Asset 15

Star Insurance Specialists is proud to be a major sponsor of Motofest. Our Star Motorcycle team can’t wait to visit the second annual Mike Pero MotoFest extravaganza at Hampton Downs, near Meremere in the North Waikato on 2-3 March 2019.

The jam-packed weekend will be a unique Kiwi festival of motorcycling, with speed, power, poise, balance, daring and high-octane expression by the bucket-load. It features round 3 of 5 in the 2019 New Zealand Superbike Championships and includes the popular Kawasaki Trail Ride, Motul Trials Challenge, Star Insurance Bike Show, Alpine Stars Dinner event, Shoei Classic, as well as the national championship superbike racing. And for the first time, ACC’s Shiny Side Up Bike Fest will also be running in conjunction with MotoFest.

Special guest is Simon Crafar, who grew up in Taihape and tasted motorcycle road-racing glory at the ultimate level and went on to craft a career as coach to the stars. Respected internationally, he is now sought-after as advisor and commentator on the MotoGP scene, mixing and mingling with the likes of Marc Marquez, Valentino Rossi and Andrea Dovizioso.

A young Crafar raced his Red Bull Yamaha to 500cc Grand Prix victory at Donington Park in 1998. He said that it was a dream come true to win at that level, but if Mick Doohan had not been standing beside him, on a lower step, it would not have meant as much. That same year he placed third at his first GP at Assen and second podium at Philip Island, which was the most enjoyable ride of his life.

Crafar finished with a world GP ranking of No.7 in the 1998 season, behind motorcycling legends Mick Doohan, Max Biaggi, Alex Criville, Carlos Checa, Alex Barros and Norick Abe. Not bad for a small-town Kiwi boy who can trace his humble beginnings to a low-key track day at Manfeild; the then 15-year-old borrowing a friend's bike and "giving it a go".

He has raced all the circuits and some street circuits in New Zealand over the years, but this will be his first visit to Hampton Downs.

In addition to meeting and greeting fans and catching up with friends and family at MotoFest, Crafar will be running the Legends Rider Clinic on Thursday, February 28, and he will be riding several bikes of note in the Legends Track Sessions. He will attend signing sessions and the Celebration Dinner on the Saturday night of MotoFest.

MotoFest promises excellence on all fronts, with former champions (and perhaps future ones too), from across the entire motorcycling spectrum, all coming together for a spectacular two days of action at Hampton Downs.

If the Mike Pero MotoFest doesn't get your heart racing, then you probably need to check your pulse. For more information visit https://hamptondowns.com/hampton-downs-motofest/