KIWI RIDER NOVEMBER 2021 VOL2 - Page 61

FUNDRAISER

Two teams , each including two former Motocross of Nations team riders , stole the spotlight at the big annual Battle Of The Teams motocross in Taupo on the Friday of Labour Weekend . The Motocross of Nations ( MXoN ) is the pinnacle of the sport globally , often referred to as the “ Olympic Games of motocross ”, pitting nation against nation in an annual showdown to determine the best motocross country in the world , and the Taupo Motorcycle Club ’ s spin on that is to run a similar team-versus-team event as a fundraiser to help enable New Zealand to send a contingent to the MXoN each year . The COVID-19 pandemic forced Team New Zealand to sit out the MXoN – typically staged in Europe – in 2020 and again in 2021 , but Taupo ’ s Battle Of The Teams went ahead anyway this year with the sole aim of boosting the bank account for future MXoN bids by Team New Zealand . This year it was the six-rider team representing Team Green Kawasaki that stole the honours in the popular domestic event , Rotorua ’ s Jonathan Martelli ( MX1 ), Tauranga ’ s Josiah Natzke ( MX2 ), Hawera ’ s Daryl Hurley ( Veteran ), Morrinsville ’ s Jarrod Hannon ( Junior 250cc ), Te Puke ’ s Flynn Watts ( Junior 125cc ) and Mangakino ’ s Maz Parkes ( Junior 85cc ) combining brilliantly to seal the main prize by seven points from the Alpinestars Team . Natzke and Hurley have both in the past represented New Zealand at the MXoN in Europe and the United States , and it was perhaps their experience at this popular international clash that gave Team Green Kawasaki an edge on Friday . The runner-up Alpinestars team comprised Mount Maunganui pair Rhys Carter ( MX1 ) and Cody Cooper ( Veteran ), Taupo ’ s Cohen Chase ( MX2 ), New Plymouth ’ s Rian King ( Junior 250cc ), Levin ’ s Phoenix van Dusschoten ( Junior 125cc ) and Napier ’ Boston Scott ( Junior 85cc ). Cooper and Carter had also formerly been MXoN riders for New Zealand in past years . The Tauranga Motorcycle Club team finished third overall at the Battle Of The Teams and that squad also included a former Motocross of Nations team rider , Ben Townley . Other riders who had represented New Zealand at the MXoN in Europe or America in the past

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