Racing to the TOP

Invercargill’s Jack Treloar, on his Honda CRF450R, rides to a podium finish at this year’s New...
Invercargill’s Jack Treloar, on his Honda CRF450R, rides to a podium finish at this year’s New Zealand Motocross Championships. PHOTO: ANDY McGECHAN
The future of southern motocross in New Zealand is looking bright, particularly if a young man making his debut in the premier grade can put himself on the podium in the talent-packed New Zealand senior motocross championships.

Invercargill 20-year-old Jack Treloar, racing for the Motul Honda racing team, made a huge impact on the senior motocross scene this season, his rookie campaign in the premier MX1 class, for open-class bikes, seeing him run with the two leaders, both of them international riders of note.

While West Auckland’s 28-year-old multi-time former New Zealand champion Hamish Harwood, also a frequent representative for his country in the annual Motocross of Nations in Europe and the United States, won the main prize this season, Treloar’s achievement was also quite remarkable.

Runner-up this season was 2024 Australian Motocross Championships leader and former Grand Prix rider Jed Beaton, but, in finishing on the third step of the series podium overall, Treloar had also achieved greatness.

"To finish third overall on my rookie season is pretty crazy,” Treloar said at the end of the day’s racing at the fourth and final round of the 2024 New Zealand Motocross Championships in Taranaki last weekend.

"It feels really good. I’ve been working hard since Honda picked me for their team this year. They threw me a lifeline really. They said, ‘If you want to race, you can come and ride for us on a 450cc Honda’. I couldn’t turn down an offer like that and I feel I have repaid them by giving them this result.

"Being from all the way down in Invercargill, they didn’t know much about me and took a gamble with me, but then I took a bet on myself too and now we’re in this position, so I’m stoked.

"I raced a different bike brand last year and raced in the MX2 (250cc) class, finishing ninth overall after two bike malfunctions.

"Now I’m on a Honda, a 450cc bike and third in New Zealand. It feels incredible.

"I would have liked to be able to push Harwood and Beaton harder, but I wasn’t feeling well coming into this weekend. It’s been a learning curve this season, but I’ve gotten stronger at each round. I ride quite aggressively, so I had to change my riding style. You’ve got to respect the power of a 450cc bike or it’ll bite you."

Meanwhile, 19-year-old Jack Symon, also from Invercargill, took his Brent Scammell Honda CRF250R to finish the series fourth overall in the close-fought MX2 (250cc) class, good enough also for him to win the battle-within-a-battle for national under-19 honours.

 - By Andy McGechan