Home track confers no advantage

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clu6motocross3 # 872 Adam Moss (WEL) vies with #53 Dylan Walsh (CHC), for the corner in the competitive MX2 class at the Fox NZ Motocross championships held in Balclutha on last weekend. Walsh’s twpos econd places saw him finish the day in fifth place overall in the points standing leading into round two in Rotorua in three weeks time. PHOTO: JOHN COSGROVE

JOHN.COSGROVE @cluthaleader.co.nz

The very technical and tough Balclutha track proved no helping hand for home town champion Madison Latta (Husqvarna) racing in the very competitive MX2 class at the Fox NZ Motocross champions held in Balclutha on Saturday February1,2020.

“I had a good start in race one and was working up from 10th place by the third lap when on a wide corner the very soft berms washed my front out and it bit hard.”

The crash highsided Latta throwing him off the track into a nearby puddle while his bike cartwheeled over top of him before landing on his back.

Raising from the mud Madison quickly remounted and carried on to finish 16th in the 30 strong field.

“Race two was no better as I ran into the back of another rider at the first corner and went down,”

Again he put in a good charge and clawed his way back up to finish 12th.

Race three on the heavily rutted track was held in trying dusty conditions and saw Mr Latta achieve another 12th placing.

“It was very good racing out there today, although the track was very rough and rutted but it was also very technical,

“I was absolutely shattered by the last race, the conditions made the 20 minute races very tiring, I kept wondering when it would finish as it was a lot longer and harder than my recent super cross races.

“The club had done a really good job setting up the track, so I settled down and just rode my own race, while dad (David Latta) urged me on from the sidelines,” he said.

The MX2 class saw three different winners on the day: R1 Josiah Natzke, R2 James Scott and R3 Caleb Ward, but the overall point leader by the end of the day was Josiah Natzke, whose consistency in gaining podium finishes meat he leads into the next round with a slender six point lead over Scott and Maximus Purvis.

An outstanding three wins in a row by current New Zealand MX1 champion Cody Cooper stamped his authority on the premier MX1 class.

The Mount Maunganui Honda rider had been a big ‘if’ on Friday after struggling at the recent New Zealand Motocross Grand Prix at Woodville due to a back injury.

“It felt a lot better on Friday so I had a plan and went for it,” he said.

The three wins were a master class by the current champion who easily kept aussie champion Kirk Gibbs (Yamaha), Kiwi’s Hamish Harwood (KTM) and Ethan Martens (KAW) at bay throughout each of the three MX1 races.

Mr Gibbs (2-2-3) said it was a tough day racing on the South Otago Motorcycle Club’s Riverside Reserve course.

“The track was very tough and technical, Cody was racing well, now I have to to go home and work on what I need to change before the next round at Rotorua in three weeks.”

Hamish Harwood (3-3-2) said he enjoyed the close racing in all three races as he battled Gibbs for position and points.

“The powder berms on the track were just crazy.

“The last race was hard, I was closely following Gibbs for most of the race but we were caught in up a corner sandwich with a back marker which held Kirk up allowing me through into second,” he said.