In 2017 he raced at the first two rounds in California, but last year he completed an entire outdoor season in the US, racing among the leaders and finishing the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship series 11th overall.
This year the 35-year-old Cooper (Honda CRF450) will campaign just the opening three rounds, again with support from Honda, Crown Kiwi Enterprises, Alpinestars, Bell Helmets and 100%.
“I have other obligations for Honda at home this season, so it will only be three events for me in the US this time,” said Cooper. “I spent a lot of time over there last year and can’t be expecting to go and do that all again.
“I like racing in America a lot. They have great tracks and it’s fun travelling around. I’ll be doing it for fun, but doing it professionally as well.
“I have been racing for a few years now, but I have no plans to give up racing any time soon. Why would I while I’m still enjoying it so much?”
Cooper beat Australian Kirk Gibbs and Hamilton’s Kayne Lamont to the top step of the podium in the MX1 class in the 2019 New Zealand Motocross Championships, which wrapped up at Taupo in March.
Cooper is a seven-time New Zealand MX1 motocross champion (and a two-time former New Zealand 125cc champion) and he has a ton of international racing experience.
Cooper finished fifth overall in the US in 2008 and ninth overall the following season.
Colorado rider Eli Tomac is the defending champion in the US and he finished ahead of Frenchman Marvin Musquin and Germany’s Ken Roczen last season.
The 12-round 2019 AMA Motocross Championships kick off with the Hangtown Motocross Classic at Rancho Cordova, in Sacramento, California, on Saturday, May 18.
© Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com
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