If you can imagine superbike racing on a grass track, you’ll have no trouble imagining what it might be like at the annual New Zealand TT Motocross National Championships near Timaru on the weekend of the 27th and 28th. august.
Riders of all different dirt bike codes – including a few road racers too – are expected to flock to the course at 227 Munro Road, Pareora, just south of Timaru, for the 2022 edition of the popular TT National Championships.
TT racing resembles superbike racing on dirt rather than asphalt – the racing is off-road and the competitors use dirt bikes, but, unlike motocross, there are no steep hills or ramps. launch skyward to slow things down.
The entry list for the two-day Fabtech-sponsored event is likely to include the stars of motocross, cross-country, enduro and even road racing and supermoto, and they will reach blistering speeds as ‘they will pursue national glory.
Running on the grassland track will undoubtedly push athletes to their limits, especially when the mostly flat grassland paddock gets progressively more rugged after each run.
With riders nearly equal in the power stakes, it will be the individuals who start the fastest, accelerate the earliest, and brake the latest who will benefit the most.
“We are grateful to the South Canterbury Motorcycle Club for agreeing to host the TT Nationals,” said Lindsey Heileson, motocross steward for Motorcycling New Zealand.
“We’re thrilled to have so many riders supporting this event. It’s been a great two days. Camping is available at the track, so it’s more of a fun, family-friendly atmosphere. It’s nice to be able to offer a field motocross meeting more natural to MNZ members.
“This event caters to a wide variety of motorcycle codes and a wide range of competitors. It should be a great show.”
Inglewood’s Renny Johnston was notable 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 the enduro class as well, while Hamilton’s Mikayla Rowe dominated the senior women’s class.
Ticayla Manson of Rotorua narrowly won the Junior Women 12-16 150cc and 250cc classes last year, while Ruby Leach of Waimauku also narrowly won the Junior Women 8-16 85cc and 150cc classes.
New Plymouth’s Mitch Rowe was nearly unstoppable in the Over-45 Veteran and Classic Pre-1996 bike class last year.
Other class winners last year were Jack Carmichael of Te Awamutu (junior 14-16, 250cc); Waihi’s Luke Maitland (junior 12-16, 125cc); Hamilton’s Carson Mackie (junior 12-16, 85cc); Connor Cavaney of Wairoa (mini 65cc) and Adam Bockett of Helensville (mini 50cc).
Some of those same individuals, along with many other talented riders, could expect to be contenders for Timaru this time around as well.
With races for 10 separate championship classes over the two days, as well as support classes and mini-classes taking place, the term ‘flat track’ can be a little misleading, as the track has to be rough and rutted from here late Sunday afternoon, when rider fitness will play as much of a role in the results as the riders’ bravery, skill or power advantage.
Access to the track is via Pooke Road, Pareora, Timaru (signposted from the Caltex Pareora Fuel stop on State Highway 1). Closing of registrations on August 17 at 5 p.m.
-By Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com