Bad lucked dogged Whanganui rider James Rountree in his final test in national junior ranks at the New Zealand Motocross Championships near Foxton at the weekend.
Rountree was aiming for podium finishes in two classes in his final fling in the junior ranks and all was going well when he qualified fourth in both the 15-16 year 125cc and 14-16 year 250cc classes on what is colloquially known as Flipps track at Himatangi.
However, the teenager crashed in race one of his 125cc class damaging his ankle and ultimately ruling him out of contention for the rest of the championships. Rountree turns 17 in June, so moves up in grade for future competition.
With Rountree sidelined four new champions were crowned at the 2019 New Zealand Junior Motocross Championships.
Rongotea's Seth Henson, Manukau's Cobie Bourke and Tokanui's Mitchell Weir respectively repeated national title wins, Henson adding the 12-14 years' 125cc crown to the 11-12 years' 85cc title he won in 2017, Bourke successfully defending his 14-16 years' 85cc title and Weir adding the 12-13 years' 85cc title to the 8-11 years' 85cc title he won in 2016.
But for Pukekawa's Jack Dunlop, Tauranga's Madoc Dixon, Invercargill's Seth Morrow and Oropi's Levi Townley it was their first time on top of the podium at a New Zealand Junior Motocross Championships event, although Morrow had previously been a mini motocross champion.
Dunlop was in sensational form in claiming the premier 14-16 years' 250cc title, winning five of his seven races over the weekend, clinching that trophy ahead of Otautau's Jack Treloar and Dunedin's Grason Veitch, while Dixon had more of a battle on his hands in the 15-16 years' 125cc class, local hero Luka Freemantle giving him plenty to think about before he eventually won the title by just two points from the Palmerston North teenager.
Morrow, only recently recovered from injury, won four of his seven races in the 8-11 years' 85cc class, winning the title by 11 points from Hamilton's Jack Coleman.
Townley showed consistency counts as he finished no worse than sixth all weekend and took the new 8-11 years' 65cc title by 15 points from Auckland's Jack Ellingham, who rose up from fourth after day one to capture the runner-up spot. This class was a support class only last season, but now elevated to full championship status in 2019.
Troy Bullock was the best of the Whanganui riders finishing 10th overall in the 14-16 85cc championship class, while Ajah Sullivan was 5th overall in the girls support class.
Chase Williamson, 12th in the 8-11 85cc class, Alex luff Scott, 24th 14-16 250cc class and Finn Lennox, 11th in the 8-11 pro 65cc class, rounded out the Whanganui performances.