News this week of the easing of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions nationwide, coupled with the promotion of a second consecutive weekend of major motorcycle race action – with health and safety measures still to the fore – will certainly be greeted with smiles by New Zealand’s motocross fraternity.
This coming weekend’s big 37th annual Michael Godfrey Memorial Motocross event, just north of Amberley, near Christchurch, follows hot on the heels of last weekend’s North Island Motocross Championships and Pukekohe Sand Prix double-header at Mercer.
Riders rejoiced at being able to once again hit the track at Mercer, all thanks to strict health measures being observed due to the ongoing pandemic – contact tracing, mask wearing and social distancing, for example – and this weekend it will be the turn of the South Islanders to step forward.
The popular Michael Godfrey Memorial Motocross ranks among New Zealand’s premier motocross events and the circuit at Baxters Road, Omihi, Waipara, will attract some of the same big-hitting individuals who shone at Mercer.
Mount Maunganui’s multi-time former national MX1 champion and current MX1 No.2 Cody Cooper, Motueka’s former 250cc world No.2 Josh Coppins, Christchurch’s Justin McDonald, Oparau’s James Scott and Auckland’s Cobie Bourke will be just a few of the stars expected to shine in the senior class races at this 37th annual Michael Godfrey Memorial Motocross.
McDonald was national MX1 champion in 2009 and outright winner of the New Zealand Motocross Grand Prix at Woodville in 2010 and he is bound to be a crowd-favourite this weekend. He is pictured above on his way to winning the national MX1 title in that memorable 2009 season.
A couple of Tauranga-based former Rangiora riders, brothers Isaiah and Micah McGoldrick (with their dad, Marty McGoldrick riding in one of the veterans’ classes); high-profile Christchurch-based superbike road-racing brothers Alastair and James Hoogenboezem; Timaru’s Josh May and a Canterbury former national champion from the 1980s, but a current car racer, Graeme Allan, will also be worth watching out for in the premier MX1 class.
Minis, juniors and seniors will race on separate tracks over both days, on Saturday and Sunday, and the entry list will feature a Who’s Who of top national talent.
Host Christchurch Off-Road Motorcycle Club president Johnny Pirika said club volunteers had been working hard to prepare the race track and he was thrilled to see the club’s sponsors were still there to support the sport – Holland Collision Centre and JCL Asphalt.
“It will be two full days of intense and exciting racing,” said Pirika.
“It is mostly natural terrain, but with a few man-made jumps thrown in. It is a working farm during the week and so we are very grateful that the Stackhouse family have again made the land available to us.”
© Words and photo by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ.com
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