Mangakino's Maximus Purvis virtually had to lift himself out of his sickbed to race at the weekend, but you'd never have known that by watching him perform.
The 16-year-old Yamaha ace had been laid up in bed and vomiting on Friday and so it was natural that he'd skip Saturday's junior class racing at the big 56th annual New Zealand Motocross Grand Prix at Woodville.
But he was back in the saddle for senior racing the following day and turning on another title-winning performance.
"I had an upset tummy on Friday and was feeling pretty bad," he explained.
"I felt a lot better the next day but still was not 100 percent and so I didn't line up for the junior races."
But he wheeled his CNC Redline Racing Yamaha YZ125 to the start line for racing on Sunday and proceeded to win the first two of the day's three senior 125cc class races.
He crossed the line 5.7 seconds ahead of visiting Australian Mason Semmons in the first nine-lap race and was 3.6 seconds clear of Semmons in winning race two, which was actually a shorter five-lap "sprint" race.
"I was feeling a bit weak and I think the illness sapped a lot of energy, so I just cruised in the final race, knowing that third place would be good enough to wrap up the overall victory."
But Purvis' 1-1-3 score-line was easily enough to edge out Semmons, who ended the day 2-2-1, and Karaka’s Kurtis Lilly, who managed 3-3-2 results.
In addition, Purvis was awarded the Roddy Shirriffs Memorial Trophy as the highest-placed rider aged under 21 at the Woodville event.
The next major event for Purvis is the opening round of the senior New Zealand Motocross Championships, which kick off in Timaru this coming Sunday.
Three rounds in that series will follow – in Rotorua, Palmerston North and then Taupo – before Purvis crosses back into junior competition with the one-weekend New Zealand Junior Motocross Championships set for Taranaki on April 22-23.
Purvis had finished runner-up to fellow Yamaha rider Wyatt Chase, from Taupo, in the at the 15-16 years' 125cc class at the 2016 junior nationals in Hawke's Bay last April and, with Chase now racing overseas, Purvis will be heavily favoured to take the No.1 spot at the junior nationals this time around.
Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com