When the engines were finally shut off on Sunday afternoon, the 2017 New Zealand Motocross Championships had reached the halfway stage.
In the 125cc class, it was the moment for Karaka’s Kurtis Lilly to shine.
Trailing Taihape’s Hayden Smith by just three points at the start of the day, Lilly turned in three solid rides, posting a 1-1-2 score-card and rocketing up to take a share of the championship lead.
“Finally I’m here at the top,” said an overjoyed Lilly afterwards. “This is the realisation of all I’ve been striving for. I have had a fantastic team of people behind me and I could not have done it without their support,” he said.
“I was off the bike, recovering from injury, for seven months before the nationals started, but I’m obviously 100 percent fit again now.”
The series next heads to Palmerston North for round three on March 12, with the fourth and final round set for Taupo on March 25.
STANDINGS for 125cc class: 1= Hayden Smith (Taihape, KTM) and Kurtis Lilly (Karaka, Husqvarna) both with 141 points; 3. Hayden Wilkinson (Nelson, Yamaha) 100; 4. Jordan Milsom (Te Puke, Husqvarna) 90; 5. Dan Bell (Levin, KTM) 87.
CAPTION: Karaka’s Kurtis Lilly (Husqvarna), who won the day in the 125cc class on Sunday. Photo by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ.com