The Kawasaki-sponsored event, typically run in May but delayed until this month due to the COVID-19 pandemic, attracted champions of the past and present – and possibly the future too – and it delivered the highest quality of dirt bike racing entertainment.
All competitors relished the perfect riding conditions and under a bright, warm sky over the two days, and they were thrilled to be back in high-speed action again and the host Patetonga Motorcycle Club did a fantastic job of preparing the track and running proceedings.
The pristine grassland track allowed the riders to reach eye-watering speeds, the two-day event near Huntly pushing the racers to their limits as the mostly flat grassland paddock become rougher with each successive race and, despite the terrain’s largely placid and innocuous nature, it still required plenty of fitness and tons of respect from the competitors.
With riders almost equal in the horsepower stakes, it was the riders who started fastest and braked latest who benefitted most.
There were several dominant performances, with Hamilton’s Josiah Natzke (main photo above) unbeatable in both the premier MX1 and MX2 bike classes, New Plymouth’s Mitch Rowe almost unstoppable in three separate categories (veterans over-45 years, classic pre-1996 bikes and MX3), Stratford’s Camo Keegan untouchable in the ATV quad bike races, while Red Beach’s Joseph Andrell successfully defended his senior 125cc crown and Hamilton’s Amie Roberts was clearly best of the senior women.
Other class winners were Te Kauwhata’s Matthew Vining (veterans aged 40-44 years); Raetihi’s Karaitiana Horne (junior women); Horotiu’s Carter Hanes (junior 250cc); Pukekawa’s Tyler Brown (junior 12-16 years’ 125cc); Cambridge’s Jared Hannon (junior 12-16 years’ 85cc); Taupo’s Declan Connors (junior 8-11 years’ 85cc); Hamilton’s Mikayla Rowe (class pre-2001 bikes); Scott Taylor (enduro bikes); Waitara’s Ollie Payne (mini 65cc); Helensville’s Adam Bockett (mini 50cc);
Other key individuals to shine at the weekend included former national motocross champions Kayne Lamont, from Hamilton, Oparau’s James Scott and Cambridge’s Mike Cotter, along with New Plymouth’s Greg Ngeru, Kumeu’s Logan Maddren and road-racing frontrunner Toby Summers, from Manukau, to name a few.
© Words and photos by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ.com
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