One of New Zealand's most successful motocross riders Ben Townley is coming out of international retirement to take part in November's Monster Energy SX Open at Mt Smart Stadium.
ATEED – Auckland Council's events arm – announced earlier in the week that they were helping bring the newly created event to Auckland for the first time.
The 33-year-old Townley, who won major titles all around the world, found the chance to compete against some of the world's best at home in New Zealand too big an attraction to turn down.
"I am pretty excited the Monster Energy SX Open in Auckland," Townley told The Herald. "The guys contacted me early in the piece and said they would like to have me as part of the event and I said I would love to be involved.
"It is the biggest supercross event ever to come to New Zealand.
"There are some big names from the world championships that will be announced in the coming weeks. It is going to be a pretty good field of riders coming down from outside New Zealand and Australia.
"It definitely will be the biggest Supercross event we have ever had on New Zealand shores. It is part of the newly formed Oceania Championship and they are growing that now into New Zealand as the second stop and they are looking at expanding that in the future."
Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland will be turned into a state of the art motocross facility with 6,000 tonnes of dirt being trucked into the stadium.
Townley, who retired professionally in 2016, has seen the track plans and is excited with what the organisers have designed.
"It is what we call a full size world championship floor – taking up the entire Warriors pitch and covering the whole stadium," the Taupo-based Townley explained.
"They have added in some cool options to this layout at Mt Smart."
Fans will get plenty of chances to see Townley and the other major stars strut their stuff. The event sees riders compete in a number of races on the night.
"It is the second and final round of the series," Townley said. "The series uses a triple crown format. It is pretty high intensity racing – the fact you have three races on one evening that give you your points for the championship."
New Zealand has a rich history in supercross with Townley, Josh Coppins as well as brothers Daryl and Shayne King all enjoying significant success on the world stage.
Otago rider Courtney Duncan currently leads the world championship.
"We have a good national scene now," Townley said. "We don't have the international standard – I was probably the last rider that had international success but we do have a good standard nationally.
"We have had Australian and international riders visiting for the past 10 years as a pre-season and this was the first year we didn't have a Kiwi win it since the 1980s."