Submitted by Andy McGechan
Thursday, 7th July 2016
Viewed 746 times

CAPTION: Cambridge's Michael Cotter (Kawasaki KX450F), helping his team to the top of the podium on Saturday. Photo by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ.com

JUNE 28, 2016: It's a sport that's hard to walk away from, especially when you can still run at a champion's pace and have a bike that gives you that capability.

Cambridge's Michael Cotter has won his fair share of national motocross titles in a long and illustrious racing career and now, even at age 41, and classified as a veteran class rider, he still enjoys carving up the race track on his MR Motorcycles Kawasaki KX450F.

Racing at the Battle of the Clubs motocross fundraiser in Taupo on Saturday, Cotter finished eighth in the combined veterans/MX2 race and then backed that up by also finishing eighth in the combined veterans/MX1 race.

His scores were a major factor in his Cambridge Motorcycle Club's overall win, the first time in the event's seven-year history that Cambridge has won the Battle of the Clubs motocross outright.

In terms of veterans' class performances, Cotter was beaten by Tauranga Motorcycle Club's Darryll King, who finished third and seventh in the two outings, but he edged out Rotorua stalwart Cameron Negus, who managed 9-9 overall results.

However, although winning is always the aim, with this event, the actual winning was less important than sharing the camaraderie and working towards boosting Team New Zealand's chances of competing at the big annual MXoN in Italy.

"I hardly ride these days, but I always enjoy it," said Cotter, sales manager at after-market parts and accessories distributor Whites Powersports.

"My kids now have motorbikes, so it gives me motivation to get back on the track. They give me another reason to ride and so my fitness is actually quite good."

Cotter was national 250cc and 500cc motocross champion in 1999 and then successfully defended his 250cc title the following year.

"But I officially retired in 2005 ... well that's the last time I actually raced seriously.

"It's awesome to be able to get on the podium again. This is an event I always look forward to and I've been riding every weekend for the past month."

Cotter's team-mates on Saturday were Cody Cooper (MX1 class, 1-2 results); Jacob Steel (MX2, 10-18); Jayden Wells-Dally (6-12, junior 250); Reef Wheki (6-9, junior 125cc) and Brodie Connolly (9-13, junior 85cc).

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

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