RIDERS can be expected to push it up to and beyond the limit in the Gisborne Motor Cycle Sports Club Pit Stop (Gisborne) East Coast Challenge beach races at Makorori tomorrow.
The senior open class on the 800-metre straights always produces some top racing.
Last year’s winner, Dylan MacGregor (Yamaha R1), will defend his title but Graham Wedlake (Aprilia SXV450cc) has had a good run this season and would love to see an end to the road bike dominance on the sand. First he will have to get past the wall of sand created by roadies Daniel Hanley (BMW K100), Warren Martin (Yamaha FZR1000) and Shaun Mitchell (Honda VFR1000).
The 0-500 class is new to the East Coast Challenge. Daniel Fogarty (Yamaha YZF450), Graham Wedlake and Jamie Hei (Suzuki RMZ450) are just a few of the riders hoping to take gold.
The ATV open class has been a real crowd-pleaser this season. Last year’s winner, Ian Newman (Honda TRX450), hopes that history will repeat itself (again). Newman will have to fight off a very determined Kieran Weallans (Suzuki LTR450), who came second last season and an even more determined Bannon Moore (Kawasaki KXF450), who settled for a hard-earned third last season.
Senior 0-250 adversaries, two-stroker Ashley Andrews (Kawasaki KX250) and four-stroker Bryan Miller (Kawasaki KXF250), have been going hammer and tongs all season. They will battle it out again for gold.
Classic British bike class rider Karl Armon, whose BSA 650 has been flying this season, will need to watch out for Scott McReady, who will be valve-bouncing his Triumph 750 to try to knock the BSA off the podium.
The women’s combined bike/ATV class will be out in force. Hawke’s Bay’s Jessica Wedlake (Yamaha YZF450) and local girl Dana Andrews (Kawasaki KX125) will again put on a great show, with some very close racing. Shelly Andrews (Polaris ATV) and Rory-Lee Mitchell (Honda CRF250) will also push hard for a podium finish.
Last season’s junior combined winner, double-classing Dana Andrews (Kawasaki KX85) will be back to defend her title. With top riders like Xavier Dalziel (Yamaha YZ85), who came second last season, and Taylah Mitchell (Honda CR85) in the field, it won’t be easy to take out this year’s East Coast Challenge.
The Mini 65 class will be another all-action event. Last year’s winner, Taylor Mitchell, has moved up a class so last year’s second-placegetter, Troy Andrews (Kawasaki KX65), will go all out for the top spot this year. But no one has asked Eithan Bruce (KTM65) and Oliver Aldridge (KTM65) if they agree to his plan.
In the trails class, Jacob Mogford (Kawasaki KLX110) is the only rider left from last season’s East Coast Challenge. He will hope that experience counts in this competitive class.
Swarming around the track in high numbers will be the Mini 50 class. All of the top three riders from last year’s East Coast Challenge have moved up a class so the door is wide open.
Logan Bruce (KTM50), Sophie Peach (KTM50) and Jeremy Brown (Hyosang 50) are only three of the riders wanting to be first through that door tomorrow to take out the East Coast Challenge.
It’s going to be fast. Sign-in is at 11.15am and racing starts at 12.15pm at Makorori Beach.