Mount Maunganui’s Cody Cooper (Honda), who led the Kiwi assault in the FIM Oceania Challenge Cup competition at Woodville last season. Photo by Andy McGechan,


The big annual New Zealand Motocross Grand Prix at Woodville has long enjoyed its prominent position as New Zealand’s largest stand-alone motocross event.

But, if that wasn’t already enough, the upcoming Honda-sponsored race weekend – which will celebrate its 59th birthday in late January – has again been afforded extra status as an FIM Oceania event.

The 2020 New Zealand Motocross Grand Prix at Woodville will run on January 25-26, with an entry list that typically reads like a “Who’s Who” of the sport, and will feature dozens of races for all categories, from the mini riders, aged between four and 11, on bikes as small as 50cc, to juniors, women, veterans and senior men, on bikes with engine capacities anywhere between 125cc and 450cc.

The river race set for Sunday is also a massive crowd-pleaser.

But it is the New Zealand versus Australia element to the event, the FIM Oceania Challenge Cup, that sparks much added interest and elevates it to a new high level.

The FIM Oceania Challenge Cup will again feature two squads of riders nominated to represent their respective countries over the two days and the race-within-a-race element should again prove popular with the always-appreciative crowd.

The FIM Oceania aspect has enjoyed runaway success over the past two season, the New Zealand contingent beat the visiting Australians in the inaugural FIM Oceania Trans Tasman Challenge in 2018, edging them out by a solid 57 points, but the Australians fought back at the 2019 edition and beat the Kiwis to the coveted trophy, albeit winning by just one solitary point.

No let-up in the friendly rivalry is expected this time around either.

Participating riders from Australia and New Zealand have yet to be confirmed, but there is no shortage of willing candidates keen to lock horns in this inspired trans-Tasman showdown.

The Manawatu Orion Motorcycle Club (MOMCC) has hosted the Woodville GP every year since its inception in 1961 and is proud to again be chosen to stage this FIM Oceania Challenge competition.

MOMCC president Fraser Miller said he wanted to thank FIM Oceania for giving the Manawatu Orion Motorcycle Club this opportunity again.

“It is a real privilege to have this status,” he said. “We want to give the crowd great entertainment, something they can really get behind and there really is nothing better than the sporting rivalry that exists between Australia and New Zealand,” he said.

Racing over the two days attracts thousands of spectators to the Tararua region, filling motel rooms and camping grounds to the point of overflowing, the New Zealand Motocross Grand Prix at Woodville a must-see spectacle for any motorsports enthusiast.

Credit: Words and photo by Andy McGechan,


Manawatu-Orion Motorcycle Club, Anna Cvitanovich, Ph 027-232-4523