The four-rider PWR Yamaha team came away with two wins from the four-round New Zealand Cross-Country Championship’s series opener in Marton yesterday. 

Starting off their season in style were Team Manager Paul Whibley, who showed his international class by claiming a comprehensive victory in the senior category on his Yamaha YZ450FX and team youngster Wil Yeoman (14) with a dominant win in the Junior race.

The 2015 national cross-country champion, Whibley hasn’t raced in New Zealand for several seasons but the Taikorea-based legend demonstrated the speed and skill that saw him become a two-time Grand National Cross Country Championships (GNCC) winner in the United States. “I took the holeshot and led the way around the 23km Rangitikei region’s track. I opened up an early lead thanks to kicking up some dust and I knew I had to keep a strong pace up to prevent getting caught late in the race,” Whibley says. “The YZ450FX worked great and the MotoSR suspension soaked up everything the Marton property threw at us. I took the win with a solid lead after three hours over [three-time national champion] Brad Groombridge and Charles Alabaster,” Whibley adds. At the end of the demanding race, his Michelin rear tyre “had worked awesome all day and was still in great shape with no knobs missing,” he notes.

The cross-country circuit certainly suited Taupo’s Yeoman, who dominated the 90-minute Junior race - leading every lap. “The track had a great variety of terrain, with a really tight piece of bush single track which my Yamaha YZ125X handled awesomely. I was able to get the holeshot and had a few battles in the first lap before moving into first for the rest of the race,” he summarises. The other two PWR Yamaha riders had tough days out and are thankful the series’ format allows for the points from the best three rounds of four to count towards the overall title. Whanganui 21-year-old Seth Reardon says his race was “not what I wanted.” “I had a few issues with my start and that set me back to about 20th position. It was so hard to pass in the dusty conditions, but I made my way to 7th by the third lap. I then got a flat rear tyre halfway through that lap and had to pit to change it. I lost four placings in that process,” he says. He was able to charge back through the pack on his Yamaha YZ250FX to 6th overall and 1st in class 4 (0-300cc 4-stroke).

Cambridge-based 19-year-old Ashton Grey literally got bogged down, after entering a muddy hole. “About 10 minutes into the race, I made a bad judgement and rode into a big bog hole, where I was submerged up to the seat. I had to wait for marshals to come help get my bike out and ended up 10 minutes behind any other rider,” he says. He spent the rest of the three-hour race chasing the slower riders down and trying to make passes, to eventually finish 26th. “I’m able to learn from it. It was not what I would have liked to happen at the first round, and I’ll spend the rest of the series making that up,” a disappointed Grey says.

Team Manager Paul Whibley applauded landowner Cam Smith for doing an “amazing job with his Holly Farm track - mowing the faster grass section, and laying it out with plenty of spectator viewing as it weaved between open and steep farmland, bush-lined gorges, pine trees and native bush sections.” With five rounds until the second round, hosted by the Central Hawkes Bay Motorcycle Club on Sunday, March 22 at Flemington, the PWR Yamaha riders will have a chance to work on their fitness and make more gains in bike speed. Yamaha Motor New Zealand’s Motorsport Manager Josh Coppins says: “We were happy to see a lot of Yamaha representation across the various classes and great results achieved by the brand’s riders. With three rounds remaining, I look forward to seeing what our PWR Yamaha team can achieve.” 


Round 1 - Bushriders Motorcycle Club – Sunday 16th February – Marton

Round 2 – Central Hawkes Bay Motorcycle Club – Sunday 22nd March – Flemington

Round 3 – Marlborough Motorcycle Club – Sunday 26th April – Nelson 

Round 4 – Taupo Motorcycle Club – Saturday 23rd May – Taupo 


Round 1 - 29th March 2020, Whangamata (Thames Valley MCC) - CANCELLED

Round 2 - 18th April 2020, Tokoroa (South Waikato MCC)

Round 3 - 27th April 2020, Blenheim (Kapi Mana MCC)

Round 4 - 24th May 2020, Martinborough (Kapi Mana MCC)

Round 5 - 30th or 31st May 2020, TBC (Kapi Mana MCC) 


 Yamaha Motor New Zealand, Yamalube, GYTR, YMF, YMI, Motomuck, Workshop Graphics, MotoSR, Oneal, Arai, Oakley, IMS, Zeta, Tire balls, TCX, Michelin, Renthal, Twin Air, USWE, EK Chain & Brownell Earthmoving.



