Heaven for the mud lovers

Tauranga Series concludes

maddix park mx

April 2016:  Any rider who loves mud would have been delighted with the weather at the final round of the Tauranga Motorcycle Club 2015-2016 series. A couple of inches of slush, then some sun, then more rain made it interesting and a tad challenging.  However, riders who had ignored the forecasts and fronted up consistently throughout the weather plagued series were the ones who walked away with the trophies. The atmosphere was great with lots of camaraderie and family interaction.

Madoc Dixon loves the mud and there was plenty of it. He got 3 holeshots and 3 wins in the big Junior 11-12 85cc class but having missed rounds through injury, the championship trophy went to Kyan Loomans. “There was some crazy racing on the day” according to the Dixon camp, “the faces of the tabletops got so slippery some people just couldn’t get up”. Sam Cooper, much happier on the bigger 85, came second in the series.  He’s picked up the pace, getting used to the different power and progressing in leaps and bounds. Alex Fraser-Brown had great fun and is showing heaps of potential but missed a round with mechanical issues so finished third. 

The 8-10 Years 85cc saw some of the same family names but in a different order on the podium.  Luke Fraser-Brown is a bit of a mudbug and was extremely proud of his deserving series win and stood on the top step with Quinn Loomans and Wade Meredith at his sides (see top photo). The first two  85cc races were great fun, sliding around real fast but it was hosing down for the last race and everyone was falling off according to Kristian Crane who had a 2nd, 3rd and 6th for a 3rd overall on the day. The 85 races had mixed age classes in the one race and Kristian was rapt to be vying neck and neck for the holeshot with Madoc Dixon. However, because he had changed classes during the series, he was only eligible for one trophy, that for the big track Pro 65cc class.

The oldest 85cc age group saw Adam Molloy win on the day but Kydd Catley win the series. Adam does lots of trail riding so is pretty used to mud. “The track was way better than I expected”, he reports. “The last race was the wettest so some riders just didn’t hang around but I loved it”.  Kydd  crashed and managed some creative re sculpting of the clutch lever on the bike he was riding (his sister’s) which put him out of contention on the day but he had already done enough for the series.

Shelby had thought the wrecked bike meant an end to her day but the greater MX family came to the rescue in the person of Madoc and his spare bike so she was able to totally clinch the Junior Women’s title with perfect scores in all four rounds of the series.

Sean Callinan totally rode to the conditions, “dropped” the round he didn’t attend and took out the series trophy for the Junior 12-14 Years 125 class by 7 points. Chris Merriman was second and the agent of his own misfortune. He didn’t do the last race – he’d just cleaned his bike !

Connor Lucas and Brad Jeffrey battled throughout the series in the Junior 15-16 Years 125cc class. Connor had the upper hand and claimed the trophy but Brad had the pleasure of winning the last race.

In the 14-16 Years 250cc class, the main battle was between Sam Middleton and Jesse Bussas but a couple of incomplete rounds left Jesse in second place and Sam atop the podium.

Several riders often seen on the Secondary School MX circuit competed in the MX2 class.  Daniel Molloy, exceptionally at ease in the mud, won all three races but the series honour belonged to the very consistent, Tauranga Boys’ College 2016 team captain, Nick Heyblom.

Josh Nijhuis and Danny Merriman were the ones to watch in the MX1. Their tough racing in rounds two and four with each having a turn at gaining the edge meant equal points on the board but Josh was one round down so the title went to Danny. 

Robby Stewart was consistently present and won the Vets 35-44 class.

It is extremely difficult, and increasingly so, to find a date that does not clash with another event which allied to the weather factor meant numbers were a little low at the final round and certain “big names” were missing, particularly on the main track.

The mini track on the hand was fair buzzing.

“I really enjoyed it” says Jakob Bourne, an up and coming mud-lover, who convincingly won the 9-11 years 65cc MX class on the day and for the series. “The track was great – tight and not too many jumps but a bit soft in places.”  Aidan Roberts, Zane Beattie and Dominic Williams took out the next places and gave him a run for his money.

Jakob was a bit concerned, nevertheless, that his first place trophy was smaller in size than that of his sister Michaila who rode her TTR to third on the day and the series win for the 4-8 Years 50cc Trail class - her first ever series nd she won it !  William and Harry Pluck were respectively 2nd and 3rd in the class.

Arama Te Whetu and Travis Crane were there in the 4-7 Years 50cc Intro KTM class for every round. Travis won round 2 but ceded victory to Arama in rounds 1 and 2 and thus in the series. It is fantastic to see these competent young riders giving their all on the track and being great mates off it. Lachlan Findlay took 3rd place.

The 65cc minis were in 2 age groups.  The 6-8 years was won by Delton Manson followed by Harrison Findlay and Aydan Hall on equal points with Connor Mellsopp behind. The 7-8 Years went to Fletcher Saunders with Tricayla Manson and Stella Edwards joining him on the podium.

Consistency was the key to Hadley Gibson’s series win in the 70-125cc Trail class. Oscar Pluck was the winner on the day but missed a round and James Long came in third overall due to a couple of missed races.

For detailed results go to Main Track Results and Mini Results

Photos by Jody Beattie. For more photos of the prizegiving go to Jody Beattie's page

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