January 18, 2021: “Michelin SX4 – I’m coming for ya” was the call Josiah Natzke made on the day of the inaugural event on Saturday 9 January 2021.
Wanting redemption after being pipped at the post at the trial event in November, Bridgestone Kawasaki star Natzke was all class as he not only took the inaugural Michelin SX4 title but also managed to grab the Motul Lube Ladder and win three out of four of his heat races.
Natzke was in stellar form leading into the event and labelled his Michelin SX4 win as his favourite to date.
The best in the business were on show for all to see at Taupo Motocross Club in front of a packed crowd on Saturday. The event kicked off with introductory laps from all the riders alongside Michelin Juniors who we’re invited to ride and experience the pit lane alongside the professionals. The Motul Lube Ladder was competitive with only half a second splitting the top four riders Wyatt Chase, Cody Cooper, Campbell King and Kayne Lamont. That was until last competitor Natzke started his engine and came home with a lap time of 25.435 seconds, over one second faster than his nearest rival.
The NZ Natural Clothing Nitro Lane was a crowd favourite and keep the heat races tight with the top 6 riders finishing within three points of each other. Qualifying for the Semi Finals were first time competitors Tommy Watts and Tyler Steiner, MX2 rider James Scott, nine-time MX1 NZ Champion Cody Cooper, Altherm JCR Yamaha rider Kayne Lamont, Campbell King, late comer Wyatt Chase and table topping Natzke.
Post the two very tight Semi Finals the Final saw Natzke line up against Altherm JCR Yamaha standout Kayne Lamont and both the Honda Racing Teams Cody Cooper and James Scott. With Lamont taking an early lead a costly mistake saw Natzke capitalise on an inner line and there was no way of stopping the Hamilton man. The chocolates were his!
Michelin SX4 proved to be a crowd favourite with spectators travelling from around the country to experience the most recent innovation on the motocross calendar. The Rock’s Mike Garvey was on hand to keep fans engaged while they were given the chance to experience a hot lap in a Yamaha YXZ with Red Bull athlete Mad Mike Whiddett. With families being a key component of the event, junior riders were given the chance to ride with the professionals on track thanks to Michelin. Dad’s grabbed their kids and competed in the NZ Natural Clothing Piggy Back race. We found a new Michelin SX4 icon in #ChainsawMan and ticket holders were given an exclusive opportunity to ride the Michelin SX4 track on the Sunday morning post event. The food trucks, bar and Isuzu Taupo Bumper Party saw huge numbers through and nobody wanted the night to end.
Ben Townley summation of the event “Until next time” clearly shows the directors intentions to keep the new innovative format of the sport going. “There is plenty to do in the wash up but we’ve got some big plans for Michelin SX4. We’re looking forward to working with all riders, sponsors and fans to see what needs tweaking, but you will most certainly see us going again in 2022 – stay tuned!”
To stay up to date head to www.sx4.co.nz or follow through Instagram @sx4nz.