The 18-year-old from Mangakino rides in New Zealand for the high-profile Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing Team and again this season he had backing from Yamaha in Australia too, racing there for the WBR Bulk Nutrients Yamaha Racing Team.
This ensured he stayed with his preferred Yamaha YZ250F machine and he certainly looked comfortable on the bike when he dominated the day, scoring back-to-back wins, at the ninth round of 10 in the Australian series at Coolum, in Queensland, on Saturday. He could not quite match that at the 10th and final round at the same venue the following day, settling instead for two runner-up finishes, but that was still easily enough to ensure that he finished the championship ranked second overall in the MX Development (Under-19) class. Australian rider Regan Duffy wrapped up the MXD title win on Sunday. Purvis had finished runner-up in this class last season too, on that occasion finishing behind fellow Yamaha rider Bailey Malkiewicz, and he had high hopes of taking the trophy this time around.
However, Purvis suffered a massive set-back at a muddy round two of the 2019 series at Wonthaggi, in Victoria, in March, when he finished an unaccustomed 18th in one of his two races that day. "That was something he was always going to struggle to recover from," said his Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing Team boss Josh Coppins. "Even though Maximus won three rounds this season, he was never really going to be able to get back those points he lost at Wonthaggi. He had the speed again this year, but there was no coming back from what happened at Wonthaggi. "We'll try to come up with a plan to improve things for Maximus as he will look to head into the MX2 class in Australia next season." Another Kiwi racing in Australia at the weekend was Rotorua's Josh Bourke-Palmer and, although he competed in only a selected few of the 125 Gold Cup class races in Australia this season, he managed to finish an impressive seventh overall. "The relationship between Yamaha in Australia and New Zealand is great," said Coppins. "Racing in the 125cc Gold Cup races was a good experience for Josh (Bourke-Palmer) and the co-operation between Yamaha in Australia and New Zealand shows these young riders that there is a pathway for them. By racing in Australia, it gives riders like Josh and Max the chance to develop and improve during the Kiwi off-season." Purvis won the New Zealand 125cc crown in 2018, before racing his way to runner-up spot in the MXD class on his 250cc Yamaha that same year. He progressed to the 250cc competition fulltime at the start of 2019 and raced in the MX2 class in the New Zealand Motocross Championships earlier this season, finishing that series third overall, making in two years in a row now that Purvis has finished on the podium on both sides of the Tasman Sea.
Purvis will remain in Australia now to contest the Australian Supercross Championships and he is not expected to be seen in race action in New Zealand until the Whakatane Summercross in late December.
Purvis is supported in New Zealand by the Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing team, Altherm Window Systems, Yamaha Motor New Zealand, JCR, CRC, Ados, GYTR, Yamalube, bLU cRU, Fox Racing, YMI, YMF, Twin Air, 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