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 pockets Another Title

2016 NZ Enduro Champs

maddix park mx

It has been an outstanding year for Bay of Plenty Suzuki ace Brad Groombridge and there's still six months to go.

The 25-year-old Taupo locksmith took his MC2 Suzuki Racing Team RM-Z250 to produce a remarkable come-from-behind result and secure the 2016 New Zealand Enduro Championships title overall and the under-300cc four-stroke class title as well in what was his first serious attempt to take the crown, adding those titles to the national cross-country crown he won in May.

With riders to face a gruelling double-header enduro weekend – the fourth and fifth rounds of the series, at Waimiha on Saturday and Tokoroa on Sunday – to wrap up the competition, and three riders all within four points of one another at the top of the standings, the phrase 'it's not over until the fat lady sings' could not have been more appropriate.

Round two winner Groombridge started the weekend second overall in the series standings, sandwiched just two points behind Christchurch's Hamish Macdonald, who had won the series opener in March, and two points ahead of the round three winner, Howick's Liam Draper.

So, with three different winners in the first three of five rounds, and virtually nothing between them in points, it was always going to be a blockbuster for rounds four and five over the Queen's Birthday Weekend.

But then the balance of power swung dramatically in Groombridge's favour at round four on Saturday when he won the day, while both his main rivals "blew it" – Macdonald suffering a blown engine, which resulted in a DNF for the young rising star, and Draper suffering a blown fuse, which left him finishing the day in a lacklustre and undeserved eighth position.

Groombridge was now suddenly on top of the standings, a solid 14 points ahead of new No.2 man Draper, with Titirangi's Callan May elevated to third, eight points further back, and Macdonald forced down to fourth overall, just one point behind May, and the title was Groombridge's to lose.

A finish of fifth or better at Tokoroa on Sunday would be enough for Groombridge to win his first national enduro championship and that's what he did, ending the day third overall, behind a fired-up Draper and Glen Eden's 2015 overall champion Chris Birch.

"I knew where I had to finish and did enough to get the job done," said Groombridge matter-of-factly.

 "My congratulations to Liam (Draper), who had a solid day, and I feel sorry for him and Hamish (Macdonald) too, who had their championships fall apart the day before.

"I only rode three enduro races last season and this is my first full attempt. To win two rounds out of three on debut is pretty good I feel and it doesn't feel any better than winning a title at your first attempt."

Dubbed "Mr Versatility", Groombridge won the New Zealand Cross-country Championships earlier in the year, also at his first full attempt, on that occasion riding the bigger Suzuki RM-Z450, and he also finished fifth overall in the MX1 class at the New Zealand Motocross Championships, which wrapped up in March.

Meanwhile, May finished the day fourth overall at Tokoroa and this was enough for him to snatch third overall for the enduro championship, ending 15 points behind Draper.

For further information email Simon Meade, General Manager of Motorcycle / ATV Marketing.

Photo courtesy of Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ.com

 
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