Motorcross scene starting to heat up again
It will now go from a famine to a feast for the New Zealand motorcycling community after news this week that multiple major national events will be resurrected.
Restrictions are slowly easing nationwide, following a difficult 10-week period of health controls and counter-measures due to the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, and Motorcycling New Zealand (MNZ) motocross commissioner Ray Broad is able to announce a fresh and exciting new calendar for the rest of 2020 and stretching on into the early part of 2021 as well.
In addition to rescheduling events postponed during the lock-down, several new events are also being offered by MNZ, the sport's governing body in New Zealand.
The annual New Zealand Junior Motocross Championships had been due to run near Tauranga on the weekend of April 18-19, but that was put on ice due to COVID-19, causing riders, their parents and supporters, race teams and sponsors to cancel their travel plans and motel bookings.
The junior nationals won't be staged in 2020, but Tauranga will be hosting them in February 5, 6, 7 next year.
This is the weekend immediately following the annual New Zealand Motocross Grand Prix at Woodville on January 30-31, 2021, and this will enable South Island riders the cost-effective option of staying on in the North Island for just one week to 'piggyback' the junior nationals onto their journey north.
Tauranga Motorcycle Club president Ben Townley said he was excited about his club hosting the event in 2021.
"Our club has been running events at our new venue – Tech Park (just off State Highway 36, halfway between Tauranga and Rotorua) – for about five seasons now and we are really well established there," says Ben.
"MNZ gave us the opportunity to host the event on Waitangi Weekend on February 5-7 and we accepted that.
"That time of the year it will create a good atmosphere for camping at the venue and stable weather is expected, along with long daylight hours."
But, for those who can't wait until early next year for their motocross fix, there is the rescheduled North Island and Secondary Schools MX Nationals, now set for Taupo on Saturday, August 29 and the South Island Secondary School MX National are rescheduled for October 3.
Another popular event on the national calendar, the New Zealand Mini MX Nationals, have been rescheduled for October 31 and November 1, 2020, and with a new host club.
"It had originally been set for hosting by the Central Otago Motorcycle Club, but they have indicated they'd prefer now to be allocated the 2021 hosting rights and so the North Harbour Mini Motocross Club will instead stage the 2020 event," says Ray.
Printed below is the full re-worked calendar and Ray says that dates for the senior New Zealand Motocross Championships are currently being worked on.
"We are looking to have dates sorted and out for that by the end of August."
Revised NZ Motorcross calendar:
Aug 29: North Island and Secondary Schools MX Nationals – Taupo;
Sept 19-20: North Island MX Nationals (mini, junior & senior) – Pukekohe (also part of the Sand Prix event);
Sept 26-27: Michael Godfrey MX (mini, junior & senior) – Christchurch;
Oct 3-4: NZ TT MX Nationals (mini, junior & senior) – Taupiri;
Oct 3: South Island Secondary Schools MX – Southland;
Oct 4: Southland Champs – Southland;
Oct 24-25: Taupo MX Fest (mini, junior & senior) – Taupo;
Oct 31 & Nov 1: NZ Mini MX Nationals - North Harbour;
Nov 7-8: Women’s & Vets Nationals - Gore and Districts;
Nov 7-8: Valley Champs – Patetonga;
Jan 30-31, 2021: NZ Motocross GP – Woodville;
Feb 5-7, 2021: NZ Junior MX Champs – Tauranga.