Moto Media

Round 1 of the NZ Motocross Champs - an overview

  • Arrived at 7am and got a fleeting glimpse of Mt Egmont - not to be seen again.
  • Track looked great and sprinklers were on.
  • Signed on for my Media Indemnity and Tash Bol from MX Timing said there was only intermittent internet on Spark - grrrrr.  It actually depended where you stood but having half signal didn't mean it was it would actually send.  I loaded up a few comment and images on Facebook and went out onto Barrett Road where they did send but I wouldn't be doing that all day. 
  • Overcast is going to be ideal.
  • Was told that on the Monday the entire start area was under water.
  • Couple of damp spots on the holeshot line but they scrapped that away and re-groomed.
  • Grumblings in general about their concrete start pads.
  • 'Factory' teams were all set-up near the Club Rooms - very tight but same for everyone.
  • Interesting to hear that Makato Ogato was under the Honda tent riding for Ben Townley. In Japan he and Yu Harata are big budget 'factory' riders and trade positions in their domestic championship.
  • Track is a real amphitheatre from which you can see 75% of the track.
  • MX1 and Vet rider Mitch Rowe was another spectator having broken his collarbone on the Friday.  A stalwart of the TMCC  there is lots of history in the Club Rooms that includes Mitch.
  • Good to see Hamish Harwood was back after his big get-off at the Auckland Champs.  He said he felt 100% but he'd only been back on the bike a week.
  • Rumour going around that Timaru had no water - river dry, ponds dry.  If you didn't know, on the Saturday of the same weekend they have the JCR-Backflips South Island Junior MX Champs.  Nicol Bol later posted; "The irrigation pond at The Backflips Dirt Farm has plenty of water."
Practice & Qualifying
  • 30 minute sessions for each class plus before each race they would get a look lap.
  • Comment made at the Pukekohe Club that Puk's 1:40 was too long.  Here the fastest lap in MX1 was averaging 2:09s and the majority well behind that.
  • It was still overcast throughout that 2 hours and the very light drizzle would be helping the track. 
  • Something amiss with Courtney Duncan's bike early in the session.
  • In MX2 the big buzz was Mike Phillips, who was 5th fastest, had crashed on his last lap and it was an obvious collarbone and ribs - he was in a lot of pain.   His dad Dennis told me later in the day that the collarbone has a big crack, ribs were okay but he had a large Hematoma on his neck.  As there are major arteries there he was staying in hospital. 
  • MX1 and Ethan Martens was fastest until the end when Aussie Kirk Gibbs went a second faster than anyone.  He looked good at Woodville - would it be a repeat performance?  Groombridge was next, then Columb, Martens, John Phillips, Carter, Styke, Cooper, Mosig and Harata.

                           Hadn't taken long for the ruts to form.  This was on the container jump of the long downhill section.

Round 1

  • 125s and Courtney had a bad start and also went down out the back.  She finished 11th.  Was later told she was on her practice bike and the handling was visibly horrible in that moto.  They had it right by the third moto. 
  • Wyatt Chase also broke his collarbone in that race.  Bummer for Wyatt and his mum Angela having to go to the hospital, as brother Cohen went on to win the Class.
  • Josiah Natzke won it by a whopping 23 seconds. Cohen Chase 2nd and Kurtis Lilly 3rd.
  • MX2 and Aussie Jay Wilson had a monstrous lead. Looked soo good.  Was either reeled in, or backed off, by Hadleigh Knight with Joel Meikle right behind him.  Joel was having his first outing for CMR Red Bull KTM. 
  • Hayden Kanters was on his back wheel and Josiah Natzke 5 seconds back. 
  • Evan Wadsworth crashed out on Lap 2 - third broken collarbone that day - that I knew of !!!  Plus Mitch Rowe's.
  • MX1 and YuHarata went down in the holeshot and it took 6 people to free his brake lever and handlebar from the back of Marty Axtens bike - he lost a full lap.
  • Aussie Kade Mosig led all the way to the flag by 5.5 secs - very impressive as track now rough and tough.
  • At one stage it was 3 Aussies looking to podium;  Mosig, Gibbs and Styke, however Styke's bike stopped.
  • Gibbs was second followed by 5 Kiwis; Columb, Cooper, Groombridge, Phillips, Martens.
  • Rhys Carter was stuck in 4th gear. 
  • Later 'heard' that Rhys has a 250 Lites ride in Australia.
  • Solid 9th by Campbell Bailey, whose team-mate Kayne Lamont was there in support.
  • That was two Altherm JCR Yamaha wins - happy team.

