All roads lead to the Bay of Plenty this coming weekend, where the starting gates will drop at the Battle of the Teams motocross fundraising event.
The much-admired event again attracted most of the country’s leading riders, with Saturday’s action devoted to raising funds to send a three-rider New Zealand team to compete in the annual Motocross of Nations (MXoN), to be held this year in the United States.
Sunday is reserved for the third round of six of Taupo Motorcycle Club‘s popular Taupo Winter Series.
The Battle of the Teams event last took place in 2020, although the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic prevented the event from taking place that year.
The MXoN, commonly referred to as the “Olympic Games of Motocross”, was resurrected in 2021, but it was held without Kiwi representation, and so, with those dollars kept in the bank, a financial foundation now exists to help defray the costs. to send a New Zealand team to the event this time around.
The MXoN takes place this year at Red Bud in Buchanan, Michigan on the weekend of September 24-25.
The team vs. team format used for Saturday’s races at Taupo – which is similar to the MXoN’s nation vs. nation setup – is hugely popular with the New Zealand motocross community.
The Battle of the Teams will feature mini riders, juniors and women, as well as seniors and veterans.
There will no doubt be some exciting clashes, with draw riders such as Courtney Duncan, three-time women’s motocross world champion from Otago, Cody Cooper from Mount Maunganui, James Scott from Oparau, Brodie Connolly from Tauranga and Tauranga’s Rhys Carter, for example, all want to make some waves.
Cooper and Carter have both represented New Zealand at the MXoN in the past, as have several other riders who will also be competing or attending Taupo this weekend, individuals such as Daryl Hurley from Hawera, Shayne King from New Plymouth and Ben Townley of Tauranga.
“It’s going to be a huge weekend,” said Lindsey Heileson, motocross steward for Motorcycling New Zealand.
“This will be a huge outing for many after the COVID restrictions and we can’t thank our sponsors enough for always being there for us.
“With Courtney Duncan among the entries, it gives the event an extra boost and we see that there are many other riders entered and, in fact, many riders in all categories, mini riders to veterans, also providing great support.
“Awesome entries have been received from afar, many traveling from the South Island, and it’s nice to see too,” he said.
“It shows how strong the support from the motocross community is for us to send a team to the Motocross des Nations in September.”
Credit: Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com
© Scoop Media