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WHAT'S HAPPENING THIS WEEKEND?!

Saturday 24th April
* New Zealand Enduro Championship (round 2 - TWO DAY EVENT) - Hosted by Marlborough (Enduro)
* TSS Motorcycles Track Training Day - Hosted by Victoria (Road Race)

Sunday 25th April (ANZAC DAY)
* 2021 King of the Bowl (round 5) - Hosted by Canterbury (Motocross)
* TSS Motorcycles Summer Series (round 3) - Hosted by Victoria (Road Race)
* Bush Riders Trail Ride - Hosted by Bush (Trail Ride)
* Riverhead Trail Ride #5 - Hosted by Waitemata Motorcycle Club (Trail Ride)
* Teddington Flat Trial - Hosted by Pioneer (Trial)
* McKenzie's Club Trial - Hosted by Hawkes Bay Motorcycle Club (Trial)

Monday 26th April
* 2021 Taupo Winter Series (round 1) - Hosted by Taupo (Motocross)
* Marlborough Trail Ride - Hosted by Kapi-Mana (Trail Ride)
... Read MoreSee Less

WHATS HAPPENING THIS WEEKEND?!

Saturday 24th April
* New Zealand Enduro Championship (round 2 - TWO DAY EVENT) - Hosted by Marlborough Motorcycle Club (Enduro)
* TSS Motorcycles Track Training Day - Hosted by Victoria Motorcycle Club Inc (Road Race)

Sunday 25th April (ANZAC DAY)
* 2021 King of the Bowl (round 5) - Hosted by Canterbury Mini MX Club (Motocross)
* TSS Motorcycles Summer Series (round 3) - Hosted by Victoria Motorcycle Club Inc (Road Race)
* Bush Riders Trail Ride - Hosted by Bush Riders Motorcycle Club (Trail Ride)
* Riverhead Trail Ride #5 - Hosted by Waitemata Motorcycle Club (Trail Ride) 
* Teddington Flat Trial - Hosted by Pioneer Motorcycle Club Inc. (Trial) 
* McKenzies Club Trial - Hosted by Hawkes Bay Motorcycle Club (Trial) 

Monday 26th April
* 2021 Taupo Winter Series (round 1) - Hosted by Taupo Motorcycle Club (Motocross)
* Marlborough Trail Ride - Hosted by Kapi-Mana Motorcycle Club (Trail Ride)

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ENDURO SERIES TAKES THE BATTLE TO MARLBOROUGH - 2021 Yamaha NZ Enduro Championship

CAPTION: Taupo's Wil Yeoman (Yamaha), one of the riders to watch out for at round two of the 2021 New Zealand Enduro Championships this weekend. Photo by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ.com

It's one down and four to go in the 2021 New Zealand Enduro Championships and it's not going to be getting any easier as the weeks progress.

That's the top tip for the nation's elite off-road dirt bike racers as they head off to round two of the series in rugged Marlborough terrain this weekend.

Round one of this year's Yamaha-sponsored competition was staged in damp forestry near Tokoroa two weeks ago and an early pecking order was set, but there's any number of equally-talented riders who could step up and take charge at round two, a two-day affair in the Marlborough region this coming Saturday and Sunday (April 24 and 25).

And, add to this the knowledge that riders are to count only four of their five results in terms of capturing an individual class win, it's certain the chase for class titles will be tight until the end. All rounds are counted towards the championship overall.

Helensville's Tom Buxton leads the way after winning round one at Tokoroa, although Cambridge's Dylan Yearbury, Palmerston North's former United States cross-country champion Paul Whibley, Oparau's James Scott and record eight-time former New Zealand trials champion Jake Whitaker, from Wainuiomata, were not too far behind him.

Others to impress at Tokoroa included Tokoroa's Jake Wightman, Raglan's Brandon Given and Taupo 15-year-old Wil Yeoman, to name a few, and it will no doubt be some of these individuals who again challenge for victory this weekend.

