Hard work and a strong team behind the scenes has seen Altherm JCR Yamaha do the double, with Kirk Gibbs crowned the Fox New Zealand Motocross Championship’s MX1 winner and Maximus Purvis taking out the MX2 title.

Well-deserved celebrations ensued after the final round of four wrapped up on Sunday, with two of the team’s riders on top of their podiums at Taupo’s Digger McEwen Motocross Park.

Altherm JCR Yamaha’s Team Manager Josh Coppins is a very happy man to have his riders win both the MX1 and MX2 titles in a season.

“I’m really so happy to get these results in MX1 and MX2. It’s my first MX1 title as a team manager and I thank Kirk for his professionalism in nailing that for us. We’ve had the red plate many times and been close many times but never quite got it done. To get the double is just incredible and I’m stoked for Max that he pulled it off.”

Coppins, who has amassed multiple national and international titles himself over his long and successful racing career, knows what it takes to win – an unbeatable crew.

“The biggest thing I’m happy about is the team. We had a really good crew this year and I feel like we worked super hard. I know everyone says that, but I think we went to the next level. These two wins are a great reward for our Altherm JCR Yamaha team - they deserved it!”

“Just because you work hard doesn’t always mean you get the rewards in motorsport. It can go either way. I’ve been on the other side plenty of times, so I’m pleased to get the final result and I’m going to enjoy it with my riders and my team. I couldn’t be prouder of them all,” he adds.

Sunshine Coast-based Gibbs knows how the rollercoaster of motocross racing goes. He won the New Zealand MX1 championship in 2018 with another brand, then just missed the title last year by a meager 5 points. This year, he bested defending champion Cody Copper by 4 points.

“It’s so awesome to win the championship again. To come so close last year and just miss out was disappointing. Everything just went really well for me this season and things started clicking for me. I was riding well and the Yamaha YZ450 was great,” Gibbs says of his successful 2020 championship where he won 6 out of 12 motos.

“Working hard with Josh during the weeks between the four rounds and with my Australian team helped me to feel really comfortable and strong, which was what I believe led to the championship win,” he adds.

Thirty-one-year-old Gibbs used his experience to manage the final round well. He won the first race and from there had a 10-point lead.

“Kirk was able to manage it and bring it home. He’s an older rider with a lot of experience. He’s won this New Zealand championship before and the Australian championship in 2015, so he knows what it takes to seal the deal,” Coppins explains.

Gibbs settled for second in the final two motos, knowing that he’d have the points on board to take the MX1 trophy back across The Ditch with him.

“I’m stoked to get another championship over here and I’m really stoked for Josh and Amy [Coppins] and the team. I know how much hard work that everyone that’s involved puts in. I couldn’t be any more thankful for them and my team back home for being part of it,” Gibbs says.

Mangakino’s Purvis (19) had a slightly more nail-biting road to victory on-board his Yamaha YZ250F. Coming into the final round he had a narrow 4-point lead over main rival Josiah Natzke. A second in the opening moto meant he was on track for the title but a wrong tyre choice for the second race dropped him back down the pack and piled on the pressure for the final moto. Coppins used his wealth of knowledge to help Purvis out.

“I convinced him to go back to the previous tyre from race 1 and he was a different kid in race 3. He led from pretty much start to finish,” he says.

Purvis (19) described the championship-winning feeling as “unreal” as he snatched the title by 6 points over Natzke.

“I’ve been working so hard and fighting all season and it feels so good to take the win. It definitely came down to the wire in the last race, but I wanted that win badly. I fought through a couple riders then just put my foot down, went for it, and pulled the win off,” he says.

The Altherm JCR Yamaha team’s other two riders Hamilton’s Kayne Lamont (MX1) and Christchurch-based Dylan Walsh (MX2) both finished fourth overall in their championships.

Lamont has had a rough season after sustaining heavy bruising at January’s Woodville GP, which hampered his riding for the first two national rounds. At the penultimate race meeting he injured his thumb and had to make the best of riding through the pain there in Hawke’s Bay and again yesterday.

