The future superstars of New Zealand motocross are set to make their mark this weekend.
The cream of young Kiwi motorcycling talent floods the Wadsworth family farm at Bartlett’s Creek, near Blenheim, this coming weekend (April 16-18) as the Marlborough Motorcycle Club hosts the annual Leatt New Zealand Junior Motocross Championships.
The three-day affair pits the best of New Zealand’s future motocross stars against one another on one of the most spectacular courses in the country.
“There have been a huge number of hours spent on the track,” said event co-ordinator Craig Douglas.
Several riders are expected from Australia but most eyes will focus on the top Kiwis in the bigger bike classes, the 250cc four-stroke and 125cc two-stroke divisions.
The 14-16 years’ 250cc four-stroke class is likely to become a battle between riders such as Woodville’s champion-of-champions Scott Canham (Rotorua, Kawasaki), Cromwell’s Sam O’Callaghan (Honda), Wanganui’s Tom Managh (Suzuki), Auckland’s Liam Underwood (KTM), Auckland’s Joel Doeksen (KTM), Nelson’s Mitchell Biggs (Yamaha) and Masterton’s Bjarne Frederiksen (Honda), to name just a few.
The 15-16 years’ 125cc two-stroke class will also be fiercely fought with Mangakino’s Kayne Lamont (Yamaha) favourite to win, racing alongside friend and rival Josh Jack (Suzuki), of Kaukapakapa, Masterton’s Callum Moore (KTM), Waitakere’s Broc Martens (KTM), Rangiora’s Isaiah McGoldrick (KTM) and Tauranga’s Logan “Logibear” Blackburn (Yamaha).
The racing will be no less intense in the younger age groups, with riders such as Atiamuri’s Dion Picard (Suzuki) expected to defend his 12-14 years 125cc class title from last season.
Picard could have his work cut out as he comes up against such talented individuals as Albany’s Brandon Tipene (KTM), Takaka’s Hamish Harwood (Honda) and Tauranga’s Garth Amrein (Yamaha), to name a few.
There’s no looking past national 85cc supercross champion Micah McGoldrick (KTM), to dominate the eldest of the 85cc divisions. Rangiora’s McGoldrick also dominated the class at Woodville and won the 85cc champion-of-champions race there.
Expect to see world 85cc No.6 Courtney Duncan (Otago, Yamaha), Feilding’s Haki Waller (Kawasaki), Palmerston North’s Tom Vandenberg (KTM), Pahiatua’s Scott Sowry (Kawasaki) threatening McGoldrick.
In the younger 85cc class battles, riders such as Tauranga’s Cameron Forlong (Suzuki), Oamaru’s Joel Meikle (Honda), Hamilton’s Josiah Natzke (Yamaha) and Christchurch’s Dylan Walsh (KTM) should feature.
Riders such as Dunedin’s Campbell King (Honda), Katikati’s Kurt Langford (Suzuki), Opotiki’s Tyler Breingan (Yamaha), Taupo’s Wyatt Chase (Yamaha) and Hastings rider Zach Lawrence (Honda) should also be somewhere in the mix again in 2010.
Sponsored by Leatt (the neck brace people), the national championships feature racing in seven separate age-group and bike capacity classes. The championship will comprise seven races in each category.
“The sponsorship is sensational,” said Douglas. “We will have eight neck braces to give away and $14,000 worth of product prizes too.”
Other event sponsors include TRS (Tractor Repairs and Spares), Seafarer Marine, Smith Optics, Fox, DRD magazine and Pirelli.
© Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com