DECEMBER 17, 2018: Bay of Plenty man Cohen Chase has his rivals green with envy.

The Kawasaki man from Taupo tackled his first ever supercross nationals this season and yet that didn’t prevent him from securing the premier SX1 title.

Riding for the high-profile Eni Kawasaki Race Team, the 21-year-old engineer is no stranger to winning motocross races, but the infinitely-trickier supercross code is a very different proposition.

After the opening round of two in this year’s New Zealand Supercross Championships in Tokoroa a fortnight ago, Chase immediately placed himself on the podium.

Chase (Kawasaki KX450F) finished the night at Tokoroa with a 2-3-2 score-card, finishing the event overall runner-up to fellow Bay of Plenty man Ben Townley and ahead of Nelson’s Reece Walker.

It gave Chase confidence as he then headed south to tackle round two at Winton, near Invercargill, on Saturday.

Motueka’s former Kiwi international Josh Coppins actually won all three SX1 class races at Winton but, as was the case with Oropi’s Townley when he won all three SX1 races at Tokoroa, it was the sole supercross outing of the season for these two men and, with incomplete campaigns, they really had no chance of winning the title.

“This is my first attempt at supercross nationals because, in the past, I never really had the resources needed to mount a proper campaign,” Chase explained.

“The Eni Kawasaki Race Team were right behind me this year. I can’t thank Shane Verhoeven and Mike Cotter enough for all the support they have given. I also want to thank (club official) Cory Duckworth at Tokoroa for allowing me to have practice on their track too.

“It was a pretty good supercross nationals for me. I only had a couple of wee incidents where I got caught in turn-one pile-ups, but each time I managed to get through the traffic okay.

“Supercross takes a lot more focus that motocross, because you’ve got to be so precise on the jumps. If you’re not awake, you’ll end up crashing. It certainly keeps you on your toes.

“It was good racing with Josh (Coppins) and Ben (Townley) and Reece Walker too. I really enjoyed it.”

Meanwhile, Chase’s Eni Kawasaki Race Team-mate Ethan Martens also finished on the podium.

The Waitakere man took his Kawasaki KX250F to finish third overall in the SX2 (250cc) class, behind Mount Maunganui’s Josiah Natzke and Mangakino’s Maximus Purvis.

The Eni Kawasaki Racing Team now looks ahead to the rest of the summer season, with the annual Summercross event at Whakatane next ion the agenda, on December 29-30, followed by the annual New Zealand Motocross Grand Prix at Woodville on January 26-27. The four-round New Zealand Motocross Championships kick off in Taranaki on February 3.

At each of these events, expect to see the green bikes of Chase and Martens on the hunt for wins.

Headquartered in Christchurch, with 16 branches nationwide, TransDiesel Ltd is the exclusive distributor for Eni oils and lubricants. Eni offer a comprehensive range of specialist lubricants including the i-ride motorcycle products, which are high-tech oils with top performance standards that enable engines of every type to produce their maximum performance and achieve the best results. The range includes engine, gear and fork oils, coolants, brake fluids and other lubricants.

Words by Andy McGechan,

Photos by Andy McGechan