Round 2

  • Good 20 minutes of rain helped keep the dust at bay for the rest of the day but it was super slippery.
  • 125s and Josiah Natzke was gone.  Courtney held 2nd but then moved to 6th, back up to 4th, then back to finish 6th.
  • Ben Broad, now with CMR Red Bull KTM, was into 2nd at Lap 2 and there he stayed.
  • It took Cohen Chase until Lap 7 to hit 3rd.
  • What !!! The Coffee Guys ran out of milk !!!
  • MX2 Jay Wilson took a hit in the start-straight and was mid-pack at the corner. Hadleigh Knight was out front but in Lap 2 went over the bars and Micah McGoldrick hit the front.  Campbell King was into 2nd (I am still haunted by him on that damned CR150 4 stroke!!! - haha)  Knight was only back at 7th but a lap later the bike died. "Probably from having been upside down" said Neil Ritchie.  Cam Dillon was in 2nd but at Lap 3 was 25th - he climbed back to 13th.  Meanwhile Jay Wilson, who was down at 22nd fought through to 3rd. Joel Meikle rag-dolled off the bottom of the hill and was lying in a dangerous position until help arrived. So much going on I thought Neil Ritchie was going to loose his voice.  Micah had an emphatic win from Harwood and Wilson. And Natzke? he started out in 11th and finished 6th. Wow, what a race !!!
  • MX1.  Ruts at the top of the hill were now very deep. 
  • Hamish Dobbyn would have been in his element but ..... 
  • Styke and Mosig were bar-to-bar but it was Mosig who led into the giant uphill tabletop followed by ...... Daryl Hurley.  Those 3 were to slip backwards and Phillips took over at Lap 2 and stayed there for 4.  Columb had started out 7th and hit the front at Lap 6 and went on to win by 8 secs.  Then it was Cooper, Gibbs, Groombridge and Styke. 

Round 3

  • Sun was out and it was burn time.  The Coffee Guys were out of milk again so they shut up shop. Track was now down to the shiny stuff but no dust.
  • 125s:

      Holeshot and a big 'gasp' from the crowd looking down, as Josiah's legs go through the air at the end of the start-straight.

  • The full sequence of images can be seen on: 
  • To his credit Josiah got back on the bike and went from 31st to 8th.
  • Courtney Duncan led out with Cohen Chase, Jacob Steel, Kurtis Lilly and Ben Broad. Another Scary moment as Steel also rag-dolled at the bottom of the hill.  He got going and circulated in the mid 20's. At Lap 3 Broad took the lead for 5 laps until with 2 to go Chase took over.  Riders were falling off everywhere. At the flag it was Chase, Broad and Duncan. Overall would be Chase, Natzke and Broad.
  • Not a great day for Courtney Duncan with a 6th overall.  I didn't really get the chance to talk to her as they were pitted furtherest away.
  • MX2: Micah McGoldrick checked out followed by Knight and Wilson. Lap 7 at the left-hander up by Barrett Road and Wilson sneaked up the inside of Knight. They disappeared side-by-side but Knight does not emerge.  McGoldrick wins by 15.5 secs and has certainly shown his hand.  Harwood was 2nd and Wilson 3rd.  Overall would be Wilson, McGoldrick and Harwood. Seeing McGoldrick him on the podium you could not notice how he has really matured.
  • MX1: Styke, Phillips, Columb and Gibbs lead out with Martens and Phillips in close   It was Styke who led the next 5 laps, harrassed and trading places by Columb, until trouble with the bike again and he was gone at lap 8.  Columb was in front with 4 to go and there he stayed. Gibbs was 2 secs behind and Martens another 10 secs followed closely by Phillips and Carter.  Carter had a go on the outside, on the last corner, but Phillips knew he was coming and pushed him wide. 6th was Ogata, Groombridge, Hirata, Hurley with Cooper in 10th. 
  • Soo, what were the overalls?

  • Yamaha won all the main Championship Classes and Altherm JCR Yamaha both MX1 and MX2.
  • What about the Japanese?  Ogato's points were 13-4-15 for 32 points for 8th overall. Harata went 1-10-13 for 24 points for 14th - not bad after just 1 point in Race 1.
  • Alpinestars USA rider Eric Senk was 17th overall.


  • MX1: 

5th Kade Mosig. 3rd John Phillips. 1st Scott Columb.  2nd Kirk Gibbs. 4th Cody Cooper. 
Columb gave a shoutout for his sister Alanna who had just won the Elite Women's Downhill at the NZ MTB in Taupo.

  • MX2: 

3rd Hamish Harwood. 1st Jay Wilson.  2nd Micah McGoldrick. 

Had the big lens on so missed 4th Hayden Kanters and 5th Campbell King.

  • Nat125:

5th Reece Walker.  3rd Ben Broad. 1st Cohen Chase. 2nd Josiah Natzke. 4th Kurtis Lilly.