The venue for both days is Kemps property, 3938 state highway 1, 10ks south of Blenheim and it will be signposted from SH1.

Motorcycling New Zealand enduro commissioner Justin Stevenson said two different courses would be set out over the farmland for the back-to-back days of racing.

"Racing will start a little later, about midday, on Sunday in recognition of it being Anzac Day," said Stevenson.

"The terrain will be moderately challenging ... steep farmland with a few tricky bits that will surely test the riders. Double points will be awarded this weekend, so there are up to 50 points available to any rider that wins their class and for the overall placings."

He said the two clubs, the Kapi-Mana Motorcycle Club and the Marlborough Motorcycle-Club, have combined resources to make this event happen.

The 2021 Yamaha NZ Enduro Championships are supported by Mitas tyres Macaulay Metals, Best Build Construction, Silver-bullet and Kiwi Rider magazine.

2021 Yamaha Enduro NZ Champs calendar:

Round 1 – Saturday, April 11 – Tokoroa;

Round 2 – Saturday and Sunday, April 24-25 – Marlborough;

Round 3 – Saturday and Sunday June 5-6 – Moonshine, Kapi-Mana;

Round 4 – Saturday, June 12 – Masterton;

Round 5 – Sunday, June 13 – Martinborough.

Credit: Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com
... Read MoreSee Less

ENDURO SERIES TAKES THE BATTLE TO MARLBOROUGH - 2021 Yamaha NZ Enduro Championship

CAPTION: Taupos Wil Yeoman (Yamaha), one of the riders to watch out for at round two of the 2021 New Zealand Enduro Championships this weekend. Photo by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ.com

Its one down and four to go in the 2021 New Zealand Enduro Championships and its not going to be getting any easier as the weeks progress.

Thats the top tip for the nations elite off-road dirt bike racers as they head off to round two of the series in rugged Marlborough terrain this weekend.

Round one of this years Yamaha-sponsored competition was staged in damp forestry near Tokoroa two weeks ago and an early pecking order was set, but theres any number of equally-talented riders who could step up and take charge at round two, a two-day affair in the Marlborough region this coming Saturday and Sunday (April 24 and 25).

And, add to this the knowledge that riders are to count only four of their five results in terms of capturing an individual class win, its certain the chase for class titles will be tight until the end. All rounds are counted towards the championship overall. 

Helensvilles Tom Buxton leads the way after winning round one at Tokoroa, although Cambridges Dylan Yearbury, Palmerston Norths former United States cross-country champion Paul Whibley, Oparaus James Scott and record eight-time former New Zealand trials champion Jake Whitaker, from Wainuiomata, were not too far behind him.

Others to impress at Tokoroa included Tokoroas Jake Wightman, Raglans Brandon Given and Taupo 15-year-old Wil Yeoman, to name a few, and it will no doubt be some of these individuals who again challenge for victory this weekend. 

The venue for both days is Kemps property, 3938 state highway 1, 10ks south of Blenheim and it will be signposted from SH1.

Motorcycling New Zealand enduro commissioner Justin Stevenson said two different courses would be set out over the farmland for the back-to-back days of racing.

Racing will start a little later, about midday, on Sunday in recognition of it being Anzac Day, said Stevenson.

The terrain will be moderately challenging ... steep farmland with a few tricky bits that will surely test the riders. Double points will be awarded this weekend, so there are up to 50 points available to any rider that wins their class and for the overall placings.

He said the two clubs, the Kapi-Mana Motorcycle Club and the Marlborough Motorcycle-Club, have combined resources to make this event happen. 

The 2021 Yamaha NZ Enduro Championships are supported by Mitas tyres Macaulay Metals, Best Build Construction, Silver-bullet and Kiwi Rider magazine. 