Yamaha Motor New Zealand’s cross-country and endurance team is in experienced hands this season with two of the nation’s former top international riders overseeing its development in 2020. While ex-motocross GP star Josh Coppins is supervising the brand’s overall racing programme, in his new role as Motorsport Manager, multi-time overseas cross-country champion Paul Whibley will be working closely with the three-rider PWR Yamaha team.

 Made up of Seth Reardon (21), of Wanganui, Cambridge-based 19-year-old Ashton Grey and Taupo’s Wil Yeoman (14), the Yamaha cross-country team is chock-full of talent and ready for the four-round New Zealand Cross Country Championship season, which begins this weekend in Marton. Three rounds will be run in the North Island and one in the South Island, with the best three rounds counting towards the championship. Coppins says Whibley was the obvious choice to mentor and manage the riders as “he comes from an impressive proving ground of performances.” “Paul has won lots of championships and events for the Yamaha brand, including winning the Grand National Cross-country Championships (GNCC) in the United States in 2009 and 2012 and notching up six national titles in the Off-Road Motorcycle and ATV Series (OMA). I’m looking forward to working closely with him and having him taking charge in the cross-country/endurance team manager role.”

 Whibley, who lives in Taikorea, near Palmerston North, where he owns and runs the Taikorea Motorcycle Park, has set his management goals for the team. “I want to improve the PWR Yamaha Team’s presence at the national events. We will be the team everyone looks up to. I want us to set the standard in off-road and have a more collective, cohesive team. I want to help our riders prepare and get the best out of their bikes and themselves,” he says. Whibley won’t be just standing on the side-lines this season and after several years of not racing on the national scene, he’ll be throwing a leg over a YZ450FX. “A few injuries and personal events have had an impact on how much I race now, since I retired from full time, international competition. But I love to race and I’m looking forward to getting back on the start line and just having fun,” he says. “The new 2020 YZ450FX bike is a great step forward. The previous model was really good, and I was very comfortable on it, but I feel the new FX is more race focused. That makes my job a lot easier!” Whibley adds.

Reardon is the team’s most senior rider and has been supported by the brand for about 18 months. He has had a stellar year of results. “Last year was a fantastic year for me. I rode most enduro and cross-country races available and managed outright wins in the Central Cross-Country Series and the national enduro championship. I was runner-up in the New Zealand Cross-Country Championship, and won my class in all other series events,” Reardon says. His 2020 game plan is to compete in both the NZ Cross Country Championship and the Enduro Nationals and do his best to ride away with two national titles on his Yamaha YZ250FX.

Grey has been racing Yamaha bikes “pretty much [his] whole life.” “I have ridden and raced every model of Yamaha from the PW50 all the way up to the YZ450FX,” he says. His build-up events towards the 2020 season, involved competing on his 2020 Yamaha YZ250X, mainly in the cross-country series. “I have focused mainly on the New Zealand GNCC series where I was able to finish second overall. Unfortunately, I crashed at the last round and dislocated my shoulder, but I was able to relocate it and finish the day in fourth overall. My main focus for the end of 2019 was to gain the strength back in my shoulder and continue to work on my fitness leading up to the national series races that are coming in 2020, so that I can give 100 percent!” Grey says.

A young, up-and-coming star, Yeoman has had a successful year. Riding a Yamaha YZ125X, he won the Dirt Guide Cross-Country Series’ junior class, with three from three wins. Sticking with the number three, Yeoman also won the GNCC Series’ junior title for the third consecutive year. His aim for 2020 is to add the junior cross-country national trophy to his cabinet and to build experience in the enduro nationals. Coppins says he is excited about the direction Yamaha’s race programme is taking. “We’ve got a great group of young riders who Paul is mentoring, plus a great development programme and pathway process for the riders to come through. This is something we are trying to implement across all levels and disciplines of Yamaha’s racing.” “We’ve also got some exciting new models that we are going to showcase, like the 125X, the new platform 250WRF and the YZF250. We are looking forward to getting those bikes out and about and having the young fellas learning from Paul and hopefully winning some races along the way,” he concludes.


