YAMAHA TEAM ON THE PODIUM ACROSS THREE ENDURO CHAMPIONSHIP CLASSES - 30th Jun 2020

YAMAHA TEAM ON THE PODIUM ACROSS THREE ENDURO CHAMPIONSHIP CLASSES

The shortened 2020 Yamaha NZ Enduro Championship wrapped up yesterday, with the PWR Yamaha team notching up class podiums across the racing divisions.

Rounds three and four were held over consecutive days, with the tricky trails in the Santoft forest, near Bulls, in the Manawatu, testing the riders to their limits. Upping the ante was the presence of current 125cc Youth Enduro World Champion Hamish Macdonald, who would usually be racing overseas but due to Covid-19 is competing on home soil instead.

Despite the best efforts of PWR Yamaha’s Seth Reardon, who had hoped to back up his 2019 national enduro victory, Macdonald claimed his first New Zealand title yesterday. Whanganui’s Reardon battled hard on his Yamaha YZ250FX to win his AA E1 class and finish up as 3NZ overall, behind former champion Dylan Yearbury, who was second.

Reardon described the conditions as a “tough two days riding on mainly tight sandy pine tree trails which roughed up a lot by Sunday.”

He was disappointed not to get the result he wanted, especially after a promising first two rounds where he placed third in Masterton and first in Martinborough, over the two consecutive days of racing in mid-June.

“Both days this past weekend, I made a few mistakes, which cost me some time but I managed to place second in class both days. I got a podium finish overall for the series giving me 3NZ and first in my class,” Reardon says.

Former international cross country star and PWR Team Manager Taikorea’s Paul Whibley wasn’t just coaching from the sidelines – and rode his Yamaha YZ450FX to second in the AA – E3 (301-Open 4-Stroke) class.

“The bike handled the conditions so well. The YZ450FX ran so good in the deep sand. Overall it was a fun race. There were a lot of tree stumps in the terrain test but as the days wore on, the tracks got tougher and the stumps became more exposed and more visible,” Whibley says.

He was proud of his Yamaha team and described youngster Wil Yeoman’s performance in Saturday’s third round as a “break out day” where he achieved a stunning second in the AA – E1 (0-200 2-Stroke, 0-300 4-Stroke) class and 6th overall.

Taupo-based Yeoman, who has just turned 15-years-old, was stoked with his Day 1 result, which included a third fastest time in the final special test on his Yamaha YZ125X.

“The tracks were gnarly and we were having to avoid stumps. Day 2 in the sand wore the body out and I made a couple of early mistakes. However, I was happy with my overall result and with my third place in class for the championship,” Yeoman says.

Yamaha Motor New Zealand Motorsport Manager Josh Coppins attended the Manawatu-based final rounds and enjoyed watching the PWR Yamaha team and the brand achieving some top results.

“We had great Yamaha representation and the highlight was our clean sweep of the under 300 class. We had Seth winning, online motorcycle magazine Kiwi Rider’s test rider James Scott second on the Yamaha YZ125X he rode as a one-off and Wil in third,” Coppins says.

An ex-international motocross GP legend, Coppins was happy to see the enduro riders being able to compete again.

“The motorbike racing world will be quite envious because not many international championships are continuing at the moment, so to have the level of riders that we did back here in New Zealand and to be able to run was great,” Coppins adds.

The PWR Yamaha team is waiting to see what the cross country nationals may look like if they get rescheduled. In the meantime the riders have a few more events on the calendar.

“We are contesting the NZ GNCC series, where Seth won the first round. The Dirt Guide series, where I won the first round, has two more rounds to go and the three-round Motomuck Woodhill Series starts this weekend in Auckland. We also have the Hard Enduro Series starting soon, where the team will contest selected rounds, so the remainder of 2020 is going to be busy,” Whibley says.

TÉNÉRÉ 700 TOUR NZ 2020 - 17th Jun 2020

TÉNÉRÉ 700 TOUR NZ 2020

Navigating mountain ranges, crossing rivers, navigating through forests - just some of the adventuring 40 motorcycle riders will tackle when the Yamaha Ténéré Tour kicks off in Taupo, 8-11 October.

The tour will be lead by former MX2 World Champion, Ben Townley and will be open to Yamaha customers who have recently purchased the new Yamaha Ténéré 700 adventure bike.

