Australian rider rings the warning bells

Australian rider rings the warning bells

RIGHT: Australian rising star Mason Semmens (CML KTM), in outstanding form at Taupo’s annual MX Fest motocross extravaganza at the weekend. Photo by Andy McGechan,

OCTOBER 23, 2017: KTM rider Mason Semmens certainly rang a few warning bells when he dominated three separate categories on debut at Labour Weekend’s annual MX Fest motocross in Taupo.

The 16-year-old from Melbourne was almost untouchable during Saturday’s junior programme, comfortably winning both the 15-16 years’ 125cc class and the 14-16 years’ 250cc class as well, before going on to complete the sweep of wins by also claiming victory in the Trent Haywood Memorial junior feature race at day’s end.

Brought to New Zealand as a guest rider for the Karl Brabant-managed CML KTM team, Semmens made the most of his first visit to the Taupo circuit, also rolling to the start line with his 125cc KTM for the senior race action the following day.

Once again he came out on top, leading a KTM 1-2-3 to the senior 125cc podium as he edged out talented Kiwis Riley Campbell (of Bulls) and James Scott (Oparau).

And the New Zealanders had better get used to seeing Semmens at the sharp end of racing here this summer too, with the likeable young Australian booked in to race again for the CML KTM outfit at Whakatane’s Summercross just after Christmas, followed by the New Zealand Motocross Grand Prix at Woodville in late January and then also the four-round New Zealand senior nationals in February and March.

Semmens is already a national champion this year, having won the 125cc 15 years and over title in Australia earlier this season.

He will spend three months in New Zealand to compete at the big annual Whakatane Summercross just after Christmas and then the annual New Zealand Motocross Grand Prix at Woodville in late January. He will race both the 125cc and MX2 classes for CML KTM in the four-round nationals that follow in February and March.

“I will be working as an apprentice builder alongside (Takapuna-based Takaka-bred defending New Zealand MX2 champion) Hamish Harwood in Auckland and, of course, we’ll be team-mates at the motocross events.

“I’m really looking forward to that.”

The dynamics in the CML KTM team could be very interesting indeed, with Harwood the national champion in 2016 and 2017 and now Semmens showing at the weekend that he’s extremely capable of snatching that title away.

Words and photo by Andy McGechan