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Rowe Takes Every Opportunity

Rowe Takes Every Opportunity

Andy McGechan

Taranaki’s Mitch Rowe is a glutton for punishment.

The rain came down in buckets at the Barrett Road Motorcycle Park facility on the outskirts of New Plymouth on Sunday, turning the popular motocross circuit into a porridge-like quagmire.

And, just as some of the sport’s superstars were packing away their precious bikes, not prepared even to venture on to the track for practice at the annual King of the Mountain Motocross on Sunday, Yamaha’s Rowe was instead gearing up to tackle two classes.

Former national 500cc motocross champion Rowe (Yamaha YZ250F) wrapped up against the elements, waterproofed his bike as best he could and then lined up to race both the MX2 class and the veterans’ class as well.

Rowe settled for runner-up spot in the MX2 class, behind Kiwi international Kieran Scheele, of Central Hawke’s Bay, and then won the veterans’ class, ahead of Inglewood’s Steve Holmes.

Then, just for good measure, he entered the King of the Mountain feature final race as well, finishing fourth overall against the 450cc bike riders.

“It was very hard work riding in these conditions,” said the 47-year-old builder.

“I needed to water-blast the bike between each race to clean out the radiators, but, really, I didn’t need to do much to the bike to make it ready. I just put some silicon on the plastic guards so the mud wouldn’t stick too much.

“It was pretty sloppy mud, so it didn’t really stick too much but it made it tough to see where the ruts were amongst the water.

“Getting a good start was most important because otherwise you’d get your goggles filled in and visibility was impossible. I got a terrible start in the feature race and actually had to stop, take off my goggles and then go again.

“I needed to use eye drops after the racing was over but I enjoyed the day anyway. The bike never missed a beat, despite the conditions.”


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