Altherm JCR Yamaha Gets Season Underway Positively At MX Fest

As the 2019/2020 motocross season revved into life at the annual Huka Honda MX Fest, Altherm JCR Yamaha team manager Josh Coppins found himself back on-board his Yamaha, competing at Taupo's Digger McEwen Motocross Park yesterday.

JCR's MX2 class rider Maximus Purvis has been racing across the Tasman and finished an impressive second in the 2019 Australian Motocross Championships' MX Development (Under-19) class but an ankle injury relegated him to the side-line for the traditional opening weekend. An x-ray of his ankle was inconclusive, so Purvis (19) will have it scanned to determine how long he remains in rehabilitation mode.

Determined to ensure the Yamaha brand and his team was still well represented, former international motocross star Coppins threw a leg over his 250F and rode it to second in the MX2 class. After the three motos, plus the Nicky Smith Memorial feature race, he was pipped for first after a countback.

"Josiah Natzke, who is just back from Europe, got the win. He was pretty fast, but I managed to out fox him a little bit. He went 3-1-1 and I went 1-2-2. Going into the shoot-out at the end of the day, which features the top 40 riders and with the points counting for the overall, I finished seventh and the first 250F. Josiah was eighth, so that tied us on points. I thought I just had to beat him in the last race - if I'd known that I needed to finish further up the field, I would've pushed a bit harder but anyway it is what it is," Coppins says, showing his competitive spirit is still alive and kicking.

Altherm JCR Yamaha's MX1 rider Kayne Lamont (26) had a solid start to his season, with winning the feature race on his Yamaha YZ450F - ahead of the 2019 New Zealand Motocross Championship's MX1 title holder Cody Cooper - the highlight of his day's race programme.

"I managed to make the top three final and got the holeshot when the other two riders came together and fell off. It meant I was able to cruise around and take the shootout overall win," Lamont says.

The Hamilton-based rider had qualified second and went on to finish fourth in race 1 after a wobble slowed up his charge.

"I was passing into second on the first lap and got out of shape and went through the tape. It dropped me back a few positions, but I managed to make my way back to fourth," he says.

Lamont was unable to start race 2 as a mechanical issue occurred when water got into his launch control system and shorted out the electricity. It blew a fuse on the start-line, leaving Lamont with a DNS. Fired up for a strong result in race 3, he got a good start before an early mistake put him back a few positions. Fighting back to second, he set about chasing down Yamaha rider Ben Townley for the win but couldn't quite catch the ex-World Motocross MX2 Champion.

"I ended up fifth overall for the race meeting, due to the DNS, so I was happy to be up that far. I enjoyed the day on my Yamaha and gathered some good info to build from in the near future," Lamont says.

Although his JCR team was a little light on riders, Coppins believed it was a positive weekend's racing from a Yamaha brand point of view. Tauranga's Townley ended up third in the MX1 class on a Yamaha YZ450F and young Hawke's Bay motocross racer, Tommy Watts rode his YZ125 to second in the National 125cc class.

"It was a bit of a mixed bag of results, but we were right there and had a fairly decent showing to start the year off. We had a Yamaha bLUcRU support shop at the track selling merchandise and spares, plus a mechanic to help set up riders' bikes and look after them, which was a pretty cool resource for our Yamaha customer base," Coppins says.

The riders enjoyed the sunny weather and great conditions, courtesy of the well-organised Taupo Motorcycle Club.

Altherm JCR Yamaha would like to thank their sponsors: Altherm Window Systems, JCR, Yamaha Motor New Zealand, Yamalube, GYTR, bLUcRU, Akrapovic, Ward Demolition, Star Moving, Holland Collision Centre, Workshop Graphics, Fox, YMI, YMF, Pirelli, Twin Air, DID, Renthal, Vertex, Motoseat & SKF.

Altherm JCR Yamaha 2019/2020 calendar

27th October 2019 Taupo MX Fest

29th December 2019 Whakatane SummerX

26th January 2020 Woodville Grand Prix