MX Nationals - a point of view

Posted: Mon 24 Nov 2003

Following the completion of the \'03 MX nationals I thought I\'d offer my opinion.....because I can!

Cody Cooper has a huge future ahead of him. He\'s only 18 but sustained genuine championship deciding pressure in race 3 at Pukukohe (final round), from none other than Darryll King, to win the National 125 Championship. Added into the mix in 3rd was a Daryl Hurley - our very own AMA professional rider who finished as high as 7th at Budds Creek in arguably the toughest motocross championship in the world. OK D.H. was recovering from surgery but Cooper surely has a future ahead of him that will see him following the trial blazing steps of the King brothers, Coppins & Townley. NZ\'s motocross future reamins bright.

Sorry Shayne but the \'250\' class this year just didn\'t have the calibre of the \'125\' or \'open\' class. Apart from Mark Penny winning one brilliant race in appalling Huntly conditions (round 3) it was a Shayne King cake walk.

The open class however was a true competition - and those who race in Oz certainly proved the advantage that experience provides. Darryll, Damien and Shayne King had some good tussles, usually with Shayne or Darryll winning but Damien too picked up a win in the final round. Corrie Sargent too did a good job of at least getting very close to the winning lap times coming home in 4th in the championship, Damien 3rd, DK 2nd and Shayne proving his brilliant class by taking the title. It\'s not going to last forever - so if you haven\'t taken the time to get out and watch the King brothers ply their trade at a motox event near you do so - you\'ll regret not taking the chance to watch some of the best riders in the world riding on our doorstep. We don\'t get the opporunity to see Slight (and others) race anymore, but these guys are still out there, and in NZ, not some far off track in Spain!

A footnote - did anybody else notice Daniel Marshall? Back in 1994 he was beating the afore metnioned Kings at a race in Taupo at only 18. He then secured a factory support Suzuki contract to race in the World 250 Championships. On training in Europe before the championship begain he destroyed his knee, and a young Josh Coppins got his bike. Having not ridden since then until the start of this year, he bought a bike, turned up to the nationals to see if he could still foot it. By round 3 he was 5th overall, but a heavy crash fractured his arm and tore a tendon. Still injured, he rode through significant pain in the final round to secure the number 5 plate in the open class. Stay tuned - back to full fitness and off to Oz to compete in the Oz vz NZ competition in December, this guy may well be back up challenging the Kings next year.