All bets are off when it comes to the final round of the NZ MX Champs. Combine that with a slushy, slippery track you just never know what is going to happen.
While Ethan Martens put in another great performance to take the win 125 class, Scott Barr-Smith suffered a bad case of food poisoning.
Josh Coppins made a valiant effort in the first 450 race in trying to slow the winning momentum of Cody Cooper. The “Lizzard” rolled the dice many times, attempting jumps that no one else was gutsy enough to try and paying the price for his risks more than once, having to concede the race and eventually the title to a fast starting and consistently quick Cooper.Like a game of Bullrush my class was a mad mess of speed with riders getting caught out everywhere. The track claimed three of the riders in front of me on the second lap while I had been fighting a bad tire choice. I battled on to eventually make my way into fourth place until, like Burkhart, my bike stopped with the 2 lap board in sight. His would have been extra heart breaking with the lead he had built on 2nd place but it was still pretty gutting for me to lose a good chance of a 3rd overall. Checking the fuel tank I was out of gas. Sarah ran down the hill to a rather distraught Danny and me to tell us I had to finish and pointed out a fuel can in the pit area just 40 metres ahead. Her quick thinking got me over the line with four points to add to the tally as only 17 riders had qualified.
Unfortunately there was a protest from the KTM tent about getting help from my mechanic to push my bike into the pit area with the call to have those points taken off me. I thought it was quite petty to be honest but didn’t want to make much of a fuss. At least Sarah’s help got me back to the Honda truck with less pushing!
In the spirit of the day another roll of the dice saw me end up in a bank for race two after attempting to pass Cody Mackie while in the top five. I had been getting filled up with so much roost that I was going to run out of tearoffs, even with 14 of the laminated Spy type on my goggles. Unfortunately that led to more problems and falls, even taking down Brad Groombridge in the final lap in my fight to finish in 8th place.
All or nothing
Things improved with a great start in the final race thanks to a good jump and a new set of Pirelli tires. Daniel McCoy was on the charge in his quest for the championship and passed me only to fall, putting his body directly in front of my bike. Burkhart also went down but I finally let loose with a big charge, passing Daryl King to take the lead.
Unfortunately the glory was short lived and I went down just before the finish with the 2 lap board on display. My fall even had McCoy’s team ripping their hair out. King went on to win the championship with McCoy conceding second and fellow Australian Cody Mackie getting third overall.
It’s all over
Despite the fact that I was in good company and put in a solid effort for the series I felt disappointed to have not hung it out more and ridden to my full potential with good starts. I ended fifth for the championship with Burkhart in fourth, left feeling like it shouldn’t be over yet.
Botany Honda’s Danny Evans did an incredible job as mechanic and sponsor and it was great to hear him very happy with the series and the result. Blue Wing Honda was behind us all the way as always, especially Peter Findlay who helped out above and beyond the call of duty. Finally a huge thank you and well done to all those club members who put countless hours of their skills and effort into making the tracks the best that they possibly could. 10 more months to wait till next year now…