Enduro

Merriman blitzes NSW Enduro Champs in Dungog

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The two rounds of the NSW Enduro Championships were held in Dungog last weekend. Dungog Motorcycle Club put on an excellent event, with more than 200km of challenging trail, three special tests and a final motocross event at held at the Dungog Showgrounds.

The Forest 300, as it is known, draws a good mix of junior and seniors off road racers who compete in Clubman, Expert and Pro class categories.

The first round on Saturday consisted of two laps of the special tests and a difficult bush loop where competitors race against the clock to complete the timed sections within the allocated time. The first timed Special stage at Robs‰Ûª Cross Test, saw competitors race a 7km special on an off-cambered steep, grassy paddock. Four time World Enduro Champion, Stefan Merriman from Nelson Bay (NSW), took an early lead over Geoff Braico.

This was then consolidated with fast times in Charlies‰Ûª grass track motocross special test, on a private property near Chichester Dam. Merriman then went on to win the final stage a difficult, dusty Enduro test in dense forest, known as Peacock‰Ûªs Revenge.

After completing the timed sections, the riders parked their bikes at the Parc Ferme and waited to be marshalled for their final motocross heats on a custom built track at the stadium. Merriman sealed his Day One Outright victory with a 2-1 finish, a total of 30 seconds ahead of Geoff Braico (Husaberg). Merriman‰Ûªs Ballard Wellard Yamaha team mate, Josh Ballard rounded out the podium in third.

Day 2 proved a little more difficult for most riders as the track got cut up by the bikes and dry dusty conditions prevailed. Merriman bettered his times on the previous day, however Braico suffered a big crash in Peacock‰Ûªs Revenge Enduro Test and was forced to withdraw with an ankle injury.

Central Coast KTM rider, Jason Davis stepped up the competition and challenged Merriman in the grass track motocross tests. However Merriman got away with another 30 sec victory, proving too strong in the technical enduro tests.

About the race, Merriman said ‰ÛÏDungog MCC made an excellent job of this event. It was a great combination of special tests and trail riding that could be enjoyed by riders of all levels. The Dungog club always put such a big effort into ensuring the track is well marked and safe, which makes a good basis for competition. It is definitely one of the best organised events in the off road racing calendar.‰Û

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