Brad Groombridge: RM-Z450 and RM-Z250 – 2-2-4
The New Zealand 2019-2020 dirt-biking season has just kicked off and Brad Groombridge is already blisteringly hot aboard his RM-Z450 and RM-Z250 machinery.
The multi-talented Suzuki rider, who has both National Enduro and Cross-Country titles to his credit, has typically finished among the top four or five in the motocross nationals in recent years and even dabbled with Superbike road-racing last season, with impressive results there too. But this coming season he is zooming his focus to concentrate on Cross-Country and Motocross.
The New Zealand MX season kicked-off with the big annual MX Fest event at Taupo over the country’s ‘Labour Weekend’ and Groombridge was there with two bikes, a new Suzuki RM-Z450 and an RM-Z250 model.
He raced the RM-Z450 in Saturday evening’s Speedcross event – a hybrid cross between speedway and stadium supercross racing – and he worked his way through to win the second semi-final and earned a place in the final, finishing runner-up just behind multi-time former National Supercross Champion and current National MX1 Motocross Champion Cody Cooper.
Groombridge took the same bike to the start line in the MX1 class at the MX Fest motocross the following day and again raced to runner-up overall again behind Cooper. He also raced his Suzuki RM-Z250 in the MX2 class on Sunday, settling this time for fourth overall, despite being eliminated in the first of the novelty last-man-standing rapid-fire shoot-out series of races that ended the weekend.
Two runner-up results and a fourth overall in three different contest categories over the weekend hinted that Groombridge will be a contender again when the parallel-but-separate 2020 Motocross and Enduro series’ kick-off in the New Year.
Said Groombridge: “I’m just starting to warm-up. I had most of last season off when I had remedial shoulder surgery in April. That was one of the reasons why I went and tried road-racing. But I won’t be racing a Superbike this coming season because it’s too expensive for me to mount a serious campaign.
“And I am backing away from the enduro scene too because racing that championship, in addition to everything else, kind of makes my season go all-year-around and there’s no rest. But I’m fully focussed on cross-country and motocross, and MX Fest was my first motocross hit-out.
“I felt good on the bikes and finally found a setting I’m happy with. We’ll just keep working on that try to get my left shoulder back to full strength. It’s been six months now and it’s not too bad, although I’m still not 100 percent yet,” added the 29-year-old locksmith.
The four-round New Zealand Motocross Championships kick off at Balclutha, on February 1st and the four-round New Zealand Cross-Country Championships begin two weeks later on February 16th.