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Riders Picked To Represent New Zealand In Spain

Photo by Andy McGechan,

This season’s five-round Yamaha New Zealand Enduro Championships are important for two very important reasons.

The first, as usual, is to find the nation’s champions in all the various categories, but also this year the domestic competition helps determine selections for Team New Zealand at the upcoming International Six Days Enduro, in Spain this October.

The first two of five rounds in the national series were held at separate venues in the South Island in April and, so far, the racing has been extremely tight, with former championship-winning riders Brad Groombridge and James Scott going full throttle at the front.

Groombridge won the two South Island rounds and Scott won round three in the Akatarawa Forest, near Judgeford, halfway between Porirua and Upper Hutt, over the King’s Birthday Weekend just gone.

The performances of these two men thus far have ticked all the boxes and they have now been selected for the ISDE team. They will be joined in that squad by Kiwi Internationals Hamish Macdonald and Liam Draper.

Christchurch man Macdonald is currently racing throughout Europe and Howick’s Draper is racing in the United States.

Tapanui’s Kylie Dorr is the leading female in the domestic enduro competition and she too has now been selected to race for New Zealand in Spain in October.

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Joining her in the women’s squad will be Opunake’s Taylar Rampton, with Whangarei’s Rochelle Edwards picked as reserve rider for the women’s grade at the ISDE.

The 34-year-old Dorr, a mother of two boys from Edievale, near Tapanui in west Otago, obviously travelled a long way to compete at Judgeford at the weekend, but nothing like the trip to Spain that she’s preparing to make later in the year.

“I’ve been working really hard on my fitness and now I’m going away to do the ISDE in Spain. I’ve been practicing doing tyre changes and improving my riding.

“I have high expectations of myself, so it’s just me applying the pressure on myself really, although the kids like it when I bring a trophy home,” she laughed.

Motorcycling New Zealand enduro commissioner Justin Stevenson said the national competition has been ideal preparation for the riders now due to head overseas.

“It was really good to see the girls aiming to go to the ISDE turn up today and racing one another this weekend,” he said. “A lot of riders find this terrain (in the Akatarawa Forest) quite challenging and this was certainly good training for them.”

Meanwhile, Nelson’s Bailey Basalaj, Taupo’s Wil Yeoman, New Plymouth’s Josh Houghton and Paeroa’s Ashton Whyte are also among the leading riders overall in the AA grade (expert level) so far in the Yamaha New Zealand Enduro Championships.

The leaders in the various AA grade bike classes after two rounds are Basalaj (E1, 0-200cc two-stroke and 0-300cc four-stroke class); Groombridge (E1, 201cc-to-open two-stroke class); Scott (E3, 301cc-to-open four-stroke class and Rangiora’s Kelly Paterson (Veterans’ over-40 years class).

The leading rider in the A grade (intermediate level) after round two is Christchurch’s Grant Oliver, with Queenstown’s Hayden Lockhart and Paeroa’s Mark Whyte rounding out the top three.

Round four of the domestic series is scheduled for Martinborough next weekend, June 8-9, with the fifth and final round a one-day competition, set for Bideford, near Masterton on November 2.

In addition to Yamaha-Motor New Zealand, the 2024 NZ Enduro Championships are supported by Macaulay Metals, Best Build Construction, Silver-bullet and Kiwi Rider magazine.

2024 Yamaha NZ Enduro Champs calendar:

Round 1: April 20-21, 1045 Reece’s Road, Omihi, near Christchurch.

Round 2: April 27-28, 981 Whitecliffs Road, Coalgate, Canterbury.

Round 3: June 1-2, Porirua (signposted from SH 58, Haywards Hill Road) Moonshine Valley Road, Wellington.

Round 4: June 8-9, Ruakokoputuna Hall, near Martinborough.

Round 5: November 2, Bideford, near Masterton.


By Andy McGechan,

© Scoop Media

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