Suzuki riders Daryl Hurley and Taylar Rampton dominated the weekend’s New Zealand Veterans and Women’s Motocross Championships.
The two-day event, held at the recently-built Hack Track south of Eltham, was the perfect venue to showcase both the veteran men, many of them former Kiwi internationals or national champions, plus the rising stars of the women’s motocross world.
Even though he is now aged 41, Hawera motorcycle dealer Hurley was one rider who seemed to defy the usual image of a veteran – not a kilogram of fat on his body and obviously still with the power to impress, even at the ultimate level of the sport.
Hurley took his Action Moto-sponsored Suzuki RM-Z250 to clock the fastest lap-times of the weekend across all categories. The former Kiwi international was unbeaten in five races in the 40-44-year-old class and was runaway winner of the ‘Champion-of-Champions’ feature race at the end of the weekend, although the unique scoring format for that race – where the rider age is added to his finishing position – handed the trophy to 58-year-old Aucklander Craig Wallace (Suzuki RM-Z250).
Said Hurley: “It was actually more enjoyable for me being a sponsor of the event and for being one of the people responsible for putting this event on in the first place. It was not about me being a competitor too, although it was nice to win!
“I have not been riding a lot lately, with kids to look after these days, but I guess you don’t forget how to ride do you? I wasn’t riding as fast as I used to but I always like to push hard and be as competitive as I can.”
Rampton was the top female, winning the senior women’s class by just three points from Letitia Alabaster. Rampton (Action Moto Suzuki RM-Z250) knew as she lined-up for the final race of the weekend that she could play it safe and that fourth place would be enough to secure the title: She finished the race in third to take the victory.
Said Rampton, who finished runner-up in the women’s nationals last year behind Kiwi international Courtney Duncan: “I hadn’t had much time training with the bike. I didn’t have the bike sorted until about a month ago and I was only ready to go about Wednesday last week. Plus, there were question marks about my fitness. But it all worked out in the end.”