The 2021 New Zealand Motocross Championship
CAPTION: West Auckland’s Hamish Harwood (KTM), on his way to wrapping up the coveted MX1 title at the final round of the 2021 New Zealand Motocross Championships in Taupo on Sunday. Photo by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ.com
The 2021 New Zealand Motocross Championships finished with a bang at the fourth and final round in Taupo on Sunday.
West Auckland’s Hamish Harwood celebrated winning his first national championship title in the premier MX1 class on Sunday, adding that to the GP trophy he collected in the MX1 class at the New Zealand Motocross Grand Prix at Woodville last season and the four MX2 (250cc) titles and the 125cc title he had also picked up in previous years.
Harwood finished a solid 10 points ahead of Mount Maunganui’s multi-time former national MX1 champion Cody Cooper, with Taupo’s Wyatt Chase claiming the third podium spot.
Meanwhile, local man Maximus Purvis successfully defended his MX2 (250cc) title from last season when he wrapped up that class with a race to spare at Taupo’s Digger McEwen Motocross Park on Sunday, a great way to end his domestic campaign before he crosses the Tasman Sea to now tackle the Australian Motocross Championships, although that campaign will be in the 450cc MX1 class.
Runner-up to Purvis in the MX2 class this year was Oparau’s James Scott, with Silverdale’s Hayden Smith completing the podium in this 250cc division.
While Smith had to accept the No.3 spot in the MX2 class, the dual-class ironman was also still a major winner on Sunday, becoming another rider to win a national title for a second time.
The series leader in the MX125 class before the start of the weekend, the 20-year-old Smith beat off challenges from Clevedon’s Cobie Bourke, Tauranga’s Madoc Dixon, Hamilton’s Dylan Westgate and New Plymouth’s Rian King in the day’s three close-fought 125cc class races.
Former Taihape man Smith had previously won the national title in the 125cc in 2017, until injuries and work commitments kept him side-lined for the past few seasons.
A crash at Rotorua’s second round of the series in February ended any hopes dual-class ironman Brodie Connolly had of successfully defending his 125cc title, but the Tauranga teenager still did enough in the nine of the 11 races that he did complete to claim the national Under-19 title (for finishing as best-placed rider aged under 19 in the MX2 class).
Motorcycling New Zealand motocross commissioner Ray Broad said the New Zealand Motocross Championships this year had been “fantastic”.
“It was great to have a couple of extra feature races on show at Taupo for the final, the Women’s Cup and the 65 Cup sharing the programme on the final day of the championships, showcasing some of our up-and-coming talent,” he said.
“But nothing can take it away from the champions we celebrated today. Hamish Harwood showed what a complete champion he is, Maximus Purvis showed that he was a step above everyone in MX2 and Hayden Smith coming back from injury and double-classing and winning the 125cc title. Next year will be exciting too and we can look forward to those guys stepping out with the No.1 plates on their bikes.
“We are looking at perhaps running additional rounds next year. We have had quite a number of clubs put their hands up to host a round of the motocross championship. At the MNZ AGM in May we’d like to release the dates and venues.
“A massive thank you to the host clubs this year, Manawatu-Orion, Rotorua, Pukekohe and Taupo.”
The New Zealand Motocross Championships were supported by Aon Insurance, Kawasaki New Zealand, Pirelli tyres and Fox apparel, with Taupo’s final round additionally supported by Yamaha NZ.
Final leading standings in the 2021 senior NZ Motocross Champs:
MX1 class: 1. West Auckland’s Hamish Harwood, 254 points; 2. Mount Maunganui’s Cody Cooper, 244; 3. Taupo’s Wyatt Chase, 215.
MX2 class: 1. Mangakino’s Maximus Purvis, 266 points; 2. Oparau’s James Scott 223; 3. Silverdale’s Hayden Smith, 204.
Under-19 class: 1. Tauranga’s Brodie Connolly, 225 points; 2. Te Aroha’s Luke Van Der Lee, 211; 3. Christchurch’s Marshall Phillips 180.
MX125 class: 1. Silverdale’s Hayden Smith, 245 points; 2. Clevedon’s Cobie Bourke, 231; 3. Tauranga’s Madoc Dixon, 230.
MX3 class (three rounds only): 1. Matamata’s Darryll King, 193 points; 2 Whakatane’s Darren Capill, 188; Te Awamutu’s Jed Bixley, 120.
Women’s Cup (two rounds only): 1. Motueka’s Roma Edwards, 122 points; 2. Opunake’s Taylar Rampton, 107; 3. Rotorua’s Letitia Alabaster, 100.
YZ65 Cup (one round only): 1. Oropi’s Townley, 50 points; 2. Tokoroa’s Levi Rodgers, 44; 3. Oropi’s Jaggar Townley, 40.
Credit: Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com