KTM hero set for a big start in Europe
Oparau's James Scott can't wait for his latest big overseas adventure to begin.
The 16-year-old Kiwi rising star will board a plane for Belgium at the end of next month, determined to again shake up the motocross scene in Europe.
Scott impressed when he last raced in Europe in 2016, competing in the European 150 Motocross Championships (EMX150), turning a few heads and obviously attracting the attention of all the right people.
Scott will join the Belgian-based KTM-backed FMX4Ever KTM team, becoming an integral member of what will be a three-rider line-up to contest the European 125cc Motocross Championships (EMX125) this season.
The young KTM rider finished runner-up to Mangakino's Maximus Purvis in the 15-16 years' 125cc class at the 2017 New Zealand Junior Motocross Championships last April and, although injured at the start of this year, he is now well on the road to recovery and ready to race again internationally.
Scott's father, Matthew Scott, said the broken arm he suffered at Woodville in late January meant his son would skip the first two of nine rounds of the EMX125 series, but "he would be back up to speed again" for the rounds that follow.
James Scott has been working his way back to full fitness with help from Olympic BMX rider Kurt Picard, from Tauranga, and Bay of Plenty's former motocross world champion Ben Townley, who "has been the driving force behind establishing James' latest campaign".
Scott will line up for his first 2018 EMX125 race at round three of the series at Kegums, in Latvia, on May 13, followed a week later by round four at Teutschenthal, in Germany.
Meanwhile, Waikato man Patrick Glidden will travel with Scott to work as his mechanic.
Originally a freestyle motocross team, FMX4Ever recently switched its attention to the mainstream motocross scene, with a prime focus on the EMX125 series. Scott will join with other riders Wannes van de Voorde, Kjell Verbruggen and Spanish 125cc champion Mario Lucas Sanz in forming the 2018 FMX4Ever line-up.
The EMX125 and EMX250 championships are considered a launch pad to full Grand Prix racing and shares the weekend programme with nine of the GP events.