“The day was a struggle, but I managed to get third in qualifying. In the races I had good starts and was in the top three and went on to finish fourth in every race. Overall I ended up fourth for the championship, which is decent for what I was dealing with, I think,” Lamont says.

For 2019 British MX2 Championship winner Walsh, the high of a win in the first race on Sunday was swiftly followed by the low of a crash in the second moto.

“Then I didn’t really ride like myself after that. It’s been an awesome time racing in NZ with Josh and Ben [Townley]. I can’t thank them enough for this opportunity,” Walsh says.

His plans for the rest of 2020 are on hold now with the Coronavirus Disease affecting race calendars worldwide.

Coppins and his wife Amy would like to thank all the riders, mechanics, sponsors, supporters, fans and followers who have helped make this double championship victory possible. They are very grateful for everything and are so thrilled to walk away from the 2020 motocross season with two title-winning riders.



1st Kirk Gibbs (YZ450) - 280

2nd Cody Cooper - 276

3rd Hamish Harwood - 244

4th Kayne Lamont (YZ450) - 203

5th Ethan Martens - 176


1st Maximus Purvis (YZ250F) - 252

2nd Josiah Natzke - 246

3rd James Scott - 228

4th Dylan Walsh (YZ250F) - 224

5th Caleb Ward - 188




Heading north for the New Zealand Superbike Championship’s (NZSBK) third round, as part of the Mike Pero Motofest 2020 at Hampton Downs, saw the Yamaha Motor New Zealand team excel - lifting the NZTT title in three classes and taking the Superbike championship lead.

In the top-tier Yamaha Racing Team (YRT) Christchurch’s Alastair Hoogenboezem bounced back from a hefty crash in the first race to take out the prestigious TT title on his Yamaha YZF-R1. Yamaha Racing Development Team (YRDT) rider Rogan Chandler, of Wellington, had a stunning return to form, riding his YZF-R6 to three race victories, including claiming the Supersport 600’s TT trophy.

Southlander Comac Buchanan also picked up the first and third race’s silverware in the Supersport 150 class on his YZF-R15.

There were ups and downs to the Yamaha team’s racing however, as Hoogenboezem’s positive start to the weekend with a personal best time in qualifying, quickly turned terrifying in the first race on Saturday.

“I came together with another rider - just a racing incident. Unfortunately I was the one that took most of the hit and got shunted hard left and was heading towards the wall. I managed to lessen the angle of the impact into the wall and ride out of it but by then I was on the grass and had a heavy fall,” he says.

Remarkably, he escaped with only a bruised elbow and hip. while the YRT mechanics had a late night working on his R1 to get it looking sharp again for Sunday’s two races. After a tentative first few laps, Hoogenboezem regained his confidence and finished third in his second outing.

“In the last race, I was sitting in fourth for the first couple of laps and just chipped away at third and second. With a couple of laps to go I was hauling in Scotty [Moir], who had led most of the race and worked my way even closer and drafted him to the line in the end to pick up an NZTT trophy,” he says.

Hoogenboezem now leads Moir by 3 points in the Superbike class with two North Island rounds left to run.

Chandler had the team’s top result with his three wins allowing him to leapfrog into second in the Supersport 600 championship. He credited a change in mindset, to focus on having fun and not placing too much pressure on himself, with the positive effect on his racing results, after a tough two rounds in the South Island.

“I was really happy to finally get a round win again this year and one that I felt like I really earned. On Sunday in the first race I was super happy to get a new lap record and then we won the TT in the afternoon,” he says.

Yamaha Motor New Zealand’s Motorsport Manager Josh Coppins says it was great to see Chandler “back to his true form and dominating all three races. It’s what we expected, after he won the Suzuki Series.”

