Welcome to the second edition of BT’s Blog, I have had a pretty busy Winter period with some tours, coaching and racing some events myself !
Let’s start with the race events – I still love suiting up for the odd event here and there whether it be MX or XC racing. I had two on the calendar the past few months that have become highlight events during the Winter months for me. The first one was the an event called the “Michael Godfrey Memorial” over Queens Birthday weekend, this event is located in the South Island of New Zealand in the North Canterbury area, basically an hour north of Christchurch on the East Coast. This event has been running for 35 years and has become an annual event on my calendar after competing for the first last year.
The track is laid out on private farm land, so the track is only used for this event each year and the layout completely changes each and every year which makes it so interesting and unique.
The track also has a really cool feature where the land is terraced, basically 50% of the track is down on a bottom paddock and the other 50% is up top, the bottom piece is more motocross inspired with layout and the top section more thumper nat inspired with fast straight aways and flowing corners. Being in the Winter time it can be a little hit and miss for weather, this year though the weather was about spot on if I’m honest, just enough rain to be annoying on goggles, but just enough to make the track into chocolate cake !! I love a technical track, especially ruts and this year the track formed up just to my liking with huge deep ruts.
There was some great racing across both of the days, Josh Coppins was also along for the event and it was the first time that him and I have lined up and raced bare to bar since 2012. Josh was a major part of my career in the early stages guiding me in Europe and then become one of my biggest rivals by 2005 in the MXGP World Championship.
I was able to get a couple of moto wins throughout the 2 days of racing and pick up the overall for MX1. I had a pretty hectic weekend, my 2 boys Levi (8 yr) and Jaggar (6) were also racing, they both ride on what we refer to in NZ as the Mini track where we introduce kids to the sport before they transfer to Junior competition.
At one point I was over supporting my son who was racing at the time, next thing I hear a whole heap of 450’s revving their bikes up and I realised it was my moto on the line, I made a mad dash for it to my trailer and threw my helmet and goggles on and sped through the pits to make it on the gate as the 10 sec board went up to start the race!
The final race of the weekend is the Michael Godfrey Memorial race which is held in honour of Michael, it’s a 30 min moto + 1 lap which is the only moto of it’s kind in New Zealand motocross; all of our motos at National MX round are 20 mins long. I’m definitely not in the shape of my life that for sure, so I knew I’d have to pace myself if I was going to make it to the end… I was able to get off to a decent start and get myself into second early on in the race, Rhys Carter who some of you may know from his racing in Australia was leading and setting as pretty hot pace. About halfway though Rhys washed out going into a corner and I was into the lead, I put my head down and rode consistently for the remainder of the race, Rhys was catching me lap by lap, but in the end I was able to just hold him out to the flag.
I’m just about to head out the door and start packing my trailer for a 3 day tour I have on with 6 Australian riders from Rockhampton which I’m pretty excited about. They are coming in tonight and I’ll be picking them up from the airport and giving them 3 days of awesome riding. For day one we are heading to one of my favourite riding spots in the world, Pirini’s!
Pirini’s is a moto riding park with both a flowing MX track and then 30km of flowing XC trails. Day 2 I have a couple of options for the group and they can choose an XC or MX option and then for the final day we are headed to Berm Buster. Berm Buster is a trail event that is located in the central North Island just east of Taupo and is a 2 day event of bullozed trails through pine forestry, the soil is white volcanic ash called pumice and forms up to some wicked riding so I’m excited to get the crew along there and show them a slice of moto paradise!
Ride on !