wind my way up the incline with a bit of help

from a guy called Richard, I made it to the top thinking that none had passed and I was still in

9th. I pushed hard to the finish to hold my top 10 finish but to my disappointment 10 people!!!

Had passed me putting me from 1st in class and 9th overall to 3rd in class and 19th overall, I was

gutted. Overall I learnt something new and there’s always next time.

I would like to say a big thanks to my sponsors, Brent at JT Racing for the great fitting riding

gear, Brendan at AFC Motocycles for the KTM 200, Andy McGechan at BikesportsNZ and Richie

Ebbett at MotoSR for the great RG3 suspension set up.

-----------------------------

Race Report Rider: Paul Whibley Team: Yamaha NZ Bike: Yamaha YZ450 F Event: Tarawera 100  Result: 4th

www.paulwhibley.co.nz

4th was not the result I was hoping for at the Tarawera 100.

After getting the holeshot, Ben Townley made a quick pass on me down the drop off. I

settled in behind him but rode tight and soon pumped up. Brad Groombridge came up

behind me and went past fairly easily as well. I had hoped to just follow him for a bit until

my arms warmed up but I had to let him go. I tried to just relax. Near the end of the first

of four laps I started to loosen up a little and felt ready to push. A fresh pair of Smith

goggles and a splash of gas and I was off. Early in the next lap I hit something on a fast

straight and went down pretty hard. I was slow getting up and the bars and controls had

suffered some damage. I got going again but was no longer in race mode. I hoped to

shake it off but the bars were pretty bent and I was struggling in the sloppy conditions.

At the end of the lap I came into the pits and got things straightened out a little. I was

able to up my speed, but I found as the pace increased I couldn’t see through the fog that

had settled in my head. It was tough to focus on the faster sections of track and when I

got roost on my goggles I couldn’t see beyond it.

I kept riding and slowly felt better. Over the last lap I made a few passes on a tough bottle

necked hill and actually caught third place mid lap but when I got roosted I struggled to

see again.

Disappointed not to be amongst the battle that Ben and Brad had for the win.

1st: Ben Townley

2nd: Brad Groombridge

3rd: Hadleigh Knight

Paul Whibley is supported by:

Sidi, Smith, G2, Asterisk, MotoSR, Vortex Ignitions,

EC3D, Bush Riders MCC, Darbis, GHQ, Freedom Moto,

Yamaha NZ, Rosscos Start Up Services, Works

Connection, Pro Taper, Race Pace Services, Unabiker,

Leatt Brace, Tire Balls, bikesportnz.com, CarbSport,

KettleClamp, Alliance Offroad, Ride Eng MotoSeat

FMF Kenda Yamalube CV4 GYTR IMS MSR Recluse

Twin Air Wiseco Ride Eng Workshop graphics

-----------------------------------------

Rider: Paul Whibley Team: Yamaha Bike: Yamaha YZ450 F Event: NZXC Rnd 1/Dirt Guide Rnd 1 Result: 1st

The first round of the NZXC series went off. I wasn’t planning to ride this event since I

have be organising the series but with Sean and Adel Clarke doing a fantastic job of the

track and sign in and John Rushworth taking care of the scoring. With everything under

control and since I won’t have the opportunity to ride many of the NZXC rounds, I was

encouraged to ride this one.

A huge turnout of 86 Junior riders tackled the Tar Hill track before the Senior race. The

large number of riders forced a move of the start line from the road to a nearby skid site.

A shotgun blast signalled the start and the 130 odd Seniors hit the track. I got a great start

and led the way around the first turn, across the road and into the pines. The trail was in

good shape after recent rain. A few slick spots but the soil was prime. The bike was

working well with my MotoSR suspension soaking it all up. I was pretty steady over the

first lap but by the end of the 19km lap I had a nice lead. On the second lap the track got

really good. Nice ruts and berms were forming and the trail had a good flow. Mid race

one hill had some deep ruts forming in it so the track was rerouted to make sure it

remained ride-able for everyone.

A quick splash of gas, Thanks to Carrol for manning(?) the IMS dump can. I was back into

the race before second place came into sight. I kept it this way for the rest of the race.