Thirteen-year-old Buchanan also hit the asphalt over the weekend, after qualifying on pole and winning the first race by over 19 seconds. He then crashed in the warm-up session before the second race on Sunday, damaging his YZF-R15. The team worked hard to get the bike ready but unfortunately his race started ahead of schedule so he was unable to make the grid for race two.

In the final race, he worked his way to the front of the field in the first lap and clinched a satisfying win to claim the NZTT 150 SuperSport title.

“It was wicked to end the weekend on a high note. I was determined to reward my parents, my coach Steve and the Yamaha team with the NZTT title. They all rallied to get me back out there on the track so it felt amazing to get the job done,” Buchanan says.

“Physically it was a real challenge and I know I’m going to be feeling this crash for a while. But as the saying goes ‘you never lose - you either win or you learn’. I banked a lot of valuable lessons this weekend which will make me stronger and even more determined for the next two rounds,” he adds.

YRT’s Jake Lewis, of Rangiora, is also in a good place heading into the last rounds after cementing some solid results in the Superbike class, with a 6-5-5 in the three races.

“The total outcome was really positive. I had a good feeling with the bike and took another step forward with it. This weekend was the closest I’ve been to the front, in terms of lap times all season. Hopefully we can make another step forward for Manfeild,” Lewis says.

Timaru’s Harry Parker took some time to learn the Hampton Downs’ circuit’s lines and get up to speed in the Supersport 300 class. After finishing 7th and 5th he unfortunately had a DNF in the final race.

“I got an awesome start but coming into turn one another rider cut under me and pushed the front end out which tucked the front and put me in a DNF. Luckily there’s not much damage but we will be ready to rock and roll for round four,” Parker says.

Coppins was thrilled with the Yamaha team’s results.

“Yamaha winning the TT in the 150, 600 and Superbike classes made a great weekend. We’ve taken the lead in the Superbike championship and it’s going to be a tight battle for the remaining two rounds. This was probably the hardest track for our guys because with four out of five of them being South Island-based riders, they have hardly ridden at Hampton Downs. The next two rounds they should be able to get up to speed a little bit quicker, which is going to help our championship chances,” he says.

“I’m really proud of the team and couldn’t be happier with the effort from everyone involved,” Coppins wraps up.


Superbike (Provisional)

1st Scott Moir - 71

2nd Daniel Mettham - 56

3rd Alastair Hoogenboezem (YZF-R1) - 41

4th Sloan Frost - 37

5th Lachlan Epis - 32

6th Jake Lewis (YZF-R1) - 32

Supersport 600

1st Rogan Chandler (YZF-R6) - 75

2nd Richie Dibben - 61

3rd Toby Summers - 35

4th Dale Finch - 32

5th David Hall - 26

Supersport 300 (Provisional)

1st Nathanael Diprose - 65

2nd Caleb Gilmore (YZF-R3) - 62

3rd Jacob Stroud - 54

4th Jason Hearn (YZF-R3) - 29

5th Campbell Grayling (YZF-R3) - 24

9th Harry Parker (YZF-R3) - 20

Supersport 150

1st Hamish Simpson (YZF-R15) - 65

2nd Jacob Pierce (YZF-R15) - 52

3rd Cormac Buchanan (YZF-R15) - 51

4th Oliver Cotton (YZF-R15) - 42

5th Olivia Goddard (YZF-R15) - 35

6th Jacob Skinner (YZF-R15) - 31




Every so often in motocross racing, a rider has the kind of race that makes all the hard work worth it. For him. For his team. For the sport.

Altherm JCR Yamaha’s MX1 contender Kirk Gibbs had that race yesterday at the Fox New Zealand Motocross Championship’s second round - where he crashed at the start of the second moto, got back on his YZ450 and proceeded to blast his way through the premier pack from a lowly 17th to take the win.

