Former Grand Prix star Josh Coppins is feeling quietly confident ahead of the 2018 New Zealand Motocross Championships season.
The boss of the Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing Team in New Zealand, a two-time former motocross world No.2, reckons he has all the elements in place for his riders to taste success at the 2018 nationals, which kick off in Taranaki on February 4.
“We are looking forward to the (Honda-sponsored) New Zealand Motocross Grand Prix at Woodville (on January 27-28) and the (four-round) nationals that follow,” he said.
“I have three good, fast and motivated young riders ready to race. There is a nice atmosphere in the team.”
He said he has two Kiwi internationals and an Australian former GP star all keyed up raring to go.
Maximus Purvis (Yamaha YZ125) is ready to take on the National 125cc class and Kayne Lamont (Yamahas YZ450F) is warmed up and ready to tackle the MX1 class. These two riders from Mangakino have proven themselves capable of winning at major events over the past couple of months, keen to turn their international experience into more national titles at home.
The now 17-year-old Purvis was crowned national junior champion in both the 15-16 years’ 125cc class and the 14-16 years’ 250cc class last April and the now 24-year-old Lamont was national MX2 champion in 2014.
“With Courtney Duncan and Ethan Martens both on the injured list, we had to look elsewhere for an MX2 (250cc) rider and that’s when we drafted in Jay Wilson from Australia,” Coppins explained.
“Jay rode for us and won the 250cc supercross and motocross titles in New Zealand in 2015, then switched over to the MX1 class to race in Australia. He raced the MX2 Grand Prix season in Europe last year, but now he’s back in this part of the world and we’re grateful to have him.
“It is a share deal with Yamaha in Australia. We will support Jay here in New Zealand and Australia will support Maximus in his Under-19 Motocross Championships bid in Australia later this season.”
In addition to this exciting line-up, the Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing Team will support two other visiting Australians at the Woodville GP in just over a week’s time – Maddie Brown and Bailey Malkiewicz.
Brown is the current Australian women’s motocross champion and Malkiewicz was the Rising Star Rookies 250cc Champion in Australia in 2017.
“We will make sure that they have everything they need to win here. It strengthens our relationship with Yamaha in Australia,” said Coppins.
After the New Plymouth opener, the New Zealand Motocross Championships hit Rotorua for round two, three weeks later, on February 25, with round three set for Napier on March 11 and the fourth and final round in Taupo on March 24.
© Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com
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