Sunday, February 12


BT - 3 from 3
Words and photo by Andy McGechan,

The scene has been set for an enthralling New Zealand Motocross Championships season as the four-round series kicked off near Timaru today.

When the dust settled at the Pleasant Point circuit, at the conclusion of three races for each of the championship classes, it was Taupo’s Ben Townley, Queenstown’s Scott Columb and Amberley’s Micah McGoldrick who stood tallest on their respective podiums.

Honda’s Townley was unbeaten in his three MX1 (open class) outings, finishing the day comfortably ahead of his great friend and key rival, Motueka’s Josh Coppins (Yamaha).

Former world No.2 Coppins finished the day with a hat-trick of runner-up finishes and he finds himself nine points behind Townley, with former MX1 champion Justin McDonald (Honda), of Christchurch, third overall as the riders now head to Patetonga, near Morrinsville, for round two in a fortnight.

Suzuki’s Columb, back in action after an almost two-year absence from the sport because of injury, showed he was back to his best in winning the MX2 (250cc) class at Timaru today.

Columb finished 2-2-1 in his three races, enough to edge out defending MX2 champion Darryll King (Yamaha), of Hamilton.

Suzuki men Daryl Hurley, of Hawera, and Rhys Carter, of Mount Maunganui, were also outstanding in the class, finishing third and fourth overall respectively.
South Canterbury Motorcycle Club timing chief Noel May said, aside from overall winner Columb, Carter was the most impressive rider of the day.

“It didn’t look like Carter could buy himself a start today but he fought back through the field each time. He is certainly a hard charger,” said May.

In the dual-title 125cc and under-21 category, KTM rider McGoldrick was supreme.

He tops both classes after a totally dominant performance on Sunday.

Second, third and fourth overall in the 125cc class after round one are Rotorua’s Cameron Vaughan (Yamaha), Tauranga’s Logan Blackburn (Yamaha) and Rotorua’s Cameron Negus (Suzuki) respectively.