Titles on the Line in Taranaki

Taylar Rampton is expected to be among the leading riders in the senior women’s class this weekend. Photo by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ.com


Champions of the past, present and future will go head-to-head at the New Zealand Veterans’ and Women’s Motocross Championships in Taranaki this coming weekend.

It will again be two national champion events for the price of one, with racing over two days for both the elite females, in both the junior and senior grade, and the country’s top male riders, all of them aged over 30 years.

This 2017 edition of the vets’ and women’s nationals will be held on a circuit not previously used for national championship events – the freshly-groomed Hack Track, located between Hawera and Eltham – making it a level playground for all competitors this Saturday and Sunday, November 25-26.

The popular annual event will feature many riders who, despite their veteran status, still rate among the sport’s elite, while the female side of the sport that shares the race programme will be no less intense.

The champion last year in the senior women’s division, Kiwi international Courtney Duncan, from Otago, has not entered this time around, throwing wide open the battle for that title.

One rider who should consider herself a contender for senior women’s 17-29 years’ grade glory is Taranaki rider Taylar Rampton. 

The Opunake woman finished runner-up to Duncan in every race at the women’s nationals last season and, although that should almost be enough to guarantee her status as title favourite this time around, she knows she’ll face a tough time from the Edwards sisters from Motueka – Skye and Tyla Edwards.       

 Last season’s champion in the junior women’s 12-16 years’ grade, Te Awamutu’s Rachael Archer, will be back to defend her title and there she will face up to a third Edwards girl, Roma Edwards, and an on-form Shelby Catley, from Tauranga. 

The veterans’ entry list already reads like a who’s who and who-used-to-be-who of the sport.

Late entries are still expected to arrive from defending champions in several of the veteran men’s grades, although Blenheim’s Moston Wadsworth is one individual who has indicated that he’ll be back to defend his title in the veterans’ 55-59 years’ division.

Taranaki’s former national 500cc champion Mitch Rowe will certainly be a rider worth watching out for in the 50-54 years’ all-capacities class, as will New Plymouth’s former national 250cc No.2 David Furze .

 Former veterans’ world champion Tony Cooksley, of Papakura, should be untroubled to win the over-60 years’ all capacities division.

The 61-year-old Cooksley finished third-equal in the World Veterans’ Motocross Championships in California last year, level on the score-sheet with American former factory rider Chuck Sun, although the Kiwi was relegated to fourth overall on count-back.

 Racing kicks off at 10am both days and spectator entry is free.

The venue is located at 5271 Mountain Road, Eltham.

Words and photo by Andy McGechan

Barcia Back on Blue

After the announcement of Davi Milsaps crash right before the Monster Cup, in which he suffered a shattered elbow and suspected concussion, 2018 wasn’t looking great for the Monster Energy sponsored Factory Yamaha Team. With Cooper Webb still out with injury (he’s only just got back on the bike this week) and as Chad Reed not resigned for ’18, there were no active riders cutting laps.

Justin Barcia, having split from JGR Suzuki after a lacklustre 2017 season was racing as a privateer at the Monster Cup and obviously displayed enough talent to get the fill in ride, which was just made public today. 

JGR Suzuki, previously JGR Yamaha, which Justin also rode for, was known to have ‘disagreements’ between Barcia and the YZ450F he was campaigning in 2015 and ’16. But with 2018 being an all new chassis from Yamaha, maybe things could be a little different for Barcia, who will fill in for Davi for the first 6 rounds of Monster Energy Supercross.

After that? Well depending on results we would imagine that Barcia will be back to privateer life. But, and this is a big outside BUT, if Bracia was sitting in the top 3 in points after the first 6 rounds, It wouldn’t be unrealistic for Yamaha to keep Barcia on throughout the rest of the season. Again, a pretty big BUT – only time will tell…

Official Yamaha Press Release:

Cypress, CA – November 15, 2017 – Monster Energy/Knich/Yamaha Factory Racing’s Davi Millsaps had surgery last week due to complications with his left elbow that he fractured in early October while practicing for the Monster Energy Cup.

According to Keith McCarty, Motorsports Racing Division Manager for Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A., “We initially hoped that Davi’s fractured elbow wouldn’t require surgery, but it’s been a particularly difficult injury, so he had surgery last week in order to take care of some lingering issues. We’re hopeful that the procedure will improve the timeline for his recovery.”

Davi commented, “Unfortunately, I pretty much shattered my elbow when I crashed last month, and Dr. Viola in Colorado performed surgery this past Wednesday, November 8, to repair the damage. Dr. Viola said that everything went well with the procedure, and he’s confident that my elbow will be 100%. I hope to be back on the bike as soon as possible.”

“Davi’s injury still needs time to heal properly,” McCarty added. “And we don’t want to risk making the situation worse by having him start the season when he is not completely ready. So, Justin Barcia has been contracted to race for what we anticipate will be the first six Monster Energy Supercross rounds. Anything beyond that is still dependent on Davi’s condition, and his fitness to race.”

