It will still possibly be the biggest motorcycling event on the 2021 calendar, but we’re now just going to have to wait a little longer for it to happen.
Poised to mark its fourth anniversary at the popular north Waikato race track this coming weekend (March 6-7), the Mike Pero MotoFest has unfortunately now had to be postponed due to the latest efforts by the Government to curb the COVID-19 pandemic.
At this stage, the sport’s governing body in this country, Motorcycling New Zealand, has decided that the 2021 New Zealand Superbike Championships (NZSBK), an integral component of the MotoFest extravaganza, will remain a four-round series and that the racing that had been set for Hampton Downs this coming weekend, will now be staged at a later date, yet to be confirmed.
These are uncertain times, but it is hoped that round four, set for Taupo’s Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park on March 13-14, will still go ahead as planned and Hampton Downs will hopefully be added back into the calendar after that.
The MotoFest programme was to include several separate major competitions – MotoFest not only hosting the third round of four in this year’s NZSBK (including the New Zealand TT title races), but also the second annual Motul NZ Classic Grand Prix and the Shoei Helmets-sponsored Classic Two Stroke races as well.
Fingers are crossed that all these competitions will still be able to go ahead when a replacement date is determined.
This latest announcement is a massive blow to the tirelessly-dedicated members of the New Zealand Classic Motorcycle Racing Register (NZCMRR) who have been working alongside the Hampton Downs promoters and Motorcycling New Zealand officials to ensure MotoFest would run smoothly.
The four-round NZSBK series kicked off at Mike Pero Motorsport Park, Ruapuna, on the outskirts of Christchurch, on the weekend of January 9-10, with round two followed just a week later, at Levels International Raceway, near Timaru, and that set the cauldron bubbling ahead of what had been an expected MotoFest boil-over.
With Hampton Downs now expected to be added on after the Taupo round, it will become the crucial series finale.
The 2021 New Zealand Superbike Championships are supported by Sky Sport Next, Aon Insurance, Pirelli, Trust Aoraki, Redpath, CTAS, MX Timing, BikesportNZ.com and commentators Neil and Brad Ritchie.
Class leaders after two of four rounds in the NZSBK series are Whakatane’s Damon Rees (Superbikes); Christchurch’s Aaron Scott (Superbike B, support class); Christchurch’s Dale Finch (Supersport 600); Whangamata’s Jarad Horn (650 Pro Twins); Invercargill’s Cormac Buchanan (Supersport 300 and Supersport 150); Hamilton’s Billee Fuller (GIXXER Cup 150); Tauranga duo Barry Smith and Stu Dawe (Sidecars).
Words & photo: Andy McGechan