Motocross

New Zealand National championships hard to predict

Author: Andy McGechan

Posted:

The 2007 New Zealand Motocross Championships are just over a week away and it is likely to be one of the most fiercely fought series in years. Reigning national 500cc and 250cc champion Darryll King (Yamaha) is sidelined with injury, leaving the way clear for his rivals to take advantage and put their names on the trophies, but that doesn‰Ûªt make predictions any easier. A new class structure is in place this season with 250cc four-strokes now thrown in with the 250cc two-strokes and that adds to the uncertainty. The old 125cc class has now been reserved solely for the 125cc two-stroke bikes, while the 500cc class is still likely to be dominated by the 450cc four-stroke machines. The four-round series kicks off at Pleasant Point, near Timaru, on September 29-30 with rounds to follow in Rotorua (October 13-14) and Hawke‰Ûªs Bay (November 10-11) and it finally wraps up in New Plymouth on November 17-18. With the new class structure, Cambridge‰Ûªs Damien King will not be able to defend his 125cc title on the same 250cc four-stroke bike he raced last year and he will now race a two-stroke Yamaha YZ125 in the 125cc class and a Yamaha YZ250 in the combined four-stroke and two-stroke 250cc class. However, even with one of the current champions sidelined and another opting to change classes, it could still be a member of the King family who takes the limelight this season. Either Damien will show he‰Ûªs just as good on a two-stroke as he is on a four-stroke bike, or elder brother Shayne King -- the 500cc world champion in 1996 -- could equally ensure a King name is again etched onto the silverware. ‰ÛÏI have many more demands on my time now because of my business, so I don‰Ûªt think I‰Ûªll be as strong as I‰Ûªd like,‰Û

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