The lone American at this years FIM World Junior Championship proves to be the class of the field coming from a slow starts in both motos to collect a World Junior Championship to his already large number of titles.
From a poor start in moto 1 to be running 5th at the end of the first lap Eli Tomac confidently worked his way into the lead where he then proceeded to lay waste to the field for a 17 second winning margin.
The second moto was a vastly more difficult affair for Eli who rounded the first turn mired in the pack and completed the first lap in 9th place. He then put on a riding clinic and was up to 2nd place by lap 9. That second place was good enough for the title so Eli prudently took heed of his pit board in atrocious conditions and cruised to a well earned title behind rapid Australian Tye Simmonds who led from start to finish.
Kiwi Hamish Dobbyn ran strong all day for a well deserved 3rd overall – the first time a New Zealander has had a podium finish at the World Junior Champs.
85cc – The 85cc class was missing the fastest qualifier Dylan Ferrandis who injured a wrist in practice and was unable to compete. That being said, the racing was certainly exciting with Australian Jay Wilson picking up the title with 1/3 finishes. If Tomac did it tough in the 125 class then runner-up in the 85cc class did it even tougher coming from 13th at the end of the opening lap for a 5th place finish and then pretty much controlled the second moto for a close win over Michaboy de Waal of The Netherlands with class champion Wilson picking up 3rd which was good enough for the overall over Bernadini and Australian compatriot Dylan Long.
The fastest female at the track on the day Michelle Duncan, had a great second moto running as high as second for a 4th place finish to go with her 9th in the first moto to be 6th overall.
Nations Cup – With a trio of podium riders over the two classes Australia are the 2009 nations Cup Champions, followed by Italy and New Zealand … a precursor for the MXoN perhaps?
The Track – Digger McEwan Park, home of the Taupo Motorcycle Club is a track that would certainly appeal to those who enjoy rough, fast tracks with big air. One only needs to walk this track to understand where local hero Ben Townley learned his trade prior to heading to Eurpoe and then the USA.
Taupo Motorcycle Club president Geoff Hall should be proud of the efforts of his amazing team who pulled of yet another successful international event following on from there very successful International Motocross event in 2006 and the ISDE Final Day Motocross which followed a few short weeks later.
Having seen many large events run much less successfully I feel this was certainly a great effort from a hard working team and we can only dream of what they could achieve if they put their minds to it. I hope the FIM representatives took note and if they wish to have a MXoN back down in this part of the world they should have confidence that Geoff and his team could pull it off.
Report & Photos by Russell Stark
125 moto 1 start
M. de Waal