Townley and King a class above opposition
Former world champions Ben Townley and Shayne King were more than a match for their rivals at the annual Waikato motocross championships near Te Kuiti at the weekend.
Former MX2 world champion and reigning national MX1 champion Townley (Honda CRF450) dominated the big bike class. The Bay of Plenty ace was virtually unchallenged as he romped to three convincing wins in MX1.
On each occasion the Kiwi international finished a third of the undulating north King Country track ahead of the next best MX1 class rider, Taupo's Nick Saunders (Kawasaki KX450F). Third overall was Tauranga's Roydon White (KTM).
The championships were another phase in Townley's comeback after breaking a hip during a practice ride in April. It was also a chance for more valuable bike time ahead of the 2013 New Zealand Motocross Championships, which begin near Timaru on February 10.
"I could practise on my own all I like, but there's nothing like the intensity of real racing, of being behind an actual start gate, to get you back into the groove," the 27-year-old said. "It's hard for me at the moment, trying to switch back and forth between racing motocross and supercross and I'm not 100 per cent yet, but considering I'm just six months on from the most horrendous injury of my career, I feel pretty pleased with my results today."
Taupo's Cameron Dillon led a Honda 1-2-3 sweep of the podium in the MX2 class.
Dillon finished 2-1-1 in his three outings, easily enough for the farm hand to claim the trophy ahead of fellow Honda men Jesse Wiki (Hamilton) and Ryan Thompson (Te Awamutu).
Taranaki's former 500cc world champion Shayne King (KTM) scored a hat-trick of wins in the veterans' 35-44 years' division.
Te Awamutu's Bryce McDougall (Honda) dominated the veterans' over 45 years' class and Matakohe's Simone Sidwell (Honda) won the women's class.
The All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) quad-bike class looked to be heading the way of Stratford's Scott Keegan as he won the day's first two races, but a blown engine in race three put him on the sidelines and he finished the day fourth overall.
The trophy stayed with the family, however, as his elder brother Cameron went on to clinch the class title thanks to his 2-4-2 results over the three races.
With a borrowed bike, Scott Keegan lined up for the all-in ATV feature race and a three-way battle ensued between the Keegan brothers and former national ATV champion Jason Jepson, the Bay of Plenty man eventually winning.