One of the most fun races I’ve done in a while.

1st: Paul Whibley

2nd: Liam Draper

3rd: Jake Whitaker

----------------------

James Galpin 2015 NZ MX & XC Championship report     

James has completed his report on his 2015 Championship season... report below

A pretty good result for the year so far, with a top 10 overall finish in the Motorcycling NZ Cross Country series (9th).

And a commendable effort against a top class field at the MX champs round in New Plymouth.

The goal at the start of the year was: 1 championship MX2 point (achieved 4), and a top 10 XC placing (9th)

 

All those long hard sessions at the Gym, and late nights working on the bike are paying off.

I won’t bore you with the costs of competing and travelling... we have all been there, and it is horrendous as you know.

Deb and I are only too happy to help James out as much as we are able, as the racing and the dedication that it requires has turned him into a well rounded young man, that we are both very proud of.

James is completing a ‘Fitter Welder’ course this year, and is working two days a week at Niven engineering where he will pick up an apprenticeship at the end of the year.

 Deb and I would like to personally thank you for your help this season.

 Brendon:             You and your team at AFC are a pleasure to deal with, and nothing is ever too much of a problem.

The KTM 200 is faultless and reliable, and is brilliant when it gets wet and slippery.

                                Can you please pass on our thanks to Ant, Jack, Liam and the guys.  There’s another Chocolate cake coming your way.

 

Richie:                   The work you have done on the suspension is fantastic. My apologies to Sam for the grief and short notice stuff earlier in the year.

That softening of the initial stroke made the bike so much better, and instantly stopped all the crashing.

 

Andy:                    Your way with words, and the ability to take pictures from just the right angle J. Have all helped raise James’s profile in the sport immensely.

    

Tim:                       While not strictly a sponsor. I’ve always seen you as my second Dad. From the many many trips in your van all around the country racing during the 80’s.

                                To the words of wisdom and advice that you gave James at the XC final. You’re still as sharp as a tack. Thanks Tim.

 

 

Cheers

Pete and Deb Galpin

New Zealand motocross champs round one.

The New Plymouth track was looking on point with the rain over night. I was excited to get racing because it was a new track I hadn’t visited before. This was the first time I had ridden the NZ MX Champs, and my goal was to get at least one Championship point in MX2. Practice worked out good qualifying in the top 20 and enjoying the fresh track. It was pretty cool sitting on the start line on a 200 amongst a full gate of 250s, and with Barkbusters! The first race went well getting off to a good start and running around 14th for most of the race but due to a crash in the last lap I ended up 16th. Race 2 went alright putting together a tidy race and staying on the bike, I found the 2nd race a lot harder after banging my leg in the first race. I finished 22. The 3rd race I really wanted to put the sore leg behind me and have a good race like the first. I got off to a good start but started to fade due the tuff competition and the ruff track not working in my favour finishing the race in 24. Date clashes meant this was the only MX round I could do, but happy with 4 points.

Cross country nationals

Round 1 in the Hawkes Bay kicked off with a cold wintery like morning. The race starting off well for me nearly getting the holeshot and running top ten for most of the first lap. Second lap in I slipped off a bank losing a bit of time. When I got back into it again I found myself a few more spots back than I had expected. Due to the first half of the track being tight I found it hard to pass. I worked hard to try make up ground but the race didn’t go my way. Finishing the race with a 1st for my class and 18th overall

The second round near Mosgiel got off to another good start with nearly getting the holeshot again but things quickly changed as I tried to latch on the tail of Paul and Adrian, I ended up getting slightly stuck in a bog which dropped me back to around 12. As the race continued, the dislocated thumb from the weekend before started to flare up. I put it behind me and pushed for those last few laps. The track was vast and open and the KTM 200 was flying, I put the hammer down on the last lap and made up a few more positions after dropping a few throughout the race. I finished the race 1st in class and a solid 12th overall.