With overseas travel virtually impossible in the short term, growing numbers of Kiwi motorcycle riders are heading off the beaten track to explore the New Zealand countryside with events like the Ténéré Tour designed to cater for the growing adventure motorcycle segment.

Yamaha Motor New Zealand has seen a sales surge in its adventure bike segment, most notably the widely anticipated Ténéré 700 model which was released here earlier this year.

The Ténéré is the latest in a series of dual-sport Yamaha motorcycles named after the Ténéré desert stage of the Dakar Rally in the Sahara, the new model being the successor to Yamaha's hugely successful XT660Z Ténéré model.

When the new Ténéré 700 model was announced, Yamaha quickly took pre orders for 50 units from awaiting customers, with confirmed sales now totalling 115 units as of the end of June.

“The Ténéré 700 is the single most successfully launched model in Yamaha’s history, and was the top selling bike in Australia earlier this year,” says Yamaha New Zealand National Motorcycle Manager, Victor Gardiner.

“The Ténéré 700 hits a sweet spot in terms of power to weight ratio, geometry, and “rally” capabilities for a stock standard motorcycle – and it’s leading the charge in the adventure bike segment.”

Ténéré 700 is powered by Yamaha’s highly respected 689cc parallel-twin engine. The key characteristic of this compact CP2 engine is its strong and linear torque output that gives instant throttle response together with outstanding acceleration - attributes that make it a capable and versatile performer on and off the road.

The 2020 Tour is going to take place in the Central Plateau region and will give riders an experience to remember. The tour will take riders from the Great Lake, Taupo out to the golden sand of the East Coast, before navigating across the bottom of the Central Plateau mountains to reach the rugged untouched black sands of the West Coast. Riders will then traverse their way back through native bush and farmland - experiencing some of the most breath-taking views of pristine lakes that the Central Plateau has to offer - an amazing 1000km round trip!

Tour leader Townley says the tour is designed to suit a wide range of rider abilities, from beginners to more experienced adventure riders.

“It’s going to be a great trip, and we can’t wait to get into it. It’s going to suit the more experienced riders as well as the more novice rider who can go at their own pace and be able to get some tuition from myself and some of the other staff to help get the most from their experience,” says Townley.

“The Tour is all about adventure and we are so excited to explore this beautiful part of New Zealand with these Ténéré 700 customers.

“I really love the bike, it’s really easy to get on and ride and is almost simplistic.

It’s an all-rounder, race ready, adventure ready machine.

“The engine is really friendly to the rider, it delivers excellent power and overall is very comfortable to ride on both the road and on gravel.”

Townley will be joined on the Ténéré Tour by fellow Yamaha ambassador, Josh Coppins who is no stranger to the world of professional motocross riding.

During his seventeen years professional racing, Coppins had thirteen world championship race wins, twice runner-up world champion, two British championships, one Belgium championship, one Italian championship and two Australian championships & 21 New Zealand championships.

Like Townley, Coppins is equally impressed with the Ténéré 700 and says that the style of motorcycling the Ténéré can deliver appeals to not only him, but will find favour with a wide variety of riders.

“I think for me, I’ve never actually done a lot of road riding, but this style of bike gives you the best of both worlds,” says Coppins.

“It’s the kind of bike that you can take on a ride, and when you get to the end of the road you can choose to go left or right and keep exploring.”

“I’m relatively new to off-road adventure riding, and the stage of my career I’m in at the moment it’s perfect for me.

“Obviously in the motocross sport it’s quite selfish and individual and incredibly competitive. I want to do something that is more social and to have a different level of enjoyment.

“I’m getting older, I’m 43 now, and motocross is hard on the body for sure. This style of riding will still allow you to push the limits of the bike and yourself when off-road.”

Producing maximum torque at 6500rpm, this engine offers the ideal balance of performance and controllability - and with its excellent fuel economy, it contributes towards the Ténéré 700's ability to cover long distances between fuel stops.

“The thing that I noticed about the bike was the torque of the engine. It’s very smooth, but powerful which makes the bike exciting and something that is usually hard to get on a motorcycle.”

