INDEPENDENT NEWS

NZ Enduro Series Is Now On The Home Straight

Published: Wed 12 Jun 2024 04:19 AM
Photo by Andy McGechan
JUNE 10, 2024: The nation’s elite motorcycle racers are on the home straight now, with just the fifth and final round remaining for the 2024 Yamaha New Zealand Enduro Championships.
The fourth round of five in the series was held near Martinborough at the weekend, but the competitors will have to wait now until November before the final round can be staged and eventual rankings will be determined.
The focus for the riders will now switch briefly to competition overseas, with the big annual International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) set for Spain in October, and it is a strong contingent of Kiwis making the journey to compete there.
The three-rider junior squad (restricted to riders aged under 23) for the ISDE will comprise Taupo’s Wil Yeoman, Nelson’s Bailey Basalaj and Omihi’s defending national champion Ethan McBreen, while Oparau’s James Scott, Taupo’s Brad Groombridge, Christchurch’s Hamish Macdonald and Howick’s Liam Draper will be the senior squad for Team New Zealand.
Tapanui’s Kylie Dorr, Opunake’s Taylar Rampton and Te Awamutu’s Rachael Archer make up the women’s squad for the ISDE.
All of these riders are all champions or potential champions in their own right and the racing between them in Martinborough at the weekend was fierce indeed, with Scott winning the weekend ahead of Yeoman and Groombridge, with McBreen and Basalaj rounding out the top five.
“It was pleasing to see that more than 100 riders showed up for the two days of racing at Martinborough,” said Motorcycling New Zealand enduro commissioner Justin Stevenson.
“The track was amazing. A sprinkle of rain kept the dust down and racing conditions were simply perfect,” he said.
The leaders in the various AA grade (expert level) bike classes after four rounds are Yeoman and Basalaj (first equal in E1, 0-200cc two-stroke and 0-300cc four-stroke class); Groombridge (E2, 201cc-to-open two-stroke class); Scott (E3, 301cc-to-open four-stroke class and Rangiora’s Kelly Paterson (Veterans’ over-40 years class).
The leading rider in the A grade (intermediate level) after round four at Martinborough is Christchurch’s Grant Oliver, with Tokoroa’s Mark Newton and then leading female rider Dorr rounding out the top three. Owaka’s Blake Affleck leads the B Junior grade after four rounds.
The fifth and final round of the domestic series is scheduled to be staged after the riders return from Spain, a one-day competition that is set for Bideford, near Masterton, on November 2.
In addition to Yamaha-Motor New Zealand, the 2024 NZ Enduro Championships are supported by Macaulay Metals, Best Build Construction, Silver-bullet and Kiwi Rider magazine.
2024 Yamaha NZ Enduro Champs calendar:
Round 1: April 20-21, 1045 Reece’s Road, Omihi, near Christchurch.
Round 2: April 27-28, 981 Whitecliffs Road, Coalgate, Canterbury.
Round 3: June 1-2, Porirua (signposted from SH 58, Haywards Hill Road) Moonshine Valley Road, Wellington.
Round 4: June 8-9, Ruakokoputuna Hall, near Martinborough.
Round 5: November 2, Bideford, near Masterton.
Credit: Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com

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