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When Fastest Does Not Always Mean First

If a rider is only as good as his last race, then Mangakino’s Kayne Lamont will be hoping the momentum continues for him into 2018.

The Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing Team star experienced mixed fortunes at the weekend’s popular post-Christmas Whakatane Summercross, at Matata, but he certainly finished it off with a bang, winning the final MX1 class race of the weekend. Unfortunately, that result was also coupled with a non-finish in the fourth of the weekend’s five MX1 races – because of an incident for which he had no control over – and so his final overall position for the event was a disappointing fifth overall.

The event started brightly enough for the 24-year-old Yamaha star, Lamont finishing 3-3-2 in the first three MX1 races of the day. But then disaster came in race four, Lamont shunted from behind as he arrived at turn one, just seconds after the start. His bike was damaged and he was unable to unable to rejoin the race. The points he lost at the moment would prove crippling in the overall analysis. “It was a tough track at which to get through traffic,” said Lamont. “It was single-line in a lot of places. “I showed good speed all day and we have learned a lot about setting up the bike, so it’s not all bad news,” said Lamont. “The new Yamaha computer app (application) is awesome. We changed settings throughout the day and it was great by race three. A couple of clicks and it transformed the bike. Even a novice could make good changes on their bike and I’m sure that, if anyone wanted ‘Kayne Lamont settings’, they could just contact us at Altherm JCR Yamaha and we’d share them.” On an encouraging note, Lamont recorded the fastest lap time in all four races he was able to finish, his best a blistering one minute and 26.57 seconds coming as he won race five ahead of Mount Maunganui pair Rhys Carter and Cody Cooper.

That lap time was almost a full 10 seconds quicker than the fastest lap set by Cooper in qualifying at the start of the day, the track at that early stage possibly the smoothest it would be all day. Lamont had made his MX1 class debut a winning one just two months earlier, celebrating at the annual MX Fest event in Taupo in October when he claimed the main trophy after a day-long battle with reigning national MX1 Cooper. With his MX1 class debut win at Taupo, followed by his race win and impressive lap times at Whakatane, Lamont could feel confident as 2018 dawns. Lamont hopes he can avoid trouble such as the race four incident at Whakatane, with the four-round 2018 senior New Zealand Motocross Championships poised to kick off in Taranaki in February. Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing Team boss Josh Coppins was philosophical about Lamont’s performance, but also said there was still “work that needs to be done”. "Kayne showed good speed, but it’s frustrating that we’re not getting the results we want," said Coppins. “A lot of promise is being shown, but it hasn’t been fully delivered yet.” The Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing team is supported by Altherm Window Systems, Yamaha, JCR, CRC, Ados, GYTR, Yamalube, bLU cRU, Fox Racing, Hollands Collision Centre, Star Moving, Ward Demolition, Pirelli, Akrapovic, DID, NGK, Renthal, Motomuck,, Motoseat, SKF, Vertex Pistons, Rtech Plastics and Etnies.

Words and photo by Andy McGechan