The future of New Zealand motocross goes on show this weekend when the annual New Zealand Mini Motocross Championships blast off in Taranaki.
The Taranaki Motorcycle Club hosts the two-day event on its popular circuit at Barrett Road, on the outskirts of New Plymouth, this Saturday and Sunday, October 31 and November 1, and they are expecting a huge turnout of the country’s elite young riders.
The riders are all aged between four and 11 and riding bikes with engine capacities anywhere between 50cc and 112cc.
The KTM and Dragon goggles-sponsored annual event could throw the spotlight on the next Kiwi international superstar, a young rider who may go on to follow in the wheel tracks of world class New Zealand riders such as Taranaki-born brothers Darryll, Shayne and Damien King, Otago’s Courtney Duncan, Taupo’s Ben Townley, Motueka’s Josh Coppins, Hawera’s Daryl Hurley, Hamilton’s Josiah Natzke, Mount Maunganui’s Cody Cooper, Mangakino’s Kayne Lamont or Takaka’s Hamish Harwood, for example.
The purpose-built Taranaki circuit will become a battlefield this weekend for the rising fresh stars of the sport, including a strong representation from the South Island, with Christchurch brothers Kobe and Kase Thoms, Rolleston’s Tyler Wiremu, Greymouth’s Mitchell Smith, Invercargill’s Ryder Sheehan, Methven’s Luke Watson and Christchurch’s Charlie Henderson expected to lead the way.
The North Island strike force should feature riders such as Hamilton brothers Nicholas and Dylan Westgate, Eketahuna’s Sheldon Brown, Hamilton’s Joshua Waller, Tauranga’s Sam Meredith, Rotorua’s Ashton Dodunski, Stokes Valley’s Boston Doherty, Upper Hutt’s Lachie Ross and Auckland’s Cole Davies, to name a few.
It will come as no surprise that Taranaki riders will also have a strong presence this weekend, with New Plymouth heroes Logan Kerrisk, Nikkholas Rangi, Jesse Wickham, James Kilpatrick, Brock Cameron and Rian King perhaps the leading individuals. Hawera’s Davi Jordan and John and Peter Grayling, Inglewood’s Cameron Hunger and Waitara’s Kurtis Gooch will also wave the Taranaki banner in the premier 9-11 years’ 65cc class.
© Words and photos by Andy & Bridget McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com
Find BikesportNZ.com on FACEBOOK here