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The Bold, the Brutal and the Brilliant


AUGUST 26, 2014

The racing was brilliant, the track was brutal and the riders were bold at the inaugural Secondary Schools Motocross Championships at Mercer on Sunday.

Although immaculately groomed at the start of the day, the sand track became progressively more difficult for competitors as the day wore on at Mercer, but the sport of motocross has never been a domain of the weak or timid and, right through the grades, riders dug deep to overcome the ruts and holes.

South Auckland’s Dean Collins was one of those who led by example, pushing through the pain barrier to clinch top honours in his 16-18 years’ 125cc class.

The Yamaha hero took his 2012-model YZ125 to finish 2-1-2 on Sunday, ending the contest two points clear of Te Aroha’s Aaron Manning (who finished 3-2-1).

“I was getting some amazing arm pump (painful forearms caused by lactic acid build-up). I guess I wasn’t as fit as I needed to be,” said Collins, who was racing for Waiuku College.

“In race one I had a bad start and, because I was still running in the bike’s engine after a rebuild, I didn’t want to push too hard. I was pretty happy with second place though.

“In the next race, I was going well and leading the way and then Aaron Manning caught up to me. But I managed to hold him off over the last few laps and took the win.

“I led the last race for a while but them arm pump got the better of me and I slipped back to finish second.

“I knew that was good enough to win the day, so I wasn’t too worried about Aaron getting past me.”

Collins raced just three of four rounds during the senior 125cc nationals earlier in the year and finished that series 17th overall.

“I’m getting a new Yamaha YZ125 soon and I’ll be doing all rounds of the nationals in 2015, so I figure I can really improve my national ranking.”

Also impressive on Sunday was World Junior Motocross No.7 Josiah Natzke (Te Kura High School), who was a convincing winner of the 14-15 years’ 250cc four-stroke class. The Hamilton teenager won all three of his races by a large margin.

Onewhero Area School’s Jayden Turnwald and Yamaha duo Benjamin Broad (Hauraki Plains College) and Wyatt Chase (from Tauhara College in Taupo) were also impressive, dominating racing at the top of the 13-15 years’ 125cc class.

Turnwald posted a 1-1-2 score-card to win the class by just one point from Broad (2-2-1).

Other class winners were Ben Hahn (Pinehurst College, on Auckland’s North Shore, 16-18 years’ 250cc four-stroke class); Andre Whitehead (Te Puke High School, 16-18 years’ 250cc novice); Jordan Milsom (Te Puke High School, 13-16 years’ 85-150cc); Max Simpson (Waiuku College, 13-15 years 125cc novice); Riley Hare (Paeroa College, 14-15 years’ 250cc novice); Jack Broughton (Te Kauwhata College, 85cc novice); and Anna Lawton (Kaipara College, women’s open grade).

Meanwhile, Hauraki Plains College won the battle for schools honours with 577 points, finishing ahead of Waiuku College (496 points) and Hamilton Boys’ High School (352 points).

A total 39 college teams were entered, adding up to more than 140 individuals.

By Andy McGechan,


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