The third round at Pig Valley Nelson, I felt fresh and ready to race. The shotgun fired and I was off, I got another great jump off the line which set me up big time for the first corner getting a great holeshot. I shortly tagged on behind Adrian then Paul, this continued for a lap and a half. I knew after getting such a great start the only way was back through the field. In the next few laps i dropped a few more places and hitting a tree at pace didn’t help my case. I found the last lap challenging with blurred vision and Daniel right on my tail. I finished the race 1st in class and a tight 8th overall.

Now for the final round at Waitawhiti, I had to pull finger coz I wanted a top ten overall finish. The day started out cold but that didn’t faze me I was ready to go racing. The race got off to a good start with another close hole shot with Paul on his 450f just getting in front. I tagged on behind Paul and kept with the top group for the next few laps. I managed to stay in around 6th for the whole race. Towards the end of the race Daniel and I had a really good battle going for 5th place. I pushed really hard in what I thought was the last lap, I came through the chicane 2 mins before the checked flag. I gave everything on the last lap to keep in front of Daniel but that shortly ended after bogging the bike and giving Daniel too big a lead to chase down. Overall 1st in class and 6th overall.

Pretty happy with being able to put a 9 on my bike for next year. Thanks to Brendan at AFC Motorcycles for the awesome KTM 200. Richie at MotoSR for the sick suspension, Andy at BikesportNZ for the publicity, and Chris Smythe for organising a great series. Bring on Pauls NZXC series next month.

------------------------------

EMX125 Championship Top Ten: 1. Jorge Prado Garcia (ESP, KTM), 163 points; 2. Maxime Renaux (FRA, YAM), 158 p.; 3. Josiah Natzke (NZL, KTM), 140 p.; 4. Miro Sihvonen (FIN, KTM), 120 p.; 5. Conrad Mewse (GBR, KTM), 108 p.; 6. Davide Cislaghi (ITA, TM), 97 p.; 7. Stephen Rubini (FRA, KTM), 91 p.; 8. Glen Meier (DEN, KTM), 81 p.; 9. Filippo Zonta (ITA, HUS), 77 p.; 10. Mathys Boisrame (FRA, YAM), 72 p.

KIWI KTM STAR CONTINUES TO IMPRESS IN EUROPE

MAY 25, 2015: Good luck and bad luck ... Waikato's Josiah Natzke experienced a little bit of both at the weekend's British Motocross Grand Prix.

The 16-year-old two-time and current New Zealand senior 125cc motocross champion from Hamilton is fast making a name for himself in Europe after again placing on the podium, this time at the fourth round of eight in this season's European 125 Motocross Championships (EMX125) at Matterley Basin, near Winchester, in south-west England.

 

Riding for the KTM Factory Junior Team and under the guidance of 10-time former world champion Stefan Everts, Natzke led the early stages of the first of his two 125cc races at the weekend, before dropping back to settle for seventh at the chequered flag.

 

He rebounded in race two the next day, actually crossing the line in second place, although he was later elevated to first position after the race winner, his own KTM team-mate Conrad Mewse, was docked 10 positions following a rule infringement.

 

British rider Mewse had jumped as yellow "caution" flags were being waved trackside, a huge no-no in this sport, and this cost him the outright GP win as well as disappointing his many home-country fans who were on hand to cheer for the youngster. Rather that celebrating the GP win, Mewse was instead credited only with seventh overall for the day.

 

For Kiwi hero Natzke, it was another fantastic result in his first fulltime season on the world stage.

 

Natzke had also celebrated a win at the previous round of this competition in Spain a fortnight ago, finishing 1-2 that day and only narrowly missing out on being awarded the GP overall as another KTM Factory Junior Team team-mate, Spanish rider Jorge Prado Garcia, recorded 2-1 results and won the day courtesy of the count-back rule.

 

Championship leader Prado managed just sixth and fourth in his two races at the weekend's British round, but the 14-year-old sensation still earned the third step on the podium and continues to lead the EMX125 championship, albeit now just five points ahead of the weekend's GP winner Maxime Renaux, the French rider who finished 1-2 at the spectacular Matterley Basin circuit.

 

Natzke said he was happy with his weekend.

 

He said he had some difficulty in the opening race after a close encounter that left his arm sore and made it difficult to hold on towards the end of the race.

