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Australian Riders Give The Kiwis A Shake-Up

 

FEBRUARY 10, 2016: Australian Yamaha riders put the hurt on their Kiwi cousins over the weekend and it's probably going to get worse before it gets better.

New South Welshman Dean Ferris, riding for the Motueka-based Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing Team, roared to an impressive hat-trick of wins in the glamour MX1 class at the opening round of four in this season's New Zealand Motocross Championships at Pleasant Point, near Timaru, on Sunday, while fellow Australian Jed Beaton, riding for the Hamilton-based Triple B Valley Fresh Yamaha Racing Team, went on the attack in the MX2 class.

The latest news is that the Australian contingent will be joined by Dan Reardon for the second half of the series, joining the Altherm JCR Yamaha squad and racing alongside Ferris in the MX1 class at Rotorua and Taupo.

The Australian riders contesting this season's New Zealand nationals are all here to use the series as a warm-up for their own domestic championships, due to kick off at Horsham, in Victoria, on April 3, but their attitude is: Why not try to add some Kiwi silverware to their carry-on luggage while they're across the Tasman?

Ferris enjoys an 11-point buffer over his MX1 class rivals as they head to round two in the Manawatu region in just over two weeks' time.

Although the 18-year-old Beaton didn't win his MX2 class in Timaru on Sunday, he certainly made it clear that he'll be a threat for that crown.

Despite only casting his eyes on the Timaru track for the first time at the start of the weekend, Victoria's Beaton soon came to grips with the foreign terrain and qualified fastest, a staggering two seconds quicker than Rangiora's Micah McGoldrick.

However, he then came to grief when another rider collided with him in the first race. He saved his best for last, winning the final MX2 moto of the day.

"I really struggled with my starts all day, but finally got a good one in that last race," said Beaton. "I wasn't really surprised that I qualified so well. I grew up in Tasmania and it rains a lot there, so when the (well-watered) track was muddy for practice and qualifying, I was okay with it."

Takaka's Hamish Harwood (CML KTM) won the MX2 class on Sunday, finishing the day six points ahead of Reporoa's Hadleigh Knight (Workshop Graphics Husqvarna), with Beaton claiming the third step on the podium, just four points behind Knight.

Beaton has recently announced he will race the Australian MX Nationals with the support of Yamaha-backed DPH Motorsport team for the 2016 season.

Meanwhile, Ngatea's Ben Broad won the 125cc class, finishing the day ahead of Karaka's Kurtis Lilly and Taupo's Wyatt Chase (Total Oil Yamaha).

The series is set to heat up further at round two at the Flipp's track at Himatangi, near Palmerston North, on February 28.

Round three follows at the Rotorua Motorcycle Club's track on March 13. The championship trophies get handed out at the Taupo finale on March 20.

The Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing team is supported by Altherm Window Systems, Yamaha, JCR, CRC, Ados, GYTR, Yamalube, Fox Racing, Hollands Collision Centre, Star Moving, Ward Demolition, Fulton Hogan, Pirelli, FMF, DID, NGK, Matrix, Renthal, Motomuck, Workshop Graphics, Motoseat, Hammerhead, SKF, Vertex Pistons, Rtech Plastics, Etnies, Biketranz and Fulton Hogan.

The Triple B Racing Valley Fresh Yamaha team is supported by Origin Windows, Drainage Systems, Bob McCleary Yamaha, Pirelli Tyres, Thor, Alpinestars, Spy Goggles, JCR, Yamalube, Krooztune suspension, DPH Motorsport, Beatonsproformula and Ride Park Victoria.

Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com