The enduro championships will start near Whanganui
MAY 31, 2022: The 2022 New Zealand Enduro Championships kick off near Whanganui this weekend and it’s nearly impossible to pick a favorite to win what will be a compressed and fast-paced series this year.
This year’s Yamaha-sponsored series will only last three rounds as, while planning for the series was already well advanced, numerous travel difficulties arose due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with inter -particularly problematic islands, which previously meant -two events planned in the South Island had to be cancelled.
However, with riders still able to brush aside their worst result in terms of an individual class win, this should ensure the hunt for class titles will be tight until the end. As usual, all rounds are counted in the general classification of the championship.
Whatever happens, it will once again take a special individual who can win the top prize in Whanganui on Saturday.
And a win on Saturday may also be crucial, as the second round follows just two days later, a Queen’s birthday double-header requiring riders to line up to compete again on Monday, this time on a pitch accident near Porirua.
The Saturday venue is set in rolling farmland and pine forest at 1057a Makirikiri Valley Road, Upokongaro. It will be signposted from State Highway 4.
Monday’s race site is signposted from Moonshine Road, Judgeford, Porirua.
The outright champion last season was Cambridge’s Dylan Yearbury, with close friend and fierce rival Tommy Buxton of Helensville forced to settle for second, and it’s possible Yearbury will be a force to be reckoned with this time also.
Buxton is currently racing overseas so he will not be competing in the National Enduro Championships this year.
Former national motocross champions Jake Whitaker, of Wainuiomata, and Seth Reardon, of Whanganui, are a few riders who should also be among those vying for victory – Whitaker won the New Zealand Extreme Off-Road Championships in 2019 and Reardon was national enduro champion in 2019.
However, these riders can’t take anything for granted, with former USA Cross Country Champion from Manawatu Paul Whibley, newly crowned National Cross Country Champion from Oparau James Scott, Tommy Watts from Wairoa, Wil Taupo’s Yeoman and Rotorua’s Ethan Harris are also likely title contenders.
Yearbury, Reardon, Scott, Watts and Yeoman will also use the National Enduro Championships to prepare for their races at the annual International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) event in France later this year.
Others to watch this weekend include New Plymouth’s Josh Houghton, Drury’s Richard Sutton, Tokoroa’s Jake Wightman, Stratford’s Josh Hunger, Rotorua’s Bradley Lauder and New Plymouth veteran Tony Parker, to name a few. name a few.
New Zealand Motorcycling Enduro Commissioner Justin Stevenson said he was “looking forward to an exciting Queen’s birthday weekend” with the double-header situation certainly a severe test.
“We wanted to organize an intense and fast series to help stimulate and strengthen the riders who are training to compete in the ISDE in France in August-September,” he explained.
“It is also interesting to note that Seth Reardon’s late father, Brian, won the enduro in his last edition at the Upokongaro site in 1985.
The 2022 Yamaha NZ Enduro Championships are backed by Mitas Macaulay Metals Tires, Best Build Construction, Silver-bullet and Kiwi Rider Magazine.
Calendar of the New Zealand Enduro Championships 2022:
Round 1 – Saturday June 4 – Whanganui;
Round 2 – Queen’s Birthday Monday June 6 – Porirua;
Round 3 – Sunday June 12 – Martinborough.
Credit: Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com
© Scoop Media