2021 Yamaha Enduro NZ Champs calendar:

Round 1 – Saturday, April 11 – Tokoroa;

Round 2 – Saturday and Sunday, April 24-25 – Marlborough;

Round 3 – Saturday and Sunday June 5-6 – Moonshine, Kapi-Mana;

Round 4 – Saturday, June 12 – Masterton;

Round 5 – Sunday, June 13 – Martinborough.

Credit: Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com

WATTS WINS BOTH SOUTH ISLAND ROUNDS, TAKES TITLE

CAPTION: Hawke's Bay's Tommy Watts (Yamaha), outright winner of the senior grade at this year's New Zealand Cross-country Championships. Photo by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ.com

It was celebration time for Hawke's Bay's Tommy Watts at the weekend, with back-to-back wins in the South Island earning him his first national motorcycling cross-country title.

The 19-year-old Napier-based former Wairoa man had a share of the lead in the Yamaha-sponsored competition after the first two four rounds for the series, with just two days of high-speed motorcycle racing in the South Island, near Balclutha on Saturday and then near Mosgiel on Sunday, to wrap it all up.

The championship went down to the wire with Watts' main rival, Palmerston North's 2015 New Zealand Cross-country Champion Paul Whibley, who was level on points with Watts after the two earlier North Island rounds (near Marton and Dannevirke respectively), featuring as a constant threat.

But, with only three rounds to be counted and riders to discard their one worst score, it meant nothing was certain until the end of racing on Sunday.

When Watts won the day at Balclutha, finishing just seven seconds ahead of Whibley in the three-hour senior race, and then repeated the dose at Mosgiel the following day, this time beating Whibley to the chequered flag by 44 seconds, the mission was complete and Watts could enjoy celebrating his first national title win.

Manawatu's Whibley, a two-time former cross country champion in the United States, had to settle for overall runner-up, while Raglan's Brandon Given, Glen Murray's Sam "Charlie" Brown and Whanganui's Seth Reardon rounded out the top five seniors for 2021.

Meanwhile, Taupo's Wil Yeoman dominated the 90-minute junior grade races on both days at the weekend and the 15-year-old therefore easily wrapped up the junior crown for 2021.

Runner-up junior rider for the series was Eketahuna's Luke Brown, with Cambridge's Bailey Morgan, Rotorua's Daniel Bates and Katikati's Ryan Morrissey rounding out the top five.

Masterton's Max Williams was best of the 85cc bike riders this season, impressive in finishing eighth overall in the junior grade.

"It was quite tight and technical terrain on Saturday, but a faster, more free-flowing course on Sunday," said Motorcycling New Zealand cross-country commissioner Chris Smyth.

"There was forestry, bush, open farmland paddocks ... a bit of everything really. Everyone seemed to enjoy both tracks and days in the South Island.

"The double-header format seemed popular with the riders too and we may look at doing more of that next season."

The 2021 New Zealand Cross-country Championships series was supported by Yamaha NZ, O'Neal apparel, The Dirt Guide, Oakley goggles, Bel Ray oils and Michelin tyres.

2021 NZ Cross-Country Champs

Round One – Sunday, February 28 – Bush Riders MCC, Marton

Round Two – Sunday, March 14 – Central Hawke's Bay MCC, Dannevirke

Round Three – Saturday, April 17 – Gore & Districts MCC, Balclutha

Round Four – Sunday, April 18 – Mosgiel District MCC, Mosgiel

Credit: Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com
... Read MoreSee Less

WATTS WINS BOTH SOUTH ISLAND ROUNDS, TAKES TITLE

CAPTION: Hawkes Bays Tommy Watts (Yamaha), outright winner of the senior grade at this years New Zealand Cross-country Championships. Photo by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ.com

It was celebration time for Hawkes Bays Tommy Watts at the weekend, with back-to-back wins in the South Island earning him his first national motorcycling cross-country title.

The 19-year-old Napier-based former Wairoa man had a share of the lead in the Yamaha-sponsored competition after the first two four rounds for the series, with just two days of high-speed motorcycle racing in the South Island, near Balclutha on Saturday and then near Mosgiel on Sunday, to wrap it all up.

