Waikato has a long and proud history of success on the national motorcycling scene.
From nine-time former superbike champion Andrew Stroud, to multi-time former national champion and two-time former world motocross No.2 Darryll King, to former 600cc road-race champion Nick Cole, to name a few, the region has much to be proud of in terms of two-wheeled achievements over recent years.
And now it can boast another very special championship win.
Hamilton teenager Josiah Natzke took his CMR Red Bull KTM 125 to win the New Zealand Motocross Championships in the 125cc class at the final round in Taupo on Saturday, that feat writing his name into the history books as nation’s youngest ever senior national motocross champion.
He is still eligible to race in junior competition, but opted instead to make the bold step into the senior ranks this season, and he sensationally tasted immediate success.
Aged just 15 years and 81 days, the Te Kura School year 11 pupil arrived at Taupo’s series finale with more than a race win up his sleeve and, when he scored another hat-trick of wins in the three 125cc class races on Saturday, he capped off his overwhelming dominance of the competition this season.
Natzke finished the series a whopping 74 points – nearly three race wins – ahead of his nearest rival, his own CMR Red Bull team-mate Hadleigh Knight, of Atiamuri, with Te Puke’s Logan Blackburn (Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing and BikesportNZ.com YZ125) settling for third overall but still a massive 25 points behind Knight.
“I wouldn’t say it was easy,” said Natzke afterwards.
“Most people didn’t see the hard work I put in off the track to ensure that it was easier for me on race days.
“I have won junior motocross titles in the past but this senior win was special. There were a few tears shed after I crossed the finish line.
“I didn’t have to ride the last race but I wanted to do it for my sponsors. When I crashed in the first turn I then made it a mission to go through the field and try to win it from dead last. I did that … I like to win.
“My next step is to race overseas some more but nothing is sorted out just yet.”
© Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com
Find BikesportNZ.com on Facebook HERE
Full results can be found HERE … thanks to Nicole Bol and the MX Timing team.
Full story and more photos in your next issue of KIWI RIDER magazine.