NOVEMBER 24, 2019: Now back in New Zealand after a stint of international racing, Bay of Plenty’s Josiah Natzke was always going to be a hard man to beat on the domestic scene.
And so it proved as the 20-year-old from Mount Maunganui took his Transdiesel eni Lubricants Kawasaki Racing Team KX250F to successfully defend his national SX2 (250cc) supercross crown on Saturday night.
Natzke enjoyed a healthy 14-point advantage over his nearest title threat, Balclutha’s Madison Latta, as they arrived at Tokoroa for the final round on Saturday evening and it was perhaps most appropriate that Kawasaki’s Natzke would go on to win, with the series also sponsored by Transdiesel eni Lubricants.
With an astounding five wins from six starts over the series, Natzke eventually finished a massive 23 points ahead of runner-up rider Latta, with Ohaupo’s Carlin Hedley finishing a further 22 points behind in third place overall.
Natzke again made things look easy as he score a hat-trick of wins in Tokoroa.
“It was too easy actually,” he said. “I wish the other bike brands had put in an effort to show up too. I enjoyed the supercross and Kawasaki New Zealand like to get behind it and it’s cool that we could come here and race.
“I think the sport of supercross is going to grow again and get back to where it used to be.
“When I’m comfortable I can ride fast and I really feel comfortable on the Kawasaki. I was using this series as training for what’s still to come. My aim this year is to win the New Zealand motocross nationals.
“Shane Verhoeven and Mike Cotter in the Transdiesel eni Lubricants Kawasaki Racing Team have been working hard with me to build up for that.”
Natzke secured the national SX2 supercross title for the first time last year and, after a season spent racing motocross in the United Kingdom, he returned home last month to sign on for the Kawasaki team.
He celebrated his debut ride for the team by winning the MX2 class at the annual MX Fest extravaganza in Taupo in October and he’ll now be looking forward to racing his Kawasaki at the big annual Whakatane Summercross in late December, before tackling the New Zealand Motocross Grand Prix at Woodville at the end of January, followed by the four-round nationals, starting in Balclutha on February 1.
In other class results from the supercross nationals, Oropi’s Ben Townley won the SX1 class title; Christchurch’s Marshall Phillips won the Senior Lites title; Rangiora’s Korban Paget topped the Junior 250cc class for a second consecutive season; Darfield’s Tyler Wiremu won the Junior 125cc class and Invercargill’s Jack Symon won the Junior Lites (85cc) class.
Natzke is supported by Kawasaki NZ, Transdiesel eni Lubricants, Mainstream, Bridgestone, Rekluse, Alpinestars, 100%, Un4Seen Graphics, Pro Circuit, Moto HQ, Polisport, Koromiko Engineering, RK Chains, CFX Seats, Goodbuzz, Renthal Handlebars and MTX Sprockets.
Credit: Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com