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In-form Te Uku motorbike rider sets sights on cross country title

He’s won the junior title as a teen – now, at 20, Jason Dickey is closing in on his dream of becoming the senior national champ in cross country motorcycling.

“That’s the goal,” he told the Chronicle this week from the 190-hectare farm at Te Uku where this year he’s working as a contract milker for parents Grant and Marlene.

It’s the property on which Jason grew up – and where he trained in the rough, tough sport in which he’s now hoping to make it all the way to the top nationally.

The Kawasaki KX250F rider’s well on his way. Jason last Saturday made it two in a row in the Raglan Rocx four-hour cross-country event at Ohautira Road and, the weekend before, won the second round of Huntly Motorcycle Club’s Bel Ray series (the final round’s at Bombay on February 8).

Jason’s father took out the prestigious annual series twice as a senior 20-odd years ago. “I won it the first year it ran,” says Grant.

But these days he’s happy to leave the racing to his son, who’s competed since the age of 12.

Jason’s got a natural eye for “picking lines,” adds Grant, explaining the way he tackles the rough stuff to get the smoothest ride.

In the second round of the Bel Ray series at Naike, Jason snatched an early lead over four-time and current national cross-country champion Adrian Smith of Mokau (Yamaha YZ250F), continuing on to what Bikesport NZ’s Andy McGechan described as an “impressive” win.

The authoritative motorcycling writer described Jason as “unstoppable” from the opening lap, even though Smith dropped out with a flat tyre soon afterwards.
“Not many can beat him,” says Grant Dickey of Smith, a veteran motorcycle star who’s raced worldwide and is in fact Jason’s idol.

Jason confirms he’d “like to beat him” at the New Zealand cross country championships running from February through to May, with two rounds in the North Island and two in the South. “I know if I have a good ride I can,” he adds.

Not that there’s any animosity between competitors, say father and son. It’s a family sport with opposing teams helping each other out for the thrill of the race, as opposed to the “cut-throat” world of motocross racing.

Jason’s regular training regime incorporates some running and a ride once or twice a week, either on his own turf or at a mate and fellow rider’s farm in Ruapuke.

As a senior he’s been fifth best rider in the country in 2012, number two in 2013 and third best last year. If his recent results are a guide, getting that number one ranking this year could well be on the cards.

Edith Symes

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