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May Wraps Up Another Successful USA Campaign


NOVEMBER 5, 2015: Auckland's Callan May wrapped up another successful cross-country campaign in the United States at the weekend and will now return home, with plans to light up the local dirt bike scene.

Sixth overall on debut in the US last season, the 23-year-old electrician from Titirangi arrived at the weekend's 13th and final round of the Grand National Cross-country Championships (GNCC) series at Crawfordsville, Indiana, with a clear focus, to ensure he again finished among the top 10 in the XC2 (250cc) class and protect his top-10 overall ranking for the season.

And the Yamaha rider he did just that.

"The track conditions were perfect, with lots of tacky corn fields and loamy woods. I was looking forward to racing," said former New Zealand under-300cc four-stroke class enduro champion May.

"I got a good start off the line and was in around 10th and I made some passes as soon as I got into the woods and came around in seventh on the first lap.

"This round of the GNCC series is called the 'Ironman' and it is known for drawing thousands of spectators with its awesome viewing of hill climbs, it also makes the track slightly more tricky," said the rider.

"As the race went on and the sun began to go down it made for really bright field sections and transferring into the woods difficult. For some reason, I felt dizzy for a few laps which I have never felt before and it didn't help my result.

"On the second-to-last lap I had problems with lappers getting stuck on a hill in front of me and I had to the long way around, losing positions in the process.

"With one lap to go, I was in 10th where I stayed until the finish."

That result was enough for May to ensure he maintained his hold on 10th place overall in the XC2 championship.

The series was won this year by Jason Thomas, with fellow Americans Ricky Russell and Trevor Bollinger completing the podium.

In the end, May finished just two points shy of ninth-ranked American rider Jessee Groemm.

"I'm happy to finish off the year in one piece," said May.

"I will not be returning to the United States in 2016. It has been an awesome experience racing over here for the last two years. The number of friends I have made and memories I will have will be with me for life.

"I'm looking forward to getting home and getting back to work as an electrician and racing in New Zealand again."

Meanwhile, American rider Kailub Russell won the XC1 (open) class title, ahead of fellow US rider Grant Baylor, with Australian Josh Strang finishing third.

May is supported by Yamaha Motor New Zealand, Kiwi Rider magazine,, MotoSR, Golden Tyres, Fox, Graphic Creation, GYTR and Yamalube.

Words and photo by Andy McGechan,