Really Tough ... But Worth It !

NZ Junior MX Nationals 2016

maddix park mx

The” event that Junior riders have been so focussed on for months is done and dusted for another year. For some there has been glory, for others there has been pain but for all it has been a journey that was tough but worth it, although that may not always be obvious right now. For there to be a winner, there must also be those who don’t win. Some riders were , however, a little disappointed that the trophies only went down to third place.

The Hawkes Bay venue did provide a challenge. A large number would have struggled with the senior level track. The first two days it was pretty rutty and quite gnarly with a dusty bit down one end. A bit one line as well which forced some riders out to the berms.  As a result, the ambulance service was quite busy. But the club, to their credit, smoothed out the track between the days and prepped it well before  the Sunday when rain was expected.

The full track was a long one but the 85s rode a shortened version and the 65s an even shorter  one.  Lap times, therefore, were high - the top 5 riders were around the 2 min 50 mark for the 125s and 3m10 for the 85s.  Three minutes is hugely long – it takes some time to get the lines into your brain. It was a testing track for the riders and for their bikes. A large percentage of the riders struggled, at least initially, so congratulations are due to all those who completed the 3 days of the event whether they reached the podium or not. The comment was that even a lot of seniors would have struggled.

Madoc Dixon had a brilliant 3 days in the 85cc 11-12 Years class. He was apprehensive at the start, almost to the point of feeling physically ill. However, his confidence grew and by day 3 he had learnt the track and was more relaxed.  He had amazing starts – in the top five each time – and he didn’t fall off – just one close call on the double when he smashed it on his handlebars. He finished in 5th equal for points but went to 6th on countback – Dylan Westgate had two 5th places to Madoc’s one.  Madoc missed one of the pre-race look laps on day 3 because of a fouled plug.  However, Luca Freemantle’s dad came up with a spare.  Thanks Ricky!

Yes, it was a tight circuit, it was a long circuit, there were huge ruts and massive bumps and there was nowhere to pick up speed, in fact, it was the most difficult track he has ridden BUT Madoc knows he came out of the weekend a much better rider. 

And an older one.  

Madoc turned 12 and his friends helped him celebrate with a heap of cream pies – in the face !

This 85cc class was won by James Scott with Thomas Watts and Zac Jillings completing the podium.  James survived and fought back from a crash and won 6 of his 7 races, the non-win due to a flat tyre early in the race. It's James's first MX title but we've seen him here at Maddix winning cross-country events on a regular basis. James is leaving soon to compete in Europe. See the James Scott article by Andy McGechan.

For Team 3 twenty 3 rider, Josh Tredinnick, the initial day one qualifying and practice was a challenge. Tough tracks make you work and work he did.  The track was super technical, the jumps big, the ruts hard to get through but with his usual gutsy attitude, he quickly settled in, figured it out, stayed on his bike and rode consistently to 4th place in the 14-16 years 250F class.  He was in third at the start of the last race however Tyler Steiner pulled a blinder, won the race and pipped Josh for the podium by 4 points.

For Tyler Steiner, it’s important to “keep your cool”. Those massive ruts were a challenge for him too, during the full on, exhausting weekend.  Tyler rode in both the 125 and the 250 classes -and they were only one race apart!  The 125 class was a bit of last minute decision. He picked up the bike only 4 days before heading to the Hawkes Bay.  He had a big crash in this class but, “banged up, bruised up and sore”, the mental strength kicked in and he carried on. A DNF in the 250 class was also a hiccup but in that last race he got the holeshot, kept it and won.

He ended the 3 days on the two podiums with two third places. After next month Tyler will be leaving the juniors and moving permanently up to the senior racing. 

The 250 class was won by Trent Collins. (Read Andy McGechan’s article).  Wyatt Chase had dominated the class but blew a clutch and DNFed race 5. He used his 125 to complete races 6 and 7 (is this legal ?) and take the second place on the podium. 

Wyatt Chase won all 7 races to clean sweep the  15-16 Years 125 class ahead of Maximus Purvis.

The track was particularly tough for Dylan Tredinnick, in his first year in the 12-14 Years 125s. However, he hung in there, finished all his races and, by the end of the weekend, could jump the doubles.

Jesse Bussas likes riding and racing and did well to finish.  Kyan Loomans didn’t fire quite as well as expected but any racing that makes you work is good value. He, Xavier McBrydie and  Donovan Ward saved some of their best races for last.

The weekend was an exhausting one but not just for the riders.  Think of the parents in their roles of supporter, coach, pit crew, mechanic, food and comfort provider. Dion Steiner laments the fact that you can go through the year with no issues whatsoever but bike problems arise when it comes to the big occasions. Cameron Scott was surprised at how exhausted emotionally he felt when the final chequered flag came down on an injury free Madoc .  (The exhaustion was definitely not due to cooking duties - Madoc  preferred to “graze”. Thank you MX mums.)

2016 may have finished but, be warned, the 2017 champs will be here sooner than you think.

For full detailed results

For Lauran's photos from Day 1, photos from Day 2

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