Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 


Battle of the Titans at Woodville

Battle of the Titans at Woodville

Rotorua’s Michael Phillips would like nothing better than to satisfy his sponsors, thrill his many fans and realise a life-long dream and he can do all three things next weekend if he wins the Honda New Zealand Motocross Grand Prix at Woodville.

The only trouble is, the two-time former New Zealand champion is going to have to muscle his way past the title favourite, fellow Honda star and reigning national MX1 champion Cody Cooper, as well as dozens of other fire-breathing superstars among the more than 500 entrants, many of them arriving from overseas for the January 25-26 event.

This year celebrating its 53rd birthday, the big annual event has grown from humble beginnings in 1961 – the brainchild of former Grand Prix motocross ace and international enduro racer Tim Gibbes, of Palmerston North – to now rate as one of the biggest stand-alone motocross events in the Southern Hemisphere.

The Honda-sponsored two-day race meeting, set for the same familiar farmland track at the eastern end of the Manawatu Gorge that has hosted the racing every year since the inaugural running, has again enticed high-class entries the length and breadth of the country and also drawn in an impressive line-up of international stars.

With riders arriving from Australia, Britain, Japan, and New Caledonia, Phillips’ mission to win the main Woodville trophy has perhaps never been tougher, but it will probably be Kiwi rivals such as Cooper, Taupo’s Brad Groombridge (Suzuki RM-Z450) and Christchurch’s former national MX1 champion and 2010 Woodville winner Justin McDonald (Honda CRF450) who will rate among his biggest threats.

Waitakere’s former national 125cc champion Ethan Martens (now on a 450cc Yamaha and racing in the MX1 class) and Paraparaumu’s Jesse Donnelly (Kawasaki KX450F) have displayed exceptional form in recent months and they are also highly fancied this weekend.

Phillips’ build-up to this year’s edition of Woodville has been going well.

The 27-year-old finished a close runner-up to Groombridge at last weekend’s big King of the Mountain Motocross in Taranaki, so he knows he’s on the pace, despite the fact that, before last weekend, he had not raced much at all since about June last year.

“I’ve won at Woodville a couple of times in the MX2 (250cc) class, but never on the big bike,” he said. “To win the MX1 class and the feature race at Woodville would be a dream come true. It’s one of New Zealand’s premier titles.

“It’s doubly important for me to do well at Woodville this weekend because I need to try and impress a few race team bosses from Australia. I don’t have a ride in Australian yet for 2014 and I need to put on a good show this weekend.”

Racing extends over two days and caters for all ages and abilities and all bike sizes and types, with juniors and minis in action on Saturday and the seniors, women and veterans on the track on Sunday.
ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Werewolf: Katniss Joins The News Team

From the outset, the Hunger Games series has dwelt obsessively on the ways that media images infiltrate our public and personal lives... From that grim starting point, Mockingjay Part One takes the process a few stages further. There is very little of the film that does not involve the characters (a) being on screens (b) making propaganda footage to be screened and (c) reacting to what other characters have been doing on screens. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Ko Witi Te Kaituhituhi

Witi Ihimaera, the distinguished Māori author and the first Māori to publish a book of short stories and a novel, has adopted a new genre with his latest book. But despite its subtitle, this book is a great deal more than a memoir of childhood. More>>

Werewolf: Rescuing Paul Robeson

Would it be any harder these days, for the US government to destroy the career of a famous American entertainer and disappear them from history – purely because of their political beliefs? You would hope so. In 1940, Paul Robeson – a gifted black athlete, singer, film star, Shakespearean actor and orator – was one of the most beloved entertainers on the planet. More>>

ALSO:

"Not A Competition... A Quest": Chapman Tripp Theatre Award Winners

Big winners on the night were Equivocation (Promising Newcomer, Best Costume, Best Director and Production of the Year), Kiss the Fish (Best Music Composition, Outstanding New NZ Play and Best Supporting Actress), and Watch (Best Set, Best Sound Design and Outstanding Performance). More>>

ALSO:

Film Awards: The Dark Horse Scores Big

An inspirational film based on real life Gisborne speed-chess coach An inspirational film based on real life Gisborne speed-chess coach Genesis Potini, made all the right moves to take out top honours along with five other awards at the Rialto Channel New Zealand Film Awards - nicknamed The Moas. More>>

ALSO:

Theatre: Ralph McCubbin Howell Wins 2014 Bruce Mason Award

The Bruce Mason Playwriting Award was presented to Ralph McCubbin Howell at the Playmarket Accolades in Wellington on 23 November 2014. More>>

ALSO:

One Good Tern: Fairy Tern Crowned NZ Seabird Of The Year

The fairy tern and the Fiji petrel traded the lead in the poll several times. But a late surge saw it come out on top with 1882 votes. The Fiji petrel won 1801 votes, and 563 people voted for the little blue penguin. More>>

Music Awards: Lorde Reigns Supreme

Following a hugely successful year locally and internationally, Lorde has done it again taking out no less than six Tuis at the 49th annual Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Culture
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news