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STUNNING DISPLAY OF DOMINANCE BY KAWASAKI ACE

OCTOBER 26, 2020: The Bay of Plenty region was bursting with motorcycling talent over Labour Weekend, the country’s motocross elite all determined to take a share of the glory at this traditional season opener.

And Hamilton’s national MX2 (250cc class) No.2 Josiah Natzke was certainly one man who made the most of his opportunity to steal the limelight.

The Bridgestone Kawasaki Racing Team star was a stand-out performer at Saturday evening’s Alpinestars SX4 Speedcross stadium event and was also winner on both of the two days of senior racing on Friday and Sunday, either leading his races from the start or simply carving through traffic after a mixed start.

Just a few months ago, racing like this was not thought possible as the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic sent jitters across the planet, but New Zealand – an isolated and self-sufficient island nation so far away from the virus troubles of Europe and the USA – is almost experiencing life as normal.

The popular MX Fest event again attracted all the nation’s major riders and race teams and this year it was an extra special event, run over three days, from October 23-25, as it was expanded to include the annual Battle of the Clubs event on Friday, that stand-alone event a traditional fundraiser for Team New Zealand’s annual assault on the Motocross of Nations (MXoN) in Europe.

Although the 2020 edition of this international “Olympic Games of Motocross” is not going ahead in France this season, it simply meant that funds raised would help the Kiwis get a head-start on building for their 2021 campaign.

The Battle of the Clubs is an event that had originally been scheduled to run earlier this year, before it was postponed due to the pandemic.

Natzke and his Cambridge Motorcycle Club team-mates – Mike Cotter, Carson Mackie, Brodie Connolly, Hunter Scott and Dylan Westgate – dominated the BOTC on Friday, winning the event outright, thanks in a large part to Natzke’s rare outing in the MX1 class, riding a Kawasaki KX450F.

Natzke qualified second to multi-time national MX1 champion Cody Cooper, who was representing the Tauranga Motorcycle Club, and then Natzke won the MX1/Vets combined race, before finishing runner-up to Cooper in the MX1/MX2 combined race.

Westgate was similarly impressive for the Cambridge effort, winning both his junior grade races.

Natzke also finished a brave runner-up to Cooper in the supercross-style SX4 Speedcross event on Saturday evening before reverting to a solely MX2 (250cc) campaign in the senior motocross on Sunday.

With four wins from four starts against his MX2 rivals, Natzke dominated the 250cc racing, finishing the day a whopping 15 points clear of his nearest threat, current national MX2 champion Maximus Purvis, from Mangakino.

“My first two races were pretty smooth sailing,” said Natzke. “I got two holeshots and two comfortable wins. I’m in a great position now in terms of my build-up for the nationals, probably better than where my rivals are right now to be honest. It could be a different story in March.

“In my third race I messed up the start and had to fight through to the front. I was behind James Scott and Maximus Purvis. Scott was leading but he fell off and then Purvis crashed too and the win kind of fell into my lap.

“The bike is great and I’m feeling confident right now. I can’t wait for the nationals.”

Purvis finished overall runner-up, with Tauranga’s Brodie Connolly third, while Hamilton’s Seton Head impressed by taking his Kawasaki KX250F to fourth overall, probably his best result at this level of competition.

 

Credit: Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com

 

KAWASAKI HERO TOO GOOD FOR HIS CHAMPIONSHIP RIVALS

OCTOBER 5, 2020: It is enough to make his rivals green with envy – the sheer dominance enjoyed by Kawasaki ace Josiah Natzke at the weekend.

With an amazing 10 wins from 10 starts, the Bridgestone Kawasaki Racing Team rider from Hamilton was simply unstoppable at the 2020 New Zealand Motocross TT Championships at Taupiri, near Huntly, on Saturday and Sunday.

The 21-year-old multi-time former national motocross champion dominated racing on both days, gaining maximum points by winning every race in both the MX1 and MX2 (250cc) classes by a comfortable margin.

“There’s not much happening overseas at the moment, so my focus is totally on the New Zealand scene at the moment,” said Natzke, sounding a warning for his rivals with the 2021 New Zealand Motocross Championships season just around the corner.

“This weekend was my first time this season on the 250cc bike and I am only racing the Kawasaki KX450F at the moment for a little extra bike time, but will be focussing solely on the MX2 class with the Kawasaki KX250F in the next couple of weeks.

“Kawasaki New Zealand has been supporting me really well and I will be looking to racing overseas again later in 2021, if the opportunity arises. Europe would not be my first option. I didn’t enjoy it so much over there the last time I was in Europe, but I would target a ride in the United States or maybe just in Australia. I would love to go racing for the Kawasaki Pro Circuit race team in America and I’m on the right colour bike for that,” he laughed.

“I’m doing everything I can to remain fit and fast. I expect to win races and, if I want to achieve overseas, then I have to prove it here first.”

He certainly proved he was international calibre with his blistering form at Taupiri.

