The first round of the New Zealand Motocross Championships at the Barrett Road facility in Taranaki has seen all three Altherm JCR Yamaha riders finish on the overall podium, in what was an extremely positive start to the four-round season for the team.
Hamilton-based rider Kayne Lamont laid claim to his first national round victory in the headline MX1 class. He beat home some stiff competition, including five-time champion Cody Cooper and Australian Kirk Gibbs, with a perfect score card of three race wins on his Yamaha YZ450.
Lamont, aged 24, has come out guns blazing in 2018 – winning the coveted feature race title at the big, annual Woodville GP last weekend and says it was “pretty cool” to back that up in such convincing fashion yesterday.
“I guess staying upright always helps,” he says, with a laugh, referencing his crashes at the Manawatu event.
“I changed it around this weekend and got good starts all day. I put my head down early on and got ahead,” Lamont says.
Mangakino’s Maximus Purvis also stood on top of the podium, winning the National 125cc category on his Yamaha YZ125 and gaining a three-point advantage over Australian rider Mason Semmens.
After dominating this class at Woodville last week, the talented 17-year-old is living up to his promise to win all the races he can this year. Purvis admits he has always been competitive and puts his success down to wanting to cross that finish line first – way more than his rivals.
His 1-1-2 results also indicate he has a wise head on his young shoulders as he “just rode to the track’s conditions,” in the final race.
“It was dry, slippery and just dodgy, so I took second and the overall for the day,” Purvis says.
Australian rider Jay Wilson, who is part of the Altherm JCR Yamaha team for New Zealand’s national championship season, finished third in the MX2 class for the weekend on his Yamaha YZ250F.
Team manager Josh Coppins had been doing some racing himself over the weekend, competing at the Leadfoot Festival at Hahei, Coromandel and was unable to be at the first round. He was pleased his trio of riders did so well in his absence.
“It was a great weekend for the team. Kayne has been threatening to put in a performance like this for a while now but hasn’t been able to bring it all together. I’m really happy to see him get the rewards for all the hard work he’s put in to get his first nationals MX1 round win,” Coppins says.
Wilson had a crash in practice last Tuesday which left him a bit tender, although he did not use it as an excuse, Coppins says.
“He pushed through and did the best he could. He came from last through to fifth in his first race after coming off the bike.”
The team is still “finding its feet a bit with the bike set-up” of Wilson’s Yamaha but Coppins was “confident that we can have him challenge for a win in three week’s time at round two.”
Meanwhile Purvis’ top result was no surprise to his manager.
“We expected that from Max, although it’s the first time leading a senior champs for him. He has the speed to ride a 250cc bike but he’s competing in the 125cc class to learn how to control the championship, manage his races and gain race craft.”
Coppins adds that he and fiancé Amy Henderson put a lot of thought into which riders will work best for the Altherm JCR Yamaha team and it was encouraging to see them all achieving highly this early in the championship.