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Submitted by Andy McGechan
Wednesday, 27th April 2016
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FORTUNE CHANGE FOR HONDA'S COLLINS

CAPTION: Ohaupo's Trent Collins (Honda Racing Team CRF250), the New Zealand junior 14-16 years' 250cc motocross champion for 2016. Photo by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ.com

APRIL 25, 2016: Twelve months can be a lifetime in the sport of motocross, but the wait was worth it for South Waikato's Trent Collins at the weekend.

A year ago the Honda Racing Team rider from Ohaupo had been on fire in the annual New Zealand Junior Motocross Championships and the then 14-year-old was naturally disappointed at being forced to accept runner-up spot in the 14-16 years' 250cc championship.

He'd actually finished first equal in this premier category, but relegated to the No.2 position on count-back, his rival on that occasion, Ngatea's Ben Broad, superior in the final and deciding race of the 2015 championship.

For Anzac Weekend's 2016 edition of the junior nationals, on a rocky man-made track at Fernhill, just outside Hastings, it had looked as if the Honda man was again going to have to settle for a runner-up finish.

His main rival this season, Taupo's Wyatt Chase, was on something of a win streak and looking to charge off with the 250cc title.

But then, just as Lady Luck had abandoned Collins in the past, she came to his rescue on day three of racing on Sunday.

When Chase cooked his clutch while trying to hunt down Collins and he was forced to give up the chase, the balance of power swung significantly in the opposite direction and, with Collins putting a race win in the bag, while Chase scored zero, it was now 'game on' in the title chase.

Instead of being 12 points behind Chase, Collins was suddenly 15 points in front with just two races remaining.

Collins rode sensibly to finish the seven-race title fight with two second placings, more than enough to get the job done and it was an elated Collins who accepted the trophy.

"Second or third in the final two races was easily enough for me to take the title," Collins confirmed.

"I finished first equal in this class last year, although runner-up on count-back, so I'm naturally thrilled to win this year. However, I would rather have won it by beating Wyatt properly on the track.

"Consistency counts in this sport and luck sometimes plays a part too. I have also lost titles in this way in the past, so I do feel for Wyatt. I know what it's like.

"I didn't know what had happened to Wyatt (in race five) until after I'd won it. I was just going about the job of earning as many points as I could to keep the pressure on him.

"The sport can be pretty brutal at times. I offered my condolences to Wyatt. He was riding awesome all weekend and he was a tremendous competitor.

"I'm looking forward to coming back and defending my title next year.

"I want to thank Honda my parents and (Honda team-mate and national senior MX1 champion) Cody Cooper for all the help they gave.

"Cody came to Fernhill and gave me great help with line selection and bike set-up."

Collins now heads back across the Tasman to continue his Victorian State Motocross Championships campaign.

Other classes winners at the junior nationals at the weekend were Taupo's Wyatt Chase (15-16 years 125cc class), Dunedin's Grason Veitch (12-14 years 125cc class); Oparau's James Scott (13-16 years 85cc class); Matamata's Brodie Connolly (11-12 years 85cc class) and Tokanui's Mitchell Weir (8-10 years 85cc class).

Credit: Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com



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