“It’s not a big bike, traditionally the off-road adventure style bikes are big, but the Ténéré 700 isn’t. I’m not that tall, but with all of the adjustments you can make to the bike as far as seat height, handle bar position, it’s very adaptable. And even with good ground clearance I didn’t find it difficult to ride and hope on and off.”

“I can’t wait for the tour to kick off and explore some of our amazing country.”

The 2020 Ténéré 700 Tour runs from October 8-10.

Ténéré 700 key technical features

• High-torque 689cc 4-stroke CP2 parallel-twin engine

• New lightweight double cradle tubular steel frame

• Slim, compact and ergonomic body and seat

• Aggressive rally-bred face with four LED headlights and two LED position lights

• Adjustable long-travel 43mm upside down forks with 210mm travel

• Remotely adjustable link-type rear suspension with 200mm travel

• Compact rally style cockpit with tapered handlebars

• 21-inch/18-inch lightweight spoked wheels with adventure tyres

• Slim long-range fuel tank with 16-litre capacity for 350km+ range

• Compact rally-style multi-function instruments

• Switchable ABS for on the fly adjustment

• Screen and handguards give good rider protection

YAMAHA MOTOR NZ CLINCHES SUPERBIKE AND 150 CLASSES IN SHORTENED NZSBK CHAMPIONSHIP - 5th Jun 2020

 YAMAHA MOTOR NZ CLINCHES SUPERBIKE AND 150 CLASSES IN SHORTENED NZSBK CHAMPIONSHIP

Three Yamaha Racing Team riders will be having at-home celebrations, across the country, to mark two wins and a podium finish in the cut-short 2020 New Zealand Superbike (NZSBK) Championship.

In Christchurch, Alastair Hoogenboezem (27) will mark the day he won his first Superbike title (provisional), with his parents and two brothers, after Motorcycling New Zealand announced in a statement today that it is “calling the NZSBK Championship after the three rounds that have been completed.” The final two rounds have been cancelled due to the unknown impact of Covid-19 to the sport.

Down in Invercargill, aged only 13-years-old, Cormac Buchanan, was thrilled to learn that he is likely the youngest rider in the sport’s history to win a New Zealand road racing title. He adds the Supersport 150 Championship to the NZGP and NZTT titles that he also won during the 2020 series.

While in Wellington, Rogan Chandler (22) was happy to have achieved his best-ever finish, with a second in the Supersport 600 class.

For 1000cc YZF-R1 rider Hoogenboezem, it was his third national title, earned in equally spaced time frames. He won the 125cc class in 2010, then five years later, in 2015, claimed the Supersport 600 trophy. Today he added the top-level 2020 Superbike silverware to his cabinet.

“I plan to defend it. There’s no class to move up to - this is it. So hopefully the wins don’t come every five years,” Hoogenboezem says, laughing.

Now in his fifth year in the Superbike class, racing in the highest-tier Yamaha Racing Team, Hoogenboezem has worked his way through the field from an awestruck youngster racing against nine-time Superbike champion Andrew Stroud in 2011, to the talented championship-winning rider he is today. The circumstances surrounding his victory however, were in his own words - “weird.”

“I’ve never had a win or title like this before. Normally I’d be up on the top step of the podium with the crowd cheering. It feels a bit weird. I’m excited but can’t celebrate it with anyone [outside his bubble] yet. I’m lucky that I was in the best seat in the house after Hampton Downs.”

Hoogenboezem is referring to the third - and now final round at Hampton Downs in March, where he bounced back from a significant crash in the first race to take out the prestigious TT title in the third race on his Yamaha YZF-R1. The closely-fought victory earned him enough points to snatch the overall title.

“Massive thanks to the team. Last year I didn’t think it could get too much better in terms of a ride in New Zealand but with Josh and Amy [Coppins] coming on board in 2020, it really ramped it up. This year, we had the team and the bike and the support and could just concentrate on the riding. It’s not an individual sport, it’s a team sport, so big thanks to Yamaha and the team’s and my own personal sponsors,” Hoogenboezem says.

Yamaha Motor New Zealand Motorsport Manager Josh Coppins was understandably rapt to have captured the Superbike title in his first year with the team, saying it was unexpected but warmly welcomed. He wholeheartedly congratulated Hoogenboezem on his victory.

