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Future of New Zealand Motocross goes on show

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The future of Kiwi motocross goes on show near Christchurch this weekend.


Riders aged between four and 11 – and riding bikes with engine capacities anywhere between 50cc and 112cc – head into battle when the Christchurch Off-Road Motorcycle Club hosts the two-day New Zealand Mini Motocross Championships at Moore Park, 1228 Weedons Ross Road, West Melton, this Saturday and Sunday (November 4-5).


The championships are sponsored this season by KTM New Zealand, and BCC (Baird's Collision Centre).


The premier grade, the 9-11 years' 65cc class, will possibly feature last year's 7-8 years' 65cc class champion Kobe Thoms, the young Christchurch rider who will no doubt thrive again this season too, particularly on his home turf.


Others who have recently impressed in this grade, finishing top three at Taupo's MX Fest at Labour Weekend, include Taupo's Reid Gordan, Hawera's Ajay Jordan and Whanganui's Chase Williamson. Waitara's Kurtis Gooch, Tokoroa's Iestyn Foster and Hamilton's Seth Westgate are among others who could also be expected to shine in this class this weekend.


Riders to watch for in the 7-8 years' 65cc class would have to include the boys who finished in the top three at the recent MX Fest in Taupo – Rotorua's Delton Manson, Napier's Boston Scott and Taupo's Declan Connors, although they will be tested by Christchurch rider Kase Thoms, who has stepped up a grade after winning the 6-8 years' 50cc class at the nationals last season.


Otorohanga's Luke Phillips must also fancy his chances of pinching the 7-8 years' 65cc class trophy, along with Palmerston North's Ayden Taylor.


Current leading senior grade riders such as international star Josiah Natzke, from Mount Maunganui, or Ngatea's Ben Broad, Mangakino's Maximus Purvis, Feilding's Tony Cvitanovich, Cambridge's Ashton Grey, Hastings rider Jye Deacon, Cambridge's Trent Collins and Te Puke's Jordan Milsom, to name just a few, can also trace their beginnings to the mini motocross ranks.


Natzke  is a fine example of a Kiwi mini motocross champion who progressed from the mini ranks to win junior and then senior national titles. Natzke was a dominant force in the mini ranks in 2009 and now, eight years later, he has a contract to race internationally at Grand Prix level.


International pathways can certainly begin at the mini nationals.


Australia’s Hunter Lawrence won the premier 9-11 years’ 65cc class at the New Zealand Mini Motocross Championships near Huntly in 2010 and, just seven years later, he went on to become the stand-out MX2 (250cc) class performer at the 2017 Motocross of Nations in the United Kingdom last month.


Credit: Words and photo by Andy McGechan,


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