The Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing Team star had another good work-out at the weekend’s popular post-Christmas Whakatane Summercross, at Matata, racing three separate classes over two days of scorching high-level motocross action.
The annual event was regarded as another training exercise and bike testing session for the Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing Team rider and it was certainly intense preparation for the 17-year-old Purvis, who won two classes and finished runner-up in another. On Friday he raced his Yamaha YZ125 to victory in the junior 125cc class and then took his Yamaha YZ250F to back that up with an outright win in the junior 250cc class as well. He was back on the start line the following day, racing his 250cc Yamaha in the senior MX2 class and, once again, he was in sensational form, although this time he was forced to settle for the overall runner-up position, finishing just behind Taupo’s Wyatt Chase. By contesting more races than any other rider at the event, Purvis showed he was fully recovered from the frightening crash he suffered at the MX Fest event in Taupo in October. All that remains is for Purvis to “eliminate small mistakes” from his repertoire before the most important race action of the summer, the four-round 2018 senior New Zealand Motocross Championships, which kick off in Taranaki in February. Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing Team boss Josh Coppins said he was satisfied with most aspects of Purvis’ performances at Summercross, but, as always the former Grand Prix hero is a hard task-master and he also said there was still “room for improvement”. "Max showed good speed, but he is still making too many mistakes," said Coppins. In all, Purvis won seven races from 11 starts over the two days at Whakatane. His ninth placing in one on the senior MX2 races on Saturday was the only real blight on his performance and it cost him dearly in the points. “He tucked the front end of the bike under in one race and stalled the bike while leading in another.
These are the mistakes we need to eliminate,” said Coppins. “These sorts of things are the difference between winning and finishing second. “Overall I’m pretty happy with the improvements he’s shown in the past few weeks. His speed is very good and that’s the main thing.” Purvis rode a Yamaha YZ250F at the MX Fest in Taupo at Labour Weekend and the Auckland Motocross Championships at Tuakau in November was his first ride on a 125cc bike since (he won the national junior 15-16 years' 125cc title in) April. He had a thorough work-out on both bikes at Whakatane. It is still undecided whether class Purvis will race the 125cc or MX2 class at the nationals, or even if he might tackle them both.
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, www.workshopgraphics.co.nz, Motoseat, SKF, Vertex Pistons, Rtech Plastics and Etnies.
Words and photo by Andy McGechan