News 27 Mar 2017

Taupo caps off vital New Zealand pre-season for Styke

KTM factory rider finishes fourth in the MX1 championship.

Image: Andy McGechan (BikesportNZ).

Gaining crucial race time on return from a lengthy achilles injury, KTM Motocross Racing Team’s Luke Styke wrapped up the 2017 New Zealand Motocross Championship in Taupo over the weekend with positive results ahead of the upcoming Australian series.

In preparation for the 10-round Motul MX Nationals championship, the MX1 contender opted to use the four-round series to optimise his pre-season progress before the season-opening event in Wonthaggi on 2 April.

“Glad to be done, they were some tough weekends, but it’s been good, solid preparation going into round one of the MX Nationals,” said Styke. “I think after the injury and being out for so long I definitely needed to go there and do some quality racing.”

Styke made additional progress at the Taupo event to cap off the season with a fourth overall to secure fourth in points behind Cody Cooper, Dean Ferris and Rhys Carter.

“The day started off with some good qualifying and we were within a second, which was good because I’m not normally a very good qualifier,” he explained. “The first two motos we just struggled through, and I had no confidence as the track roughed up. We made a setup change for the last moto and I got second, so it was a good turnaround.”

Not yet satisfied with his level of performance, the former MX2 champion remains confident in his program and looks forward to continued improvements as the season gets underway domestically.

“We missed third by one or two points, but coming from where I was last year to here is awesome,” he added. “We’ve still got a little way to go to get the maximum out of myself, but we’re definitely on the right track.”

Styke’s teammate Kirk Gibbs chose to miss the popular pre-season series as he too returns from injury after sustaining a broken femur in preparation for the 2016 Australian Supercross Championship.