Altherm JCR Yamaha has decided to scale back the size of its motocross team for the 2022/23 season.
The reasons are two-fold and firstly revolve around the team’s focus on developing its younger riders; and secondly on ensuring it can sufficiently support all team members in New Zealand and abroad.
Altherm JCR Yamaha Team Manager Josh Coppins says increasing daily costs were a factor in the decision to downscale the number of riders, but he also wants to raise the bar higher in other areas.
“This includes our team and rider package, plus the technical aspects of our Yamaha motorcycles. We also want to put more resources into mechanic staffing, as well as coaching and leadership.”
Open conversations with Altherm JCR Yamaha riders Kayne Lamont and Madoc Dixon about scaling back the team have been held.
“Kayne has had an offer from another team and we both think it would be best for him to take this opportunity,” Coppins says.
“He has been a great asset to the team for seven years but hasn’t reached the goals, or potential that both he and I had set for him, for many reasons. That’s not through lack of trying on both sides. Consequently, we mutually believe it's time for a change.”
“I want to thank Kayne and his family for their professionalism and efforts over his time with us. I class Kayne as a friend, but it’s reached the stage in his life and career for him to take another shot. On behalf of Altherm JCR Yamaha, we wish him all the best in the future,” Coppins says.
Hamilton-based Lamont says he is thankful for the opportunities Yamaha and Coppins have given him over the past seven years.
“Special thanks goes to Yamaha New Zealand and Altherm, plus all of the team’s other sponsors. Also, a huge thanks to Josh and [his wife] Amy for all their help.”
“I’m quite gutted that me and Altherm JCR Yamaha didn’t manage to get a championship under my name but I wish the team all the best in the future. I have a new opportunity ahead of me now, so I’m taking that,” Lamont says.
Tauranga’s Dixon will remain with Yamaha but in a different capacity.
“Madoc has gone through some back-to-back injuries and now has ambitions to race in Australia in 2023. He will remain riding a Yamaha but will move to the YZ250 2 stroke in a support rider role which we will monitor,” Coppins says.
“In New Zealand, Madoc will race in the MX1 category but as Australia has different rules, he will be able to race the YZ250 2 stroke in the MX2 category over there. Madoc will be responsible for gear, tyres and maintaining his bike but he will still receive some bLUcRU Yamaha support and guidance from Ben Townley and myself.”
Coppins says the team is well into the planning stages for the 2022/2023 season and is finalising dates for the Yamaha Off-Road Demo Days and the bLUcRU Kids Camps.
“We are looking forward to what will hopefully be our first full season of racing and activations after a couple of interrupted years. The impacts of Covid-19 have been tough on everyone and we want to thank our sponsors for their continued partnerships and support,” Coppins concludes.