Queenstown’s Scott Columb blasts through a turn at Harrisville on his Altherm JCR Yamaha YZ250.
Billy Mackenzie looks to finish strong aboard the all-new Yamaha YZ450F.
Jay Wilson currently sits third overall in the MX2 class standings heading into the series finale in Taupo.

Altherm JCR Yamaha Head to Digger McEwen Park

20 Mar 2014

The 2014 Backflips New Zealand Motocross Nationals finale takes place this weekend at the famous Digger McEwen Park circuit on the outskirts of Taupo. Team Altherm JCR Yamaha are well-prepared to finish the hotly-contested four-round series on a high.

Racing the MX125 division, it has been a roller-coaster series so far this season for Logan Blackburn. At Round 3, two weeks ago, Altherm JCR Yamaha’s YZ125 pilot finished second, but didn’t have the best weekend. Blackburn is keen to repeat his last round success from 2013 on the Taupo track he has raced many times.

In the MX2 class, a series of ups and downs for Altherm JCR Yamaha’s Scott Columb has all but wrenched the title defence from his grasp this season. Despite his fluctuating luck, a super-fit Columb has posted race wins aboard his YZ250 and a solid weekend on one of his favourite tracks could bump him up the final Championship standings.

“I want to get some wins and finish on a good note,” said Columb. I’m still a bit sore from my crash after clipping the trees at Round 3, but we will continue to fight till the end.

“Training is good, and riding is good, so I’m looking forward to Taupo.”

Also in the MX2 class, Jay Wilson currently sits third overall after consistent results aboard Altherm JCR Yamaha’s YZ250F and knows what success tastes like at Taupo; having won a Junior World Title there in 2009 and is confident everything is in line to come out on top this weekend.

“My speed and fitness is close to where it should be and working with the whole Altherm JCR Yamaha team has been awesome for me,” said Wilson.

“Arriving in Taupo this weekend also brings with it some great memories from winning my World title there in 2009.

“I haven’t been back since, and the opportunity to race there again is awesome. I want to finish the series strong for myself, and the team!”

In the premier MX1 class, Altherm JCR Yamaha’s Billy Mackenzie has demonstrated on numerous occasions this season why he’s a title contender through outright speed, battling for race wins and sheer consistency. It is not impossible he could walk away with the title this weekend.

“It’s been a good build-up. My bike set-up is good, and riding has been going well”, explained Mackenzie.

“My main focus is to secure second in the championship, but that won’t be without giving it everything to put the YZ450F out front again. I feel I can get some race wins.

“I’ve raced at Taupo before so I know track layout and conditions, and I’m gaining more confidence with my riding. The bike is prepared and so am I; I want to finish the series strong,” ended Mackenzie.

Team Manager, Josh Coppins, feels confident that his riders can do the business this weekend in Taupo, after a somewhat demanding national series so far.

“It has been a tough series after last year’s dominance, and as a team, you always want to improve,” reflected Coppins. “We have three team riders currently placed in podium positions, which is positive.

“It’s the business end of the championships and Scott is carrying an injury, but apart from that the whole team is motivated and we’re hungry to win races.”

Racing begins at 10am, Saturday 22 March, at Digger McEwen Park in Taupo.

1st – Cody Cooper – 217pts
2nd – Billy Mackenzie – 180pts – Altherm JCR Yamaha YZ450F
3rd – Brad Groombridge – 128pts

1st – Kayne Lamont – 216pts
2nd – Hamish Dobbyn – 178pts
3rd – Jay Wilson – 164pts – Altherm JCR Yamaha YZ250F
5th – Scott Columb – 151pts – Altherm JCR Yamaha YZ250

1st – Josiah Natzke – 214pts
2nd – Hadleigh Knight – 179pts
3rd – Logan Blackburn – 168pts – Altherm JCR Yamaha YZ125

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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