Three out of the top four positions were filled by Suzuki riders as the National Cross-country Championships kicked off in Central Hawke’s Bay on Sunday afternoon.
It was a great result for the familiar yellow bike brand, which again sponsors the series.
Pahiatua’s Adam Reeves took his 450cc Yamaha to win the event but he had three very fast Suzuki riders nipping at his heels on the dusty Waipukurau farmland venue, with Auckland’s Sam Greenslade putting his 250cc Suzuki RM-Z250 into second spot, while Huntly’s Michael Vining (Suzuki RM-Z450) and Napier’s John O’Dea (Suzuki RM-X450) were never far behind.
Greenslade, a 19-year-old university student, said he was surprised his 250cc bike could keep up because of the course’s very high average speed.
“I was tapped out, full throttle in a lot of places,” he declared afterwards. “And I didn’t have a big after-market tank on the bike either ... so that cost me with extra stops in the pits for refuelling.”
Vining’s third-place result was possibly also a surprise because he wasn’t going to ride and only decided to make the trip to Waipukurau very late on Saturday night.
“I’m an agricultural contractor and I have a lot of work at the moment,” said the 24-year-old. “But dad had prepared the bike for me and I didn’t want to let him down so we packed up and drove from Huntly at about 3am. We didn’t arrive at the venue until 9.30am.
“I was battling for the lead at one stage but crashed and smashed my chin. The Suzuki RM-Z450 is an awesome bike though and never missed a beat. It’s stock standard and in the five months I’ve had it, all I have done is change the oil and air filter a few times.
“It’s a good, solid start and I’m looking forward to the rest of the series now.”
Napier’s O’Dea said he still felt “pretty fresh” after the race.
“It wasn’t a tough course and I don’t think the organisers could do too much about the dust. I just hope I can follow on now from this at the next rounds,” said the 19-year-old dairy farmer.
Round two is set for Nelson this Saturday. The series is sponsored by Suzuki, DRD magazine, Hydraulink fluid connectors.
Calendar for the 2010 Suzuki New Zealand 3-Hour Cross Country Series.
(Three out of 4 count for series result)
Round 1 N.Z Sunday April 11, Waipukurau.
Round 2 N.Z. Saturday, April 17, Nelson.
Round 3 N.Z. Saturday, May 1, Wellington.
Round 4 N.Z. Saturday, May 15, Christchurch.
Riders must contest the final round to be eligible for the New Zealand Championship.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
Simon Meade, Motorcycle Sales Manager