NZ championship round comes to Balclutha

Training hard . . . Local and national competitors are preparing for the Balclutha round of the New Zealand Motocross Championships. PHOTO: NICK BROOK

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The 2023 New Zealand Motocross Championships will begin at full-throttle at Balclutha’s Riverside track on Sunday, February 12.

South Otago Motorcycle Club treasurer Jo Bond said the club was proud and excited to host the national event.

‘‘This is the first of a four-round competition with the rest held in the North Island, so to have a piece of the action in little old South Otago is a big deal for the sport and the community,’’ Bond said.

‘‘We held a round back in 2020, which was a huge success for the riders, spectators and our club, and the competitors only had good words to say about our awesome track.’’

The event will draw top riders from all over the country, including race teams from Kawasaki, Husqvarna, Honda and Yamaha, guaranteeing an action-packed day of motocross at the highest level.

‘‘The track has had a few changes, some new jumps and is looking good,’’ Bond said.

‘‘Club members are working hard on getting water into the ground to reduce dust.’’

Club president David Latta encouraged local people to attend and support the high-profile event.

‘‘It’s a chance for locals to see this spectacular sport at its top level.

‘‘We’re hoping for over 100 riders, including names like Sam Cuthbertson, Maximus Purvis and multinational champion Cody Cooper.’’

Latta’s son Madison is a serious contender in the MX1 open class and Clutha is well represented in other classes.

‘‘Most riders are North Island-based so it’s quite a big undertaking and achievement to get an event like this to a small club down south.

‘‘It costs a bit to run so there is a gate charge to help with expenses.

‘‘We really appreciate the efforts of club members and sponsors in helping bring a fixture of this high a calibre to the Balclutha community,’’ Latta said.

The championship action begins at 10am.