CAPTION: Expect fast and furious action such as this when the gates drop for the 2023 New Zealand Junior Motocross Championships in Southland later this month. Photo by Andy McGechan,

APRIL 5, 2023: The future of Kiwi motocross will be on show in Southland in less than two weeks’ time when the 2023 New Zealand Junior Motocross Championships fire up in Invercargill.

The KTM and Kawasaki-sponsored three-day event will be run at The Sandpit track on Pit Road, at Otatara, on the southern outskirts of the city from April 14-16.

Nearby, Balclutha successfully hosted round one of the just-completed senior New Zealand Motocross Championships in February and that was surely a great warm-up in the same geographical region for the equivalent championships for the nation’s elite junior racers, to be run on this occasion by the Southland Motorcycle Club.

“We have had this event in the pipeline for a while now and everybody in the club has pulled together to make sure it will be the best that it can be,” said Southland Motorcycle Club spokesperson and event co-promoter Mel Symon.

“This will be the first time that the Southland Motorcycle Club has hosted the junior motocross nationals and we are looking forward to three days of safe but exciting racing.

“Perhaps we will be able to host the senior nationals in the near future too,” she enthused.

The racing at the junior nationals is, as always, expected to be fierce, as the cream of motocross talent aged between eight and 16 years and the elder riders, in particular, battle to clinch a national title before they turn 17 and are obliged to join the senior ranks, where racing and winning gets that much tougher.

Former world class riders such as Taranaki brothers Darryll, Shayne and Damien King, Motueka’s Josh Coppins and Bay of Plenty’s Ben Townley, and current leading senior stars such Mangakino’s Maximus Purvis, Papamoa’s Cody Cooper, Royal Heights rider Hamish Harwood, Mount Maunganui’s Josiah Natzke, Tauranga’s Brodie Connolly and Oparau’s James Scott, to name a few, can all trace the start of their winning careers back to their junior motocross days.

With racing near Invercargill next week expected to be tight right through all the grades, it’s a tough championships to predict and it is unlikely anything will be wrapped up until late on Sunday afternoon.

Access to the venue will be signposted from Dunns Road.

Credit: Words and photo by Andy McGechan,