News 10 Feb 2014

Cooper edges out Dale in New Zealand MX opener

Lamont stars in MX2 at Timaru with the overall victory.

Image: Andy McGechan /

Image: Andy McGechan /

Defending New Zealand MX1 Motocross Champion Cody Cooper won the opening round of the 2014 series at Pleasant Point, near Timaru, on Saturday.

The Honda Shop rider Cooper won motos one and three, with Queenslander Ford Dale (KTM Motocross Racing Team) winning the second moto of the round after qualifying fastest. Cooper was third in moto two.

Dale (pictured) was second in moto one and third in the final moto, continuing his comeback following a lengthy layoff through injury and sealing second overall for the weekend.

“I’m really happy with how things are going with the bike,” Dale said. “The team is bonding really well and these races are awesome I’m so happy to be doing them, though I’m not fit enough yet in terms of my intensity, but will be on top of our game in time for the Aussie rounds.

“I led about five laps in that first moto but I wore myself out pretty quick. Then in the second I got the holeshot and led start to finish – I felt really good and made no mistakes. In the third I was in stuck in third behind Cooper and Billy [Mackenzie] and we held the same gap for most of the race.

“It was really hard to see when you were behind, but I managed to pass Billy toward the end, however on that last lap we came together and I got third.”

Altherm JCR Yamaha’s Billy Mackenzie was third overall with 3-2-2 finishes, gaining momentum in preparation for the Australian championship opener at Broadford next month.

“It took me a while to get into the track as it was tricky, and hard to see lines with the dust,” Mackenzie said. “I took a lot of confidence out of today. I feel like I’ve made some improvements from last year on my speed and fitness, and getting used to the brand new YZ450F, everything is working well so far.”

Fourth overall was Dale’s teammate Kirk Gibbs, ahead of Brad Groombridge and Japanese ace Yu Hirata.

The MX2 category was won by Kayne Lamont (Red Bull Husqvarna) in an impressive performance from current champion Scott Columb (Altherm JCR Yamaha) and teammate Jay Wilson.

2014 New Zealand Motocross Championship
Round one – Timaru, NZ

MX1 overall results:
1. Cody Cooper 70
2. Ford Dale 67
3. Billy McKenzie 64
4. Kirk Gibbs 54
5. Brad Groombridge 46
6. Yu Hirata 44
7. Justin McDonald 43
8. Jesse Donnelly 34
9. Dion Picard 33
10. Jesse Wiki 32

MX2 overall results:
1. Kayne Lamont 72
2. Scott Columb 69
3. Jay Wilson 55
4. Hamish Dobbyn 51
5. John Phillips 47
6. Hamish Harwood 45
7. Rhys Carter 34
8. Peter Broxholme 33
9. Dakota Court 32
10. Nick Saunders 32

Click here for detailed results