BRIDGESTONE KAWASAKI RACE TEAM – PRESS RELEASE
Two of the biggest names in motorcycling partner up for the 2020/21 Motocross season and beyond.
Whites Powersports, distributors of Bridgestone motorcycle tyres as well as many more prestigious brands, are very excited to join forces with Kawasaki NZ and form the Bridgestone Kawasaki Race Team.
“Whites Powersports are passionate about motorcycling, and bringing the best brands/products to New Zealand motorcyclists. Racing is something that we have always been a part of but the opportunity to take it to the next level by partnering with a like-minded business such as Kawasaki NZ was too good of an opportunity to miss” commented Luke Mason, Group Marketing Manager of Whites Powersports.
Shane Verhoeven, Managing Director of the Verhoeven Group and Kawasaki NZ stated “Our partnership with Whites Powersports and Bridgestone tyres goes back a few years now. Our reliance on the products Whites distribute are also increasing and with that so has our relationship. I am thrilled that we have the opportunity to partner with Bridgestone as our naming Team Sponsor and look forward to 2021 success and beyond.”
The Bridgestone Kawasaki Race Team has two of New Zealand’s best talents ready to pilot the KX250 & KX450 machines through the season. With Josiah Natzke on the 2021 KX250 in the MX2 class and Ethan Martens on the 2021 KX450 in the MX1 class.
“Whites Powersports are also supplying many products that will ensure reliability and the performance required to reach the teams goal to take out the MX2 Championship this year and secure a podium finish in MX1. These products include Putoline Oil Lubricants and Filters, No Toil Filter Cleaner and Oil, RK Racing Chain, Polisport Plastics, Goldfren Brake Pads and MTX Sprockets” added Verhoeven.
With both Whites Powersports and Kawasaki NZ headquartered in Hamilton, the businesses and team will be able to work closely together throughout the season to maximise success.
Let the Good Times Roll
This past weekend saw the newly formed Bridgestone Kawasaki Race Team hit the track getting in some much-needed seat time after the COVID lockdowns. The Sand Prix event and Round 1 of the North Island MX Champs taking place on a 2KM sand-based track.
With the 2021 Kawasaki KX250 only just arriving in NZ 2 days before the event, it didn’t leave enough time to prepare the bike to race-spec so both Josiah Natzke (#23) and Ethan Martens (#5) rode the KX450 bikes in MX1.
The MX1 class featured an impressive lineup of local talent including Josh Coppins (Multi-time MX1 World Championship runner up) riding Yamaha and Cody Cooper (7x NZMX Champion) on the Honda. This meant the team had their work cut out for them.
In practice, Josiah took out the fastest lap with an impressive time of 1:20.926! Second place (Hamish Hardwood on KTM) was almost 2 seconds behind…
Race 1 saw Josiah take out 3rd, trailing just behind Cody Copper in 2nd and Hamish Harwood in 1st. Ethan brought in a 6th amongst a powerhouse pack.
Race 2 provided similar results. A crash at turn 1 left Josiah ) nowhere to go and put him in the back of the pack. Throughout the race, he fought his way into an impressive 3rd. Again trailing Cody Copper in 2nd and Hamish Harwood in 1st. Ethan held his ground all the way through the race and finished in 6th. Awesome result for both Josiah and Ethan.
Race 3 kicked off with an epic fight for the holeshot between Josiah and Cody Cooper. Josiah with the help of his Bridgestone X10s got the power to the ground and rounded turn 1 on the inside line beside Cody. The power of his Kawasaki shot him out in front and into the lead come turn 2 where he stayed for the entirety of the race. Ethan on steady form finished in 6th.
Final Results for the weekend put Josiah on the podium for 2nd overall and Ethan in 6th overall, a fantastic first outing for the team.