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

 

Christchurch: Fixing Town Hall Means Performing Arts Precinct Rethink

Christchurch City Council’s decision to spend $127.5 million fixing the Town Hall means not all the land currently designated for the city’s Performing Arts Precinct is required, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says. More>>

ALSO:

With Hunters & Collectors: The Rolling Stones Announce New Auckland Date

It’s the news New Zealand has been waiting for. The Rolling Stones today confirmed the rescheduled dates and venues for both the Australian and New Zealand legs of their highly anticipated ’14 On Fire’ tour. Now, Frontier Touring is also delighted ... More>>

ALSO:

Flying Things: Conchords, Pretties Help BATS Fly Home

The launch of BATS theatre’s fundraising campaign has taken off – with a bit of help from their friends. And with friends like theirs… An event last night hosted by Te Radar at Wellington’s latest waterfront venue, Shed 6, featured Fly My Pretties and, in a dream-come-true scenario, Flight of the Conchords. More>>

ALSO:

Environment: Zoo’s Own Wētā Workshop Produces Rare Giants For Release

Following unprecedented breeding and rearing success, Auckland Zoo is today releasing 150 of New Zealand’s largest giant wētā, the wētā punga, onto pest-free Motuora Island in the Hauraki Gulf. A further 150 will be released onto Tiritiri Matangi next month. More>>

Girls On Film: Divergent Hits The Big Screen

n January, Catching Fire (the second film in the Hunger Games series) not only became the biggest US box office success of 2013 : it also became the first film starring a female actor (ie. Jennifer Lawrence) to top the annual domestic earnings chart since The Exorcist, 40 years ago. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: No Travel Sanctions For Russian Billionaire’s Superyacht

On the same day that New Zealand announced travel sanctions against selected Russians, a Russian billionaire’s superyacht berthed in Wellington Harbour. More>>

ALSO:

Mental Health: UC Researchers Believe Robots Can Persuade People To Conform

A team of University of Canterbury (UC) researchers and scientists believe robots can persuade people to conform through group pressure... ``Our results showed that robots can induce conformity but to a significantly lesser degree than humans." More>>

NZ On Air: Local Content Holds Steady At 32% Of Television Schedules

Since 1989 NZ On Air has measured local free-to-air television content. The report compares the schedules of the six national free-to-air channels, to observe trends and changes in the local content landscape. More>>

Arts Fest: 2014 New Zealand Festival A Spectacular Celebration

The New Zealand Festival welcomed the world to Wellington over 24 days (21 Feb – 16 Mar) of arts events across the city. “[current figures show] slight increase on the 110,000 tickets issued in 2012. It’s a great result.” More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Culture
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news