The championship went down to the wire with Watts main rival, Palmerston Norths 2015 New Zealand Cross-country Champion Paul Whibley, who was level on points with Watts after the two earlier North Island rounds (near Marton and Dannevirke respectively), featuring as a constant threat.

But, with only three rounds to be counted and riders to discard their one worst score, it meant nothing was certain until the end of racing on Sunday.

When Watts won the day at Balclutha, finishing just seven seconds ahead of Whibley in the three-hour senior race, and then repeated the dose at Mosgiel the following day, this time beating Whibley to the chequered flag by 44 seconds, the mission was complete and Watts could enjoy celebrating his first national title win.  

Manawatus Whibley, a two-time former cross country champion in the United States, had to settle for overall runner-up, while Raglans Brandon Given, Glen Murrays Sam Charlie Brown and Whanganuis Seth Reardon rounded out the top five seniors for 2021.

Meanwhile, Taupos Wil Yeoman dominated the 90-minute junior grade races on both days at the weekend and the 15-year-old therefore easily wrapped up the junior crown for 2021.

Runner-up junior rider for the series was Eketahunas Luke Brown, with Cambridges Bailey Morgan, Rotoruas Daniel Bates and Katikatis Ryan Morrissey rounding out the top five.

Mastertons Max Williams was best of the 85cc bike riders this season, impressive in finishing eighth overall in the junior grade.

It was quite tight and technical terrain on Saturday, but a faster, more free-flowing course on Sunday, said Motorcycling New Zealand cross-country commissioner Chris Smyth.

There was forestry, bush, open farmland paddocks ... a bit of everything really. Everyone seemed to enjoy both tracks and days in the South Island.

The double-header format seemed popular with the riders too and we may look at doing more of that next season.

The 2021 New Zealand Cross-country Championships series was supported by Yamaha NZ, ONeal apparel, The Dirt Guide, Oakley goggles, Bel Ray oils and Michelin tyres.

2021 NZ Cross-Country Champs

Round One – Sunday, February 28 – Bush Riders MCC, Marton

Round Two – Sunday, March 14 – Central Hawkes Bay MCC, Dannevirke

Round Three – Saturday, April 17 – Gore & Districts MCC, Balclutha

Round Four – Sunday, April 18 – Mosgiel District MCC, Mosgiel

Credit: Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com

WATTS WINS BOTH SOUTH ISLAND ROUNDS, TAKES TITLE - 2021 New Zealand Cross-country Championship

CAPTION: Hawke's Bay's Tommy Watts (Yamaha), outright winner of the senior grade at this year's New Zealand Cross-country Championship. Photo by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ.com

It was celebration time for Hawke's Bay's Tommy Watts at the weekend, with back-to-back wins in the South Island earning him his first national motorcycling cross-country title.

The 19-year-old Napier-based former Wairoa man had a share of the lead in the Yamaha-sponsored competition after the first two four rounds for the series, with just two days of high-speed motorcycle racing in the South Island, near Balclutha on Saturday and then near Mosgiel on Sunday, to wrap it all up.

The championship went down to the wire with Watts' main rival, Palmerston North's 2015 New Zealand Cross-country Champion Paul Whibley, who was level on points with Watts after the two earlier North Island rounds (near Marton and Dannevirke respectively), featuring as a constant threat.

But, with only three rounds to be counted and riders to discard their one worst score, it meant nothing was certain until the end of racing on Sunday.

When Watts won the day at Balclutha, finishing just seven seconds ahead of Whibley in the three-hour senior race, and then repeated the dose at Mosgiel the following day, this time beating Whibley to the chequered flag by 44 seconds, the mission was complete and Watts could enjoy celebrating his first national title win.

