Thrilling Climax Expected

Published: Thu 12 Apr 2007 01:03 PM
Thrilling Climax Expected
APRIL 12, 2007: The North Island Motorcycle Cross-country Championships will reach a nailbiting climax at the third and final round near Ashhurst, in the Manawatu, this weekend.
Round one near Pahiatua in early March was a last-lap drama involving New Plymouth's Renny Johnston (Suzuki) and Pahiatua's Adam Reeves (Suzuki), while round two in Rotorua three weeks ago was a thrilling handlebar-to-handlebar battle between Rotorua's Cam Negus (Yamaha) and Te Awamutu's Mark Penny (Suzuki). Throughout the series, national champion Adrian Smith (Awakino, Honda) has been be close to the leaders, lurking with intent.
This Saturday near Pohangina, the racing is likely to feature all five riders in a tight battle for the series honours as the championship goes down to the wire.
Johnston won round one and Negus won round two, so it’s all or nothing this weekend.
Because only two of the three rounds count towards the title, with riders permitted to drop their worst scoring effort, this means Negus will dismiss his no-show from round one and Johnston will ignore his failure at round two.
Both men begin the final round level on points with one win apiece and this sets up for a thrilling conclusion.
Te Kauwhata's Jason Moorfield (Kawasaki), who was runner-up at round one, finished sixth at round two, and continues to lead the four-stroke under-300cc class and he also has an outside chance of winning the overall.
Te Kauwhata's Luke Ramsey (Kawasaki) is well placed to win both the under-200cc two-stroke and under-21 years categories.
After winning both classes at the opening round in Pahiatua and again proving untouchable in the under-21 classification at round two near Rotorua, the 18-year-old must be favoured to wrap up both titles this weekend although he'll have to beat International Six Days Enduro ace Jason Davis (Whangamata, KTM) to do it.
Rotorua's John Phillips (Kawasaki) won juniors class at Rotorua after a very close tussle with round one winner Jason Price (KTM), the lead swapping back and fourth throughout the race and their battle-within-a-battle will also go down to the wire.
Invercargill's Kylie Dorr (Suzuki) leads the women's class.
A special class has also been included for newcomers – the “race-your-mate” non-championship class – and this will be a two-hour duration.

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