Enduro turns to mudlarks meet
MOTOCROSS: Mud glorious mud!
Some of the riders at the Stadium EnduroX held at The Caves Showgrounds on Saturday might disagree.
It was a spectacular event with crowds ignoring the evening rainfall to watch some of the sports top riders in action.
They were not disappointed.
Organisers from the Capricorn Dirt Riders had done an incredible job importing dirt to form the track and even manufacturing a bridge to provide a centrepoint to the circuit.
Dotted around the track were brightly coloured tents, many used by the back-up crews of riders as a pit area, while the transporters around the arena added to the atmosphere.
However, it was the action fans had paid to see and they were treated to spills and thrills all around the spectator-friendly track.
A problem for watchers was trying to identify their favourite rider by the colour of the uniform as after one lap of the small circuit most were the one shade of muddy brown.
Riders testing the track had indicated negotiating the log obstacle would be the most demanding feature in the event. The logs did prove difficult for some racers who lost too much speed and then control of their machines, but it was the mud that proved to be a worse hazard.
Repeatedly riders entered the mud traps with engines revving wildly only for the motor to cut out and have them trying to restart their machines.
Local star Simon Thompson had promised a performance for The Caves locals and he let nobody down. Buoyed on by the big cheer he received when riders were introduced prior to the start of the semi-finals, Thompson was in devastating form to challenge some of the big names on the national and international scene.
Thompson was not the winner of the Pro-Open class; that honour went to former national off-road champion Chris Hollis, but he did take second place and had national and international guns raving about his display.
Riding his Honda CR 450 for the first time in competition Thompson gained a piece of the lucrative prizemoney and whet the appetite of his supporters for further success in his new venture with the Rockhampton team of CDP Racing.
Ironically it was new team-mate Zak Newsome who ended Thompson’s chance of outright victory as he faltered going over the logs, forcing Thompson to change his line and put his bike down.
In an exciting conclusion to the race, and meeting, Thompson got under way and cut through the field and still challenged Hollis for first place.
The Rockhampton ace was thrilled with the way most of the meeting went and is excited with the bike.
“I love the thing, it’s unreal” he enthused.
Friends and family were impressed with his ride and Thompson was equally thrilled by their support.
“Lots of them are people who watched me when I started riding,” he said.
Thompson admitted the course provided a few tricks with the water deeper than expected and covering a few logs that needed extra concentration.
“It was something different I’ve not experienced before,” he said.
There were mixed fortunes for Polish riders Taddy Blazusiak and Bartosz Oblucki.
Blazusiak looked to be the one to beat when winning his first two heats, but was then forced out of contention when an old knee injury flared up. Oblucki did just enough to take third place, edging out Newsome.
In other categories Hollis was also victorious in the pro Expert Intermediate Lites beating Shannon King into second place and Rockhampton’s Beau Dargel to third.
Karl Mayne won the Clubman Open and Alan Cornick Clubman Lites.
In the Junior racing Josh Howard won the Mini Lites and Kasey Winston Junior Lites.