2022 New Zealand Motocross TT Nationals

CAPTION: Christchurch’s former national MX1 motocross champion Justin Macdonald (Honda), likely to be among the leading riders at this year’s New Zealand Motocross TT Nationals. Photo by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ.com

It combines horsepower with heroics, demands both boldness and bravery, couples speed with stamina and mixes torque with technique … it is the motorcycle community’s annual New Zealand Motocross TT Nationals.

Throttles will be turned to the stops and so we can expect the racing will be eye-watering on the mostly-flat grassland course near Timaru this coming weekend (August 27 and 28).

With no jumps to slow them down and a combination of slippery grass, deep ruts and high speed, the dirt bike action should be very close and exciting at this 2022 edition of the New Zealand Motocross TT Championships on Saturday and Sunday.

The entry list for this Fabtech-sponsored two-day event will include the stars of motocross, cross-country, enduro and possibly even a few road-racing heroes as they battle one another on the track at 227 Munro Road, Pareora, just south of Timaru.

Racing will no doubt push the athletes to their limits, particularly when the terrain becomes progressively rougher and the ruts progressively deeper after each race.

With riders almost equal in the horsepower stakes, it will be the individuals who start fastest, accelerate soonest and brake latest who will benefit the most.

“We are grateful that the South Canterbury Motorcycle Club has stepped up to host the TT Nationals,” said Motorcycling New Zealand motocross commissioner Lindsey Heileson.

“We are pleased that so many riders support this event. It’s a great two days. Camping is available at the track, so it’s more of a fun, family atmosphere. It’s good to be able to offer a more natural terrain motocross meeting to MNZ members,” he said.

“I am looking forward to attending the 2022 TT nationals. It will be  a great weekend of racing for everyone involved.  It’s good to see the event well supported by both the North Island and South Island riders. It shows us that the sport is in good position and riders are always keen to get out and race.

“This event caters for a wide variety of motorcycling codes and a diverse range of competitors. It should be a great spectacle.”

South Island riders expected to be to the fore include Christchurch pair Justin Macdonald and Marshall Phillips, Invercargill’s Jack Symon, Otautau’s Jack Treloar, Timaru’s Josh May and Balclutha father and son pair David and Madison Latta, to name just a few.

Inglewood’s Renny Johnston was outstanding in winning the premier MX1 class when the TT nationals were held at Taupiri, north of Hamilton last season, while Te Aroha’s Luke van der Lee was unbeaten in the MX2 class.

Auckland’s Damon Nield was unstoppable in the senior 125cc class and in the enduro class as well, while Hamilton’s Mikayla Rowe dominated the senior women’s class.

Rotorua’s Ticayla Manson narrowly won the junior women’s 12-16 years’ 150cc & 250cc class last year, while Waimauku’s Ruby Leach narrowly won the junior women’s 8-16 years’ 85cc and 150cc class as well.

New Plymouth’s Mitch Rowe almost unstoppable in the veterans’ over-45 years and in the Classic Pre-1996 bikes class last year.

Other class winners last year were Te Awamutu’s Jack Carmichael (junior 14-16 years’, 250cc); Waihi’s Luke Maitland (junior 12-16 years’, 125cc); Hamilton’s Carson Mackie (junior 12-16 years’, 85cc); Wairoa’s Connor Cavaney (mini 65cc) and Helensville’s Adam Bockett (mini 50cc).

Some of these same individuals, plus plenty of other talented riders, could expect to be contenders in Timaru this time around too.

With racing for 10 separate championship classes over the two days, as well as support and mini classes being run, the term “flat track” may be a little misleading, with the track expected to be rough and rutted by late Sunday afternoon, when rider fitness will play as much a part in the outcomes as any riders’ bravery, skill or horsepower advantage.

Track access is off Pooke Road, Pareora, Timaru (signposted from Caltex Pareora Fuel stop on State Highway 1).

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