It is going to take a lot more than one little set-back to derail Adam Reeves’ national enduro championship campaign.
The three-time New Zealand Cross-country Champion entered round two of the parallel Yamaha New Zealand Enduro Championships in Northland at the weekend as one of the race favourites.
The 29-year-old Yamaha ace had kicked off this year’s New Zealand Enduro Championships near Kawhia at the beginning of last month with a solid third-place finish.
He then backed that up by winning the opening round of the New Zealand Cross-country Championships near Pahiatua just two weeks later, setting himself up to defend his 2011 crown and hopefully make it a fourth consecutive national cross-country crown.
Reeves (Yamaha YZ450F) felt confident ahead of the weekend’s big enduro but a combination of bad weather and bad luck kept him off the podium.
Whangamata’s Jason Davis won the day in Northland, while Reeves admitted he had experienced a “nightmare weekend”.
After a slow start to the day, the Davis turned up the pace to overtake early race leader Damon Nield, of Hokianga, and win the day outright.
Nield finished runner-up, with his elder brother Mitchell Nield taking third spot and Yamaha’s Adrian Smith, of Mokau, claiming fourth spot overall.
But Davis still has a lot of work ahead in the five-round series after a disastrous start to his campaign when snapped handlebars forced him out of the running at the opening round near Kawhia and this means all is not lost for Reeves, who had to settle for an unaccustomed ninth overall on Sunday.
Round one winner Rory Mead (Yamaha YZ450F), of Wellington, was a notable absentee on Sunday, with overseas racing commitments keeping him away.
Though clearly disappointed, dual-code hero Reeves remained philosophical.
“I had a bit of a nightmare really. But that sometimes happens in motorsport,” said Reeves.
“I crashed too many times. I just couldn’t stay upright. It was very tight and very slippery, not really the best place to be on a 450cc bike.
“After five hours in the saddle, I’m feeling very tired, but I still feel confident that I can make up ground at the rounds that follow.
“Hopefully this was my worst result of the series,” Reeves concluded.
The third round of the series is set for Whangamata on April 14, with rounds to follow at Waimiha, on May 5, and Taupo on July 21.
Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com