He proved this once again with another stellar performance, this time winning the MX2 class at the annual King of the Mountain Motocross in Taranaki at the weekend. The 18-year-old Purvis won the MX2 (250cc) class at the big annual Whakatane Summercross, just after Christmas, but his winning efforts in Taranaki at the weekend were possibly even more vital than that. His victory at the King of the Mountain event was doubly important because this Taranaki track is to be the host venue for round one of the nationals in just two weeks' time, on February 3.
The Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing Team rider knew a solid showing here would be ideal preparation for his first New Zealand MX2 class title bid. Purvis won the National 125cc class title in 2018 and this year he has stepped up to the bigger Yamaha YZ250F bike for his campaigns both here and abroad. "It was a good result for me here to get into the groove for the nationals," he said after registering a 1-2-1 score-card in the MX2 class on Sunday. "I have raced at the King of the Mountain before, but not for a few years now." Starts let him down on Sunday, but he showed incredible pace to power through the field each time. "I learned today that I have a lot of work to do on my starts," he smiled. "It makes it hard for me when I can't get a start right. I need to look at my reaction time and technique. "The bike's going great, so I can't blame the machinery at all." It's a jam-packed race calendar for Purvis and he has no spare time before his next big outing, the New Zealand Motocross Grand Prix at Woodville this coming weekend. He won the National 125cc class and the Roddy Shirriffs Memorial trophy (for the top rider aged under 21 years) at Woodville last season and hopes he can replicate that in the MX2 class this time around. He then makes a return to Barrett Road on February 3 for round one of the nationals, followed by rounds in Rotorua (on February 17), then Pukekohe (on February 24) and, finally, the nationals wrap up at Taupo on March 10. Immediately after the New Zealand Motocross Championships, Purvis will head across the Tasman Sea to tackle the under-19 Motocross Development (MXD) class in the Australian nationals. The Kiwi motocross international is already well familiar with what’s ahead of him in Australia after he finished third overall in the MXD class there in 2018. A key member of the Altherm JCR Yamaha Race Team in New Zealand, Purvis will ride for the WBR Yamaha Team in Australia. The opening round of the Australian MX Nationals are at Appin, west of Sydney, on March 17. "I have done two seasons in Australia now and I feel comfortable racing here now as I know the riders and how the events work," Purvis said. "I won plenty of rounds (in the MXD class) last year, but I just wasn’t consistent enough in the rounds that I didn't win so that's an area I need to address this year. Championships are won on your bad days, so I need to find a way grind out a good result when things aren't going my way and be consistent across all 10 rounds.
" Purvis and the Altherm JCR Yamaha team is supported by Altherm Window Systems, JCR, Yamaha Motor New Zealand, Yamalube, GYTR, bLUcRU, Akrapovic, Ward Demolition, Star Moving, Holland Collision Centre, www.workshopgraphics.co.nz, Fox, YMI, YMF, Pirelli, Twin Air, DID, Renthal, Motomuck, Vertex, Motoseat & SKF.
Words and photo by Andy McGechan