Round 1 - Bushriders Motorcycle Club – Sunday 16th February – Marton

Round 2 – Central Hawkes Bay Motorcycle Club – Sunday 22nd March – Flemington

Round 3 – Marlborough Motorcycle Club – Sunday 26th April – Nelson 

Round 4 – Taupo Motorcycle Club – Saturday 23rd May – Taupo 


Round 1 - 29th March 2020, Whangamata (Thames Valley MCC) - CANCELLED
Round 2 - 18th April 2020, Tokoroa (South Waikato MCC)
Round 3 - 27th April 2020, Blenheim (Kapi Mana MCC)
Round 4 - 24th May 2020, Martinborough (Kapi Mana MCC)
Round 5 - 30th or 31st May 2020, TBC (Kapi Mana MCC) 


Yamaha Motor New Zealand, Yamalube, GYTR, YMF, YMI, Motomuck, Workshop Graphics, MotoSR, Oneal, Arai, Oakley, IMS, Zeta, Tire balls, TCX, Michelin, Renthal, Twin Air, USWE, EK Chain & Brownell Earthmoving.




The Yamaha Motor New Zealand’s two top-tier racers Alastair Hoogenboezem and Jake Lewis came out swinging at the 2020 New Zealand Superbike Championships’ season opener, scoring two provisional overall podiums.

The Yamaha Motor New Zealand’s two top-tier racers Alastair Hoogenboezem and Jake Lewis came out swinging at the 2020 New Zealand Superbike Championships’ season opener, scoring two provisional overall podiums.

Racing at their local track Mike Pero Motorsport Park (Ruapuna) in Christchurch over Saturday and Sunday, the Canterbury-based duo, who ride for the Yamaha Racing Team (YRT), finished second and third for the weekend on their mighty 1000cc YZF-R1 race machines in the Superbike class.

Hoogenboezem (27) had a near-perfect score card with a win in the first 10-lap race on Saturday, followed by a pair of runner-up results in Sunday’s two outings. He sits a mere two points behind class leader Damon Rees in the championship.

“I’m really happy with the result - especially to get a first straight away!” he says.

It is Hoogenboezem’s second season on the YZF-R1 and his experience is paying dividends.

“We are going into each round with information and have got a good base setting for the tracks. The bike really does get going and I’m really comfortable on the YZF-R1,” he says.

Lewis (24) was “absolutely loving” ripping around Ruapuna on his YZF-R1 and was thrilled to claim his first Superbike podium, with a second place behind his Yamaha teammate in the first race. He then backed it up with another podium (third) in race 2 and a fourth in the NZGP race gave him third overall for the weekend.

“My YZF-R1 steadily improved over the weekend and we made leaps and bounds from Friday’s qualifying. The team did a great job working on the set-up,” Lewis says.

YRT team manager Peter (Red) Fenton was enjoying the learning curve he experienced over his first race meeting with the team. While it was rewarding to see the two riders finish high up in the results, he would love to see them ramp it up further at the second round at Timaru’s Levels Raceway this weekend.

“We are always trying to improve and will be carrying that momentum through to next Saturday and Sunday’s racing,” Fenton says.

Yamaha has offered support to 13-year-old Southlander Cormac Buchanan – who is backed by his hometown dealership Rogers Motorcycles in Invercargill - and he had the team’s top result, winning the Supersport 150 class on his YZF-R15.

He described his weekend as “fantastic” as he rode away with a flawless race scorecard - winning all three outings and taking home the NZGP trophy in convincing fashion.

“I secured the honour by claiming the chequered flag by nearly 27secs. Congrats to Jacob Pierce and Liam Humm on their podium placings,” Buchanan said.

