The brand new Yamaha YZ65 has not been on the market for very long, but the impact felt at the weekend's New Zealand Mini Motocross Championships near Porirua was massive.

It was a Yamaha 1-2-4 at the top of the premier 9-11 years’ 65cc class at the Moonshine track, in the Akatarawa Valley, about halfway between Lower Hutt and Porirua, and the results really don't come much better than that.

More than 160 riders entered this year's TSS Red Baron Motorcycles and Friday Homes-sponsored mini nationals and were greeted by an immaculately-prepared track at Moonshine, an ideal venue for the stars of the future to express themselves. 

Top rider for the weekend was Featherston's Teddy Shaw (Yamaha YZ65), who won the premier 9-11 years’ 65cc class after a weekend-long battle with Richmond's Wills Harvey (Yamaha YZ65), although several other riders in this class also featured with race wins to their credit, including Waipukurau's Jordan Coles, Taradale's Boston Scott and Pahiatua's Maz Parkes.

Harvey was just five points adrift of Shaw at the start of the weekend's final 9-11 years' race, but Shaw managed to stay ahead of Harvey throughout the seven-lap affair and the title was therefore settled in Shaw's favour.

Third overall in this class was Coles (KTM), who finished 24 points behind Harvey, while another rider on one of the new Yamaha YZ65 machines, Hastings youngster Charlie Schaw, finished just two points behind Coles to grab fourth overall for the championship.

"I just knew I needed to win or at least finish ahead of Wills Harvey in that last race," said Shaw, a year seven pupil at Martinborough School.

"I was just trying to not make any mistakes."

"It was frustrating for me when I lost so many points in the first race today (Sunday). I had a terrible start and managed to get back up to 11th at the end of the race," he said, that 11th placing the only time he didn't finish either first or second all weekend."

Shaw beat Harvey by seven points in the final analysis and, if the talented South Island rider had not crashed twice, both times while leading the way, in the first two 9-11 years’ 65cc class races on Saturday, their respective final rankings could so easily have been reversed.

"This is my first ever New Zealand title and actually the first time I've raced the nationals too," said Shaw.

"I've been racing since I was aged four but I'd been going a lot faster lately and just thought it was about time I did the nationals."

Other class winners Jacob Beattie (Pirongia, 7-8 years’ 65cc class); Maddox Swanson (Carterton, 6-8 years’ 50cc class); Levi McMaster (Christchurch, 4-7 years’ 50cc class); Harry Pluck (Cambridge, 6-8 years’ 50cc trail bike class); Paddy Parkes (Pahiatua, 4-5 years’ 50cc trail bike class); Luke Denby (Ashhurst, 7-11 years’ big trail bike class); William Pluck (Cambridge, 7-11 years’ small trail bike class).

Words and photo by Andy McGechan,

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