Papakaio’s Butson brothers are on the fast track to success in their beloved motocross.
Riki (11) and Cory (7) both competed at the New Zealand Mini Motocross Nationals in Tokoroa during the July school holidays.
Cory finished sixth of 26 riders in the 50cc category, and Riki was 18th of 50 in the 65cc.
Riki said he had been riding for about six years and racing for five, while Cory started with training wheels when aged 3.
It was the boys’ first time competing on a national stage and, as the costs of competing and travelling mounted, the boys’ mother, Stacey, managed to get some sponsors along for the ride and they all contributed in different ways.
Riki’s favourite part of motocross was ‘‘getting airtime’’ and having fun. Eventually he wants to be a professional supercross rider.
‘‘It’s like jump after jump, basically . . . I like doing the tricks.’’
He had not had any serious crashes yet, and not broken any bones, he said.
‘‘Well, no big bones.’’
Cory loves racing
The boys practise when they can but are also busy with other sports. Cory plays rugby, and Riki plays hockey, touch, tennis and learns the guitar.
‘‘We’re quite busy off the track, but when we’ve got no sport on, we go out for a wee rip round,’’ Riki said. Competing occupied most weekends, and there was no off› season, which could be ‘‘quite intense’’, their mother said.
‘‘Riki’s starting to compete in more, and Cory goes along for the ride — because we’re there anyway, Cory might as well race as well — but he’s getting involved in more, and so now we’re travelling more, but it’s OK.’’
Although neither parent rode themselves, they had to be quite involved, and dad Paul was ‘‘pretty obsessed’’ with the sport, and the bikes.
‘‘They rely on parents quite a bit at the start line — Paul’s quite invested. I’m just there to cook the bacon sandwiches and get the first›aid kit out,’’ she said.
The next major event on Riki’s calendar is the New Zealand Junior Motocross Championship in Taranaki in October, although he had just made the move up to an 85cc bike, and would be competing in a higher grade with up to 16›year›olds, so it would a lot tougher, Stacey said.
Riki said when the brothers were older, they wanted to be in a team together.
You can follow their progress on their Instagram pages @rikibutson_42 and @corybutson_12.