SunLive – A Busy Summer for Motocross and Road Racing

Entering the barrel of the first full summer racing season in three years, the Altherm JCR Yamaha motocross and road racing teams are fired up for plenty of track time over the next six months.

Yamaha motorsport director Josh Coppins has been working behind the scenes with the riders to ensure they are prepared and ready to start racing in maximum attack mode from October.

“There is a great feeling within the Altherm JCR Yamaha teams as heading into this season we are all really looking forward to starting again after all the Covid disruptions that everyone has been experiencing for the last couple of years. ”

“We kick off our motocross season with the New Zealand National Junior Motocross Championships in New Plymouth from October 7-9. We have a young and solid team and I am happy with the staff and the drivers we have on board. Not only are we on the verge of doing well at the top of the competition, with Maximus Purvis in MX1, but also, and above all, the development of the group is going in the right direction.

“We have Brodie Connolly coming up through the ranks in MX2 and our youngest team member Cole Davies racing in the MX125cc class. The team is excited to get going and it feels like our strongest roster ever. Saying that, we understand that it’s sport and anything can happen, so we have the pulse and we’ll keep working hard,” Coppins said.

Yamaha YZ250F of Altherm JCR Yamaha motocross rider Brodie Connolly. Photo: provided.

Yamaha YZ450 rider, Mangakino’s Purvis is clear about his goals for the 2022/2023 competition. “My goals for the season are to be fit and ready to go. I want to stay consistent throughout the Nationals and try to stay on the podium every round,” he said.

Tauranga’s Connolly has the 2022/2023 MX2 Championship trophy in sight and rides his YZ250F three times a week “doing motos and speed work” to supplement his off-bike training regimen. He will make his Motocross of Nations debut in Michigan, USA at the end of this month, where he will race in the MX2 class with Team New Zealand.

Davies also has victory on his list of goals and wants to win both the Junior 125cc and 250cc classes at the 2022 Junior National Championships and then back up those results with a first place finish at the New Zealand 125cc Senior Motocross Championship.

The Waitoki-based youngster trained with Yamaha ambassador and former international rider Ben Townley. Davies is looking forward to competing in the dual classes next month before heading to Australia to compete in the Australian Supercross Series from late October.

Townley’s sons, Levi and Jaggar, will also race under the Yamaha Junior Racing team banner in the junior motocross classes.

Coppins says the road racing season is shaping up to be very exciting, with two of the Altherm JCR Yamaha team riders currently racing internationally.

“We have Alastair Hoogenboezem competing in pre-season in Australia and Cormac Buchanan who raced in Europe. They will both come back with a lot of experience and confidence after their overseas campaigns and will really kick off. Jake Lewis joins Cormac in the Altherm Yamaha Racing development team under Steve Lloyd and will race in the Supersport 600 class.”

Altherm Yamaha Racing Team Superbike rider Alastair Hoogenboezem. Photo:

Riding for the top-flight 2022/2023 Altherm Yamaha racing team, Hoogenboezem is heading to Australia to prepare as best he can for the New Zealand Superbike Championship, which starts earlier than usual in December. He has already contested a club round at the Phillip Island GP circuit there and will race the Moto GP round on October 15/16 and the World Superbike/Australian Superbike round on the weekend of November 19/20 on the same track.

“The aim is to take the number 1 plate back from my good mate Mitch Rees, who has had it since I was NZ #1 in 2020. I also want to further develop our new Yamaha YZF-R1M which I haven’t yet doing a national season and flying the Yamaha flag after all the support they gave me,” says Hoogenboezem.

A big change this year is that the New Zealand Superbike Championship (NZSBK) starts in December.

“Normally we start the first weekend of the new year, but with our two big series combined we will be racing from December to March. We will have six rounds of racing, which I believe has never happened before. This means that the Suzuki series that we normally treat as a warm-up for national championships will no longer be our warm-up. We have to be ready to race for national points in December,” Hoogenboezem said.

Buchanan also intends to maximize his summer in New Zealand and returns from his European campaign on November 10 and intends to ride at his home track Teretonga Park, near Invercargill, the following day. He honed his considerable skills at international level in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup and FIM JuniorGP, where he contested the Hawkers European Talent Cup, during the New Zealand off-season.

Buchanan will race two NZSBK classes and is aiming for a title defense in the Supersport 300 class and better the lap records he has already broken. “I want to win all the races and have a little fun,” he says.

Moving up to riding a Yamaha YZF-R6 in the Supersport 600 class comes with a different set of goals, he says. “I want to learn as much as I can from the front guys, while being competitive and mixing with them. It’s the best kind of racing I can do before I go back overseas for 2023.”

Buchanan trained in Spain, riding kart tracks, flat tracks and motocross circuits, which made him feel “the fittest I’ve ever been”, he says.

After taking a step up from last year to compete in the 2022 World Junior Championships, he has had a season full of learning but is looking forward to returning home to New Zealand once it is over. . “I am very happy to be back with the whole Altherm JCR Yamaha team and to see all my friends in New Zealand. It’s going to be really fun!” he says.

Rangiora’s Lewis plans to race consistently to finish on the podium, with the ultimate ambition of claiming the 2022/23 New Zealand Supersport 600 Championship trophy.

Among the motocross and road racing schedules, bLUcRU Kids Camps will be held across the country. Coppins says that although the quantity has been reduced, due to the busy racing schedule, “we are working on the quality of the bLUcRU Kids Camps as they grow and improve all the time.”

“I really enjoy this side of our Yamaha activations and being part of the team that works with children at the grassroots level. Seeing the smiles on their faces and watching them learn and progress in their riding over a few days is a real highlight for us as a brand.

For more information and to register, go to

The Yamaha Off-Road Demo Days are suspended until 2023 and will be back bigger and better next year.

For Coppins, his personal and annual highlight is the Yamaha Adventure Ride, led by Townley and his wife Lucy’s company 101 Adventures. Next year it will be held from February 8-11 and will take participants on an off-the-beaten-track journey from Whanganui to Raglan.

“The Yamaha Adventure Ride is my favorite event of the year. Just because Ben and Lucy run it so well and I can just show up and enjoy the ride. I’ve introduced this adventure to many friends over the three years it’s been on and we’re still traveling through stunning parts of New Zealand that you never normally see.

For more information and to register, go to

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