It’s time to get out your calendars and scribble in a few dates and venues.
The schedule for the 2016 New Zealand Motocross Championships have been set in concrete, with an exciting new nationals venue in the Manawatu a feature of the calendar.
The four-round series will kick off near Timaru on February 7, with rounds to follow in the Manawatu (February 28) and Rotorua (March 13), with the final round in Taupo on March 20.
“We are thrilled to be able to finally get this sorted,” said Motorcycling New Zealand motocross commissioner Howard Lilly, from Karaka.
“We were on the verge of releasing the calendar months ago, but then we had one club withdraw from the series and that created a huge problem for us.
“We had to re-do the tender process and that took between six and eight weeks, not helped by the fact that I was overseas for some of that time.
“But we are now looking ahead to a brilliant season. We are thrilled with the four clubs and the venues they have provided.”
He said that granting the new venue in the Manawatu, at the Flipp’s Motorcycle Park near Himatangi, was a reward for the Manawatu-Orion Motorcycle Club after the splendid job they had done to host the opening round of the North Island Motocross Championships in August.
“This was part of the process I talked about when the North Island series was rekindled this year. We wanted to use the North Island series to test clubs out, to see if they could host a major event. The Manawatu club certainly did that.”
He remarked that it probably should have come as no surprise that the Manawatu club would meet the criteria, seeing as it has been the host club of New Zealand’s largest motocross, the NZGP at Woodville, every year since 1961.
“Rounds three and four of the nationals in Rotorua and Taupo are close to one another and just a week apart, so that should assist the South Island riders who are making the trip north,” said Lilly.
Confirmed venues for the 2016 motocross nationals are:
Round 1: February 7, 2016, Christchurch Off Road Club; Backflips Track Timaru.
Round 2: February 28, 2016, Manawatu Orion Motorcycle Club; Flipp’s Track, Himatangi.
Round 3: March 13, 2016, Rotorua Motorcycle Club; Rotorua Motocross Track.
Round 4: March 20, 2016, Taupo Motorcycle Club; Digger McEwen Motocross Park.
© Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com
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