Riding his Yamaha YZF-R3 through a packed grid, Timaru’s Harry Parker (19) powered to third overall in the Supersport 300 class. Along with the hot, windy weather that all competitors faced - with temperatures reaching nearly 30degC - Parker’s category was “hectic, with about 30 of us on the track,” he says.

Considering that at least 10 of those riders were capable of winning a race, Parker says it was “awesome” to come away from the opening weekend with a 3-5-4 set of results.

He and Wellington’s Rogan Chandler (22) are part of the Yamaha Racing Development Team (YRDT) managed by Steve Lloyd. It forms the pathway for the up-and-coming younger riders to progress into the YRT when they have built up the necessary skills and speed.

Competing in the Supersport 600 class onboard his Yamaha YZF-R6 for his third year in this class, Chandler didn’t have the best start to his five-round championship. The medium compound tyres he had available didn’t provide the optimal grip on the hot Ruapuna track and he slid off in race one, whilst in third place.

Chandler says the DNF-causing crash rattled him slightly and he played it safe in the second and third races to finish fourth and sixth respectively.

Lloyd commended Chandler for banking some solid points in what was a tough weekend for the young rider.

“Harry put in an awesome effort in his races and is really coming to grips with his new R3. It’s his first season on it and he’s just getting faster and faster,” Lloyd says, of his other YRDT charge.

Yamaha Motor New Zealand’s Motorsport Manager Josh Coppins was unable to attend the first Superbike meeting due to overseas commitments but was kept updated on the team’s progress over the weekend. “After a lot of work to prepare it’s good to get things underway at the Superbike nationals. The crew has done a great job and it really is a team effort, which is showing in the results. What’s even more exciting is that I think we have more to come and the feeling in the Yamaha pits is exciting. I’m looking forward to the next round already,” Josh says.


Superbike (provisional)

1st Damon Rees 67

2nd Alastair Hoogenboezem 65

3rd Jake Lewis 49

4th Scott Moir 35

5th Lachlan Epis 33

Supersport 600

1st Richie Dibben 76

2nd David Hall 47

3rd Ashton Hughes 47

4th Dale Finch 33

5th Toby Summers 29

8th Rogan Chandler 26

Supersport 300

1st Jason Hearn 66

2nd Campbell Grayling 61

3rd Harry Parker 40

4th Blake Ross 38

5th Caleb Gilmore 26

Supersport 150

1st Cormac Buchanan 76

2nd Jacob Pierce 56

3rd Oliver Cotton 39

4th Liam Humm 36

5th Jacob Skinner 33

6th Olivia Goddard 26


Round One – Ruapuna – 11th & 12th January 2020

Round Two – Levels – 18th & 19th January 2020

Round Three – Hampton Downs – 7th & 8th March 2020

Round Four – Manfield – 28th & 29th March

Round Five – Taupo – 4th & 5th April 2020

Yamaha NZ helps Kiwi kids dream big at the Supercross open - 26th Oct 2019

Yamaha NZ helps Kiwi kids dream big at the Supercross open

Yamaha New Zealand was out to show the younger generation that it could be them headlining the supercross championship at the Monster Energy S-X Open Auckland one day - if they dream big.

As part of a shared philosophy between the brand and Motorcycling New Zealand (MNZ) to help Kiwi riders progress, Yamaha hosted hundreds of youngsters in a free activation zone at Mount Smart Stadium, on Saturday. A learner track was laid out and top Yamaha motocross riders, including Rhys Carter, Kayne Lamont and Tommy Watts, taught them the fundamentals of how to ride a motorbike.

Former international motocross star Josh Coppins, who is now Yamaha's Motorsport Manager, says that encouraging young riders, from an early age, to believe they can make it onto the world stage is important.

"We have identified that there is a ton of talented riders in New Zealand and Yamaha and MNZ are determined to help foster that talent and help create pathways for Kiwis to become that whole package that they need to be, if they want to make it as a sponsored international rider."

Coppins' own Altherm JCR Yamaha motocross team had its race truck at the Auckland stadium and ran the YZ65 Cup out of it. The riders had to be aged between 8-11 years and riding a YZ65. They entered a first in first served competition run on social media to attend.

