It’s time once again to compress the dirt bike action and concentrate every drop of excitement as the New Zealand Supercross Championships get set for a mid-week blast-off.
Yes, this season’s supercross nationals kick off in just a few days’ time, on Wednesday evening, at the purpose-built venue at 60 Landsborough Road, Timaru.
The three-round Backflips-sponsored series then heads to Motueka’s popular Rat Track for round two on Saturday night, with the grand finale at Taupo’s Digger McEwen Motorcycle Park the following Saturday evening, January 14.
The sparks are really expected to fly in this rapid-fire series because defending open class champion Josh Coppins (Yamaha), of Motueka, and a flood of fellow Kiwi internationals, including Mount Maunganui pair Cody Cooper (Suzuki) and Mason Phillips (Kawasaki), Queenstown’s Scott Columb (Suzuki), Hamilton’s Jesse Wiki (Honda) and Christchurch’s Justin McDonald (Honda), are all expected to go head-to-head in the stadium environment this summer.
The senior lites (250cc) class title went the way of Christchurch rider Craig Smith (Honda) last season, but he is under an injury cloud this time around and unlikely to defend his title, perhaps leaving the way clear for riders such as Taupo’s Cameron Dillon (Honda) and Rangiora’s Micah McGoldrick (KTM) to dominate.
Visiting Australian Geran Stapleton (Honda) will add a little international flavour to proceedings and he could be the man to watch in the senior lites class.
The 19-year-old Stapleton is from Rosebud, Victoria, and he finished runner-up in the under-19 class at the 2011 Australian Supercross Championships.
Atiamuri’s Dion Picard (Suzuki) and Hamilton’s Josiah Natzke (Yamaha) should be favoured to head the junior classes, although they’ll face stern challenges from riders such as Auckland’s Kurtis Lilly (KTM) and Pahiatua Suzuki rider Scott Sowry.
Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com