Altherm JCR Yamaha’s three riders made a decent start to the four-round Fox-sponsored New Zealand Motocross Championships yesterday and have some more fight to find moving forward.
Defending New Zealand champion, Australian Kirk Gibbs and Kayne Lamont raced to second and third in the MX1 category respectively, while MX2 rider Maximus Purvis also finished on the podium in third place overall.
Team Manager Josh Coppins was happy with their first hit-out but will be expecting more when the team regroups for the second round in Rotorua in a fortnight.
“It was a bit of a day of what ifs but we were right there. I’ll need to push the boys. We are not going to settle for mediocre. We want to be going for wins not podiums, it’s just what we expect,” he says of the standard he sets for the team.
Gold Coast-based Gibbs (29) went 1-2-2 after qualifying second on his Yamaha YZ450.
“In the opening race I got a good start and got the holeshot. Cody was on me the whole race but I withstood the pressure. I felt like a rode good but not a hundred percent, as I really had to protect my lines,” Gibbs says.
He finished second to Cooper in the next outing and then had a small crash in race three, which marred his chances of edging his rival off the top of the round’s podium.
“In the final race I got slammed coming out of the gate. When I went over the first table top I got sideways and fell over. I managed to charge up to second, behind Cody, at the end.
Hamilton-based Lamont is still getting back up to full fitness after being off the bike for several months late last year due to injury. He was super consistent – finishing third in all three races.
Lamont (25) got the holeshot in race two and led for a few laps before Gibbs and Copper got by him. He looked like he might nab second in the final moto but got held up with a lapped rider on the final lap and had to settle for third.
“I was pretty happy with third, although the last race was not the pace I was capable of. My injury from November has put me back a little bit. It was good to get some bike time and racing under my belt and hopefully I’ll make some gains in the next couple of rounds,” Lamont says.
Cooper has 72 points, while the Altherm JCR Yamaha riders are on 69 (Gibbs) and 60 (Lamont) after this first round.
Mangakino rider Purvis won his first race convincingly. Then he had a tough second outing where he ended up last off the start line. He powered through the field to eighth, then crashed and made another comeback from 12th to 6th.
Coppins says that Purvis is still young at 18-years-old.
“I guess we need to expect it but if he wants to win a championship then we can’t afford those mistakes. In the last race he was third but lost touch on the leaders. He needs to have a bit more fight to move up into first for the next three rounds.
Purvis vowed to train even harder for the next round as he is “after the win.”
He is 9 points off MX2 leader Hamish Harwood, who is on 69 and shares 60 points with Wilson Todd.
CAPTIONS: Altherm JCR Yamaha rider Kirk Gibbs was second in the MX1 class at the New Zealand Motocross Championships first round in Taranaki yesterday.
Altherm JCR Yamaha MX1 rider Kayne Lamont was consistent with three, third places at the New Zealand Motocross Championships first round in Taranaki yesterday.
Altherm JCR Yamaha MX2 rider Maximus Purvis was third overall for the round at the New Zealand Motocross Championships first outing in Taranaki yesterday.
Altherm JCR Yamaha would like to thank their sponsors: Altherm Window Systems, JCR, Yamaha Motor New Zealand, Yamalube, GYTR, bLUcRU, Akrapovic, Ward Demolition, Star Moving, Holland Collision Centre, Workshop Graphics, Fox, YMI, YMF, Pirelli, Twin Air, DID, Renthal, Motomuck, Vertex, Motoseat & SKF.