Buchanan, who is supported by Yamaha and backed by his hometown dealership Rogers Motorcycles in Invercargill, says he will “remember forever” being awarded his first New Zealand championship.

“For sure it’s not the way I wanted to win the title - it would have been great to race those final two rounds and have the chance to celebrate with my Yamaha team mates but that’s not possible in the circumstances. Motorcycling New Zealand had to make a very tough call and made it with the safety of everyone in mind.”

The youngster has an enviable record, going through unbeaten in the Supersport class on his YZF-R15, in his rookie NZSBK season.

“A lot of the credit for that goes to my coach Steve Bagshaw and my dad Stacey for always believing in me and backing me to achieve my goals.”

“It’s been an amazing experience to be in a winning environment with the Yamaha team and have the chance to learn from wicked riders like Alastair, Jake, Rogan and Harry. Our results overall across all the classes really shows the successful team culture that Josh and Amy Coppins and Steve Lloyd have created for us and I’m honoured to be part of that,” Buchanan wraps up.

Chandler also would’ve loved to finish the season, especially having the chance to race on his home track at Manfeild. However, he took positives away from the fact that after the first round he was languishing in eighth place and made it through to second overall by the conclusion of the third round, courtesy of a stunning set of triple victories on his Yamaha YZF-R6 at Hampton Downs.

He credited the work put in by Robert Taylor (KSS Suspension) and Steve Lloyd, who manages the Yamaha Racing Development Team satellite squad, for helping to get him back in the game.

“We finally figured out mentally what makes me tick and what makes me ride well. At least I’ve learned all of that this year and I can go into next year super confident and keep that momentum up,” Chandler says.

All three Yamaha riders echoed the same sentiment - that it was a shame not to be able to share their achievements with their Yamaha Motor New Zealand team that has been so instrumental in their 2020 successes.

Coppins says he couldn’t praise the Yamaha Pit crew “Peter Fenton (Red), Nigel Friend, Hank Randell, Tim McArthur, Nic Bishop (Smokey) and Dave Cole” highly enough. “My wife Amy and I put things in place but the brains behind the set-up, is those guys. I think we raised the bar this year, but I feel like we’ve only just scratched the surface with the crew, with the bikes, the riders and also with our set-up.”

“Our other Yamaha team members also deserve a mention with Timaru’s Harry Parker finishing fifth in the Supersport 300 class and Rangiora rider Jake Lewis sixth in the Superbikes. So, I’m really excited to move forwards with all our promising road racing riders into next season,” Coppins says.

Yamaha Motor New Zealand’s General Manager Alan Petrie says that on behalf of the brand and its fans, he congratulates the team’s riders on their fine efforts.

“We, like them, would love to have seen the series run to the full end. It is what it is and will not take away from the fantastic results.”

He commended Coppins on the success he has achieved in his first year in his across-racing-divisions role with Yamaha.

“He has really developed Yamaha’s fortunes in road racing. In off-road we’ve also had a very good year with the Altherm JCR Yamaha team claiming the national MX1 and MX2 titles,” Petrie says.

The level of fan and customer engagement has been heartening this season and reinforces Yamaha’s commitment to every level of rider, from novices to professionals, Petrie adds. Coppins concludes that it has been a “huge motorsport year” for Yamaha.

“I feel like we’ve delivered but can do more. As always, we are looking forward to the future.”

*Results for the Superbikes and the Supersport 300 classes will remain provisional until technical checks have been completed. MNZ will do its utmost to get these done as soon as possible.

YAMAHA’S REARDON CLAIMS A DOUBLE PODIUM IN NZ ENDURO OPENER - 31st May 2020

YAMAHA’S REARDON CLAIMS A DOUBLE PODIUM IN NZ ENDURO OPENER

There was no easing into the 2020 Yamaha NZ Enduro Championship, although PWR Yamaha team rider Seth Reardon rose to the tough double-header opening rounds’ nearly 300km challenge, finishing on the podium both days.

Racing in Masterton on Saturday and Martinborough on Sunday, the Whanganui rider was third on the first day and then claimed a remarkable win amongst a star-studded entry list the next day.

“I was so stoked to win the second day outright and make it to the finish without any time penalties. My Yamaha YZ250FX was on form all weekend with no mechanical problems at all,” Reardon says.

