Moto Media
James Stewart

Yamaha close in on NZ Motocross Champs

The Rotorua MCC hosted the third round of four in this season's New Zealand Motocross Championships on Sunday, when the dust cleared, riders from the MXDK Rockstar Yamaha team led three of the four Championship classes.

Yamaha had led all four classes – MX1, MX2, 125cc and Under-21 – at the start of the day but for part-time veteran racer Darryl King, of Hamilton, to find he'd slipped back from first to second overall in the MX2 class, just two points off the lead after a brutal day of racing at Rotorua, is still a remarkable thing.

However, it's still very probable that the MXDK Rockstar Yamaha team will win all four titles but that will have to be decided at the fourth and final round near New Plymouth next weekend.

Mount Maunganui's Cody Cooper won the MX1 (open class) on Sunday and with that crept to within one point of overtaking series leader Josh Coppins (MXDK Rockstar Yamaha YZ450F), of Motueka.

Coppins finished 2-1 in the first two races, to be level-pegging with Cooper, but the third race was crucial to split the duo and, after a first-lap clash with another rider, Coppins was left on the ground, at the back of the field and with a huge task ahead of him. He eventually carved his way back to finish third in that fateful final race, but it cost him valuable points.

"My knee is sore and my elbow is sore, so I'm feeling a little beaten up,” said Coppins. I'm a bit disappointed with my day today but it could be Cooper's turn for a bad day next weekend… you never know.”

It was also a tough day for Coppins' Yamaha team boss, Darryll King, who lost his lead in the MX2 (250cc class) as Australian racer Daniel McCoy came on strong to win the day. McCoy finished 2-5-1 to win the day, while King finished 5-3-3. That was enough to see King slip back to second spot in the Championship chase, now two points behind new leader McCoy.

"It will be a battle like nothing else next weekend. It's a track I grew up on,” said the former Taranaki man. "It's my home track and I know how it needs to be ridden.”

Meanwhile, in the 125cc class, MXDK Rockstar Yamaha rider Ethan Martens, of Waitakere, still leads the way, 20 points clear of Tauranga's Scott Barr-Smith, while Rotorua's Cam Negus (Yamaha YZ125) finished 2-3-3 on the day and surged from fourth to third in the series standings.

Martens also stands to win the separate Under-21 years' title again this season.

Championship Points Standings – after 3 Rounds

MX1- 450cc

1st Josh Coppins –203 (Yamaha)
2nd Cody Cooper – 202
3rd Michael Phillips – 180
4th Justin McDonald – 150
5th Hayden Clark – 130 (Yamaha)
6th Mason Wilki – 119
7th Shannon Hewetson – 109
8th Jesse Donnelly- 108
9th Mason Phillips – 92
10th Mitch Rees – 91

MX2 – 250cc

1st Daniel McCoy – 183
2nd Darryl King – 181 (Yamaha)
3rd Cody Mackie – 158
4th Luke Burkhart- 154             
5th Peter Broxholme –  152                                                                                                               Josh Coppins: MX DK Rockstar Yamaha
6th Damien King – 124 (Yamaha)
7th Rhys Carter – 120
8th Cameron Dillon – 108
9th Nick Saunders – 107
10th Jesse Wiki – 101

Under 21 – 125cc

1st Ethan Martens – 211 (Yamaha)
2nd Scott Barr Smith – 189
3rd Cameron Negus – 157
4th Tom Managh – 143
5th Shaun Fogarty – 120
6th Joshua Jack – 119
7th Hamish Horwood – 117
8th Dion Picard – 93
9th Ryan Thompson – 84
10th Logan Blackburn - 83

Copy courtesy of Yamaha-Motor NZ - written and photo by Andy McGechan.