Winston's Just Warming Up
Winston's Just Warming Up
FEBRUARY 12, 2013: It may be his first time in New Zealand and his season build-up has only just begun, but Australian Brock Winston has wasted no time in making an impact.
When Mangakino's Kayne Lamont crashed and injured himself during pre-season practice a week ago, an emergency call went out to 25-year-old Winston for him to fill the suddenly vacant MX2 class spot in the CMR Red Bull KTM squad.
He answered the call and arrived in New Zealand just a few days before the opening round of the New Zealand Motocross Championships at Pleasant Point, near Timaru, on Sunday.
With no knowledge of the difficult circuit and knowing even less about most of his competition, Queensland's Winston took his immaculate KTM 250SX to finish 3-1-5 in his three races on Sunday.
This was good enough to see him end the day third overall in the championship standings and just one point behind defending MX2 champion Darryll King, of Hamilton.
"I'm pretty happy with that," said Winston afterwards. "I struggled a bit in that third race because of fatigue, but it's a solid start and I'll just get better from here.
"My season in Australia doesn't start for a few months yet, so I really wasn't prepared for this today. It was a last-minute call-up. This is a very good build-up for me ahead of the Australian nationals ... you can't get much better practice than actual racing.
"I'm loving New Zealand. The people are so friendly and helpful. I really want to thank KTM in New Zealand and Cannon Smith and Martin Collins from the CMR Red Bull team. They have been awesome."
The team's two MX1 (450cc) riders, fellow Australians Kirk Gibbs and Todd Waters, also enjoyed a solid day's racing at Timaru, the 23-year-old Gibbs ending up third overall in the championship standings, behind Mount Maunganui’s Cody Cooper and Scottish visitor Billy MacKenzie.
It could have been slightly better for Waters who was forced out of the day's second MX1 race, while running at the front, when a bolt failed on his bike's frame and he had to withdraw from the race.
Waters had finished third in the day's first MX1 race and, following the disappointment of race two, he bounced back sensationally to win the day's third and final MX1 race.
Despite the setback, Waters is fifth in the standings.
Australian Brock Winston (CMR Red Bull KTM 250SX), who celebrated a race win during his debut ride in New Zealand at the weekend. Photo by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ.com
Credit: Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com