Yamaha's Lamont has winning hit-out at the Whakatane Summercross

The Altherm JCR Yamaha team had a strong start to the season, with MX1 rider Kayne Lamont dominating the top-level class at the 2019 Whakatane Summercross.

Held over the weekend, at the Awakaponga circuit, the 48th annual event always sees New Zealand’s motocross elite turn out in droves, as the hundreds of riders use the five races as a springboard into the 2020 national championship season.

Hamilton’s Lamont (26) dived in headfirst and came up with a near-perfect scoreboard. The new race format meant there were five motos, which consisted of two back-to-back motos, with a five- minute break between them. After qualifying in P2, Lamont showed he’s a force to be reckoned with this season.

“Race 1 was a 10-minute race and then we headed back to start line and raced again for 10 minutes. I managed to get the holeshot in race 1 and race away comfortably on my YZ450F to win it,” Lamont says.

He repeated that successful formula in the next three races, taking the win each time.

“Race 5 was a single race of 15 minutes, plus two laps, and I managed to sneak another holeshot in this race but was passed mid-way through the opening lap. I ended up settling for second behind visiting Belgian rider Jens Getteman, as I knew I didn’t need to win to get the overall for the day,” Lamont says.

“The track was hectic for me but I’m happy to have some race time under my belt. I’m excited to improve on what I achieved today - with myself fitness-wise and for my bike setup heading into Woodville at the end of January,” he added.

Altherm JCR Yamaha Team Manager Josh Coppins praised his MX1 rider for bringing it home safe in the fifth moto.

“Kayne had the win the bag, so that was a smart ride from him. I’m happy with where he is at. He’s had a lot of injuries in previous years but this season he is 100% healthy and he’s got some good results already this year - winning Nicky Smith Memorial feature race at the MX Fest in October and now this weekend’s achievements,” Coppins says.

The former international motocross GP legend wasn’t just watching from the side-lines at the weekend and instead jumped on board a Yamaha YZ250F to fill in for his recuperating MX2 rider Maximus Purvis. The Mangakino youngster is nearly recovered from an ankle injury and will race with the Altherm JCR Yamaha team at Woodville on January 26.

“Unfortunately, Max wasn’t ready to join us here in Whakatane, and I was pretty relaxed still in holiday mode,” Coppins says, with a laugh.

“I ended up going 4-4-4-3-3, so I was quite consistent but wasn’t really matching the speed of the locals. Awakaponga is a track that I tend to struggle with, but I started to feel more comfortable by the last race and was able to put our Altherm JCR Yamaha team on the MX2 podium with my performance,” he adds. Coppins was pleased with how the weekend panned out from a brand point of view, with Yamaha rider Darren Capill winning the Vets 45yrs+ class and Amie Roberts winning the Women’s class.

Unfortunately, due to overseas commitments, Yamaha Motor New Zealand Motorsport Manager and Altherm JCR Yamaha Team Manager Josh Coppins won’t be able to attend the Woodville GP and says it will be a “strange feeling” not being there for his Altherm JCR team, for only the second time ever since he started the team in 2013.

His very capable wife Amy will be in charge and Australian star and 2018 New Zealand Motocross Championship’s MX1 title holder Kirk Gibbs will be joining the team, as well as 2019 British MX Championship’s MX2 winner Dylan Walsh who will run separately under the guidance of internationally experienced former World Champion Ben Townley.

“We will be strengthening our forces in MX1 and MX2 as we build towards the four-round Fox New Zealand Motocross Championship in February and March,” Coppins says.

“The Altherm JCR Yamaha team wish all our sponsors a happy New Year and we look forward to a successful season of racing in 2020.”

RESULTS:

MX1

1st Kayne Lamont – 246 (Yamaha YZ450F)

2nd Jens Getteman – 234

3rd Brad Groombridge – 211

4th Tyler Steiner – 209

5th Hadleigh Knight – 197

MX2

1st Josiah Natzke – 239

2nd Wyatt Chase – 238

3rd Josh Coppins – 209 (Yamaha YZ250F)

4th Brad Groombridge – 200

5th Luka Freemantle – 189

2020 RACE SCHEDULE:

Woodville NZ Grand Prix 2020 – 25th & 26th January

2020 Fox New Zealand Motocross Championship

Round One - Balclutha, 1st February 2020

Round Two - Rotorua, 23rd February 2020

Round Three - Hawkes Bay, 1st March 2020

Round Four - Taupo, 15th March 2020