2022 New Zealand Enduro Championships

CAPTION: Cambridge’s Dylan Yearbury (right) and Taupo’s Wil Yeoman (background), two of the main protagonists in this season’s New Zealand Enduro Championships series. Photo by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ.com

It was red-hot and rapid-fire at the same time … the three-round 2022 New Zealand Enduro Championships series took just eight days to complete, but still there was so much packed into it.

It started with a double-header, rounds one and two staged over the long Queen’s Birthday Weekend, and the third and final round was held just one week later, near Martinborough on Sunday, but it for lacked nothing in terms of validity, intensity and sheer energy.

Stand-out rider again this year was the defending national enduro champion from 2021, Cambridge’s Dylan Yearbury, and, after winning the first two rounds of this year’s Yamaha-sponsored series outright, he was the obvious favourite to win again at Martinborough on Sunday.

He didn’t quite manage that, instead forced to settle for fourth overall for the day on Sunday, but that was still easily enough for him to secure back-to-back national enduro title victories, an ideal result for the man who will shortly head overseas, along with some of his domestic rivals, to contest the 2022 edition of the International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) in France.

Yearbury – along with Helensville’s Tom Buxton, Howick’s Liam Draper, Whanganui’s Seth Reardon, Oparau’s James Scott, Wairoa’s Tommy Watts, Taupo’s Wil Yeoman, Rangiora’s Ben Dando, Oratia’s Callan May, Waitoki’s Ben Cottrill, Helensville’s Josh Jack, Queenstown’s Dan Watson and Levin’s Dan Walker – will no doubt represent New Zealand with distinction at the ISDE in late August and early September.

Such has been the intensity of this season’s compressed enduro nationals that these riders should surely head to Europe in a confident mood, assured that their preparations have truly been exhaustive.

In addition to racing the New Zealand Enduro Championships, these riders have recently taken part in separate ISDE training sessions in Tokoroa and Taikorea (near Palmerston North), as well as competing as individuals in other high-profile competitions over the past few months.

Yearbury won both days of the enduro nationals over Queen’s Birthday weekend, finishing ahead of Palmerston North’s Paul Whibley and Taupo’s Brad Groombridge at round one near Whanganui and then edging out Yeoman and Jack at round two near Porirua.

At Martinborough on Sunday, South Waikato’s James Scott made his first appearance in the series and dominated the day’s proceedings, winning the event outright ahead of relative enduro rookie Josh Jack and Bay of Plenty’s Brad Groombridge, a man returning from injury who had twice previously been the national enduro champion, back in 2016 and again in 2018.

Overall for the series, Jack finished runner-up for 2022 (behind Yearbury), with Yeoman third overall, while Groombridge and Whibley rounded out the top five.

In terms of individual class honours, Yearbury won the over-300cc two-stroke class title this season; Whibley won the veterans’, over-40 years, class; Yeoman won the under-300cc four-stroke class; New Plymouth’s Sam Parker won the under-200cc two-stroke class and Omihi’s Ethan McBreen won the over-300cc four-stroke class.

The 2022 Yamaha NZ Enduro Championships are supported by Mitas tyres Macaulay Metals, Best Build Construction, Silver-bullet and Kiwi Rider magazine.

2022 NZ Enduro Champs calendar:

Round 1 – Saturday, June 4 – Whanganui;

Round 2 – Queen’s Birthday Monday, June 6 – Porirua;

Round 3 – Sunday, June 12 – Martinborough.

Credit: Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com