Hawke's Bay motorcycle racer Bryn Codd rang a few warning bells at the weekend.
The Yamaha rider had not contested the first two rounds of the Dirt Guide Cross-country Series but he certainly showed up ready for battle at the third and final round in forestry near Tokoroa on Sunday, moving through the field to eventually win the 90-minute junior race by more than a minute from fellow Yamaha star Wil Yeoman.
Sunday's racing also doubled as the first round of six in the parallel-but-separate Yamaha NZXC Series and so, although his non-participation at rounds one and two of the Dirt Guide Series meant Codd, who rides a Yamaha YZ125 could not hope to win that competition outright, it was obviously the perfect start to his NZXC campaign.
The 15-year-old Codd, a Year 11 pupil at Napier Boys' High School, said Sunday's racing was "extremely challenging."
"I was about third out of turn one and took over the lead about halfway through the first lap.
"It was very slippery and I got a bit loose at times, my goggles fogged up and I bashed both my shoulders into trees during the race," he said, revealing dark bruises on his upper arms," said Codd.
"My aim is to win the Yamaha NZXC Series and this is the perfect start for me. I missed this series last year, but I rode an 85cc bike in 2016, winning the first four rounds before I switched to the 125cc bike.
"Because I changed classes halfway through, it meant I couldn't really win the series overall, but I did still manage to finish 85cc class runner-up.
"I think I rode pretty average today actually," he said.
"I made too many mistakes and dropped the bike, but I was far enough in front that I lost sight of the riders chasing me."
Fellow Yamaha YZ125 rider Yeoman of Taupo had won the junior races at both the previous rounds of the Dirt Guide Series and his runner-up finish on Sunday meant he comfortably wrapped up the overall series' trophy for the juniors.
Another Yamaha YZ125 rider, Ararimu's Richard Sutton, clinched the senior trophy for the Dirt Guide Series with another solid performance on Sunday, finishing the day third overall, behind Titirangi's Callan May on a Yamaha YZ240FX and Wainuiomata's Jake Whitaker on a KTM300XC.
Sutton had finished fourth overall at round one of the Dirt Guide Series in May and then runner-up at round two last month, his consistency throughout the series giving him the outright win.
All of these riders will tackle the rest of the Yamaha NZXC Series.
It continues at Taikorea, near Palmerston North, on August 5, the Woodhill Forest on September 2, Matata on October 13, then Woodhill again on November 10 before finishing at Waimiha on December 8.