It seems the Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing Team is going from strength to strength.
Exciting news that will have a huge impact on the New Zealand motocross scene came out of practice and qualifying day at the 69th annual Motocross of Nations in France on Saturday (French time) when Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing Team boss Josh Coppins announced that experienced motocross grand prix rider Dean Ferris would be leaving Europe to join the Kiwi team in the coming 2015-16 season.
Australian rider Ferris will race the team’s Yamaha YZ450F in the MX1 class, with Mangakino’s former New Zealand MX2 (250cc) champion Kayne Lamont racing the Yamaha YZ250F in the MX2 class this summer.
Support riders for the team will be Otago’s Courtney Duncan and Waitakere’s Ethan Martens.
Ferris would also be racing for the Craig Dack-managed CDR Yamaha Racing Team in Australia, further building the close ties between the two countries.
“We have been working on this for a while,” said Coppins.
“The Altherm team has won seven titles in the three years since we were formed, but the MX1 title is the one we have not been able to nail down.
“It wasn’t easy to entice Dean (Ferris) away from Europe, so it is great to see him put faith in us and great for us to have a rider of this calibre join us. He could have gone to any team.”
It is with great reluctance that Coppins bids farewell to young Australian rider Jay Wilson, who had won two New Zealand supercross and one New Zealand motocross title before making his bid for a position with a world championship grand prix team for 2016.
Wilson had been due to race for Team Australia at the Motocross of Nations this weekend, but crashed in injured himself during training a week ago and he was replaced in the Australian team by fellow Yamaha start Luke Clout.
“If he doesn’t manage to get a GP ride, he will most likely race the MX1 class in Australia, and possibly not even with Yamaha.
“I want to thank Jay for his efforts for us,” said Coppins.
“It is hard for me to say goodbye to Jay, because I genuinely like him. In the end, I’m only a phone call away,”
Coppins said Japanese factory Yamaha rider Yu Harita would also be making a return to New Zealand this summer.
“He’s coming with a view to training. He won’t be in New Zealand with time to challenge for a national title, but would be thrilled to race several major events.”
The Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing team is supported by Altherm Window Systems, Yamaha, JCR, CRC, Ados, GYTR, Yamalube, Fox Racing, Hollands Collision Centre, Star Moving, Ward Demolition, Fulton Hogan, Pirelli, FMF, DID, NGK, Matrix, Renthal, Motomuck, Workshop Graphics, Motoseat, Hammerhead, SKF, Vertex Pistons, Rtech Plastics, Etnies, Biketranz and Fulton Hogan.
© Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com
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