They head there to watch either a round of the Motocross World Championship or, if they’re really lucky, the Motocross of Nations and BikesportNZ.com has been there a few times too.
This weekend is the British GP at Matterley Basin, the second round of this year’s MXGP season, and what better time to look back at some of the great races that have been held there in the past.
There have been some epic motocross moments at the stunning Matterley circuit and here are a couple of Matterley moments that we think rank among the best … and they involved Kiwi riders too.
Stefan Everts versus James ‘Bubba’ Stewart at the Motocross of Nations in 2006.
In his last competitive races before he retired, Stefan Everts went head-to-head with James Stewart over two days at Matterley Basin. While Bubba claimed first blood as he took the win in the MX1 Qualifying Race, Everts would take the points-paying motos on the Sunday. Stewart and Team USA, however, would leave with the event’s main trophy and Belgium had to settle for the runner-up finish.
Team New Zealand – Josh Coppins, Cody Cooper and Ben Townley – finished a remarkable third overall that year (see the photos below from that event).
Again in 2006:
Italy’s Tony Cairoli winning MX2 and Open class race at the Motocross of Nations on a 250F.
Open class rider Ivan Tedesco took the early lead for the Americans, followed by Frenchman Christophe Pourcel. Meanwhile, two young 250F riders, Ryan Villopoto and Tony Cairoli, were lying in fourth and fifth respectively, with Cairoli four-seconds behind Villopoto. It wouldn’t take long for the impressive MX2 duo to reel in the riders in front.
A mistake from the hard-charging Villopoto opened the door for Cairoli who then set about catching Tedesco and, with nine minutes left on the clock, he took the lead, much to the delight of the Matterley crowd. Villopoto impressively recovered from his off to secure second behind Cairoli.
Max Anstie’s double victory at Motocross of Nations in 2017.
This was an incredible weekend of racing from Max Anstie as he added his name to the list of British motocross legends, besting three MXGP world champions with two moto victories to help Team GB to a third place overall at Matterley Basin.
Team New Zealand – Cody Cooper, Hamish Harwood and Josiah Natzke – struggled at this event, eventually credited with finishing 21st overall.
Team NZ was obliged to race the B Final race, first thing on the Sunday morning.
This was a “must win” race and, early on, with just two of the three results to be counted, it looked as if they might succeed.
However, even with Natzke finishing third and Harwood seventh, and the Kiwis discarding Cooper’s 14th placing, it wasn’t quite enough to edge out the solid finish of the Slovakian team.
Slovakia was therefore granted a start in Sunday afternoon’s main races (where they eventually finished 19th overall of the 38 nations represented) and Team New Zealand packed up early for the long trip home.
Meanwhile, New Zealand’s Dylan Walsh is in the starting line-up for the MX2 races this weekend, so again there will be plenty of reason for the Kiwis to focus on Matterley Basin this Sunday (Monday morning NZ time).
© Photos by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ
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