Hat-Trick of Wins a Huge Boost For Walsh

Hat-Trick of Wins a Huge Boost For Walsh

RIGHT: Christchurch's Dylan Walsh (Altherm JCR Yamaha YZ250F), in a confident mood as he now heads to Taupo for the final round of the nationals. Photo by Andy McGechan,

MARCH 14, 2017: A spectacular winning streak at the weekend has enabled Canterbury's Dylan Walsh to close to within strike range of winning this season's national 250cc motocross championships.

The Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing Team rider from Christchurch took his YZ250F to score a hat-trick of wins in the MX2 (250cc) class at the third round of four in this year's New Zealand Motocross Championships in Manawatu on Sunday, boosting him to within just 11 points of catching championship leader and defending champion Hamish Harwood, with just one round remaining in the series.

Fellow South Islander Harwood had been 20 points ahead of Walsh at the start of Sunday's racing, but Walsh's run of victories on Sunday has dramatically closed the gap.

"I holeshot two of my three races today and scored three wins ... I couldn't have gone much better actually," said Walsh afterwards.

"Anything could still happen at the final round and so I've just got to keep riding smart and, hopefully, keep the pressure on Hamish (Harwood).

"I have confidence in my own ability and I'm really looking forward to racing the final round at Taupo."

Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing Team boss Josh Coppins was all smiles as his crew packed up the pit area on Sunday afternoon.

"Dylan showed today what he is capable of and (although he's still 11 points behind with one round to go) it's not over yet.

"He put the Yamaha YZ250F four-stroke right up there with the two-strokes of the other leading riders and he's shown that this bike is a winner. The rules here allow for two-strokes to line up against the four-strokes and I fully understand why some teams want to exploit that, but Dylan overcame that today."

Currently third overall in the MX2 class standings is Walsh's Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing team-mate Ethan Martens.

Waitakere's Martens finished 5-8-4 in the three MX2 class races on Sunday and he is 44 points adrift of Walsh.

The team's leading MX1 class rider, Australian Dean Ferris, won the MX1 class on Sunday and he now leads that title chase, one point ahead of Mount Maunganui's defending national champion Cody Cooper.

Meanwhile, Ferris' team-mate in the MX1 class, Mangakino's Kayne Lamont, has moved up from seventh to sixth in the class rankings.

The fourth and final round of the series is set for the Digger McEwen Motocross Park in Taupo on March 25.

The Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing team is supported by Altherm Window Systems, Yamaha, JCR, CRC, Ados, GYTR, Yamalube, Fox Racing, Hollands Collision Centre, Star Moving, Ward Demolition, Fulton Hogan, Pirelli, FMF, DID, NGK, Matrix, Renthal, Motomuck,, Motoseat, Hammerhead, SKF, Vertex Pistons, Rtech Plastics, Etnies, Biketranz and Fulton Hogan.

Words and photo by Andy McGechan,