Commenting on his return to Yamaha, Justin said, “First of all, I wish Davi well in his recovery. This is a great opportunity for me, and I’m really happy to be back with Yamaha again, and especially to be racing for the Yamaha Factory team. I’m proud to have my number 51 on the brand-new 2018 YZ450F, and A1 can’t come soon enough for me!”

Davi’s teammate Cooper Webb, whose left thumb was injured during practice at the Monster Energy MXGP of the USA in Jacksonville, Florida, this past September, is now healthy and getting reaquainted with his #2 YZ450F. This week, he and the team will begin preseason conditioning and testing at the Yamaha supercross track in preparation for the opening round of the Monster Energy Supercross season on January 6 at Angel Stadium of Anaheim in Anaheim, California.

“I rode last week on some outdoor tracks in Southern California, and it was awesome! My thumb didn’t give me any issues,” Cooper said. “I’ve also been working hard off the bike to be in the best possible shape I can be in, and I feel really good. The new 2018 YZ450F is an amazing bike, so I know there won’t be a whole lot of time required to get it fine-tuned for A1. It just comes down to me putting the laps in and getting up to race speed and conditioning. I will be ready for A1.”


The 2018 MXGP season is still quite a while away, but while we sit here enjoying the sunshine and hitting the dirt on our own bikes, we can still enjoy some of the MXGP action with this sweet cut of all the best crashes from the 2017 season. Rest assured, it hurts less to watch than experience!

Wilde Ride – On Air Now!

Trying to switch into the world of moto is tough, just ask anyone who has tried!
This new Kiwi made show, now airing on TVNZ on Demand, tackles just that challenge, as a young girl makes the move from horses to dirt bikes after suffering a family tragedy.

Look out for our very own Broxy in the dirt bike sequences, along with a few other well known icons of the Kiwi Moto scene!

The cast of Wilde Ride

Check out the trailer below, and if it catches your fancy you can watch the series on demand right now, on TVNZ on Demand.

Weekend Wrap Up – November 4-5

A quick wrap up from some of the weekend’s dirt action around NZ.


NZ Mini Motocross Champs, Christchurch

With classes full and skies beautifully blue, the Christchurch Off-road Motorcycle Club put on a weekend for mini’s like no other, using the West Melton Track at their melting pot of the future stars of NZ motocross. The club did a great job in track prep, but couldn’t predict the onslaught of random sunshine that baked he track, producing dust during the last few races on Saturday. Come Sunday and the crew had worked all through the night to get the water down deep and conditions were perfect for the final day of racing.


A quick list of class champs look like this:

6-8yrs 50cc MX

Maz Parkes

7-8yrs 65cc MX

Kase Thoms

9-11yrs 65cc MX

Tyler Wiremu

4-5yrs 50cc Trail

Harry Pluck

6-8yrs 50cc Trail

Tyler Mansell

4-7 Intro 50cc MX

Tynan Morrow

9-11yrs 65cc Non Qualifiers

Spencer Biggs


Click Here for timed results and fast laps.

Also, keep an eye on future issues of DRD for a full report.


Waikato Champs, Otorohanga

Even mother-nature herself could not keep the King Country down with the Waikato Champs turning out to be a spectacular event. The morning’s muddy track soon gave way to some excellent tacky dirt leading to some great battles throughout the entire day.

Sunday saw the bike boys and a few junior classed to break things up.

Pro 450 saw Cody Cooper win all four motos, leading a Honda clean sweep of the podium.

Pro 250 looked blue all day with Yamaha’s Wyatt Chase also dominating all races to win the day.

Pro 125 was James Scott cleaning house on his way to a perfect record and Waikato Championship.

Junior 250 was a closer race with race wins shared around. But Jed Bixley was Mr Consistent and took the class win.

Junior 85 was broken into two age groups. Seth Henson would smash the competition in the 12-16yrs while Jack Coleman claimed the 8-11 class by a mere 4 points.


Saturday was all about the kids, oldies and woman, not necessarily in that order. Liam Everts was on show too, and he sure showed he was not to be messed with, sweeping all four motos of the event.

The woman’s class was a battle up front between Shelby Catley and Roma Edwards – Catley getting the edge with consistency.

Lap by lap action from the Waikato Champs – Click Here



Taikorea Enduro, Palmerston North

The final round of the Central Enduro Series took place on Sunday at Taikorea Motorcycle Park, but this event was different with a sprint format used over the traditional Enduro format. This meant there were no trails or trail times to keep to. You couldn’t lose time and it was all about the terrain tests. You would hit three terrain tests then head back to the pits to have a break, talk crap and bench race. Before hitting them again. So without having to calculate average speeds and worry about being on time it was all about the fastest rider wins. How it should be.

The Axeman, Paul Whibley was the winner of the day, using his hometown advantage to great success. Seth Reardon from Wanganui would chase Paul to the finish with another local, Reuben Vermeer finishing up the podium.

For a full list of Test Times and Results – Click Here