Although muddy conditions saw the performances of the PWR Yamaha team’s three riders slip slightly at the final New Zealand Endurance Championship round yesterday, they still finished amongst the top seven overall.
The team’s youngest member Wil Yeoman (17) finished the highest up the pack in 3rd outright for the series after the Martinborough-based tests and won his E2 class.
Taupo’s Yeoman says he started off strongly, placing 2nd and 1st in yesterday’s opening terrain tests.
“After an error in the third test, my time was way off, then test 4 also wasn’t a reflection of how I felt. I ended up 8th overall for the day.”
Yeoman was pleased to hold onto a championship podium finish and enjoyed riding the Yamaha YZ250FX to prepare for competing in the 2022 International Six-Day Enduro (ISDE) World Team Enduro Championship in southern France.
“Changing from the 2 stroke Yamaha that I rode in the recent national cross country series, to a 4 stroke for the enduro rounds, I felt comfortable by the end of yesterday’s riding. The bike reliably handled the challenging conditions of all three rounds,” Yeoman says.
The enduro championship’s condensed format, combined with an additional two days of training with PWR Team Manager Paul Whibley, has given Yeoman a solid foundation to build from for the six-day event in August.
“I am excited to represent New Zealand in the Junior Team and I’m grateful to Yamaha for the support they are giving me to make this opportunity happen,” he says.
Whibley says: “I’m really impressed by Wil’s results and I’m looking forward to seeing him tackle the six-day enduro in France.”
Whanganui-based PWR rider Seth Reardon was the team’s top finisher yesterday, coming in fifth overall for the round and second in his E2 class after 160km of riding.
“The track was mainly in farmland and it had been raining all week beforehand, so it was very muddy. I struggled to find a groove early in the day, but was able to put a good pace on and get my flow back to win the last terrain test.”
Riding the same model Yamaha (YZ250FX) as his teammate Yeoman, Reardon’s points tally gave him 3rd in class and 7th overall for the championship.
He will also travel to the ISDE and has been elevated from the reserve bench to the New Zealand Trophy Team, after Christchurch's Hamish Macdonald, who is based in Europe and racing the enduro world championships, was recently sidelined with injury.
Returning to racing after a break, Whibley says he had a “rough day” at the Martinborough round.
Manawatu's former United States cross-country champion tangled with a rider on test 1 and went down.
“I struggled to find a good flow and although I felt good later in the day, all the tests were run early on. But overall I was happy to be back on the bike and having fun,” Whibley says.
He demonstrated he is still a force to be reckoned with, winning his vet class and finishing 5th overall for the series.
PWR’s fourth rider Tommy Watts had Covid-19, so was not able to race any of the enduro rounds. He will join Yeoman in the New Zealand Junior Team for the ISDE.
The PWR Yamaha team’s focus now turns to training for the four-round Moto SR GNCC series, which runs from August to November.