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Taupo Teen Takes Charge Of Junior Title Chase


JULY 20, 2015: Taupo's Wyatt Chase seems unstoppable at the moment, with another impressive podium-topping performance in the Manawatu at the weekend.

The 15-year-old national junior motocross champion has shown he's a quick learner since diverting himself to also tackle the parallel but very different sport of motorcycle cross-country racing, the Yamaha star tasting immediate success when he won the one-hour junior race at the opening round of the inaugural NZXC cross-country series near Tokoroa last month.

But Chase has now made it two wins in a row after also winning the junior class at round two of the series - the annual Yamaha Taikorea 500 - at the Taikorea Motorcycle Park, near Himatangi, on Saturday.

Fellow Yamaha rider Lachlan Bishop, of Hamilton, led out of turn one and kept Chase at bay around most of the lap of the motocross track that was the opening section of the gruelling race, although Chase was comfortably in front by the time the riders entered the trees for the first time, just a few minutes after the start.

"It was a pity about the rain making it tough to see and I had to discard my goggles but, because I was out in front and on my own, it wasn't too much of a problem," said Chase.

"Lachlan Bishop stayed close behind me for a while but I soon managed to make a break and it was fairly comfortable after that.

"I didn't come up on any lapped riders until near the end of the (three-lap) race.

"I had to work to keep motivated and I had to keep reminding myself to keep pushing, even though there were no challengers in sight."

It was a fairly lonely ride for Bishop too, the 15-year-old Hamilton Boys' High School student also on his own for most of the race with the rider who eventually finished in third position, Paraparaumu's Brock Sullivan, a long way further back.

Chase won by more than three minutes from Bishop, with Sullivan crossing the finish line more than six minutes later.

Coupled with his dominance of the junior grade at round one, Chase therefore has a commanding lead in the NZXC series, although there are still three rounds remaining.

Only four of the series' five rounds will be counted, with riders to discard their worst result. Round three of the series is set for Woodhill Forest on August 30, with round four at Maddix Park near Tauranga on November 14 and, finally, it all wraps up at Castlehill, near Pahiatua, on December 5.

Wyatt Chase brothers is supported by Yamaha-Motor New Zealand, Filco Farm and Sport, Total Oil, Fox, Dunlop, Pro Taper, ODI, Talon, Backflips, CFX, MX Timing, K Tech, FMF, Nano Energiser,, Moss Institute, Oxford Pies and Aspiring Health.

Words and photo by Andy McGechan,