Trials: Oceania Teams Announced

Posted: Wed 28 Mar 2007

2007 Oceania Motorcycle Trials Championship.

Motorcycling NZ wish to announce the Australian and New Zealand teams to compete in the 2007 Oceania Motorcycle Trials Teams Championship. Tauranga Motorcycle club are hosting the Australian visitors for this event over Easter weekend on April 7-8. Day one is to be held at Te Puke and the final day is off Oropi road near Tauranga. This event also doubles as rounds 3&4 of the Beta Motorcycles North Island Trials Championship, attracting riders from all over the North Island to compete in seven grades.

A new team format for 2007 comprises three members of different grades, one Expert, one Junior (under 17) riding in the A grade and one Master rider (over 35) also riding the A grade division.

The NZ team will be led by New Zealand’s latest young hot shot rider, 15 year old Wellington teenager Jake Whittaker (Gas Gas). Jakes surprise inclusion as the Expert rider into the team is ahead of 7 times NZ and current champion Warren Laugesen. With Jakes current hot form recently winning the first day of the Beta North Island Champs three weeks ago and taking overall honours at the first two rounds of the South Island champs last week he is the man to beat. The pressure of leading this team and competing against Australia’s best young talent will but him in good stead for his trip to Europe later this year to compete in World Junior Championship events.

Jakes Australian equal and competitor in the Expert Grade will be 17 year old Kyle Middleton (Gas Gas) from Newcastle, NSW. Kyle’s rise to the top of his age grouping has been just as rapid as Jakes and Australia’s next big hopeful rider of the future. Kyle spent 3 weeks in Spain last year riding and competing with their best riders and training with former top world rider Jordi Pasquet.

Representing the master class is veteran Manawatu rider Kevin Pinfold (Gas Gas) who brings his 33 years of riding experience to the team. Kevin has a personal best NZ ranking of number 3 back in 1985 and winning the one day NZ Experts trophy in 1982. The Gas Gas NZ supported rider has also competed 3 times in the prestigious Scottish Six Day Trial and represented NZ twice previously in Australia.

Up against Kevin will be 2006 NSW Master champion Kerrin Phillips (Sherco) who is himself an Expat Kiwi prior to 1988. He has considerable experience riding throughout Australia since then and now resides in Canberra. Kerrin was also a previous team member for NZ back in 1986 with an 8 member squad competing in Queensland.

New Zealand’s junior member is Matt Foster, New Plymouth (Beta) who will be celebrating his 16th birthday on the Saturday of this event. Matt has been competing for 4 years and won the North Island Junior Championship in 2004 and has finished 7th in the competitive Intermediate grade in 2005 and 2006. This is his first year and only second event in this tougher A grade division and hoping to prove his abilities with a good result against his Aussie counterpart.

Competing against Matt will be Jason Byrne (15) (Gas Gas) from Bangor, Sydney. Jason finished 2nd in the 2006 Australian Junior championship. Jason’s big brother Mick is a regular top 5 contender and representative of Australia in the Trial Des Nations who trains and encourages Jason.

For more information on this event contact Paul Mcleod 07 5735365 or paul.wendy@wave.co.nz