The 2023 New Zealand Motocross Championships

CAPTION: Mount Maunganui’s Roma Edwards (Honda), who will surely be one of the leading title contenders in senior women’s racing in 2023. Photo by Andy McGechan,

The 2023 New Zealand Motocross Championships season is still a few weeks away from launching, but things are already starting to heat up.

The annual four-round Aon Insurance and Fox apparel-sponsored series is due to kick off at Balclutha on February 12, with round two to follow in Rotorua, two weeks later on February 26, then Hastings on March 19 and, finally, it all wraps up at Taupo on March 26.

Motorcycling New Zealand motocross commissioner Lindsey Heileson believes the competition will be “an absolute cracker” with riders and race teams already warming themselves up in recent weeks with racing at major provincial and regional events all around the country.

The biggest event in New Zealand outside of the nationals, the stand-alone annual New Zealand Motocross Grand Prix at Woodville, on the last weekend of January will also prime competitors perfectly for the nationals.

The New Zealand Motocross Championships were not able to be run in 2022 because of restrictions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, adding extra anticipation to the 2023 edition of the series and, in addition to that, the 2023 senior women’s motocross nationals will share the programme for the North Island rounds, enhancing even more the scale and importance of the racing.

It will be the first time that the senior women’s nationals will run in tandem with the corresponding men’s competition.

Heileson said the release of further information and entry forms was imminent, “coming out next week”, but competitors should go ahead and be comfortable making their travel and accommodation bookings.

“Woodville will be a great lead-in to the nationals and riders will be well and truly warmed up by February 12,” he said.

“It’s been two years since we’ve held the Woodville motocross too, so we imagine that the 2023 edition will be a fantastic event and great hit-out for all the title contenders.

“After the hiatus due to the pandemic, everyone will be itching to get racing again at this top level.”

Leading riders to watch out for include defending national MX1 champion Hamish Harwood, from West Auckland; Papamoa’s multi-time former national champion Cody Cooper; Mangakino’s 2021 national MX2 champion Maximus Purvis, now on board 450cc machinery; Hamilton’s former national champion Kayne Lamont; Te Puke’s Tyler Steiner; national cross-country champion James Scott, from Oparau; Silverdale’s former national 125cc champion Hayden Smith, Auckland’s Cobie Bourke, Pukekohe’s Tyler Brown, Cambridge’s Jared Hannon, Dairy Flats rider Cole Davies, Kerikeri’s Logan Denize, Taupo’s Cody Griffiths and New Plymouth brothers Curtis and Rian King, to name a few.

In the women’s ranks, expect to see potential title-winning performances from Mount Maunganui’s Roma Edwards, Hamilton’s Aime Roberts, Opunake’s Taylar Rampton, Otorohanga’s Zara Gray, Maungaturoto’s Meg Paton, Wainuiomata’s Ella Burns and Hamilton’s Mikayla Rowe, among others.

2023 New Zealand Motocross Championships:

Round one: February 12, South Otago (Balclutha)

Round two: February 26, Rotorua

Round three: March 19, Hastings

Round 4: March 26, Taupo

Credit: Words and photo by Andy McGechan,