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Nield Braces For Busy Month Ahead

Nield Braces For Busy Month Ahead

SEPTEMBER 4, 2013: Northland’s Mitchell Nield has his work cut out over the next few weeks.

The Bay of Islands motorcycle ace has had to settle for the No.2 spot at quite a few events recently, but he reckons the top step of the podium is beckoning to him.

Nield will be clocking up the kilometres as he chases glory in several off-road competitions in September and October, starting with the sixth and final round of the Yamaha New Zealand Enduro Championships near Tokoroa on September 21.

The 24-year-old builder knows the outright win and the class win are both out of his reach with Auckland's Chris Birch wrapping up the overall win at the previous round near Huntly in June and fellow Aucklander Callum May securing the under-300cc four-stroke class title at the same event, but he says he still has a point to prove.

“I know I can beat Callum (May) ... I certainly want to make a statement,” said Nield. “But there are plenty of other great competitors too, riders such as Jake Whitaker, Michael Skinner and Scott Birch, so it won't be easy.

“I was on a different bike at round one of the nationals and therefore in a different bike class to the one I’m now in, so that meant I never really had much of a chance of winning the under-300cc four-stroke class.

“But since getting on board with the Yamaha YZ250F, the same model bike that Callum rides, I have been getting faster and faster. I love the bike and it really suits me.

“I have been in a really close battle with Callum since round two ... but perhaps just not close enough. It has taken me a little while to get used to racing a four-stroke motocross bike on the enduro scene but I'm certainly faster now than I was last year.”

Nield also intends to contest the five-round Extreme Enduro Series, which kicks off with the Nut Buster Enduro near Christchurch on September 28, but travel costs may force him to skip that series opener.

“The plan is for me to get to Canterbury, but that may not happen. I'm certainly going to race all the North Island rounds. I finished runner-up at the Nut Buster enduro last year, so it would be really good to go again, but I'm just not sure that will be possible.”

Only four of the five rounds count towards the overall tally, with riders able to discard their worst result, meaning Nield still has a mathematical chance of winning the Extreme series.

Another major event that Nield fancies his chances at is the big annual Six-Hour Cross-country Marathon in South Waikato at the start of October, the venue on forestry land about halfway between Tokoroa and Taupo.

“For that race I will be teaming up with my partner, Sianella Owen, and we'll be riding in the mixed team, men and women's class.

“It's all building towards the 2014 national enduro season. My new 2014-model Yamaha is due to arrive soon and I can't wait for that. It'll be awesome.”

Words and photo by Andy McGechan,


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