The Altherm JCR Yamaha team was riding high at the annual Bay of Plenty Motocross's Whakatane Summercross.
There were two riders on track but the usual team make-up differed slightly, as after winning the Huka Honda MX Fest’s MX1 class in October, Kayne Lamont tore the ACL in his knee and sat out today’s racing. Team Manager Josh Coppins stepped in for this one race meeting and showed the young bucks he still has what it takes, finishing third overall in MX1.
Altherm JCR Yamaha’s MX2 rider, Mangakino’s Maximus Purivs totally dominated the day – winning five from five races. Riding his Yamaha YZ250F, Purvis raced the back-to-back format of two motos in a row – twice - followed by a single race at the end of the day.
The up-and-coming 18-year-old is in fine form for his first full season in MX2 after taking home the winner’s trophy from the recent MX Fest.
Attracting hundreds of riders from New Zealand, Australia and England, plus thousands of spectators, the Awakaponga circuit, near Whakatane, is one of the best motocross viewing venues in the country. The fans were in for a special treat, watching former international motocross GP star Coppins provide the Altherm JCR Yamaha team with a MX1 presence and his outings in the five races were a credible 4-3-3-4-4.
“It was a very good day for Yamaha and at 33 degrees, Summercross really lived up to its name. I felt like I filled in alright. Third was about as good as I could expect with my lack of fitness these days. I enjoyed it and it was fun but I’m more than happy to hand it over to the professionals for the next race,” Coppins laughs.
The team will expand for the Woodville Grand Prix at the end of January.
“We have Australian Kurt Gibbs, who is the defending NZ champion starting racing with us in Woodville. We will also have Kayne back from injury, so we have a really strong MX1 outfit for Altherm JCR Yamaha moving into 2019,” Coppins says.
“Yamaha also has Rhys Carter, who finished second in MX1 today, racing under the Yamalube label, so the brand is looking solid for the four-round nationals. Rhys will be heading up our coaching programme in April too,” Coppins adds.
For him, the Summercross meeting was about more than just the individual results and looking at the bigger picture, what was really positive for Coppins, was Yamaha’s overall presence.
“We were dominant in Women’s’ racing with 1, 2, 3 on the podium and were really strong winning some of the Vet’s racing. Then despite not taking the 125cc class win, we made up the other top placings through to fifth. There were a lot of good customers getting great results, which is something we really want to build on and improve on in 2019,” Coppins says.
Altherm JCR Yamaha 2018/2019 calendar
20th & 21st October 2018 Taupo MX Fest
29th & 30th December 2018 Whakatane Summercross
26th & 27th January 2019 Woodville Grand Prix
2019 MNZ MX National Championship
Round 1 - Sunday 3rd February - Taranaki
Round 2 - Sunday 17th February - Rotorua
Round 3 - Sunday 24th February - Pukekohe
Round 4 - Sunday 10th March – Taupo
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Words: Altherm JCR Yamaha