The Bay of Plenty’s 2017 Honda Summercross saw the Altherm JCR Yamaha team’s two riders end the year with a swag of podiums and race wins.
Kayne Lamont and Maximus Purvis were among the hundreds of riders and their families who gathered for the annual two-day event, camping out at the Awakaponga circuit, situated near Whakatane. The competitors put on a show for the thousands of spectators who headed along to one of the best motocross viewing tracks in the country.
Hamilton-based Kayne Lamont was fresh from his success at the Huka Honda MX Fest in Taupo, where he won the event on his new YZ450.
He describes his five races held today as “a bit up and down,” as he rode out against the cream of the New Zealand motocross scene, including five-time national MX1champion Cody Cooper, Rhys Carter, Brad Groombridge and John Phillips.
Lamont, a 24-year-old building apprentice, originally from Mangakino, was on the podium for the first three races finishing 3-3-2.
“I qualified second right behind Cody, which I was happy about. In races one and two I got bad starts but had good speed, finishing third behind Cody and Rhys. In the third race I was second behind Cody,” he says.
Lamont was eyeing the holeshot in the fourth race but his race ended in an early pile up, which resulted in a DNF, due to damage to his Yamaha.
In the final 15-minute – plus two laps – feature, Lamont overcame an average start to catch up to his rivals and win the race. The victory boosted his points giving him fifth overall and plenty to work on for next year, Altherm JCR Yamaha team manager Josh Coppins says.
“He’s still trying to find his speed and iron out some of the mistakes at the moment. He’s a little bit impatient. It’s win or nothing and I personally would rather build up from podium results. I’ll keep working with him and try to push through that and go from there,” Coppins says.
Lamont says his bike “felt really good – the power it was giving out I was really happy with and also the handling.”
He also enjoyed using the Yamaha App, which allows the team to modify the engine settings via an App and then download the information via Wi-Fi to the bike.
“Yamaha is the first company in the world to have a feature like this, so it’s pretty cool to be a step ahead with technology,” Lamont says.
His fellow Altherm JCR Yamaha rider Maximus Purvis, who is also from Mangakino, had a brilliant weekend, winning both the junior 15 to 17 years 125cc and 250cc classes on Friday.
Today he moved up to the senior class and finished second overall in the MX2 category behind Wyatt Chase – notching up two wins amongst the five races.
It is only Purvis’ third race meeting with the Altherm JCR Yamaha team and for him to be winning races in the MX2 class so quickly was pleasing and exciting for Coppins.
“The last guy to make that successful transition from junior to MX2 was Cody Cooper and before him it was Ben Townley and before that it was myself,” he says.
Purvis (17) has been swimming, biking and riding up a storm this summer in preparation for his first season in MX2.
“Pretty much I just want to dominate,” he says, of his goals for the coming year.
His Yamaha YZ250 “was mean” and Purvis enjoyed the added challenge of having a shortcut joker lane in the races, which riders could elect to take at any stage to miss out the saw dust section of the Awakaponga circuit.
“It was the first time I’ve seen a joker lane in New Zealand, it was quite cool. I had made a plan but the plan changed because I made a mistake,” Purvis says.
Next up for the Altherm JCR Yamaha riders is the annual New Zealand Motocross Grand Prix in Woodville on January 28, followed by the four-round New Zealand Motocross Nationals in February and March.
Australian rider Jay Wilson will return to the Altherm JCR Yamaha team for five events next year. He had a successful stint with the team in 2015 when he won both the Australian and New Zealand MX2 championships.
He will swap out with Purvis, who will contest the seven-round Australian national motocross season in the under-19 class, under the Yamaha Australia umbrella.