Team Manager Paul Whibley described Reardon’s victory as “very cool, especially given Hamish MacDonald was competing, who is the current 125cc Youth Enduro World Champion.”

The 2015 national cross-country champion and successful international cross country title holder Whibley, who is racing back in New Zealand for the first time in several seasons, says the first section was a surprise to many riders.

“It had some really tight and technical terrain in pine trees with logs, rocky creeks, steep climbs and descents with lots of roots thrown in for good measure. The second loop for the day was mostly fast farmland, which was pretty slick from overnight rain.”

Taikorea-based Whibley says he struggled on the first lap and took too long to warm up on his Yamaha YZ450FX and settle in.

“I was posting times that were a little off the pace. The second time through the terrain tests my times were much improved but the damage was done, and I had to settle for second in class.

Reardon had a battle on his hands with MacDonald and former champion Dylan Yearbury both in his stacked class. He demonstrated his skill-set and took the race to them on his Yamaha YZ250FX.

“The track all up was 120km long which took four hours to complete. There was some pretty tough racing through tight forestry, long rocky creeks and some fast, slippery farmland. I rode a solid race all day, tried my best to put in some fast times and managed to get third overall and first in class. I’m really happy with my result and want to say well done to Dylan and Hamish for P1 and P2,” Reardon says.

PWR Yamaha’s youngest rider Wil Yeoman, who has recently turned 15, stepped up into the Senior class for the first time on his Yamaha YZ125 and tackled the event’s first day in the AA Expert grade head on. He placed an impressive fourth overall the first time through the first terrain test amongst the class’ international and national champions and went on to claim fifth in class for round one.

"Saturday was awesome - the track was so gnarly and technical, but I was able to get around without losing any time,” Yeoman says.

Round two of the national series then moved south to Martinborough on Sunday. Whibley described the venue as “fast, open farmland” and the ground was “hard with grease laid over-top.”

He struggled to get into the swing of things on the first lap and his times reflected that in the first two tests.

“But a couple minor tweaks to my setup allowed me to find some more traction and comfort and my speed picked up with some good times the second lap. I placed second in class again for the day,” Whibley says.

“Seth was on fire - winning all but the third terrain test and easily winning the day,” he adds.

“The Martinborough track was 170km long and really fast paced. It was mainly slippery farmland with some creek crossings and some gnarly tight bush sections. I had to push all day to beat the clock! Huge thanks to all my sponsors – I wouldn't be here without their help,” Reardon says.

Yeoman had another strong start to the day, but the fast trail pace and physically demanding track took its toll and late in the energy-taxing day, he lost some time.

“Big thanks to the landowners and the Bush Riders and Kapi-Mana Clubs for putting on two great events. This weekend was a good learning experience, being among top riders and watching their technique through challenging terrain was invaluable. I am looking forward to testing my skills in the sand at the next double-header at Santoft in the Manawatu,” he says.

“Although it was a huge learning curve for the young racer with plenty of lessons learned, Wil came home with a credible seventh place on day two,” Whibley says.

Ashton Grey was side-lined with a serious foot injury the week before the event. He was undertaking marshal duties at an event when he caught his foot on a stump and a piece of wood penetrated his foot. The wound became infected and required surgeries and a skin graft. He is unsure how long his recovery period will be.

Yamaha Motor New Zealand’s Motorsport Manager Josh Coppins was pleased to see one of the teams he oversees back on their Yamahas, in what was the first official motorbike racing series to take place post-Covid-19.

“Yamaha is sponsoring the NZ Enduro Series as this is an especially important market for our brand. It was great to see we had good representation in all classes,” he says. “I was really happy with the PWR Yamaha team’s results and I’m hoping to make it to the final round next month to support them. Hopefully, the boys can add to our 2020 Yamaha championship tally where we have bought home the national road racing Superbike and 150 Supersport titles, plus the MX1 and MX2 motocross trophies,” Coppins concludes.

YAMAHA MOTOR WIN THE GLOBALLY-RENOWNED RED DOT AWARD FOR THE NINETH CONSECUTIVE TIME - 1st May 2020

YAMAHA MOTOR WIN THE GLOBALLY-RENOWNED RED DOT AWARD FOR THE NINETH CONSECUTIVE TIME

Yamaha Motor announce today that its Ténéré 700 motorcycle and YMR-08 industrial drone have both received the globally-prestigious Red Dot Award: Product Design 2020. The awarding of these prizes mark the ninth year in a row - ever since 2012 - that a Yamaha Motor product has received a Red Dot Award.