Manawatu's Whibley, a two-time former cross country champion in the United States, had to settle for overall runner-up, while Raglan's Brandon Given, Glen Murray's Sam "Charlie" Brown and Whanganui's Seth Reardon rounded out the top five seniors for 2021.

Meanwhile, Taupo's Wil Yeoman dominated the 90-minute junior grade races on both days at the weekend and the 15-year-old therefore easily wrapped up the junior crown for 2021.

Runner-up junior rider for the series was Eketahuna's Luke Brown, with Cambridge's Bailey Morgan, Rotorua's Daniel Bates and Katikati's Ryan Morrissey rounding out the top five.

Masterton's Max Williams was best of the 85cc bike riders this season, impressive in finishing eighth overall in the junior grade.

"It was quite tight and technical terrain on Saturday, but a faster, more free-flowing course on Sunday," said Motorcycling New Zealand cross-country commissioner Chris Smyth.

"There was forestry, bush, open farmland paddocks ... a bit of everything really. Everyone seemed to enjoy both tracks and days in the South Island.

"The double-header format seemed popular with the riders too and we may look at doing more of that next season."

The 2021 New Zealand Cross-country Championships series was supported by Yamaha NZ, O'Neal apparel, The Dirt Guide, Oakley goggles, Bel Ray oils and Michelin tyres.

2021 NZ Cross-Country Champs

Round One – Sunday, February 28 – Bush Riders MCC, Marton

Round Two – Sunday, March 14 – Central Hawke's Bay MCC, Dannevirke

Round Three – Saturday, April 17 – Gore & Districts MCC, Balclutha

Round Four – Sunday, April 18 – Mosgiel District MCC, Mosgiel

Credit: Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com
... Read MoreSee Less

WATTS WINS BOTH SOUTH ISLAND ROUNDS, TAKES TITLE - 2021 New Zealand Cross-country Championship

CAPTION: Hawkes Bays Tommy Watts (Yamaha), outright winner of the senior grade at this years New Zealand Cross-country Championship. Photo by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ.com

It was celebration time for Hawkes Bays Tommy Watts at the weekend, with back-to-back wins in the South Island earning him his first national motorcycling cross-country title.

The 19-year-old Napier-based former Wairoa man had a share of the lead in the Yamaha-sponsored competition after the first two four rounds for the series, with just two days of high-speed motorcycle racing in the South Island, near Balclutha on Saturday and then near Mosgiel on Sunday, to wrap it all up.

The championship went down to the wire with Watts main rival, Palmerston Norths 2015 New Zealand Cross-country Champion Paul Whibley, who was level on points with Watts after the two earlier North Island rounds (near Marton and Dannevirke respectively), featuring as a constant threat.

But, with only three rounds to be counted and riders to discard their one worst score, it meant nothing was certain until the end of racing on Sunday.

When Watts won the day at Balclutha, finishing just seven seconds ahead of Whibley in the three-hour senior race, and then repeated the dose at Mosgiel the following day, this time beating Whibley to the chequered flag by 44 seconds, the mission was complete and Watts could enjoy celebrating his first national title win.  

Manawatus Whibley, a two-time former cross country champion in the United States, had to settle for overall runner-up, while Raglans Brandon Given, Glen Murrays Sam Charlie Brown and Whanganuis Seth Reardon rounded out the top five seniors for 2021.

Meanwhile, Taupos Wil Yeoman dominated the 90-minute junior grade races on both days at the weekend and the 15-year-old therefore easily wrapped up the junior crown for 2021.

Runner-up junior rider for the series was Eketahunas Luke Brown, with Cambridges Bailey Morgan, Rotoruas Daniel Bates and Katikatis Ryan Morrissey rounding out the top five.

Mastertons Max Williams was best of the 85cc bike riders this season, impressive in finishing eighth overall in the junior grade.

It was quite tight and technical terrain on Saturday, but a faster, more free-flowing course on Sunday, said Motorcycling New Zealand cross-country commissioner Chris Smyth.

