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Masterton's Butler Saves His Best For Last


JUNE 10, 2015: The in augural North Island Mini TT Championships in the Manawatu at the weekend produced drama of the highest order.

But there was perhaps no greater drama than in the combined junior 12-16 years' 125cc and 14-16 years' 250cc grade where the battle for title honours went right down to the fifth and final race of the weekend.

Masterton's Camden Butler set the tone for the fight as he won the first of five races in the class, but only after a massive see-saw battle with Feilding rider Tony 'T-Bone' Cvitanovich.

Local hero Cvitanovich had the lead at the start of this opening race, until Wairarapa's Butler slipped past him. Cvitanovich responded immediately to retake the lead but then stalled his bike, allowing Butler to take first honours.

Butler then took his Sargent Yamaha YZ250F to snatch the holeshot at the start of race two and, from there, he was never headed.

Saturday's racing wrapped up with Cvitanovich winning ahead of Butler and the two young men ended the day separated by just three points after three races.

When Cvitanovich beat Butler to the chequered flag in the first of Sunday's two races, it meant the two riders were level on points heading into the final confrontation.

Butler took the holeshot in this fifth and final race of the championship and that gave him the edge to the finish, Giving the Yamaha man the title by just three points from Cvitanovich.

"It had rained a lot before the weekend and the track was extremely boggy," said Butler, a year 11 pupil at Wairarapa College.

"The ground was very soft and slippery but the host club did a great job with the track."

Meanwhile, Wanganui's Danny Willemsen won three of his five races to edge out Palmerston North's cross-country racing expert  James Galpin by 10 points for the MX2 class trophy, but the racing in all the other classes was fairly one-sided, with one rider dominating in each case.

Paraparaumu's Jesse Donnelly was unbeaten on his way to winning the MX1 class and Nelson's Clayton Roeseke also scored five wins from five starts on his way to winning the senior 125cc class.

In the junior racing, Rongotea's Zac Jillings was unbeaten in winning the 13-16 years' 85cc class and Matamata's Brodie Connolly suffered just one defeat in dominating the 8-12 years' 85cc class.

In the veterans' categories, Wanganui's Ray Dittmer finished 2-2-1-1-1 to dominate the over-35 years' grade; Willemsen won four out of five races to take the over-45 years' trophy; New Plymouth's Mitch Rowe won five from five in the over-50 years' class and Craig Wallace was unchallenged in the over-55 years grade.

Opunake's Taylar Rampton won the women's trophy with a unbeaten five wins from five starts.

Words and photo by Andy McGechan,



Andy McGechan Ltd

Phone 06-758-5182