The Altherm JCR Yamaha team continued its now three-year tradition of one of its riders winning the coveted feature race at the New Zealand Motocross Grand Prix at Woodville, with Kayne Lamont doing the honours today.
The previous two years Australian Dean Ferris had won the feature, while he was over in New Zealand riding for the Motueka-based team and manager Josh Coppins was stoked to make it three in a row.
“To win now with Kayne is pretty special for us. That’s the highlight of our day,” he says.
Lamont scorched through the five-lap sprint race, which pits the top riders in each class against each other, edging out five-time national MX1 champion Cody Cooper, with Australian Kirk Gibbs in third.
“I got a reasonable start, put in some fast laps to create a bit of a gap and hung in there for the win,” Lamont, who is now based in Hamilton doing his building apprenticeship, says.
He admits to feeling a bit battered after crashing hard after building up an 8sec lead in Race 1. Nursing a sore lower back, hip and leg and riding a slightly bent up Yamaha YZ450, he took off after the pack, only to have another “massive crash” over a jump. He managed to salvage 15th place and then in the second and third races, he wound up with 4-5 finishes.
Lamont will get some physiotherapy treatment and do muscle recovery sessions this week to prepare himself for the first round of the New Zealand Motocross Championships next weekend.
In what often becomes a Trans-Tasman battle at the Manawatu event, the Altherm JCR Yamaha team had a foot in both camps. Joining the two Kiwi riders Lamont and Mangakino’s Maximus Purvis (National 125cc) was Australian Jay Wilson from Yamalube Yamaha Racing in Australia, who was racing for team in the MX2 class this weekend.
Wilson (23) will compete at all four rounds of the New Zealand Motocross Championships in preparation for his Australian season. He has worked with Altherm JCR Yamaha team manager Josh Coppins for several years previously and in 2015 claimed the MX2 title in both New Zealand and Australia with Coppins’ team.
The trio of riders joined more than 500 Senior, Junior and Mini riders from all over New Zealand and overseas, who raced on the Woodville farmland that is transformed into an impressive Grand Prix Motocross park annually.
Making his 2018 racing debut in New Zealand, Wilson finished a credible third overall on his Yamaha YZ250F. The first two races he found his racing form again, finishing in third place with Wyatt Chase claiming victory and Hamish Harwood in the runner-up spot, both times.
In the third race, Wilson moved up to second, which pleased Coppins, who says “he got better and better,” as he had more track time.
“This was Jay’s first motocross race since August and we are building back up with him. He was only 4secs off the lead in the third race.”
Wilson says that although it would have been nice to take a win this weekend, his focus is battling for the MX2 championship title “and we are well and truly in that fight,” he says.
Young talent, Mangakino’s Purvis had a cracking weekend, emerging as the overall winner of the National 125cc class. Riding a YZ125 he had some spirited battles with fellow Kiwi James Scott and Australian Mason Semmens, with the threesome swapping podium positions over their three races. Purvis’ two wins and a second came despite racing in the intense heat after being ill all week with a stomach complaint.
“It was hard,” he admits, referencing racing after an illness and also the “real tough and rutty” condition of the track.
Coppins says Purvis rode well and is ready to aim for a win in the National 125cc class this season.
“All in all it was a great weekend for the Altherm JCR Yamaha team. We also had Australian Yamaha riders Bailey Malkiewicz, who won the Junior class and Women’s category winner Maddy Brown racing for us.”
Next up for the Altherm JCR Yamaha riders is the four-round New Zealand Motocross Nationals in February and March.