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Lamont wins the 2018 Woodville MX GP Crown

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The big annual Honda New Zealand Motocross Grand Prix at Woodville is the premier event on the Kiwi motorcycling calendar and this year’s 57th edition was even bigger.

 

Again it was a case of champions galore at this year’s edition of the popular stand-alone event, but also this year it was also accorded FIM Oceania status, meaning that points scored by Australian competitors and their Kiwi opposite numbers were counted towards the battle-within-a-battle for FIM Oceania Challenge honours.

 

New Zealand won the FIM Oceania Challenge, 886 points to 829, but, when it was all boiled down, it was Hamilton’s Kayne Lamont (Yamaha) who took the most prestigious silverware, the Yamaha rider clinching the all-important Senior Feature Race trophy at the Honda-sponsored event, to be crowned the Woodville GP champion for 2018.

 

Mount Maunganui’s Cody Cooper (Honda) won the MX1 class overall; Taupo’s Wyatt Chase (KTM) won the MX2 class; Mangakino’s Maximus Purvis (Yamaha) won the 125cc class; Whakatane’s Darren Capill (Yamaha) won the veterans’ class; Melbourne visitor Maddy Brown (Yamaha) won the women’s class and Hamilton’s Chris Power (Honda) won the river race class.

 

However, Lamont’s winning of the all-capacities feature race was where all the main focus went.

 

It was Lamont’s first time winning the prestigious Woodville Grand Prix title, but it was also significant in that it meant a Kiwi had won the main trophy after a three-year drought for the New Zealanders – Cooper won it in 2014, but it was Queensland’s Kirk Gibbs who took it in 2015 and fellow Australian Dean Ferris who had won the crown back-to-back, in 2016 and again last year.

 

“I wasn’t even thinking about the significance of winning this race … I was simply concentrating on not making mistakes,” said the 24-year-old Lamont

Lamont had qualified fastest – indicating he’d be a serious contender this year – and he was leading the first of Sunday’s three MX1 class races when he crashed and handed the win to Cooper.

 

“I actually crashed three times in that race,” Lamont explained.

 

“The bike took ages to get going after I crashed and then I crashed twice more trying to catch up. I simply salvaged what I could from that,” Lamont said, eventually settling for 15th place at the chequered flag.

 

Lamont finished fourth and fifth in the next two MX1 races, but his performance in the feature race would be the key one for the record books.

 

During the previous day’s junior racing, it was the turn for the Australian contingent to shine.

 

Melbourne’s Bailey Malkiewicz (Yamaha) won the 14-16 years’ 250cc class; Melbourne’s Mason Semmens (KTM) won the 15-16 years’ 125cc class; Tauranga’s Brodie Connolly (KTM) won the 12-14 years’ 125cc class; Australian Brad West (Kawasaki) won the 13-16 years’ 85cc class; Pukekawa’s Tyler Brown (KTM) won the 11-12 years’ 85cc class and Christchurch’s Kobe Thoms (KTM) won the 8-10 years’ 85cc class.

 

New Plymouth’s Mitch Rowe (Kawasaki) won what was a new addition to the programme this year, the vintage MX bike class.

 

Credit: Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com

 

 

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