New Zealand’s Kimberley Murphy will be among the favourites when a record number of entrants head to Coolum for this year’s Australian Women’s Motocross Championships at the end of the month.
The 17-year-old Yamaha ace from Rangiora, just north of Christchurch, fancies her chances of picking up the main prize after finishing third at the event last season, her first Australian campaign.
The racing, on August 27-28, sees more than 33 riders confirmed for the premier class, including a host of big names, led by reigning Champion Kristy Gillespie.
“I was third last year, so why not go back and win it?” said Murphy, who finished 4-4-3-2 in her races at last year’s championship.
Last year’s runner-up was Yamaha rider Tori Dare and she is another rider whom the Kiwi hero will have to contend with this time around too.
“I had a few injuries last year,” said Murphy but I’m 100% again now after having surgery and I was training with cast on, so I’m strong again already. I am very excited about the event coming up.
“I was absolutely rapt with how last year’s racing went for me,” Murphy said.
“When I decided to come over for this event it was my goal to get on the podium and to achieve that was fantastic.
“To perform so well against these girls, who race so fast, was something I’m really proud of.”
This time around, Murphy will race a Suzuki RM-Z250 while in Australia, under the wing of the Motul Rockstar Suzuki team.
Event promoter Fiona Collins said the increase in numbers and quality of riders is a glowing endorsement for the championship, which is only in its second year as a stand-alone event.
“To have more than 30 of the nation’s best women’s motocross riders in one place is a major coup for the championship,” she said.
“Considering their a several riders unavailable because of Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC) commitments the increased turn out is another great sign that we are on to a good thing with the WMX Nationals.”
The Suncoast Junior Motorcycle Club will play host for the two-day Championships, with Collins confident there is no better venue in motocross to host a National Championship.
“The Sunshine Coast is famous for its fantastic weather at this time of year and, from all reports, we’re not going to be disappointed next weekend,” she said.
“The Coolum Pines track has a history of hosting major national motocross events and to be able to have Australia’s premier women’s event at the venue will make for an unforgettable weekend.”
A full program of support classes has been included with junior girls and boys, senior open and lites classes all competing.
© Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com