Billy Mackenzie blasts his Yamaha YZ450F to 3rd Overall in Tokoroa.
Scott Columb finished 6th Overall at Round 2 on his YZ250 after a final race DNF.
Jay Wilson pilots his YZ250F through the rhythm section at Tokoroa.

Challenging Day at the Office for Altherm JCR Yamaha

24 Feb 2014

Round 2 of the 2014 Backflips New Zealand Motocross Nationals held at the Amisfield circuit near Tokoroa over the weekend proved to be a tough day at the office for Altherm JCR Yamaha.

Despite track officials dumping over one million litres of water into the sand-based Tokoroa circuit throughout the weekend, the sizzling-hot summer’s sun proved too much; rendering the track tinder dry and resulting in brutally tough race conditions.

For Logan Blackburn in the MX125 class, luck certainly wasn’t on his side. Mechanical issues in the opening race resulted in a lack-lustre finish and then a crash in the final moto caused an uncharacteristic DNF (Did Not Finish) – Blackburn’s championship lead evaporating in the process.

“Today didn’t go so well,” said a disappointed, Blackburn. “The championship is halfway and my performance at Round 3 in two weeks will be crucial.”

In the hotly contested MX2 division, defending champion, Scott Columb, entered the weekend confident in maintaining his position at the sharp-end of the title race. But, he too had a frustrating day, suffering from a DNF in final race of the day.

“The conditions were pretty tough on gear and we were hoping to come out of this weekend with the points lead, unfortunately that’s not how it’s panned out,” said Columb. “On the positive, we are only a few points down and the Championship is far from over.”

Also in MX2, visiting Australian, Jay Wilson, continued his consistent form taking the all-new Yamaha YZ250F to third Overall – the first 250 four-stroke in the class.

“It was a challenging day; it took me a bit to get used to the track,” conceded Wilson. “This is only my second race back, so I’m going to practice on my race-craft and be ready next time out.”

Scottish international, Billy Mackenzie, benefitted from good starts and consistency aboard his YZ450F, finishing third on the day and improving his series ranking to second Overall.

“It was an average day, but on the positive side we are second in the Championship now”, explained Mackenzie.

“I should’ve been at least second behind Cody (Cooper) today. The track was tricky and you had to ride within your limits or it would’ve bitten you,” finished Mackenzie.

Altherm JCR Yamaha team manager, Josh Coppins, was disappointed that the teams’ results were not as good as the opening round a fortnight earlier, but still happy to come away with some strong results and move forward in the Championship.

“Logan’s run of bad luck in the MX125 division was disappointing, but that is racing,” explained Coppins. “For MX2, Jay did a good, and sits well in the championship because it; particularly after another consistent podium today.

“He’s also the first four-stroke in the class against the 250 two-strokes, which says a lot for Yamaha’s YZ250F.

“For Scott, It was a tough day. And there were definitely some lessons learnt from my point of view as team manager.

“Billy is also doing a good job in the MX1 class. We know there’s more in him, but we are doing the best we can,” ended Coppins.

Team Altherm JCR Yamaha now has two weeks in which to refine their performance before the gates drop for Round 3 of the Championships in Pukekohe – near Auckland – on Sunday, 9 March.

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

1st – Kayne Lamont
2nd – Hamish Dobbyn
3rd – Jay Wilson – Altherm JCR Yamaha YZ250F
6th – Scott Columb – Altherm JCR Yamaha YZ250

1st – Josiah Natzke
2nd – Hadleigh Knight
3rd – Ryan Metz – Yamaha YZ125
7th – Logan Blackburn – Altherm JCR Yamaha YZ125

To follow the Altherm JCR Yamaha team on Facebook; or on Instagram: @joshcoppins

Words and images, Chris Ritchie Foto
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