Mokau's Adrian Smith (Yamaha YZ250X), perhaps the main threat now to series leader Angus Macdonald.

Mokau's Smith Sets Focus On Christchurch

3 May 2017

Adrian Smith has his hands full running his sheep and beef farm near Mokau, but the multi-time former national cross-country and enduro champion still manages to find time to race his dirt bike.

His love of the sport is undying, although the 31-year-old confesses that, for work reasons, it has become tougher with each passing season for him to travel too far from his North Taranaki/King Country base.

So the Yamaha rider reckons his trip south this weekend to race at the fourth round of six in this season's New Zealand Enduro Championships near Greta Valley, north of Christchurch, could be one of his last.

He stepped away from the sport for almost a year last season because of those work commitments, but it would be a foolish person indeed to count him out of the enduro championship chase.

He was a man on a mission at round three of the national enduro championships in the Akatarawa Forest, near Porirua, in March, finishing overall runner-up on the day and rocketing up the series standings.

His result at Porirua elevated him from fifth to second in the championship standings and, with the series only at the halfway stage, he must surely rate his chances of winning another title before he finally hangs up his helmet.

Christchurch's Angus Macdonald (Sherco) leads the enduro championships overall, his consistent podium finishes proving to be crucial, but momentum may be on Smith's side.

"It will be a mission to catch Angus," Smith acknowledges. "And this weekend we'll be on his turf too. But I have won at Greta Valley in the past and I like the terrain there.

"It's quite steep in places and generally has lots of farmland tests. It can be quite a fast course and I'm okay with that.

"I may not be as fit as I once was, but I won't be slow either and I can still push hard.

"Having a year off the sport meant I have dropped off the intensity a bit, but I still know how to get the job done and that's what I'll be planning on doing on Saturday."

Smith is a record four-time national cross-country champion – taking titles in 2006 and then three seasons consecutively, in 2012, 2013 and 2014 – and he won the New Zealand Enduro Championships outright in 2012.

With support from Yamaha-Motor New Zealand, Bike Torque,, MotoSR, Michelin, Workshop Graphics and O'Neal, Smith knows he and his Yamaha YZ250X two-stroke will at least be a contender on Saturday.

Words and photo by Andy McGechan,
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