There was forestry, bush, open farmland paddocks ... a bit of everything really. Everyone seemed to enjoy both tracks and days in the South Island.

The double-header format seemed popular with the riders too and we may look at doing more of that next season.

The 2021 New Zealand Cross-country Championships series was supported by Yamaha NZ, ONeal apparel, The Dirt Guide, Oakley goggles, Bel Ray oils and Michelin tyres.

2021 NZ Cross-Country Champs

Round One – Sunday, February 28 – Bush Riders MCC, Marton

Round Two – Sunday, March 14 – Central Hawkes Bay MCC, Dannevirke

Round Three – Saturday, April 17 – Gore & Districts MCC, Balclutha

Round Four – Sunday, April 18 – Mosgiel District MCC, Mosgiel

Credit: Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com

WHAT'S HAPPENING THIS WEEKEND?!

Saturday 17th April:
* 2021 New Zealand Cross Country Championship (round 3) & Southland XC Series (round 4) - Hosted by Gore and Districts Motorcycle Club (Cross Country)
* 2021 North Island Bucket Championship Final (round 4 - TWO DAY EVENT) - Hosted by Auckland Motorcycle Club (Miniature Road Race)
* Kaitoke Buckets Practice Day - Hosted by Bucket Racing New Zealand Inc (Miniature Road Race)
* Patetonga Club Day (Round 6 - Final) - Hosted by Patetonga MX (Motocross)
* 2021 South Island Trial Championship (rounds 1 & 2 - TWO DAY EVENT) - Hosted by Pioneer Motorcycle Club Inc. (Trials)

Sunday 18th April:
* Have a go Day - Hosted by Canterbury ATV Association (ATV)
* 2021 New Zealand Cross Country Championship (round 4) & Mosgiel District MCC XC (round 2) - Hosted by Mosgiel District Motor Cycle Club (Cross Country)
* Kaitoki Buckets Club Day - Hosted by Bucket Racing New Zealand Inc (Miniature Road Race)
* Taranaki Buckets April Club Day - Hosted by Bucket Racing New Zealand Inc (Miniature Road Race)
* Summer Series (round 3) - Hosted by Pukekohe Motorcycle Club (Motocross)
* 2021 MX Club Champs (round 1) - Hosted by Wanganui Motorcycle Club (Motocross)
* Moanataiari School Fundraiser Paddock Fun Day - Hosted by Thames Valley Motorcycle Club (Motocross)
* Club Day - Hosted by Central Hawkes Bay Motorcycle Club (Motocross)
* Have a Go Day - Hosted by Motorcycling Canterbury (Road Race)
* Glen Oroua Trail Ride - Hosted by Manawatu-Orion MCC (Trail Ride)
* Club Champs (round 2) - Hosted by Manawatu-Orion MCC (Trials)
* Air-Cooled Series (round 3) - Hosted by Hamilton Motorcycle Club Inc NZ (Trials)
... Read MoreSee Less

WHATS HAPPENING THIS WEEKEND?!

Saturday 17th April:
* 2021 New Zealand Cross Country Championship (round 3) & Southland XC Series (round 4) - Hosted by Gore and Districts Motorcycle Club (Cross Country)
* 2021 North Island Bucket Championship Final (round 4 - TWO DAY EVENT) - Hosted by Auckland Motorcycle Club (Miniature Road Race)
* Kaitoke Buckets Practice Day - Hosted by Bucket Racing New Zealand Inc (Miniature Road Race) 
* Patetonga Club Day (Round 6 - Final) - Hosted by Patetonga MX (Motocross)
* 2021 South Island Trial Championship (rounds 1 & 2 - TWO DAY EVENT) - Hosted by Pioneer Motorcycle Club Inc. (Trials) 

