Top four finish for Te Puke rider

Te Puke motocross rider Mary Wanhill has finished in the top four of this year’s New Zealand Veterans’ and Women’s Motocross Championships.

The racing went right down to the wire for the top women at the second and final day of action at the championships held in Taranaki.

Pahiatua’s Letitia Alabaster (Honda), the new national women’s motocross champion.
Photo: Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ.com

With just one race remaining in the senior women’s grade, there was virtually nothing to separate Pahiatua’s Letitia Alabaster from Motueka’s Katie Silcock at the top of the point’s standings, with Taihape’s Sarah Elwin and Te Puke’s Mary Wanhill also not far behind.

Whoever finished ahead after this final race at Opunake would be the 2015 champion at the Mach 1 Yamaha-sponsored event and, with rain and wind getting stronger by the minute, the key to winning would be getting a great start.

And that’s just what Letitia did, snatching the lead within a few hundred metres and then stretching out her advantage, although a fast-starting Skye Edwards, from Nelson, kept her honest over the opening two laps.

Her main rival, Silcock, was forced to battle through traffic after an unaccustomed poor start and, although she managed to close in on Alabaster near the end, she ran out of time before the chequered flag came out and had to settle for runner-up in that race and also runner-up for the championship overall.

Sarah took the third podium spot for the senior women’s championship with Mary and Whangarei’s Zia Pitkethley rounding out the top five.

“I was two points behind Katie (Silcock) at the start of the day today and knew I just had to win races today,” says Letitia, a 26-year-old motorcycle mechanic.

“I just had to do my best and not fall off trying. I took a few risks in the first race today and managed to win it (with 21-year-old mother-of-two Katie finishing second) and that meant I was leading the championship, but only by one point with the final race to come.

“Once I had the lead in the final race, I just played is safe. I’m so stoked to win this.”



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