Whanganui rider and defending New Zealand Enduro champion Seth Reardon has finished third in the shortened 2020 version wrapped up in the Santoft Forest near Bulls on Sunday.
Reardon battled hard on his Yamaha YZ250FX to win his AA E1 class and finish third overall, behind former champion Dylan Yearbury in second with current 125cc Youth Enduro world champion Hamish Macdonald from Christchurch claiming top honours.
Macdonald would normally be racing overseas but due to Covid-19 competed on home soil instead.
Despite the best efforts of Reardon and Yearbury, Macdonald claimed his maiden New Zealand title.
Reardon described the conditions as a "tough two days riding on mainly tight sandy pine tree trails which roughed up a lot by Sunday".
He was disappointed not to get the result he wanted, especially after a promising first two rounds where he placed third in Masterton and first in Martinborough over the two consecutive days of racing in mid-June.
"Both days this past weekend, I made a few mistakes, which cost me some time but I managed to place second in class both days. I got a podium finish overall for the series giving me 3NZ and first in my class," Reardon said.
Reardon is part of the strong PWR Yamaha racing team and Yamaha New Zealand Motorsport Manager Josh Coppins was on hand to witness the Manawatu-based final rounds.
"We had great Yamaha representation and the highlight was our clean sweep of the under 300 class. We had Seth winning his class, online motorcycle magazine Kiwi Rider's test rider James Scott second on the Yamaha YZ125X he rode as a one-off and Wil Yeoman (15-years-old) in third," Coppins says.
An ex-international motocross GP legend, Coppins was happy to see the enduro riders competing again.
"The motorbike racing world will be quite envious because not many international championships are continuing at the moment, so to have the level of riders that we did back here in New Zealand and to be able to run was great," Coppins adds.
The PWR Yamaha team is waiting to see what the cross country nationals may look like if they get rescheduled. In the meantime, the riders have a few more events on the calendar.
"We are contesting the NZ GNCC series, where Seth won the first round. The Dirt Guide series, where I won the first round, has two more rounds to go and the three-round Motomuck Woodhill Series starts this weekend in Auckland. We also have the Hard Enduro Series starting soon, where the team will contest selected rounds, so the remainder of 2020 is going to be busy," Whibley said.