Sunday 18th April:
* Have a go Day - Hosted by Canterbury ATV Association (ATV)
* 2021 New Zealand Cross Country Championship (round 4) & Mosgiel District MCC XC (round 2) - Hosted by Mosgiel District Motor Cycle Club (Cross Country)
* Kaitoki Buckets Club Day - Hosted by Bucket Racing New Zealand Inc (Miniature Road Race)
* Taranaki Buckets April Club Day - Hosted by Bucket Racing New Zealand Inc (Miniature Road Race)
* Summer Series (round 3) - Hosted by Pukekohe Motorcycle Club (Motocross) 
* 2021 MX Club Champs (round 1) - Hosted by Wanganui Motorcycle Club (Motocross)
* Moanataiari School Fundraiser Paddock Fun Day - Hosted by Thames Valley Motorcycle Club (Motocross)
* Club Day - Hosted by Central Hawkes Bay Motorcycle Club (Motocross) 
* Have a Go Day - Hosted by Motorcycling Canterbury (Road Race) 
* Glen Oroua Trail Ride - Hosted by Manawatu-Orion MCC (Trail Ride) 
* Club Champs (round 2) - Hosted by Manawatu-Orion MCC (Trials) 
* Air-Cooled Series (round 3) - Hosted by Hamilton Motorcycle Club Inc NZ (Trials)

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Final round of the 2021 Kelly Construction Limited Summer Series on Saturday 17th 😊💪🏻

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NZ CROSS-COUNTRY CHAMPS TO WRAP UP IN THE SOUTH ISLAND - NZ Cross Country Championship

CAPTION: Napier-based former Wairoa rider Tommy Watts (Yamaha), with an equal share of the championship lead at the halfway stage of the series. Photo by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ.com

New Zealand's elite cross-country motorcycle racers will wrap up the 2021 national championship series in the South Island this weekend.

It will be a huge double-header weekend this Saturday and Sunday, with competitors tackling a course near Balclutha on Saturday, followed by racing near Mosgiel on Sunday, a sudden and potentially-explosive end to what has been a thrilling competition.

The four-round 2021 Yamaha-sponsored New Zealand Cross-country Championships kicked off near Marton, in the Rangitikei region, in late February, with round two following near Dannevirke just two weeks later.

But that's only half the story, with the second half now to complete it over one gruelling 48-hour period.

Racing both days this weekend will again offer up a variety of obstacles and challenging terrain, featuring all the tricky features the riders have come to love or respect, with fast open farmland, slower bush sections and the odd hill climb or creek crossing thrown in for good measure.

Napier-based former Wairoa rider Tommy Watts and Palmerston North's 2015 national champion Paul Whibley currently hold an equal share of the series lead, with Raglan's Brandon Given, Napier-based former Wairoa rider, Reece Lister and Taupo's Hadleigh Knight not too far behind them.

Whanganui's Seth Reardon has also been a standout during the three-hour senior races so far this season, alongside Glen Murray's Sam Brown and Drury's Richard Sutton, while Taupo's Wil Yeoman, Eketahuna's Luke Brown, Cambridge's Bailey Morgan and Dannevirke's Charlie Free were among the leading individuals in the 90-minute junior races at both Marton and Dannevirke.

Masterton's Max Williams has been best of the 85cc bike riders thus far and he is impressively running sixth overall in the junior grade.

It's likely that these riders will again be among the frontrunners in the South Island this weekend, although strong challenges may come from Rotorua's Callum Dudson, Kinloch's Quade Young, Dannevirke's Ben Patterson and Te Kauwhata's Jacob Brown, to name a few.

Points from only the best three results from the four rounds will be counted towards the championship titles, with riders to discard their worst result. This has allowed competitors the option of having to make only one trip across Cook Strait.

However, Nelson's Bailey Basalaj and Blake Affleck, from the South Otago town of Owaka, have been the only South Island riders to make the journey north for the earlier rounds. Basalaj is currently 20th overall in the senior grade and Affleck is running 19th overall in the junior grade.

The 90-minute junior race kicks off at about 9am both days, with the three-hour senior race to follow at about 11.30am.