"We had 16 entries and these kids got to have an experience of a lifetime, where basically they were a factory rider for the day. They were able to meet all the overseas supercross stars and got autographs from all the international Yamaha riders," Coppins says.

The entrants all walked the awe-inspiring supercross track, before their practice laps and race on Saturday afternoon. Auckland's Jack Ellingham was the YZ65 winner and received his prize before all the riders got changed out of their racewear and went in to watch the spectacular supercross action that night.

"It was such a cool experience for these kids – they were really thankful and so were their parents. Yamaha's activations through the kids' zone, YZ65 Cup and the huge tent we had set up showcasing our product range, definitely gave our customers a chance to dream big over the weekend," Coppins says.

Out on the track, punctuated by massive jumps and whoops, Yamaha's international riders performed extremely well, with many of them on the podium, across the classes. Australian Luke Clout from Monster Energy CDR Yamaha took the SX1 Championship round win, after his 4-1-4 results moved him into the series lead by a single point, with one round remaining.

While Saturday's event was the fourth of the five-round Australian Supercross Championship, it was also the first of two rounds in the S-X Open FIM Oceania Supercross Championship and the second round of the New Zealand Supercross Championships. While Coppins won the SX2 (250cc) class at the first national supercross round in Winton two weeks ago, his Yamaha commitments meant he was unable to race on Saturday and will not make it to the final round in Tokoroa this Saturday.

"Yamaha riders have a chance to win three of the five supercross titles this weekend and I'm thankful to the brand for their support in helping to elevate the supercross series' profile. I'm grateful to Ben Townley for heading to Tokoroa this weekend, as he is leading the SX1 class and flying the Yamaha flag in this category."

"Unfortunately, I can't make the final supercross round due to Yamaha road racing commitments. It's a balancing act for me now between racing and managing our race divisions. The future isn't me – the future is the young people we are working with and its important I keep that in mind as we keep developing them," Coppins concludes.


Altherm JCR Yamaha gets season underway positively at MX Fest - 26th Oct 2019

Altherm JCR Yamaha gets season underway positively at MX Fest


As the 2019/2020 motocross season revved into life at the annual Huka Honda MX Fest, Altherm JCR Yamaha team manager Josh Coppins found himself back on-board his Yamaha, competing at Taupo's Digger McEwen Motocross Park yesterday.

JCR's MX2 class rider Maximus Purvis has been racing across the Tasman and finished an impressive second in the 2019 Australian Motocross Championships' MX Development (Under-19) class but an ankle injury relegated him to the side-line for the traditional opening weekend. An x-ray of his ankle was inconclusive, so Purvis (19) will have it scanned to determine how long he remains in rehabilitation mode.

Determined to ensure the Yamaha brand and his team was still well represented, former international motocross star Coppins threw a leg over his 250F and rode it to second in the MX2 class. After the three motos, plus the Nicky Smith Memorial feature race, he was pipped for first after a countback.

"Josiah Natzke, who is just back from Europe, got the win. He was pretty fast, but I managed to out fox him a little bit. He went 3-1-1 and I went 1-2-2. Going into the shoot-out at the end of the day, which features the top 40 riders and with the points counting for the overall, I finished seventh and the first 250F. Josiah was eighth, so that tied us on points. I thought I just had to beat him in the last race - if I'd known that I needed to finish further up the field, I would've pushed a bit harder but anyway it is what it is," Coppins says, showing his competitive spirit is still alive and kicking.

Altherm JCR Yamaha's MX1 rider Kayne Lamont (26) had a solid start to his season, with winning the feature race on his Yamaha YZ450F - ahead of the 2019 New Zealand Motocross Championship's MX1 title holder Cody Cooper - the highlight of his day's race programme.

"I managed to make the top three final and got the holeshot when the other two riders came together and fell off. It meant I was able to cruise around and take the shootout overall win," Lamont says.

The Hamilton-based rider had qualified second and went on to finish fourth in race 1 after a wobble slowed up his charge.

"I was passing into second on the first lap and got out of shape and went through the tape. It dropped me back a few positions, but I managed to make my way back to fourth," he says.