“I wanted to redeem myself and today I am very happy,” he said.

 

Natzke had started his European campaign slowly, finishing 7-3 at the series opener in Italy in April and then 12-10 in his two outings at round two in the Netherlands a week later.

 

But, since then, he has emerged as a serious title threat for the crown and he is now third in the championship standings, just 18 points behind Renaux and 23 behind Prado.

 

The next round of the EMX125 Championship is set for Villars sous Ecot in France this coming weekend, on May 31.

 

Rounds are set to follow in Italy (Maggiora, June 14), Belgium (Lommel, August 2) and, finally, the championship wraps up in The Netherlands (at Assen, on August 30).

 

Natzke became the youngest ever rider to win a senior motocross title in New Zealand, at age 15, when he dominated the senior 125cc championships in 2014, before successfully defending his title, with support from the CMR Red Bull KTM team, in Pukekohe in March of this year, just a week before heading to Europe.

----------------------------

Rider: Paul Whibley Result: 1st

Team: Yamaha Freedom Moto Bike: Yamaha YZ450 F Event: Rnd 4 NZ Cross Country Nationals

Race Report

The final round of the National Cross Country Championship where the title would go

down to the wire between Adrian Smith and myself. We had raced side by side for the

whole series but it would all hinge on the final result as to who would take the

Championship.

I got off to a good start, taking the holeshot and leading the way around the 23

km loop. It was hard to pull away on the fresh track and at one point we all bunched up as

we had to push through a mob of sheep. Mid lap while leading I missed some arrows and

went the wrong way, dropping back to about 15th in the scramble to get back on track.

I could see Adrian up ahead in the lead group so I knew I had to make quick work of the

guys between me and him. I pushed hard and took plenty of chances in the mostly open

farmland. Somehow I clawed my way forward and retook the lead around 5km before the

end of the lap. Through scoring and into the second lap I continued to push and started to

open up a gap. A small crash on a slick grassy downhill ended my clean vision through my

Smiths but still no one else was in sight as I remounted. I shook off the crash and got back

up to speed and came into the pits at the end of the 3rd lap for gas and goggles.

That was when I was informed Adrian was having some problems and was a fair way back. From

then on I put it on cruise to make sure I made no further mistakes. Taking the win and the

Championship. Last time my name was on this trophy was 2002. Long time between NZ

titles but it’s good to be back.

1st: Paul Whibley

2nd: Andrew Charleston

3rd: Scott Birch

Paul Whibley is supported by:

Sidi, Smith, G2, Asterisk, MotoSR, Vortex Ignitions,

EC3D, Bush Riders MCC, Darbis, Freedom Moto,

Yamaha NZ, Rosscos Start Up Services, Works

Connection, Pro Taper, Race Pace Services, Unabiker,

Leatt Brace, Tire Balls, bikesportnz.com, CarbSport,

KettleClamp, Alliance Offroad, Ride Eng MotoSeat

FMF Kenda Yamalube CV4 GYTR IMS MSR Recluse

Twin Air Wiseco Ride Eng Workshop graphics

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 Hamish Macdonald claims the 2015 Open Two-Stroke Enduro National Championship.  SHERCO WINS NEW ZEALAND ENDURO TITLE

 
At just 16 years of age Hamish Macdonald claimed the 2015 Open Two-Stroke Enduro National Championship aboard a Sherco 300SE-R.

Torrential rain leading into the event meant dust wasn’t going to be a problem and the loamy, pumice tracks soaked up the rain, making conditions near perfect in the forests of Waimiha and Tokoroa, in the Central North Island.

“I knew two wins were needed to accumulate enough points to take the National Open Class title and when my first special test time came into the top five, I knew I was on form. Just staying smooth and consistent was the plan” said Macdonald.

“The WP suspension on the bike just soaked up the exposed roots and bumps and gave me the confidence to push harder. I got lost in one of the sections and dropped a minute but thankfully my special test times were good enough to keep me ahead.  It’s been an awesome season and couldn’t have achieved it without the huge support of my parents, Sherco NZ and PURE Sports Nutrition.” Said an excited Hamish.