The New Zealand Cross-country Championships series is supported by Yamaha NZ, O'Neal apparel, The Dirt Guide, Oakley goggles, Bel Ray oils and Michelin tyres.

2021 NZ Cross-Country Champs

Round One – Sunday, February 28 – , Marton

Round Two – Sunday, March 14 – Central Hawke's Bay MCC, Dannevirke

Round Three – Saturday, April 17 – pril, Balclutha

Round Four – Sunday, April 18 – y,, Mosgiel

Credit: Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com

ikesportNZ.com

NZ
... Read MoreSee Less

NZ CROSS-COUNTRY CHAMPS TO WRAP UP IN THE SOUTH ISLAND - NZ Cross Country Championship

CAPTION: Napier-based former Wairoa rider Tommy Watts (Yamaha), with an equal share of the championship lead at the halfway stage of the series. Photo by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ.com

New Zealands elite cross-country motorcycle racers will wrap up the 2021 national championship series in the South Island this weekend.

It will be a huge double-header weekend this Saturday and Sunday, with competitors tackling a course near Balclutha on Saturday, followed by racing near Mosgiel on Sunday, a sudden and potentially-explosive end to what has been a thrilling competition.

The four-round 2021 Yamaha-sponsored New Zealand Cross-country Championships kicked off near Marton, in the Rangitikei region, in late February, with round two following near Dannevirke just two weeks later.

But thats only half the story, with the second half now to complete it over one gruelling 48-hour period.

Racing both days this weekend will again offer up a variety of obstacles and challenging terrain, featuring all the tricky features the riders have come to love or respect, with fast open farmland, slower bush sections and the odd hill climb or creek crossing thrown in for good measure.

Napier-based former Wairoa rider Tommy Watts and Palmerston Norths 2015 national champion Paul Whibley currently hold an equal share of the series lead, with Raglans Brandon Given, Napier-based former Wairoa rider, Reece Lister and Taupos Hadleigh Knight not too far behind them.

Whanganuis Seth Reardon has also been a standout during the three-hour senior races so far this season, alongside Glen Murrays Sam Brown and Drurys Richard Sutton, while Taupos Wil Yeoman, Eketahunas Luke Brown, Cambridges Bailey Morgan and Dannevirkes Charlie Free were among the leading individuals in the 90-minute junior races at both Marton and Dannevirke. 

Mastertons Max Williams has been best of the 85cc bike riders thus far and he is impressively running sixth overall in the junior grade.

Its likely that these riders will again be among the frontrunners in the South Island this weekend, although strong challenges may come from Rotoruas Callum Dudson, Kinlochs Quade Young, Dannevirkes Ben Patterson and Te Kauwhatas Jacob Brown, to name a few.

Points from only the best three results from the four rounds will be counted towards the championship titles, with riders to discard their worst result. This has allowed competitors the option of having to make only one trip across Cook Strait.

However, Nelsons Bailey Basalaj and Blake Affleck, from the South Otago town of Owaka, have been the only South Island riders to make the journey north for the earlier rounds. Basalaj is currently 20th overall in the senior grade and Affleck is running 19th overall in the junior grade.

The 90-minute junior race kicks off at about 9am both days, with the three-hour senior race to follow at about 11.30am.

The New Zealand Cross-country Championships series is supported by Yamaha NZ, ONeal apparel, The Dirt Guide, Oakley goggles, Bel Ray oils and Michelin tyres.

2021 NZ Cross-Country Champs

Round One – Sunday, February 28 – Bush Riders Motorcycle Club, Marton

Round Two – Sunday, March 14 – Central Hawkes Bay MCC, Dannevirke

Round Three – Saturday, April 17 – Gore and Districts Motorcycle Club, Balclutha

Round Four – Sunday, April 18 – Mosgiel District Motor Cycle Club, Mosgiel

Credit: Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com

NZ Cross Country
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