Kiwi Rider May 2022 Vol.1 - Page 15

for the past five years , and that association picks up where it left off in 2020 after the 2021 and 2022 editions of MotoFest were both wrecked by the pandemic . The remaining three national series venues for the new-look 2022-23 season are still to be confirmed , but they are likely to include South Island tracks such as Ruapuna , in Christchurch ; Teretonga , in Invercargill ; Levels , near Timaru , and then potentially heading back across Cook Strait for a finale back in the North Island , in Taupo in March . Suzuki International Series promoter and organiser Allan ‘ Flea ’ Willacy said he was thrilled when Motorcycling New Zealand approached him with the idea to unite the two series . “ It is great that we are combining forces to help motorcycle racing in the current climate . The sport deserves this ... riders , fans , sponsors and other stakeholders too ,” Willacy said . “ Nothing changes as far as the Suzuki International Series is concerned . The classes and format will remain the same . It is just that points collected at the first two rounds ( at Taupo and Manfeild ) will go towards the tally for anyone going on with the nationals . “ By combining these two series , riders will benefit financially and , from a logistical standpoint , it will boost competitor numbers at all the events . “ We already have many internationals indicating that they want to come back out to New Zealand to race , so that should also add extra spice and dynamics to the racing . “ Everyone , including the cream of Kiwi talent , many of whom are world class riders in their own right , will be fiercely keen to get back to some action . Our sponsors have stood by us and we are hugely grateful for that too .” Motorcycling New Zealand road-race commissioner Andy Skelton was similarly upbeat . “ This is a great opportunity in these challenging times for us to work together for the betterment of the sport as a whole ,” he said . “ Bringing all of this together is a huge financial challenge , so we have to slice and dice things a