Motocross

Damien King ready to take on Australians

Author: Andy McGechan

Posted:

Damien King in flight. Photo: Andy McGechan
There may be added weight of responsibility heaped on the shoulders of Yamaha man Damien King, but he reckons he's up to it. The 29-year-old Subway Yamaha rider from Cambridge crosses the Tasman next weekend (November 12-13) to represent his country in the annual Oceania Motocross Championships event at Barrabool, near Geelong, in Victoria. The plane trip not only means a change of terrain but a change of bike and team too. He has accepted the offer of a Craig Dack Yamaha machine for the event, dubbed the "Bledisloe Cup of Motocross", and will step up in engine capacity to ride a YZF450 rather than the 250cc version he's been campaigning all season. Added pressure comes also in the knowledge that King is now one of few "name" riders in the New Zealand squad following the sudden withdrawal of Honda stars Shayne King (Damien's elder brother), Cody Cooper and Peter Broxholme and Suzuki ace Luke Burkhart. Aside from GP star Josh Coppins, just back from a sparkling MX1 season in Europe, Damien King is the only really recognised top-five Kiwi in the team. "Even without the big names, I think we'll still do well," said King. "There is so much depth of talent in New Zealand motorcycling that I'm sure the fresh guys called in will do okay too. "I'm really looking forward to the meeting. My fitness is good. I rode a 450 at the big Taupo motocross a few weeks back and did very well there," he said, classically understating just how well ... he won the day's big feature race. "I'm looking forward to riding the Dack bike (identical to the one campaigned in Australia with great success this season by his eldest brother, Darryll). My fitness is really good and my results at Taupo have given me a big boost so I can't wait. It will be interesting to ride alongside Josh (Coppins) but I don't think many will be able to match him. He is, afterall, the world No.2. "I'm confident Team New Zealand can come away with the win."

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