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New Feature For Woodville Motocross

The 2014 Honda New Zealand Motocross Grand Prix at Woodville

New Feature For Woodville Motocross

JANUARY 6, 2013: Atiamuri’s Hadleigh Knight has extra incentive to win when he races at the big annual New Zealand Motocross Grand Prix at Woodville this season.

He won the special Roddy Shirriffs Memorial Trophy at the Honda-sponsored event last season – the prize for the highest-placed rider in the feature race who is under the age of 22 – and this year it will possibly be an even more significant achievement, with an entirely separate race now being set aside to recognise the feat at the January 25-26 event.

To increase the profile of the Roddy Shirriffs Memorial Trophy, an additional race will be slotted into the Sunday programme.

Instead of the young 125cc and MX2 (250cc) class riders being incorporated into the all-capacities Invitation Feature Race, where they were very likely to be overshadowed by riders on the vastly more powerful 300cc and 450cc bikes, the younger riders on smaller bikes will now battle exclusively among themselves in their own race.

The winner will be awarded the trophy on the podium immediately after the race by the Shirriffs family and by Roddy Shirriffs’ best friend from those days, Palmerston North businessman and former national motocross champion Phil Turnbull.

“I would love to defend my Roddy Shirriffs title. That’s the aim anyway,” said the 17-year-old Knight, who will race his CMR Red Bull KTM SX125 bike.

“I expect it won’t be easy though. I know I’ll have a fight on my hands beating (2012 Roddy Shirriffs trophy winner) Logan Blackburn (of Te Puke) and I reckon Tauranga’s Aaron Wilsthire, Christchurch’s Dylan Walsh and Hamilton’s Josiah Natzke will be tough to beat too.

With only 125cc and MX2 bikes in the race, it will allow the Roddy Shirriffs Memorial Trophy contenders to really lock handlebars and should make the race very exciting for spectators too.

The Roddy Shirriffs Memorial Trophy race is just one of more than 40 races on the programme for the two-day event, this year’s 53rd annual event again attracting the cream of New Zealand’s motocross talent, as well as several competitors from overseas.

Manawatu rider Roddy Shirriffs was only 21 years old when he died while racing at the famous Devil’s Drop motocross track at Wanganui in 1976.

It was later discovered that his spark plus lead had come loose just as he powered off the jump.

Credit: Words by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com

ENDS

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