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Time Now For Title Hopefuls To Make It Count

The second half of the 2024 New Zealand Motocross Championship season hits the dirt this weekend and so now is the time to really make it count.

Round three of four in the Yamaha-sponsored New Zealand Motocross Championship is certain to shake the ground at the MR Motorcycles Raceway at Harrisville, just south of Pukekohe, this Saturday, with top-level racing on the steep and challenging venue that has produced so much exciting racing over the past few decades.

With just two rounds remaining, the clock is ticking and riders will be determined to either enhance or strengthen their respective positions or to mount a serious challenge on the various class leaders after fierce racing in Rotorua and Balclutha last month revealed some definite title favourites.

West Auckland-based former Takaka man Hamish Harwood, in the MX1 class, Papamoa’s Cody Cooper, in the MX2 class, Bombay’s Reuben Smith, in the 125cc class, and Raetihi’s Karaitiana Horne, in the women’s class, are the respective championship leaders after ferocious racing in the Bay of Plenty and then at Balclutha, in South Otago, in February.

Visiting Australian riders Jed Beaton and Caleb Ward, Otautau’s Jack Treloar, Taihape’s Hayden Smith, Oparau’s James Scott, Bombay’s Reuben Smith, Invercargill duo Seth Morrow and Jack Symon, Cambridge’s Jared Hannon, New Plymouth’s Rian King, Appleby’s Wills Harvey, Opunake’s Taylar Rampton, Auckland’s Thalia Heileson and Palmerston North’s Hannah Powell, among others, will be the key riders for these championship leaders to watch out for on Saturday.

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Saturday’s racing will also include the Yamaha YZ65 Cup competition for juniors, an extra bonus element in the packed programme that will showcase the young grassroots of the sport in New Zealand.

Host Pukekohe Motorcycle Club president and Motorcycling New Zealand motocross co-commissioner Stu McCulloch said it was an honour to host this event.

“We extend a warm welcome to all the riders and thank them for showing such great support for the sport,” he said.

“We know the racing will be of the highest calibre and a large crowd is expected to view the racing on Saturday.

“It has been a few years now since we last staged a round of the championship at Pukekohe and it’s fantastic to be honoured with hosting rights again this year.

“I also wish to thank my team of volunteer workers who have put in such a tremendous effort to make this all possible.”

Following racing at Pukekohe on Saturday, riders will head south for the fourth and final round on the outskirts of New Plymouth on April 13.

In addition to Yamaha Motor New Zealand, other key financial backers for the 2024 season include Fox, Pirelli, Alpinestars, Motomuck and Grassroots Trust, all offering great support to the popular annual series.

2024 Yamaha Motor NZ Motocross Championship calendar:

Round 1, Rotorua, February 3, 2024

Round 2, Balclutha, February 25, 2024

Round 3, Pukekohe, March 23, 2024

Round 4, Taranaki, April 13, 2024

Credit: Words by Andy McGechan,

© Scoop Media

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