For the second consecutive New Zealand Motocross Championships round, the trio of Altherm JCR Yamaha riders all scored overall podium places today.
Racing on the Phillips’ farm property, near Rotorua, they covered all positions, with Maximus Purvis claiming his second National 125cc class win, Australian Jay Wilson runner-up in the MX2 class and MX1 rider Kayne Lamont placing third.
Lamont, who is based in Hamilton, was dominant at the first round in Taranaki, scoring an impressive hat-trick of wins, which earned him a solid 15-point advantage over Mount Maunganui’s defending national champion Cody Cooper.
He held onto this lead after today’s three races, where he placed 3-2-2, trading the top positions with Cooper, visiting Australian Kirk Gibbs and Rhys Carter.
Lamont describes it as a “pretty consistent” performance and he was pleased to walk away from the second national round without having any crashes. He considers the track to be his local circuit and he would have liked to have left it with more of a points buffer than 10 points he has over Gibbs – with Cooper a further 4 points behind – at the season’s halfway point.
However, a positive moving forward is that he and the Altherm JCR Yamaha team have found a sweet spot with the set-up of his Yamaha YZ450.
“Now we have a pretty solid platform and shouldn’t be second guessing or trying anything different for the next two rounds,” Lamont says.
Team manager Josh Coppins was happy with Lamont’s race management on the “narrow, slippery track” which made passing tricky.
He also credited Mangakino’s Purvis for bouncing back from a “wee hiccup” in Race 2, where another rider crashed into the 17-year-old on the first lap. He made his way up through the field, gaining 2secs a lap and took the lead, three corners from the finish flag.
Purvis will head to Australia in April to race and the National 125cc class is ideal training ground for him to learn to limit mistakes, control races and the manage a championship before he faces some tougher competition across the Tasman.
He has won five out of the six races so far this season, which means “everything is going as I want it to,” he says.
Wilson is beginning a long motocross season – beginning with Altherm JCR Yamaha in New Zealand. He will then continue racing through until the end of the year in the Australian Motocross Championships for Yamalube Yamaha Racing.
“I made some steps in the right direction that’s for sure and performed better than round one. I’m not exactly where I want to be yet but I’ll go back to Josh’s place and get some more riding in and keep chipping away,” Wilson says.
Coppins adds that while the New Zealand riders “came in hot” to the nationals, having had several big lead-up events, Wilson “came in cold and that means he has a bit of work to do to get up to race-winning pace.”
“It’s been a satisfying weekend for the Altherm JCR Yamaha team, with first, second and third placings. Two of our riders still have the red plate with Max leading by 15 points and Kayne by 10,” Coppins summarises.
The series next heads to Hawke’s Bay for round three on March 11, with the fourth and final round in Taupo on Saturday, March 24.