Wednesday, April 3

SKINNER WINS KTM EXTREME SERIES

Mike Skinner
Auckland's Mike Skinner (KTM) wrapped up the Pro class win in the new KTM Extreme Enduro Series at the final round - the No Way In Hell event - at Oparau over the Easter weekend.

Joining the 250 EXC-F rider on the all-KTM series podium were Wellington’s Jake Whitaker (KTM 250 EXC) and Tauranga’s Jim Lowe-Pattie (KTM 300 EXC), KTMs ending up filling nine of the top 10 spots overall.

The brutal, 96km No Way In Hell event itself was won by Chris Birch (KTM EXC 300) in a time of four hours and 27 minutes with multi-time former national moto trials champion Warren Laugeson, from Hawke’s Bay, second and Jim Lowe-Pattie third.

Series-wise the battle for Pro class series honours was between Skinner and Whitaker, the latter needing to beat Skinner by two positions to take the series win.

Skinner, however, held his cool and finished fifth, just one place behind Whitaker, enough to steal the glory.

In the Expert grade, Ngaruawahia’s Kelvin Babington took the win from Tokoroa’s Mark Newton by just over five minutes, who in turn was about 13 minutes ahead of Reporoa’s Brendon Imlig.

Auckland’s Liam Draper had already wrapped up the Expert grade title win three wins in earlier rounds, so he opted to ride in the pro class at the final event, finishing a creditable 12th.

Cambridge’s Dylan Yearbury took the clubmen class win at the final round but it wasn't enough to elevate him on to the podium for the series.

Cambridge KTM rider Taylor Grey finished third at the weekend but he had done enough to win the series in the clubmen class, with Auckland’s Luke Mobberley taking second spot for the series and Auckland’s Tom Brian rounding out the top three.

Event and series organiser Sean Clarke said afterwards that he would like to thank everyone involved, particularly the Waitemata Motorcycle Club, Forest Trail Events, the Te Puke Motorcycle Club and the Hauturu District and school.

“Also thanks to the sponsors of the series, KTM New Zealand, Motorex, Michelin Tyres, Maungapapa Angus, Dirt Guide, Kiwi Rider Magazine and former national enduro champion Elliott Kent of Precision Helicopters in Te Pahu.”