AFTER a breakout year in 2019, where he won his maiden East Coast MX Series crown, Falls Creek's Koby Hantis spent the summer off-season perfecting his craft on two wheels.
His improvement was evident in the year's early events, including finishing second at both the Wagga Stadium Cross and MX Masters two-day event in Wonthaggi, Victoria.
But just when he was gearing up for his best season yet, the 2020 motocross season was derailed due to COVID-19.
"The series was stopped in March due to coronavirus and luckily the event promoter Michel Constantinou did everything he could to get the series back up and running again," Hantis said.
"Unfortunately the pandemic saw both the NSW titles and Australian titles cancelled, so I'm really looking forward to competing at those events next year."
After months of prolonged training, the 13-year-old returned to racing on July 3 for round one of the amended East Coast MX Series in Canberra - where Hantis finished in second in the 12-15 years 85cc division.
"I probably rode the best all series at the first round in Canberra," Hantis said.
"The track was deep and rough which was more suited to my style of riding."
The St John the Evangelist Catholic High School student backed up that second with a sixth in Dargle, second in Maitland, third in Nowra and finally another third in Mount Kembla.
These five results saw him finish the series in second overall on 451 points, just behind winner Jyle Campbell (498) - with Worrigee's Mason Hills (399) third.
"I'm very happy with second place overall for the series, as this is my first year in this class," he said.
"Next year I should be able to push for the win."
Another Shoalhaven product to compete in the series was Koby's younger brother Zane, who finished 11th overall in the 7-8 years 65cc - which included a seventh-place finish in the final round.
"Zane is always improving and was able to finish in the top 10 in the final two rounds, which I am really proud of," Koby said.
Hantis will now return to the training track ahead of igniting his assault on the 2021 season.
"I'll just keep training hard over the off-season to prepare for next year, where I will step up to the 13-15 years 125cc class at the state and Australian titles," he said.
"As well as those two events, I'll compete at the newly formed MX3 class at the Pro MX Senior National Series, which kicks off in April.
"My goals for 2021 are just to stay fit and healthy and hopefully take out the Australian title in Rockhampton later in the year."
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