Natzke was superbly backed up in the MX1 class at the weekend by team-mate Ethan Martens, the man from Waitakere eventually settling for third overall in the class, behind Natzke and Hamilton’s national MX1 No.4 Kayne Lamont.

“Kawasaki have been right behind me … Shane Verhoeven and Mike Cotter have been great,” said Natzke. “They go above and beyond for me. They know what my goals and plans are and they’re right on board with me on that.”

Other class winners at the weekend were Stratford’s Camo Keegan (ATV quad bike class); New Plymouth’s Mitch Rowe (in the veterans over-45 years, classic pre-1996 bikes and MX3 classes), Red Beach’s Joseph Andrell (senior 125cc class); Te Kauwhata’s Matthew Vining (veterans aged 40-44 years); Hamilton’s Amie Roberts (senior women); Raetihi’s Karaitiana Horne (junior women); Horotiu’s Carter Hanes (junior 250cc); Pukekawa’s Tyler Brown (junior 12-16 years’ 125cc); Cambridge’s Jared Hannon (junior 12-16 years’ 85cc); Taupo’s Declan Connors (junior 8-11 years’ 85cc); Hamilton’s Mikayla Rowe (class pre-2001 bikes); Scott Taylor (enduro bikes); Waitara’s Ollie Payne (mini 65cc); Helensville’s Adam Bockett (mini 50cc).

Meanwhile, Cambridge’s Mike Cotter, the general manager at Kawasaki New Zealand, showed he’d forgotten nothing from his heyday 20 years ago as he kept Natzke and current national MX2 No.3 James Scott, from Oparau, honest in the MX2 (250cc) battles.

Cotter, a 46-year-old father-of-two, races only rarely these days but muscle memory must surely have come into play as the three-time former New Zealand champion (in 1999 and 2000) finished a creditable third overall in the MX2 class.

Credit: Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com

 

ENI KAWASAKI RACE TEAM PRESS RELEASE

PRESS RELEASE

ENI, distributed by TransDiesel, is title sponsor of the NZ Kawasaki race team 2018/19 season.

TransDiesel, along with their Eni brand is delighted to announce a very exciting partnership and sponsorship with the Kawasaki NZ motocross race team.

“TransDiesel has a long history of supporting motorsport around the country from building engines and transmissions for Truck Racing to long-term support of Andre Heimgartner in the V8 supercars. Motorcycling has a lot of synergies with our business both in customers, and passion from our own staff, so last year we started sponsoring both the New Zealand Motocross and Supercross Championships.
The title sponsorship of the Kawasaki MX team is a big step forward from last year and something we are truly excited about and looking forward to the coming season.” commented Jason Steele, TransDiesel Aftersales Business Manager.

“Kawasaki NZ is proud to present the Eni Kawasaki Race Team for the 2018/2019 New Zealand motocross season.
We welcome Eni, distributed by TransDiesel, as title sponsor to the team”, remarked Graeme Leach, Kawasaki Motorcycle Distributors Sales & Marketing Manager.
“Partnering with Eni represents an exciting partnership which is sure to herald a successful season for the team. Eni is a globally recognisable and respected brand that has aligned itself with motorsports such as Moto GP and Formula 1 internationally, so it makes sense to build this association at a national level” Leach added.

Eni Kawasaki Race Team has recruited Ethan Martens to campaign the season on the 2019 KX250 in the MX2 class and Cohen Chase to campaign the 2019 KX450 in the MX1 class.

Headquartered in Christchurch, with 16 branches nationwide TransDiesel Ltd is the exclusive distributor for Eni oils and lubricants. Eni offer a comprehensive range of specialist lubricants including the i-ride motorcycle products, which are high-tech oils with top performance standards that enable engines of every type to produce their maximum performance and achieve the best results. The range includes engine, gear and fork oils, coolants, brake fluids and other lubricants.

Let the Good Times Roll

ENI KAWASAKI RACE TEAM DEBUTS AT SAND PRIX

The ENI Kawasaki Race Team debuted at the 2018 Sand Prix event held on the 18-19 of August at the Kawasaki Sand Track.

Ethan Martens managed a 1-3-3 scorecard for third overall in the MX2 class aboard his 2019 KX250.

Cohen Chase came away with a 2nd in the first race but unfortunately had DNF’d the 2nd and 3rd race in the MX1 class aboard his KX450.

Let the Good Times Roll.

WE CATCH UP WITH ETHAN MARTENS TO GET THE SCOOP ON HIS RIDE FOR THE COMING SEASON

Kawasaki NZ is proud to sign Ethan Martens to the Kawasaki Race Team.

We catch up with Ethan Martens and ask a few questions about the upcoming New Zealand motocross season aboard the 2019 KX250 for the Kawasaki Race Team NZ.

Let the Good Times Roll.

ETHAN MARTENS SIGNS WITH KAWASAKI RACE TEAM

Kawasaki NZ is proud to sign Ethan Martens to the Kawasaki Race Team.
Ethan will be contesting the 2018/2019 New Zealand motocross season aboard the 2019 KX250.
#KX250 #LetTheGoodTimesRoll #KawasakiNZ

Let the Good Times Roll.