Defending national MX1 champion Cody Cooper may be resigned to handing over his No1 plate to Ben Townley this weekend, but he won't vacate the throne without a fight.
The Bay of Plenty pair go head to head this weekend.
This season's New Zealand Motocross Championships have been a torrid affair with no quarter expected or granted by any of the title hopefuls in the MX1 (open class), MX2 (250cc) or 125cc categories and even further down the fields, the racing has been very fierce.
Former world champion Townley has been dominant, winning all but one MX1 race so far this series and all he needs to do is stay out of trouble at the fourth and final round in Taupo this weekend to secure the coveted MX1 crown.
Cooper took the main prize last season but is a distant third in the title chase after three rounds, although he enjoys racing on the sand and pumice of Taupo's Digger McEwen Motocross Park and believes he could spring a surprise or two tomorrow.
"Ben has been riding awesomely this season and he's hard to keep up with, let alone beat," said the 28-year-old Cooper. But I usually go well at Taupo ... so anything is possible."
The man most likely to topple Townley is another Kiwi international, Motueka's Josh Coppins, but he'll need to win all three MX1 races tomorrow and hope Townley has a few big problems if he is to bridge the gap.
The battle for 125cc honours also looks safe to predict with Amberley's Micah McGoldrick a solid 29 points ahead of his main rival, Rotorua's Cameron Vaughan.
With 25 points on offer for a win, McGoldrick has an entire race up his sleeve as he lines up for tomorrow's final three races in the class.
Tauranga's Logan Blackburn is third in the standings after three rounds, but an equally distant 28 points behind Vaughan.
The MX2 (250cc) class has been the most volatile this season and there is virtually nothing to separate the two key title contenders.
Defending MX2 champion Darryll King, of Hamilton, has a one-point advantage over arch rival Scotty Columb, of Queenstown, but his lead is tenuous and fireworks are certainly promised in the battle between these two men tomorrow.
Third in the rankings is Tauranga's Peter Broxholme, but he is a distant 42 points behind Columb.