The Ténéré 700 is an adventure tourer in the best traditions of the Ténéré brand, drawing on its brilliant history of success in one of the world's toughest rallies - the Dakar - in the 1980s-90s. The Ténéré 700 features a 689cm³ water-cooled in-line 2-cylinder 270° crank engine mounted on a lightweight body.

With a high degree of freedom in riding posture, high durability and ease of maintenance, along with high adaptability under load, this new model balances off-roading, adventure, and touring performance at a high level.

With the design concept of "Exciting Adventure Ténéré," this model has a high-positioned face that incorporates a three-piece shield on a distinctive headlight and tank, creating a design which expresses a spirit of adventure. Ténéré 700, The Next Horizon is yours.

Developed based on the concept of "spraying a one-hectare field in one 15-minute flight*", the YMR-08 is an industrial multi-rotor drone principally aimed at pest control applications. Responding to the requirements of suburban areas and small-scale agriculture, the YMR-08's features include a lightweight carbon body and electric motor making it quieter than its gasoline counterparts. The thorough emphasis on functional beauty which meets the demands of farmers and crop sprayers has created a design full of refined dynamism.

The Red Dot Design Awards, are organized by Germany's Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen and are widely recognized as one of the most prestigious design awards in the world. The Ténéré 700 and the YMR-08 were also recently awarded respectively the German "iF Design Award" and the "Good Design Award 2018".

*Based on continuous spraying on flat land

SENSATIONAL DOUBLE MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP TITLES FOR ALTHERM JCR YAMAHA'S GIBBS AND PURVIS - 16th Mar 2020

SENSATIONAL DOUBLE MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP TITLES FOR ALTHERM JCR YAMAHA'S GIBBS AND PURVIS

SENSATIONAL DOUBLE MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP TITLES FOR ALTHERM JCR YAMAHA'S GIBBS AND PURVIS

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.

OVERALL CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS:

MX1

1st Kirk Gibbs (YZ450) - 280

2nd Cody Cooper - 276

3rd Hamish Harwood - 244

4th Kayne Lamont (YZ450) - 203

5th Ethan Martens - 176

MX2

1st Maximus Purvis (YZ250F) - 252

2nd Josiah Natzke - 246

3rd James Scott - 228

4th Dylan Walsh (YZ250F) - 224

5th Caleb Ward - 188

THREE-TIMES NZTT TITLES FOR THE YAMAHA MOTOR NEW ZEALAND TEAM - 9th Mar 2020

THREE-TIMES NZTT TITLES FOR THE YAMAHA MOTOR NEW ZEALAND TEAM

THREE-TIMES NZTT TITLES FOR THE YAMAHA MOTOR NEW ZEALAND TEAM

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.

NZSBK ROUND THREE OVERALL:

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

GIBBS AND PURVIS ON THE PODIUM IN ROTORUA - 2nd Mar 2020

GIBBS AND PURVIS ON THE PODIUM IN ROTORUA

GIBBS AND PURVIS ON THE PODIUM IN ROTORUA

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.

RESULTS:

MX1

1st Kirk Gibbs (YZ450) - 72

2nd Cody Cooper – 67

3rd Hamish Harwood - 58

4th Kayne Lamont (YZ450) - 56

5th Brad Groombridge - 49

MX2

1st Josiah Natzke - 63

2nd Maximus Purvis (YZ250F) - 62

3rd James Scott - 57

4th Dylan Walsh (YZ250F)- 52

5th Kyle Webster - 50

ALTHERM JCR YAMAHA WOULD LIKE TO THANK THE FOLLOWING SPONSORS:

Altherm Window Systems, JCR, Yamaha Motor New Zealand, Yamalube, GYTR, bLU cRU, YMF, YMI, Holland Collision Centre, Ward Demolition, Star Moving, Contract Consultants, Fox, Workshop Graphics, Akrapovic, Motoseat, Motomuck, Vertex Pistons, SKF, Renthal, DID Chains & Twin Air.

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