Wednesday 12th & Thursday 13th December: Tracks closed. The rain up here in the hills keeps coming.

Birch Wraps It Up In Winning Style

NZ Enduro Champs

maddix park mx

www.mnz.co.nz  

It is never an easy sport in even the best of conditions, but when the skies opened to drench the course just south of Tokoroa, it made the sixth and final round of the New Zealand Enduro Championships on Saturday a particularly tough event.

With the outright honours already in his grasp after winning the previous round, however, it was a case of Auckland’s Chris Birch seeing whether he could finish the Yamaha-sponsored series the way he started it, in winning style.

And he certainly did, the 32-year-old Kiwi international from Glen Eden winning the day and, with that, he added his over-300cc four-stroke class win to the title for winning the championship outright – all rounds counting towards outright honours and just five of six rounds scored in the battle for individual class honours.

“I can’t complain with that,” said Birch afterwards, in classic understatement.

“I had one bad test today, when I rode like a Muppet, but I gave myself a talking-to and I was sorted after that.”

Runner-up on Saturday was Titirangi’s Callan May, finishing ahead of Palmerston North’s Adam Reeves, with Aucklanders Michael Skinner and Freddie Milford-Cottam rounding out the top five.

Before the weekend’s racing had even begun, May had already secured the under-300cc four-stroke class title, Milford-Cottam already had the under-200cc two-stroke class title in his pocket, and Tokoroa’s Sean Clarke had already tucked away the veterans’ class (over-40 years) crown for 2013.

But the battle was still on to uplift the big bike class titles.

Birch had a 21-point advantage over Tauranga’s Reece Burgess in the over-300cc two-stroke class title chase before the start of action on Saturday and Birch’s victory put that title beyond, while Smith led the over-200cc four-stroke class by 18 points from Whangamata’s Jason Davis.

Smith, the outright national enduro champion last season, struck bad luck on Saturday when his bike threw a chain late in the afternoon, forcing him to withdraw from the race, but, because Davis was a no-show at Tokoroa, the advantage stayed with Smith and he took the title. 

Final leading Yamaha NZ Enduro Championships overall standings:

1. Chris Birch (Auckland, KTM) 125 points (maximum); 2. Adrian Smith (Mokau, Yamaha) 88; 3. Callan May (Auckland, Yamaha) 86.

Yamaha NZ Enduro Championships final class winners:

Expert under-200cc two-stroke class: Freddie Milford-Cottam (Auckland, KTM).

Expert under-300cc four-stroke class: Callan May (Auckland, Yamaha).

Expert over-200cc two-stroke class: Adrian Smith (Mokau, Yamaha).

Expert over-300cc two-stroke class: Chris Birch (Auckland, KTM).

Expert veterans’ (over-40 years) class: Sean Clarke (Tokoroa, KTM).

Intermediate under-200cc two-stroke class: Aaron Jones (Mokau, Yamaha).

Intermediate under-300cc four-stroke class: Kelvin Babington (Ngaruawahia, KTM).

Intermediate over-200cc two-stroke class: Adam Benefield (Te Kuiti, KTM).

Intermediate over-300cc four-stroke class: Dylan Yearbury (Cambridge, KTM).

Intermediate women’s class: Natasha Cairns (Thames, Husaberg).

Intermediate veterans’ 40-49 years’ class: Peter Scherer (Putaruru, KTM).

Intermediate veterans’ over-50 years’ class: Steve Major (Auckland, Husaberg).

Junior 13-14 years’ class: Jake Wightman (Auckland, KTM).

Junior 15-16 years’ class: Tom Buxton (Helensville, KTM).

 

Credit: Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com

 
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