His Team Manager Josh Coppins, who puts countless hours into progressing his four-rider squad, took a moment to savour visiting Australian Gibbs’ glory at the Phillips' farm property, south-west of Rotorua, at Horohoro. “That result fired Kirk up and it fired us up too. It made our Altherm JCR Yamaha team feel good about what we are doing and why we do it. Races like that. Performances like that. They are why we do this job,” he says. Gibbs, who had been sitting 11 points adrift of leader Cody Cooper after the opening round in Balclutha three weeks ago, describes how an early tangle in race two spurred him on. “I was frustrated with myself and just wanted to be in the fight, so I pushed really hard and caught all the way back up to Hamish [Harwood] and Coops [Cooper] and was able to pass both of them and get the win, so I was really happy with that one,” he says. His second in the first race and a holeshot-to-victory third race gave him the overall win for the weekend.

Gibbs is now well within striking distance to lift the MX1 trophy that he took back across the Tasman in 2018, sitting only six points behind defending champ Cooper. “I’m really happy with the Altherm JCR Yamaha team and my team at home [in the Sunshine Coast], who are working hard in between rounds. I’m stoked with how today ended up,” he says, of what Coppins calls “getting his mojo back!” The other Altherm JCR Yamaha rider to finish on the podium was MX2 charger Maximus Purvis, of Mangakino. Coppins says the 19-year-old had a strong weekend with a results’ set of 3-3-2. “Max rode well. He made some mistakes in his starts in his first few races and when he got that better, he was closer to the front. With two rounds to go, he’s only 8 points off Josiah Natzke’s lead, so he’s right in there for the championship. We are going to work very hard with him this week, aiming to get things a little bit better,” he says. Purvis had a straightforward plan for the penultimate round this weekend in Hawkes Bay. “Get some good starts and get some good points,” he says.

The Altherm JCR Yamaha team’s other two riders Kayne Lamont (MX1) and Dylan Walsh (MX2) both finished fourth overall for the round and will be working hard this week to bridge the gaps to the leaders. Hamilton-based Lamont is still on the mend from extensive bruising to his glute muscles, which he incurred in a crash at the Woodville GP in January. He settled into the racing yesterday, with a 4-5 in the first two races, before finding the form in race 3 that has seen him win MX1 races around the country. “It started raining a little, which made the track conditions quick slick. I got a decent start and was second behind Kirk and then Cody passed me. I managed to sit in behind him for the race, then I felt like I was actually riding better than him, so hounded him all moto and managed to pass him with two laps remaining to finish second [to team mate Gibbs],” Lamont says. Coppins adds that it was great to see Lamont “getting back to full fitness and full speed.”

The 2019 British Motocross Championship’s MX2 winner Walsh started strongly, qualifying second on his YZ250F but “didn’t get comfortable all day which really showed in my riding,” he says. Coppins admits “Dylan struggled a little bit.” “He was around fourth place all day and sits fourth in the championship. He’s still adapting to the Yamaha and to us. He’s pretty disappointed but he just needs to be patient and bring it home,” he says. It is a short, busy week between rounds for the Altherm JCR Yamaha team and they will stay in the Taupo/Rotorua region, working with the four riders on the track on Wednesday and Thursday. “The mechanics will stay at the track preparing the bikes, then we will head over to Napier for a school visit on Friday. We set up on Saturday and race day is Sunday. Hawkes Bay is an important round for us, as at halfway through the championship, points are tight, and this third round needs to be solid. We won’t leave any stone unturned to ensure the four boys are on the front foot for the championship chase,” Coppins says.



1st Kirk Gibbs (YZ450) - 72

2nd Cody Cooper – 67

3rd Hamish Harwood - 58

4th Kayne Lamont (YZ450) - 56

5th Brad Groombridge - 49


1st Josiah Natzke - 63

2nd Maximus Purvis (YZ250F) - 62

3rd James Scott - 57

4th Dylan Walsh (YZ250F)- 52

5th Kyle Webster - 50


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JCR Yamaha riders Kirk Gibbs (MX1) and Maximus Purvis (MX2) are two men on a mission, both storming into the lead of their Fox New Zealand Motocross Championship classes yesterday in Hawke’s Bay.

