Kiwis on the top steps at Aussie motocross champs
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All three New Zealand riders competing in the Australian Motocross Championships this season ended up ranking inside the top seven, two on the podium.
Perhaps not since the days of the King brothers, Daryl Hurley, Josh Coppins or Kayne Lamont — all previous national title winners in Australia — have there been so many Kiwis pushing for silverware across the Tasman.
It has been a glorious season of motocross racing for Hamish Harwood. The three-time and current New Zealand MX2 (250cc) champion took his CML KTM Racing Team two-stroke bike to qualify fourth fastest at the tenth and final round of the Australian Motocross Championships at Coolum, Queensland, just over a week ago, setting himself up for a solid afternoon on the sand track.
The 23-year-old, now living in Auckland, twice finished third in the MX2 (250cc) class at Coolum. The event also featured him leading race one, as well as posting the fastest lap time. This was good enough to earn a podium spot, third overall for the day.
But, even more significantly, this enabled him to clinch second overall for the championship — Harwood ending the series overall runner-up to Australian international rider Wilson Todd.
Harwood had been locked in a battle with Australian rider Aaron Tanti for the series runner-up position, but he was too slick for Tanti in both races at Coolum, Tanti finishing the day at Coolum only eighth overall.
Harwood had won the MX Development class (under-19 years) title in Australia in 2013 and also finished runner-up in the MX2 class in the 2014 season. His intention now is to have another crack at winning the Australian MX2 title next season.
Competing in the MX Development (MXD) class was Maximus Purvis and he finished his Australian campaign on the podium.
Purvis (Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing Team) won four of the seven rounds in the MXD class, and dominating the day at Coolum, but it was Australian youngster Bailey Malkiewicz who clinched the title.
Malkiewicz placed fourth overall for the day at Coolum, enough for him to win the series overall.
Meanwhile, fellow Kiwi rider Rhys Carter (Complete Parts Kawasaki Racing Team) finished fifth overall in MX1 class and seventh overall in the MX1 series standings.
Gold Coast rider Dean Ferris had wrapped up the MX1 title.