Bay of Plenty's Josh Bourke-Palmer is ready to spread his wings.

With his potential becoming more and more evident with each passing event in New Zealand, the just-turned 18-year-old motocross rider has decided it's time to step up.

The Rotorua teenager leaves this week for Gympie, near Brisbane, where he will tackle the second of three rounds in the 125cc Gold Cup, a competition incorporated into the 10-round senior Australian MX Nationals.

With support from Yamaha-Motor New Zealand's Josh Coppins, who has arranged a new Yamaha YZ125 bike for him to campaign in Australia.

Advertisement

Bourke-Palmer is confident he can turn a few heads at the Queensland event this weekend.

With him not racing at the 125cc Gold Cup opening round, the intrepid Kiwi has no real prospect of winning the title outright.

However, Bourke-Palmer's father, Darrin, explained it would be "a reconnaissance mission, to test the waters ahead of a more comprehensive Australian campaign next season"

Rotorua's Josh Bourke-Palmer (Yamaha YZ125), flying high. Photo / Andy McGechan
Rotorua's Josh Bourke-Palmer (Yamaha YZ125), flying high. Photo / Andy McGechan

"We hope that Josh can race the Under-19 championships in Australia next season. He turns 19 midway through that series, but fingers are crossed that he may still be eligible to complete the full season in that competition.

"After that, he will progress to the senior MX2, 250cc, class."

The talented young rider, who has Ben Townley as a mentor, is under no illusions his mission ahead will be a difficult one.

After coming 13th at the junior nationals in Australia Bourke-Palmer said he knows he will be "really up against it in the 125 Gold Cup".

"I'm feeling a little bit nervous and it will be very different for me, but I have done all that I can to prepare for this.

Advertisement

"My fitness is good and I have had great support from my work to get time off.

"I have never been to any of these Australia tracks before, but I'm a quick learner."

Bourke-Palmer finished an impressive third overall in the 125cc class at the senior New Zealand Motocross Championships, which wrapped up in Taupō in March.

"That exceeded my expectations and I believe set me up well for what's ahead of me now."

After this weekend's racing, he then heads to the third and final round of the 125cc Gold Cup at Coolum, in Queensland in August, the event also registering as the tenth and final round of the senior nationals.

Victoria's Cameron Taylor won both races at the opening round of the 125cc Gold Cup at Wonthaggi, in Victoria, in March, with fellow Australian Joshua Kilvington finishing in the runner-up position on both occasions.

Australian Nicholas Murray finished the weekend third overall at round one.

These are the superstars that flying Kiwi Bourke-Palmer will be aiming to challenge.