With the 2016 New Zealand MX1 crown safely tucked away, it’s time for Bay of Plenty’s Cody Cooper to find out what he’s really made of.
The 32-year-old from Mount Maunganui took his Honda Racing Team CRF450 to win the four-round New Zealand nationals that wrapped up a week ago, pouring water on the fiery attacks of Australian heroes Dean Ferris and Todd Waters in the process, and, with the perspiration still dripping from his body at the Taupo track, he revealed to BikesportNZ.com that he could now be heading off to the United States to tackle the opening two rounds of their national championships.
“I enjoyed rubbing a little red (trading paint) on Dean and Todd, but I’m not done racing for the year just yet.
“It’s not confirmed yet, but I’m making plans to race at Hangtown (at El Dorado Hills, near Sacramento) and Glen Helen (near San Bernadino) in California,” he said.
“I figure that if I go well or if another rider gets hurt, and I’m not wishing that on anyone, then maybe the opportunity will come up for me to do more rounds.”
Hangtown is set for May 21, with Glen Helen a week later on May 28.
Cooper raced at Glen Helen in September last year, when the track hosted the final round of the Motocross World Championships.
He finished 25th in a moto one and failed to start race two when the intense 43-degree temperatures took a huge toll on his body.
The temperatures are expected to be closer to a more tolerable 18 degrees in May.
Cooper managed to finish sixth and seventh at a couple of rounds of the AMA series in the US in 2007, a season in which he was just “dipping toes into the water” there, and he returned in 2008 where he contested the full schedule and finished up earning a national ranking of fifth overall.
He twice finished runner-up in those races the United States in 2008, on both occasions finishing just behind the legendary James “Bubba” Stewart.
© Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com
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