The 2024 New Zealand Junior Motocross Championships

CAPTION: Expect fast and furious action such as this when the gates drop for the 2024 New Zealand Junior Motocross Championships in the Manawatu/Horowhenua region this weekend. Photo by Andy McGechan,

Just last weekend the adult elite of New Zealand motocross wrapped up their annual championship series and now it’s the turn of the sport’s rising young stars to reveal who’s ready to step up.

Indeed, the future of Kiwi motocross will be on show in the Manawatu/Horowhenua region this coming weekend when the 2024 New Zealand Junior Motocross Championships fire up at Himatangi, about halfway between Foxton and Sanson.

The AFC Motorcycles-sponsored three-day event will be run at the sandy Flipp’s Motocross Park circuit at 134 Omanuka Road, Himatangi, from Friday to Sunday, April 19-21.

Racing in sand can be energy-sapping, so riders will need to be at their best to prevail at the end of the three days.

The racing at the junior championships 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 championship 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, Bay of Plenty’s Ben Townley, Mangakino’s Maximus Purvis, Opotiki’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.

Some of the junior stars worth watching for this weekend include Australia’s Bodie Court, Tauranga’s Levi Townley, Auckland’s Jack Ellingham, Karaka’s Hayden Draper, Te Awamutu’s Nixon Parkes, Levin’s Phoenix van Dusschoten, Leeston’s Kase Thoms, Mangakino’s Maz Parkes, Cambridge’s Nico Verhoeven, Christchurch’s Levi McMaster, Taupo’s Connor Feather, Prebbleton’s Jesse Baird, Palmerston North’s Jaxx Hunter, Raetihi’s Karaitiana Horne, Helensville’s Ruby Leech, Morrinsville’s Breanna Rodgers, Auckland’s Thalia Heileson, Wainuiomata’s Ella Burns and Whangarei’s Hannah Perris, to name just a few.

With racing this weekend expected to be tight right through all the grades, it’s a tough competition to predict and it is unlikely anything will be wrapped up until late on Sunday afternoon.

Credit: Words and photo by Andy McGechan,

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Code No. MNZ-AM1071