Watch out you don’t get burned.
That’s the message from the Bay Of Plenty Motorcycle Club as it prepares for another scorching hot end-of-year Summercross event on their popular Awakaponga track near Matata.
This year’s 39th annual Whakatane Summercross motocross on December 27-28 has again attracted the cream of the nation’s talent, including a flock of high-flying Kiwi internationals – Mount Maunganui’s Cody Cooper (Suzuki), Taupo’s Brad Groombridge (Suzuki), Rotorua’s Michael Phillips (Honda), Mangakino’s Kayne Lamont (Suzuki) and Mount Maunganui’s Mason Phillips (Kawasaki).
Traditional favourite Josh Coppins was unable to race at the event last year but, after turning his back on the Grand Prix scene in Europe at the end of this year’s world championship season, the Yamaha rider is now able devote a lot more time to racing closer to home and the Summercross event is one of his favourites.
Sponsored by the Edgecumbe Supervalue Supermarket, the Whakatane Summercross races over two days with so much action in store that two separate race zones are needed.
Juniors and mini motocross riders will race on Monday and the seniors will share Tuesday’s programme with the Vintage Motocross fraternity.
Cambridge’s Damien King (Yamaha), Whakatane brothers Damon and Mitchell Rees (Yamaha), Tauranga’s Peter Broxholme (Honda), Taupo’s Nick Saunders (Kawasaki), Rotorua’s Cameron Negus (Yamaha), Whakatane’s Darren Capill (Honda), Whakatane’s Mitchell Rees (Yamaha), Taupo’s Cameron Dillon (Honda), Tauranga’s Logan Blackburn (Yamaha), Auckland’s Shaun Fogarty (KTM), Dunedin’s Campbell King (Honda) and Wanganui’s Tom Managh (Suzuki) also look hot prospects for a podium finish in their respective classes.
Thanks to valued input from Kiwi international Ben Townley, a new format will be used this year, featuring back-to-back races for each of the two main bike classes, MX1 and MX2.
“This puts an emphasis on rider fitness but the rapid-fire programme also provides spectators with unrivalled entertainment,” said Bay of Plenty Motorcycle Club spokesman Tony Rees.
Rotorua’s John Phillips, Masterton’s Bjarne Frederiksen and Napier’s Kieran Scheele will use the Summercross event as a farewell before they head to the United Kingdom to race there for a professional team.
Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com