Macdonald not only claimed the class Championship but also placed third overall behind Chris Birch and Liam Draper.

Hamish Macdonald Final Results, KTM National Enduro Championship:


For more information on Sherco New Zealand, visit www.sherco.co.nz orvisit www.facebook.com/sherconz
 

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The 2015 NZ Cross-country Championships

 SMITH IN THE FIGHT OF HIS LIFE

MAY 12, 2015: This weekend may provide the sternest test yet for Mokau's four-time national cross-country champion Adrian Smith.

 

The King Country sheep and beef farmer is the reigning No.1 and a record four-time winner of the New Zealand Cross-country Championships but it is a must-win race that he lines up for at the final round of this year's series near Pahiatua on Sunday.

 

Pahiatua's Paul Whibley is a multi-time cross-country champion in the United States and he returned home at the end of last season to settle back in New Zealand after a 12-year stint of international competition – immediately upsetting the balance of power, certainly as far as Smith was concerned.

 

The two Yamaha men have traded wins throughout the 2015 domestic series thus far, Whibley finishing 2-1-1 and Smith 1-2-2 in the three rounds, but only three of the series' four rounds are to be counted, with riders discarding their worst result, and this means it all comes down to Sunday's final showdown.

 

The mathematics is chillingly simple – if Whibley wins Sunday's final round he wraps up the series. However, if Smith wins and Whibley finishes runner-up, the two men will be level on points and the count-back rule applies.

 

That means that, after they each presumably discard a runner-up result from their series score-card, they will both have two wins and one runner-up result to their credit and so the rider who finishes highest at the final round wins the championship.

 

As it stands, one of these two men will be crowned champion on Sunday and no other rider is in a position to change that.

 

Smith knows what he must do.

 

"It is definitely going to be tough to beat Paul at Pahiatua ... that's his home turf too," said Smith. "But I've been in tough spots before and I think I can find a way to get the job done."

 

The battle for the championships' third podium position is also undecided and riders to watch for on Sunday in the battle for the No.3 spot include Nelson's Ethan Bruce (KTM), Hamilton's Andrew Charleston (Honda) and Rotorua's Scott Birch (Honda).

 

Also impressive this season have been Palmerston North's James Galpin (KTM), Raglan's Jason Dickey (Kawasaki), Morrinsville's Nathan Tesselaar (KTM) and Eketahuna's Daniel Christie (KTM), each of them also capable of upsetting.

 

Meanwhile, the battle for junior honours is already over – Kotemaori's Reece Lister (KTM) has won all three of the 90-minute juniors races so far this season and his ride on Sunday will be just that.

 

Credit: Words Andy McGechan

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Race Report  Rider: Paul Whibley, Team: Freedom Moto  Yamaha -  Bike: Yamaha YZ450 F 

Event: Round 3 of the National Cross Country series again turned out to be a battle with my Yamaha teammate Adrian Smith. The race played out in a similar fashion to Round two with Adrian leading the way on the first couple of laps. A mistake late in lap two handed the lead over and I tried to run with it. I pushed hard but there was no shaking Adrian. He had his YZ 250 fx singing and any break I made was quickly countered by his play to pull me back in. It was a real chess match.

The track was the best of the season with a good mix of terrain. Pine blocks and clear-fell interspersed with farmland and scrubby gulley’s that were all well marked. The dirt had some shale in it and was hard on tires but the Kenda’s held up to the 450’s abuse really well and kept giving consistent traction right to the end.

After trying unsuccessfully to run and hide from Adrian, we entered the last lap nose to tail. I held the lead and pushed hard to make sure his chances to try for a pass were minimal. I created a small lead and worked to keep it to the finish. Adrian came across the line less than 10 seconds back.

One round remains in the series set for May.

1st: Paul Whibley

2nd: Adrian Smith

3rd: Ethan Bruce

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Rider: Paul Whibley  Team: Yamaha  Bike: Yamaha YZ250  Event: Taranaki Hard Enduro, Mt Damper  Result:3rd

Mar 29 2015 : I’m a little light on experience when it comes to extreme events and with the first

Taranaki Hard Enduro, it was tough to know what to expect. If the track wasn’t technical

enough the rain would certainly make the steep back country a challenge.

