There is plenty at stake when the 2019 New Zealand Supercross Championship wraps up in Tokoroa this weekend.
Oropi's former national champion Ben Townley dominated the glamour SX1 class at the opening round of the series at Winton, north of Invercargill, two weeks ago and he arrives at Tokoroa with a handy eight-point advantage over the two men who share equal second spot, Rangiora's Cody Murphy and Mount Maunganui's Cody Cooper.
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The picture is clear in the senior SX2 (250cc) class too, with Mount Maunganui's defending national SX2 champion Josiah Natzke enjoying a 14-point advantage over his nearest challenger, Balclutha's Madison Latta, while Motueka's former Grand Prix motocross star Josh Coppins sits in third position overall, just five points further back.
The SX2 class was privileged to be able to share the night's programme at Saturday night's S-X Open Auckland, staged inside Mt Smart Stadium. That event also registered as the fourth round of five in the Australian Supercross Championships and as the first of two rounds in the S-X Open FIM Oceania Supercross Championship, meaning the SX2-class riders have had an extra opportunity to race for national glory.
Natzke won the solitary SX2 race at Mt Smart on Saturday, finishing the night ahead of a hard-charging Latta and Ohaupo's always-consistent Carlin Hedley, which has boosted these riders' chances ahead of Saturday. Coppins chose not to race at Mt Smart and Taupō's Wyatt Chase also sat out the Auckland event.
In other classes, Christchurch's Marshall Phillips leads the Senior Lites class after Winton, Invercargill's Jack Symon heads the Junior Lites class, Rangiora's Korban Paget tops the junior 250cc class and Darfield's Tyler Wiremu rules the roost in the Junior 125cc class.
The popular Amisfield circuit, on the outskirts of Tokoroa, will host the final races this Saturday for all the various categories and anything is perhaps still possible with Supercross racing always a thrilling, edge-of-the-seat affair.
Motorcycling New Zealand Supercross commissioner Jim Cooper said he was really looking forward to the Tokoroa event.
"It's going to be another great one. Our fingers are crossed for good weather and I know everyone is excited about seeing this racing under lights at the North Island home of Supercross.
"It will be brilliant racing, with everyone fighting hard for titles."
2019 New Zealand Supercross Championships calendar:
Round one: Oreti Plains, Winton, November 9.
Round two: Mt Smart Stadium, Penrose, Auckland, November 16 (SX2 class only).
Round three: Moffat Road, Amisfield, Tokoroa, November 23.