The battle for national supercross honours begins this weekend.
The modern-day equivalent of gladiators battling for their lives in the Coliseum of ancient Rome, that’s the sort of spectacle that will unfold in Tokoroa on Saturday night when this season’s four-round Backflips New Zealand Supercross Championships kick off at the man-made Amisfield circuit, on the outskirts of Tokoroa.
High-octane rounds in the Demon Energy-supported series will continue in Taupo, Nelson and Timaru in the weeks that follow, but it will be what happens in the floodlit stadium in Tokoroa on Saturday night that will set the tone for the rest of the series.
Motorcycling New Zealand Supercross co-ordinator Neil Ritchie, Palmerston North, said he was thrilled to report that Grand Prix star Josh Coppins would make his first appearance in New Zealand this summer at the Tokoroa event.
Coppins retired from the world championship motocross scene at the end of this season and will now base himself in Australasia, racing in both the New Zealand and Australian domestic series.
The sparks are really expected to fly on Saturday night because Yamaha’s Coppins is not the only headline act for this national series with several other Kiwi internationals, including Mount Maunganui pair Cody Cooper (Suzuki) and Mason Phillips (Kawasaki), Hawera’s Brad Groombridge (Suzuki), Hamilton’s Jesse Wiki (Honda), Cambridge’s Damien King (Yamaha), Rotorua’s Michael Phillips (Honda), Masterton’s Luke Burkhart (KTM), Magankino’s Kayne Lamont (Suzuki), Wangaui’s Tom Managh (Suzuki), Taupo’s Cam Dillon (Honda) and Christchurch’s Justin McDonald (Honda), also likely to be strong contenders.
“We are looking forward to a really bumper summer supercross season,” said Ritchie.
“There are four rounds for the nationals, plus two South Island Supercross Championship events this season, so it’s a real feast of action. We also welcome Taupo on board for the first time this season and we already know their reputation for putting on splendid events,” said Ritchie.
2011 MNZ NEW ZEALAND SUPERCROSS CHAMPIONSHIPS
Round 1 – Tokoroa, Saturday, December 11, 2010
Round 2 – Taupo, Sunday, January 2, 2011
Round 3 – Nelson, Sunday, January 9, 2011
Round 4 – Timaru, Saturday, January 15, 2011
© Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com