A safe and sensible approach proved to be a winning strategy for Kayne Lamont at the weekend’s big annual MX Fest motocross extravaganza in Taupo.
The Hamilton-based former Mangakino man certainly enjoyed revisiting his home turf on Sunday, taking his Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing Team YZ450F bike to win the premier MX1 class overall and he also won the series of “knock-out” feature races that wrapped up the two-day spectacular.
The event was again sponsored by Taupo bike dealership Huka Honda, but the Yamaha men decided it would be great to crash this party and, with three Bay of Plenty riders to wave their blue flag, their appearance was certainly appreciated by the noisy local crowd.
Boisterous fans screamed their support as Lamont and fellow Yamaha ace Rhys Carter, from Mount Maunganui, fought for MX1 class honours, sharing the wins in the early part of Sunday’s programme.
Carter (Yamalube Yamaha YZ450F) then won the first two of five quick-fire sprint races that made up the last-man-standing feature of the weekend, but struck a dirt bank, crashed and was eliminated in sprint race number three, although this was still enough for him to claim overall runner-up in the MX1 class.
Meanwhile, Lamont came on strong in the latter races, winning the final sprint race ahead of Tauranga’s Ben Townley and Taupo’s Cohen Chase to claim both the MX1 class overall and the feature series overall as well.
In the MX2 (250cc) class, it was Maximum Purvis, another Mangakino man on another Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing Team bike, who stole the glory.
Purvis finished 2-7-1-4 in his outings to edge out Taupo’s Wyatt Chase by a solitary point in the battle for MX2 glory. Chase’s 1-5-2-6 score-card gave him the runner-up position overall, ahead of fellow Taupo man Brad Groombridge, who registered 11-2-3-7 results.
"Not a bad day for us ... from Max I expected this, but Kayne not so much because he's not fully fit yet," said Lamont’s boss, Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing Team manager Josh Coppins.
"It's the smartest I've seen Kayne ride. He was patient when he needed to be and pushed when he needed to. He never took any risks.
"Max should have been leading his class after moto two but he made a rookie mistake while leading and threw the bike away.
"There's a lot for me to think about on the drive home from here, but I'm really happy with the start we have made to the season.
"I am happy from Rhys Carter's point of view too. He was match fit after his recent racing overseas but he's got some work to do in some areas and I've already spoken to him about those. Overall, I'm pretty happy where Yamaha is at."
In other results, Tauranga’s Brodie Connolly won the 125cc class; Rotorua’s Cam Negus won the veterans’ 35-44 years’ class; Hamilton’s Darryll King won the veterans’ over-45 years’ class and Taupo’s Jake Tomblin won the Vintage MX class.
Class winners in Saturday’s action were Dunedin’s Grason Veitch (junior 14-16 years’ 250cc class); Tauranga’s Brodie Connolly (junior 15-16 years’ 125cc class); Tauranga’s Madoc Dixon (junior 12-14 years’ 125cc class); Rangiora’s Cobie Bourke (junior 12-16 years’ 85cc class); Waitoki’s Cole Davies (junior 8-11 years’ 85cc class); Auckland’s Jack Ellingham (junior 8-11 years’ Pro 65cc class) and Nelson’s Roma Edwards (women’s class).
The Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing team is supported by Altherm Window Systems, Yamaha Motor New Zealand, JCR, CRC, Ados, GYTR, Yamalube, bLU cRU, Fox Racing, YMI, YMF, Twin Air, Hollands Collision Centre, Star Moving, Ward Demolition, Pirelli, Akrapovic, DID, NGK, Renthal, Motomuck,www.workshopgraphics.co.nz, Motoseat, SKF, Vertex Pistons, Rtech Plastics and Etnies.
Words and photo by Andy McGechan,www.BikesportNZ.com