Saturday 17th & Sunday 18th August. CLOSED. The tracks remain too wet and there is unfortunately not enough heat in the sun to dry them sufficiently when it's sunny.

Groombridge Clocks Up Win Number Five

4 hour Cross Country

maddix park mx

Bay of Plenty motorcycling ace Brad Groombridge has notched up yet another win at the popular annual Acerbis Four-Hour cross-country race near Taupo.

The Suzuki man from Taupo was the pre-race favourite to win this popular stand-alone event on Saturday and he didn't disappoint.

He is now a record five-time outright winner of the marathon dirt bike race, an incredible four times now as a solo (ironman) rider.

Although he admits this year's victory was probably his hardest-fought, he took the chequered flag a solid 23 seconds ahead of main rival Paul Whibley.

Third overall was the two-rider Rotorua combination of Barry Morris and Cam Negus, finishing 15 minutes further back.

Groombridge had found himself stuck in traffic soon after the shot-gun blast signalled the start at 11.30am and he was faced with the mission of trying to slice through the congestion before the leaders opened up too much of a gap over him.

He swiftly weaved between riders and trees in an attempt to put himself into contention for the win and, although a four-hour race is never won on the opening lap, he managed to take the lead at the start of lap two, surprising Whibley with a quick pass as they exited the pit zone.

"Soon after that a lapper was ahead of me and, when I yelled at him to move over, he panicked and collided with me. Paul (Whibley) took the lead, but I soon caught back up to him," the 27-year-old Groombridge explained.

"I had trouble with my goggles fogging up and so I ditched them. I couldn't really see that well and I ended up doing about five of the seven laps without goggles.

"It was tough trying to work out a spot where I could pass Paul without getting filled in by the dirt roost from his rear tyre. I managed to make that happen.

"It's a tough race to ride solo, but I've been doing a lot of riding lately to build up my fitness. I will also be racing the motocross nationals in two classes this year, the MX1 and the MX2 as well. This should set me up well for defending my national cross-country title later in 2018."

A special Richie Ebbett Memorial Trophy was presented at the event for the first time this year, given to a "deserving rider" and Taupo's Dan Harris was this year's inaugural recipient.

The 90-minute Motomuck Junior 90 race again acted as a “curtain-raiser” to the main race and that was won by Cambridge rider Seton Head, with Cambridge's Callum Paterson runner-up and Napier's Bryn Codd claiming the third podium spot. The top 85cc bike rider in this 90-minute race was Taupo's Wil Yeoman.

Words and photo by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ.com

 
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