Lamont was unable to start race 2 as a mechanical issue occurred when water got into his launch control system and shorted out the electricity. It blew a fuse on the start-line, leaving Lamont with a DNS. Fired up for a strong result in race 3, he got a good start before an early mistake put him back a few positions. Fighting back to second, he set about chasing down Yamaha rider Ben Townley for the win but couldn't quite catch the ex-World Motocross MX2 Champion.

"I ended up fifth overall for the race meeting, due to the DNS, so I was happy to be up that far. I enjoyed the day on my Yamaha and gathered some good info to build from in the near future," Lamont says.

Although his JCR team was a little light on riders, Coppins believed it was a positive weekend's racing from a Yamaha brand point of view. Tauranga's Townley ended up third in the MX1 class on a Yamaha YZ450F and young Hawke's Bay motocross racer, Tommy Watts rode his YZ125 to second in the National 125cc class.

"It was a bit of a mixed bag of results, but we were right there and had a fairly decent showing to start the year off. We had a Yamaha bLUcRU support shop at the track selling merchandise and spares, plus a mechanic to help set up riders' bikes and look after them, which was a pretty cool resource for our Yamaha customer base," Coppins says.

The riders enjoyed the sunny weather and great conditions, courtesy of the well-organised Taupo Motorcycle Club.

Altherm JCR Yamaha would like to thank their sponsors: Altherm Window Systems, JCR, Yamaha Motor New Zealand, Yamalube, GYTR, bLUcRU, Akrapovic, Ward Demolition, Star Moving, Holland Collision Centre, Workshop Graphics, Fox, YMI, YMF, Pirelli, Twin Air, DID, Renthal, Vertex, Motoseat & SKF.

Altherm JCR Yamaha 2019/2020 calendar

27th October 2019 Taupo MX Fest

29th December 2019 Whakatane SummerX

26th January 2020 Woodville Grand Prix

Reardon continues to collect major bike trophies - 17th Oct 2019

Reardon continues to collect major bike trophies

The golden season just keep on going for Whanganui enduro and cross-country ace Seth Reardon.

The 21-year-old boat-builder wrapped up his maiden New Zealand Enduro Championships title in July, as well as finishing runner-up in the New Zealand Cross-country Championships that wrapped up near Taupo in May, and now he's just added the North Island Enduro Championships title as well, his latest outright win without him even being in attendance for the final race.

Reardon (Yamaha YZ250FX) is currently overseas, preparing for his debut in the Grand National Cross-country Championships (GNCC) in the United States, and so was unable to contest the sixth and final round of the North Island enduro competition near Masterton at the weekend. But that didn't matter because Reardon had already won the premier expert grade trophy with a round to spare. He eventually won the North Island series by three points from fellow Yamaha ace Josh Hunger, of Stratford, with Cambridge's Beau Taylor (Husqvarna TE250) claiming the third podium spot. His American adventure is already underway – the intrepid Kiwi contesting the final two rounds of the GNCC series in West Virginia and then Indiana.

Words and photo by Andy McGechan

Read more on the Yamaha website.

Kiwi Hero Chandler has wildcard ride in Moto3 - 15th Oct 2019

Kiwi Hero Chandler has wildcard ride in Moto3

He has been tearing up the tarmac around New Zealand for several years and now Upper Hutt's Rogan Chandler is hoping he can do it internationally as well.

The 22-year-old apprentice carpenter, who races for Yamaha in New Zealand, has been offered a wildcard ride in the Moto3 class at the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix at Phillip Island, near Melbourne, on October 27 and he will shortly be crossing the Tasman Sea to begin preparations for the big event.

The offer came from owners of the Double Six Motorsport Team, which is operated by Aucklander Chris Malcolm and former Australian professional racer Jack Declyn. Chandler will conduct testing and set-up sessions with the team and the Kalex Moto3 bike at Australia's Eastern Creek circuit, near Sydney, this coming weekend. Chandler won the New Zealand 125 GP title in 2016 and then finished runner-up in the 300cc class the following year, despite his having to skip a round of the New Zealand series when his appendix burst.

Words and photo by Andy McGechan

Read more on the Yamaha website

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