The Hamilton-based former Mangakino rider is happily anticipating a return to his old stomping ground for the fourth and final round of the 2018 New Zealand Motocross Championships at Taupo on Saturday.
The Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing Team rider had led the national series from the start of the competition, in Taranaki a month ago, and was disappointed to see his nine-point advantage in the premier MX1 class replaced by a six-point deficit at round three near Hastings last weekend. Rain arrived at the Hawke's Bay circuit about a third of the way through last Saturday's race programme, and this caused all sorts of grief for many of the riders, not least of all Lamont. He won the first race in dry conditions at Hastings but suffered a succession of crashes in the two muddy races that followed. Although he has won more races than any other rider in the MX1 class so far this season, Lamont will be forced to play catch-up this weekend. "Kayne struggled in the mud at Fernhill, but he is very fast at Taupo and he'll be going hard this Saturday.
We expect him to do well there," said Lamont's Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing Team manager Josh Coppins. "He will just focus on this weekend and putting his best foot forward. "The bottom line is that Kayne needs to go out and win the first race this Saturday, get that win under his belt and turn things around." Coppins agreed it would be a little tougher for his MX2 (250cc) class rider, Australian visitor Jay Wilson, the young man from Tweed Heads, near Coolangatta, who was New Zealand MX2 champion the last time he raced here, in 2015. "Jay was just not quite ready when he first arrived here and it's taken him longer to get up to where he needs to be. But, if he can finish the series on the podium, and I believe he's capable of that, it will be a good way for him to set himself up for his season ahead back in Australia." Wilson slipped from third to fourth in the championships standings at Hastings last weekend, but he is only 10 points behind the new No.3-ranked rider, Rangiora's Micah McGoldrick.
The Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing Team's rider in the National 125cc class, Mangakino's Maximus Purvis, is well placed to wrap up that title this Saturday. Purvis is 15 points ahead of another visiting Australian, Mason Semmens, and Coppins said all Purvis needs to do now is "be sensible and not take too many risks". "As a team, we'd like to capture two titles and finish on the podium in the other class. That's been our target from the start. Although, obviously we'd have preferred to win all three titles," he laughed. Purvis is extremely fast at Taupo and the only real danger for him there is that the track jumps up and bites him if he's not careful.
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