A young Bay of Plenty motocross rider is changing it up and making an impact on the cross-country scene.

Atiamuri's Hadleigh Knight, 22, has returned home after two successful seasons of racing motocross in Japan, but he is not home to rest and relax.

After achieving top 10 results in the motocross nationals in Japan for the last two years, it did not take the Yamaha ace long to switch to endurance racing mode and he has just scored two podium finishes on the New Zealand cross-country scene in as many weeks.

He finished as runner-up to fellow Bay of Plenty man Ben Townley at the fourth and final round of the New Zealand Cross-Country Championships near Taumarunui two weeks ago.


Third overall that day was Whanganui's rising star, Seth Reardon.

Knight then backed that up with another runner-up finish behind Titirangi's Callan May, at the first of three rounds of the popular Dirt Guide Cross-country Series near Tokoroa last week, ahead of former national cross-country champion Paul Whibley.

His finish ahead of Manawatu man Whibley was remarkable in itself, with Whibley also a two-time former cross-country champion in the United States.

"I'm pretty happy with my results, but obviously I'd prefer to win," Knight said.

"Racing cross-country events has been a bit of a shock to the system after racing motocross – it's different racing at such speeds through the bush.

But he planned to race more cross-country and enduro events now that he was home for good.

"I will do all the rounds of the Dirt Guide Series now and hopefully I can win that. It's a series that's close to home, so that suits me.

"As well as that series, I will race in the MX1 motocross class to represent the Taupo Motorcycle Club at the upcoming Battle of the Clubs (BOTC) Motocross."


The BOTC, set for Taupō's Digger McEwen Motorcycle Park on Saturday, June 29, is a fundraiser event to assist in New Zealand sending a three-rider team to the annual Motocross of Nations.

Known as the "Olympic Games of motocross" it will be held in the Netherlands in late September.