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'Yamaha Dream Team' Ready For Four-Hour


OCTOBER 27, 2015: It's a 'dream team' line-up and it could cause nightmares for the other competitors at this weekend's big annual Acerbis Four-Hour dirt bike marathon.

Manawatu's Adam Reeves and Taranaki's Adrian Smith have joined together to tackle this gruelling race near Taupo on Saturday and, on paper at least, they are runaway favourites to win it.

Palmerston North's Reeves is a three-time former New Zealand cross-country champion and Mokau's Smith is a four-time former national cross-country No.1.

They will each ride their own Yamaha bikes, Reeves on his YZ250 two-stroke and Smith on his YZ250FX four-stroke machine, tag-teaming one another to share the workload.

"We've got seven national titles between us, so I guess we know what we're doing," quipped Reeves, who finished runner-up to ironman (solo) rider Brad Groombridge at the event last year when he was teamed with Auckland's Chris Power.

"Brad (Groombridge) is a great rider and always goes well at this event, so he will again be the man to beat. He will no doubt ride with a big tank and won't need to stop each lap for fuel, while Adrian and I will pit and change over each lap. That gives Brad an advantage as far as time in the pits, but Adrian and I will be fresher than him each lap, so it should even out over the four hours.

"I feel I have some unfinished work to do and teaming up with Adrian (Smith) should be fantastic.

"We have been Yamaha team-mates for years but have never combined like this to tackle an event. We have been firm friends and fierce rivals over the years, so this will be a new experience for both of us. We respect each other when we are racing each other on the track and I think it will be fun to ride with someone whom I normally fight with.

"Adrian is usually a better starter than me, so I'll be twisting his arm to see if he'll ride first," Reeves laughed.

Now in its seventh year, this weekend's race promises to be another classic.

And it's not hard to see why - run by Epic Events, the event has been growing in popularity each year and an estimated 400 riders have signed up this time around to tackle the gruelling dirt bike marathon in the Tahorakuri Forest, on the road between Taupo and Rotorua.

A wide cross-section of riders from various motorcycling codes will come together to race through the trees and over the pumice and sand of the Central Plateau, forming up as two-rider teams or simply choosing to go it alone as an ironman contestant, making this one of New Zealand's premier off-road bike events.

Words and photo by Andy McGechan,