Being the last Gold rider to leave meant I had plenty of riders to pass. I tried to push early

and make some quick passes before it got too technical and tight. Still, by the time I got in

the tough stuff it was nose to tail and not being able to carry momentum made it hard to

overcome my lack of trials skills. Once up and over"boil up hill"I got into a good rhythm

and started to flow through some tight bush single track. I was having a lot of fun and the

YZ 250 was working pretty good. Being a little unsure on how tough it was going to get I

was pretty conservative. Unfortunately just over half way to the fuel stop I damaged my

front brake and lost the fluid. As if the steep downhills weren’t scary before, now they

could be gauged by how many times I cartwheels the bike into Ponga trees on the way

down. I struggled on to the fuel stop thinking my day was done. I rummaged around in

the fuel trailer and found some fluid and tools and managed to fix the problem.

I was stoked to be able to continue because to not finish after dragging my bike to that

point would have been gutting. The second half had more technical bush trails and a few

more farmland hillclimbs.

Post-race I heard I had some good times but losing a lot of time with the damaged brake.

Still, just to make the finish at this event was satisfying enough.

1st: Jake Whitaker

2nd : Greg Delatour

3rd Paul Whibley

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Event: National Cross Country Rnd 2 Mosgiel

Rider: Paul Whibley Team: Freedom Moto Yamaha Bike: Yamaha YZ450 F  Result: 1st

It had been a long time since I have raced down in the South Island. The ferry crossing and trip down through the Kaikora coast being some of the most scenic routes in NZ.

A good turnout of riders too showed the sport is in good shape down south. Off the line I got a reasonable start and held third briefly before moving into the lead. I lead for maybe half a lap before I heard my teammate Adrian Smith behind me.

On the fast track he had his 250 FX more tapped than usual (if that’s possible!!!) and was soon looking for a way by. He took the lead as I searched for arrows on a faster section of track. I was able to follow him pretty easy as the speed of the track had the leader constantly searching for the way on lap one. But as the race played out were close all race. I had the lead for a short period after Adrian washed the front out but generally he led and I followed.

The only split came when we fuelled for the second time. There was some confusion when we should come in with Adrian pitting one lap before me. But the situation soon levelled back out with Adrian right behind me on the second to last lap. I entered what would be the last lap leading and thought Adrian was still there but after a few switch back gateways I realized I was all alone. Turned out Adrian had cartwheeled in a 5th gear swampy tussock section. I ended up taking the win comfortably.

The track was a little too fast with an average pace of 70kph but there were parts that held awesome “gated” gulley’s and a nice pine section. They were on the right track with the layout, just need to slow it down.

1 st: Paul Whibley

2 nd: Adrian Smith

3 rd: Andrew Charleston

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Rider: Paul Whibley  Team: Freedom Moto Yamaha  Bike: Yamaha YZ450 F 

Event: Central Cross Country Series Round 4  Result:1st

Pouring rain Saturday night had a nervous field rolling in through the gate but there really

was nothing to worry about. The rain soaked in and by the time the senior race kicked off

there were spots of dust showing.

I got an ok start and came out of the start paddock in third. As much as it had dried there

was still some slick grass and clay sections that deserved respect on lap one. Mid lap I

moved into the lead and just tried to ride smooth. This plan was working with a small lead

established before coming into scoring.

Over the next couple laps the track continued to dry and I clicked up a gear etching out a

growing gap over the chasing riders. I couldn’t see anyone behind me but I knew they

wouldn’t be far behind.

After time spent in the pits for the fuel stop I caught a glimpse of the chasing pack. This

gave me a boost to continue to hold the pace and know I had a bit of a buffer.

The track continued to dry and a fair bit of chop emerged on some of the hills. The second

half of the race went smoothly with the YZ 450 eating the big hills with ease and dealing

to the choppy conditions.

Charles Alabaster eventually settled into second with Daniel Christie rounding out the podium.

1st: Paul Whibley

2nd : Charles Alabaster

3rd: Daniel Christie