A trio of Suzuki riders are ideally placed to win the Suzuki National Cross-country Championships this season.
Although defending champion Adam Reeves, of Pahiatua, is still on top of the points standings after the second round of four near Nelson at the weekend, he has three very fast Suzuki riders hunting him down and, with only three of the four rounds to count for championship points, any one of these top four men could take victory.
This is a fantastic scenario for the familiar yellow bike brand, which again sponsors the series.
Auckland’s Sam Greenslade (Suzuki RM-Z250) is second in the series standings, just seven points behind Reeves, with Napier’s John O’Dea (Suzuki RM-X450) now up to third and Huntly’s Michael Vining (Suzuki RM-Z450) in fourth spot overall.
O’Dea finished third in the three-hour race at Nelson on Saturday but can probably thank his lucky stars for that. “I got the holeshot and led for the first lap,” said the 19-year-old dairy farmer. “But I became tired from pushing so hard early on and dropped back to about fifth spot. Then I went hard again and picked my way back up to third.
“Then on the final lap, my fuel light came on. I’d skipped a fuel stop in an effort to catch the two men in front of me and it looked like that was going to cost me I slowed down quite a lot on the last lap, just to save fuel, and I actually ran out ... thankfully just five metres from the finish line. I pushed the bike across the line for third.”
O’Dea finished sixth in the championship in 2008 and was fifth overall last season.
“I’m running third so far this season but figure I can do even better than that. We are only halfway through the series and there are still two rounds to go, so anything’s possible.”
Meanwhile, the 19-year-old Greenslade remains second in the series standings, just two points ahead of O’Dea, despite him racing a 250cc bike against the 450cc machines of his main rivals.
Round three is set for Martinborough, just north of Wellington, on May 1. 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 rounds count for series result)
Round 1, Sunday April 11, Waipukurau.
Round 2, Saturday, April 17, Nelson.
Round 3, Saturday, May 1, Martinborough.
Round 4, 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