Time might be right to claim another title

Time might be right to claim another title

RIGHT: Oparau's James Scott (KTM125), in outstanding form at the Auckland Motocross Championships at the weekend. Photo by Andy McGechan,

NOVEMBER 20, 2017: Oparau's James Scott is not a greedy person, but he does feel the time might be right for him to claim another national motocross title.

The 16-year-old won the New Zealand junior 13-16 years' 85cc class crown in April last year and since then he has been steadily building strength and form as he prepares now for the senior nationals early next year.

Scott dominated racing on both days of the annual Auckland Motocross Championships at Tuakau at the weekend, winning the 15-16 years' 125cc class during junior racing on Saturday and then stepping up to dominate again the following day, this time in the senior 125cc class.

He edged out Wairoa's Tommy Watts to win the junior class on Saturday and overshadowed visiting Australian rider Mason Semmens and Mangakino's fellow international star Maximus Purvis to take the senior glory on Sunday.

"It's really good to know that I can run with Max (Purvis) and now even beat him. He was always the favourite to win this class, but I guess today was my day," said Scott.

Scott won the first two senior 125cc races on Sunday, finishing ahead of Purvis both times, but he couldn't quite make it a hat-trick, with 16-year-old Melbourne KTM rider Semmens nipping in to steal his thunder by winning the final 125cc race of the day.

"I just couldn't find a way past Mason," Scott explained.

"I have been getting great coaching from (Kiwi former world motocross champion) Ben Townley over the past 12 months and that's been awesome," said Scott.

A first-timer at the Tuakau circuit, Semmens got better as the day wore on and he learned the track and he will obviously be a contender when he returns to tackle the 2018 New Zealand Motocross Championships in the New Year.

Meanwhile, an outstanding performance from Taupo's Wyatt Chase handed KTM a second senior class win at the Auckland event, the 18-year-old dominating the MX2 (250cc) class with a hat-trick of wins to easily out-point dual-class rider Semmens.

Both Scott and Chase have been on fire lately – the two young men also won their respective 125cc and MX2 classes at the recent Waikato Motocross Championships near Te Kuiti two weeks ago.

Mount Maunganui's Cody Cooper took his 450cc Honda to dominate the MX1 class, while KTM pair Blake Gillard and Hamish Harwood (on a 300cc two-stroke KTM) finished the day second and third overall respectively in that class.

Beachlands rider Gillard finished 4-3-2 in his three MX1 class outings, while Takapuna's Harwood produced a 5-2-3 score-card over the three MX1 races.

All these riders now look ahead to racing the big annual Summercross event at Whakatane, just after Christmas, followed by the New Zealand Motocross Grand Prix at Woodville in late January, with the four-round national championships set to kick off in Taranaki in February.

Words and photo by Andy McGechan