Rudd targets podium at motocross meet

JOHN ALEXANDER
Last updated 13:00 16/11/2012

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A high-quality field is expected for this weekend's annual Croad's Honda Peter Brown Memorial motocross event at The Throne track in the Waihopai Valley near Blenheim.

Hosted by the Marlborough Motorcycle Club, the oldest memorial motocross event in New Zealand is in its 48th year. The trophy is named after Brown, a motocross rider who died in a road accident.

Defending champion Justin McDonald, of Canterbury, is expected back and there are high hopes that Motueka star Josh Coppins will ride, along with over 100 others contesting various age groups and divisions among 12 classes.

The event was originally scheduled for September but extremely wet conditions forced organisers to postpone it until this weekend.

The Throne track, on the Dillon property, is in excellent condition, according to race organising spokesman Mike Holland. Irrigation has been installed on the purpose-built track to ensure dust won't be a problem for riders and spectators and there are enough twists, turns, jumps and straights to provide a tough challenge, plenty of thrills and hopefully not too many spills for the riders.

Moston Wadsworth is hot favourite among Marlborough riders to dominate the veterans section, with George Holland, Bradley Wadsworth and Isaac Godsiff other strong Marlborough contenders in their respective grades.

Andrew Rudd is another highly-ranked rider in the MX one class, although a nasty crash last weekend during training has put his participation in doubt.

He's hoping his bumps and bruises and knock to the head have healed in time and, if so, he's ready to mount a strong challenge.

Soon to be fully qualified as a mechanic, his job at Croads Honda allows him an ideal platform to compete, with Croads providing him with equipment and regularly updating his Honda racing bikes.

He began racing as a 9-year-old and gradually took it more seriously as he grew older.

He's raced the Peter Brown event eight times with a best placing of third in the MX class in 2010.

"I'm definitely aiming at a top three place this weekend," he said.

Rudd is also an accomplished supercross rider, finishing runner-up in the South Island championships this year and sixth in his class at the national event.

The race for the Peter Brown Memorial Trophy is on Sunday and features riders from any class racing the 2km track for 30 minutes to find a winner.

Racing starts about 10am Saturday and Sunday following practice each morning. Holland said food and drinks were available at the course which is signposted from Renwick and is about 10 minutes drive up the Waihopai Valley Rd.

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- The Marlborough Express

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