Riding their respective Yamahas in the series’ penultimate round at Ngaruroro Raceway, near Fernhill, they are the men with the upper hand in their title hunts, when the championship wraps up in Taupo, in a fortnight.

Sunshine Coast-based Gibbs was untouchable in the premier class on his YZ450 - qualifying first and winning three from three races. The top-notch results give him a 5-point lead over defending champion Cody Copper and 29-point buffer over Hamish Harwood in third.

“It was a really good day for me. I’ll go home and work on some more things that Josh [Coppins – Team Manager] and BT [Ben Townley] gave me to work on. It’s so helpful to have such good people to get information from,” Gibbs says.

He was stoked to have the points lead and had a clear plan for the final set of three races on March 15. “I’ll go there with a good mindset and put a couple of good races in and try to bring it home,” he says of the MX1 silverware that belonged to him in 2018.

Altherm JCR Yamaha Team Manager Josh Coppins says Gibbs has all the hallmarks of a “true professional.” “We work hard for him and he works hard for us. We’re very happy with his performance.

Good starts, good riding and three from three. He came in from 6 points down and goes away 5 points up, so he achieved an 11-point swing.”

Purvis went 2-1-4, with the final race result slightly lower after the 19-year-old Mangakino flyer crashed on the last lap, while in second.

“He was trying to pass for the lead, and it cost him 4 points, which was a shame. He’s just a young fella and maybe should’ve settled for second and come out with an 8-point lead rather than 4 points but you’ve also got to admire him trying to make the pass. He finished second for the day, went from 8 points behind to 4 points ahead [of Josiah Natzke] in the championship and took the red plate, which is exciting,” Coppins says.

Purvis adds: “It definitely feels good to be leading the points going into the last round. I’ve been trying to chip away at it and now I just have to finish it off with some good results at Taupo.”

Christchurch’s Dylan Walsh displayed some of the form that saw the 22-year-old crowned the British Motocross Championship’s MX2 winner last year, with a 4-2-1 results’ set on his Yamaha YZ250F.

“Round three was a big improvement for me. We made huge changes during the week on the suspension and it paid off. I was able to get the round win and show what I was capable of,” Walsh says.

Coppins says the changes to Walsh’s Yamaha helped make him “much more comfortable and straight away achieve a better result.”

“We have a lot of work to do in the next two weeks. Together with Ben [Townley] and Dylan, we will have some meetings to work out a clear plan moving forward. Dylan is sitting fourth in the championship but what’s most important for us and for him, is that he is starting to find his groove with Yamaha, and he got an overall win. It was harder and took longer than we expected but I’m happy for him to get there,” he adds.

Altherm JCR Yamaha’s second MX1 rider Hamilton’s Kayne Lamont suffered another niggling injury, which hampered his performance. He hurt his thumb in practice and alternated between trying to strap it and leaving it unsupported, as he struggled through a painful three races, finishing fourth each time.

“Overall my day was another survival day. My glute injury [incurred at the Woodville GP] is pretty decent now and I’m not having too many problems with it. I’m just fighting small injuries most rounds, which is quite frustrating,” Lamont says.

Coppins describes the Fernhill track as “really challenging.”

“It got very rough and technical with deep ruts, but it really suited our riders, with a lot of lines available. I expected a good result at this track and was happy we were able to execute one.” “

The final race was red flagged, and the results were taken as they stood due to an accident.

Our Altherm JCR Yamaha team wishes the injured rider a speedy recovery,” Coppins concludes.



1st Kirk Gibbs (YZ450) - 75

2nd Cody Cooper – 64

3rd Hamish Harwood - 62

4th Kayne Lamont (YZ450) - 54

5th Brad Groombridge - 46


1st Dylan Walsh (YZ250F) - 65

2nd Maximus Purvis (YZ250F) - 65

3rd James Scott - 58

4th Josiah Natzke- 53

5th Caleb Ward - 53



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) 


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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.


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