Jay Wilson (YZ250F) charges through to 4th at Round 3 in Harrisville
Scott Columb (YZ250) flies through the Harrisville sky during Round 3
Billy Mackenzie (YZ450F) on his way to 3rd Overall, and 2nd in the NZ MX1 Championship

Altherm JCR Yamaha Consolidate Points at Round 3

10 Mar 2014

It was a mixed bag of performances for Altherm JCR Yamaha at the penultimate round of the 2014 Backflips New Zealand Motocross Championship held at the renowned Harrisville circuit, near Pukekohe yesterday.

Round 3 hosts, Pukekohe Motorcycle Club, left no stone unturned in preparing what could only be described as the most professionally presented round of the Championships this far. Exceeding everyone’s expectations though was the sensational race conditions in which the clay-based Puke MX circuit remained relatively dust free, even amidst the scorching Auckland sun.

While track conditions and team preparations for Round 3 were as close to perfect as possible, it seemed as though lady-luck had other ideas.

In the MX125cc class, Altherm JCR Yamaha’s Logan Blackburn (YZ125) started the day determined to claw back some valuable series points over rival Josiah Natzke, but was forced to settle for second on the day after poor starts kerbed his outright pace.

Reigning MX2 Champion, Scott Columb (YZ250), was keen to get back to winning ways at Harrisville, but instead had a frustrating day with some costly incidents making the going tough.

“My riding was great, but we were just unlucky today,” explained Columb. “We wanted some wins, but that wasn’t to be. Now we just want to look forward to Taupo and finish strong.”

Also in the MX2 class, visiting Queenslander Jay Wilson (YZ250F), continued his consistent form with a blistering performance aboard the all-new YZ250F, just missing out on an Overall podium finish with a fourth for the day.

“I felt I rode the best I have so far in New Zealand, but I still want better results,” said Wilson. “Not overly happy with fourth, particularly after a strong second place finish in the final moto.

“We had a few issues today, which we’ll work on for Taupo and then keep building towards the upcoming Australian season straight after,” finished Wilson.

Scottish international, Billy Mackenzie (YZ450F), made another visit to the MX1 class podium with a strong day’s racing on a track he considers one of his World favourites; a performance helping to maintain his second place Overall series ranking with one round to race.

“The track was awesome today,” remarked Mackenzie. “We made a few set-up changes to the YZ450F that worked well.

“It felt good to lift the intensity and speed, and battle with Cody (Cooper). But overall it was still kind of an average day for me.

“I’m still working on refining my performance so there’s more to come, and now we want to secure second in the championship at the final round,” ended Mackenzie.

Altherm JCR Yamaha’s Team Manager, Josh Coppins, was happy to get through another challenging day for his team.

“Some ups and some downs today, but we have a large team and that’s racing,” commented Coppins. “In retrospect, I’m happy with the work and effort my boys are putting in.

“The competition is really strong this year and it only takes a split second mistake to send you back to mid-pack; we just need to eliminate those small mistakes.

“The boys are putting in everything they have and with two-out-of-five on the podium; I guess it’s not too bad at all,” concluded Coppins.

Expect nothing less than fireworks when Altherm JCR Yamaha rolls into Taupo in two week's time to contest the final round of the 2014 NZ MX Championships.

Round 3 Results
1st – Josiah Natzke
2nd – Logan Blackburn – Altherm JCR Yamaha YZ125
3rd – Hadleigh Knight

1st – Kayne Lamont
2nd – Hamish Dobbyn
3rd – John Phillips
4th – Jay Wilson – Altherm JCR Yamaha YZ250F
7th – Scott Columb - Altherm JCR Yamaha YZ250

1st – Cody Cooper
2nd – Brad Groombridge
3rd – Billy Mackenzie - Altherm JCR Yamaha YZ450F

To follow the Altherm JCR Yamaha team on Facebook; www.facebook.com/JoshCoppinsRacing or on Instagram: @joshcoppins

Words and images, Chris Ritchie Foto
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