2022 Yamaha Extreme Off-Road Championships

CAPTION: Taupo’s Wil Yeoman (Yamaha), sure to be a contender for the win at Whangamata this weekend. Photo by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ.com

The New Zealand Extreme Off-Road Championship series is set to heat up as a number of Kiwi internationals arrive home in time to make their mark at round two of the competition.

The individuals who were non-starters at round one of the Yamaha-sponsored four-round series, because they were instead competing at the International Six Days Enduro in France at the start of this month, will definitely have a bit of work to do.

This includes riders such as Taupo’s Wil Yeoman, Oparau’s James Scott, Wairoa’s Tommy Watts and Helensville’s Josh Jack, to name a few, and they will each be determined to catch up lost ground.

However, aside from these men, it will also be the rest of the country’s elite dirt bikers too, including the winner of round one of the extreme series, Wainuiomata’s Jake Whitaker, who can be expected to dig deep at round two near Whangamata this weekend in a bid to stake their claim on the coveted crown.

Whitaker will be furiously trying to defend his position after his impressive win at round one of the extreme series near Porirua three weeks ago and he knows that won’t be easy, with his main rivals that day, New Plymouth’s Tony Parker and Inglewood’s Luke Thompson, also sure to apply pressure again.

The venue for Saturday’s racing is the Taungatara Forest, not far from Whangamata.

Motorcycling New Zealand enduro commissioner Justin Stevenson said the course at Whangamata would be a tough challenge.

“The Thames Valley club always sets a challenging and fun course with good options for all levels of rider from intermediate up, so this event should be an absolute blast,” he said.

“It will be interesting to see if Jake Whitaker can keep winning.

“Cambridge’s Dylan Yearbury and Jake Whitaker have been swapping overall wins since the extreme series started in 2018. Dylan won in 2018 and 2020. Jake won in 2019 and 2021. With Dylan away at the moment, this might be the chance for Jake to break the trend.”

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

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