Horsham’s population is set to swell this weekend as hundreds of motocross riders, support teams and enthusiasts gather in the Wimmera centre for the launch of a state championship series.
Horsham Motorcycle Club spokesman Kenny Watts said expectation was that the opening round of Senior Victorian Motocross Championships at Dooen would attract a significant influx of people.
“This is the biggest event for our club for the year and everyone in the industry, not just us, is pumped for the event,” he said.
“We suspect accommodation opportunities would be filling quickly and hospitality businesses to be busy during the weekend. Horsham will see a significant influx of people on Friday.”
The championships are on Saturday and Sunday, culminating with MX 1 racing, for over 250cc riders and machines, and MX 2, under 250cc, in A, B and C grades on Sunday.
Saturday racing will feature a broad range of events from women and veteran classes to all-power races.
“People can expect to see some of the best MX riders in Australia and potentially the world in action,” Mr Watts said.
“There will be riders, their teams and supporters in attendance as well as local fans. We will have about 300 senior riders, from across Australia, hoping to set early benchmarks in the four-round series.
“It was meant to originally happen in 2020 and it is a great coup for Horsham.
“Only four clubs are given privilege to run it each year.
“Horsham and the Wimmera generally should make the most of the high-quality racing spectacle.
“We don’t usually have the luxury of seeing this calibre of riders in action.”
Mr Watts said a major highlight would be the appearance of Ararat export and international rider Lewis Stewart among competitors.
“He’s a multiple European and Asian motocross champion and he’s back in Australia. He had moved to Indonesia where he became a motocross identity and gained a significant international reputation,” he said.
“It’s fantastic he will be riding in Horsham.”
Mr Watts said the club hoped people made the most of spectators being admitted free of charge at Dooen.
“COVID-19 rules will be in place and we’re hoping a big crowd turns out to see the action,” he said.
The championships will move to Rosebud on May 22 and 23 for the second round and then Cobram, July 17 and 18 and Traralgon, August 28 and 29.