Norco Factory Racing – Crankworx Rotorua 2017
A solid round up of the last week in Rotorua from the Norco Factory Racing team. It looks like Joe Smith is settling in fine on his new ride, bagging a solid finish in his first official downhill race of the season. Unfortunately after a big off and a separated shoulder, we’re sending a big get well soon, to Blenky.
The last five days have been eventful for the Norco Factory Racing team. After a great finish in the Rotorua Enduro World series Sam Blenkinsop has had a crash, putting him out of any action during the entire Crankworx week. This leaves the newcomers Joe Smith and Henry Fitzgerald to take the reigns as they put their Norco Development bikes through their paces at their first DH event.
The air DH was a great show, the track lined with jumps and the crowd eager. Henry came down first, super aggressive but hesitating in a few corners giving him a 26th place finish. While Joe pushed hard for 6th.
Rain has been the main factor in the last days events, postponing the whip off and air DH race, meaning shorter practise times and an event in the dark! Lit by floodlights the boys took to the skies for the whip off. Fitzgerald gave it full elbow sneeze while Joe made the finals, given’er!
The grand finale was the IXS downhill race, the course was technical, littered with root sections and the “pond jump” that took down a few riders. Henry looked good, just to get down this track is a feat in it self! Again, riding pretty conservatively, Henry came down safe but feeling like he left something out there. Joe came down for an amazing 5th place finish, great for himself and his new team and new bike for the first official DH race of the 2017 season. Stoked!