Moto Media

from ... Luke Burkhart

Hey guys,

The second round of the New Zealand Championships has been and gone over the weekend. Once again it was one of those bitter sweet days for me. It was held at Patetonga MX track and the track was looking great before practice.

I had a great week in between the first and second round, so was coming into the race positive that I could improve on my position in the Championship. We headed out for our thirty minute timed qualifying session and I felt awesome on the bike from the get go. We made a few changes with the bike and I jumped to the top of the timing chart early on. I managed to improve a bit on my quickest lap and ended the session with pole position by over a second for the second week in a row. It definitely helps the state of mind going into racing knowing that your laptimes are the quickest thats for sure.

The start gates at this track are concrete which definitely levels out the field on the start, something I personally think has no place on a motocross track but it's the same for everyone.

The first race didn't start off well for me when I wheel-spun bad of the start and got a midpack start. I had lots of work to do and sliced through the pack into the top five after a few laps. I then went for a pass up the inside on Nick Saunders and we ended up coming together on the exit of the corner putting us both on the deck. The bikes fell on me and I twisted my left leg under the bike which punished my knee and ankle. At the time I could not stand up so it was game over for that race and potentially the whole day. I spent the next hour in the pits with ice on my leg and a frustrated look on my face. My team CMR KTM put so much work into these races so I decided to patch myself up and go back out for battle in the last two races.

The second race I managed a top ten start and within a few laps was fighting for the lead. I actually got out front for a few laps but eventually gave the spot up to Aussie Cody Mackie as in my head I was trying to be smart and regain some points back. I finished a pretty solid second. It was the toughest race I've done in a long time as I spent most of the race trying to stand on one leg.

The third and final race came around and much like the first round in Timaru I got the bit between my teeth and got angry on the start-line. Another mediocre start for me but I wasted no time getting up front.  I passed for the lead on about lap three and got a nice clear track ahead of me. Basically the rest of the race is history.  I settled into a good rhythm and pulled away every lap mistake free to win the race by over ten seconds.

It definitely felt super good to come back from such a shocking start to the day to rebound and go 2-1 in the last two races. I feel I showed some heart and the ability to turn a potentially Championship ending day, into a pretty good day.

As far as i know the racing from the day will be on TV ONE this Sunday at 10.30am so if you get the chance check it out.

We now have a three week gap until the final two rounds of the Championship. I have definitely used up my bad race card so I will be looking to be up front consistently and winning races to give myself the best shot at being in contention at the end.

Once again huge thanks to all of my sponsors and everyone involved with Team CMR KTM, I wouldnt be here without you guys.

I hope everyone is well, especially those dealing with the devastation in Christchurch.


Luke Burkhart