News 6 Feb 2017

Cooper charges to victory in New Zealand motocross opener

Mixed day for Australian challengers at Timaru's first round.

Image: Simon Makker (Makkreative).

Reigning five-time New Zealand MX1 champion Cody Cooper has won the opening round of the 2017 New Zealand Motocross Championship at Timaru on Sunday.

Honda Racing’s Cooper capitalised on a mixed day from a cast of top-calibre Australian rivals to claim victory at round one, recording 1-3-1 results for the overall.

Cooper won by five points from Australian MX Nationals champion Dean Ferris (Altherm JCR Yamaha), who went 2-1-4 after a frustrating final moto that saw him go down in the first turn, and another local in Rhys Carter (Kawasaki).

Australians finished in positions fourth through sixth, headed by Todd Waters (Honda), Cooper’s fill-in teammate Jesse Dobson (Honda Racing) and Luke Styke (KTM). Waters’ best showing came in the final moto where he rode to second.

The MX2 division was dominated by defending champion Hamish Harwood (KTM), logging all three race wins for the round to open his title defence, alongside a seventh-place overall result in MX1 as he did double-duties.

Harwood won the overall from Dylan Walsh (Yamaha) and Hadleigh Knight (Husqvarna), while Ethan Martens (Yamaha) and Australian Kaleb Barham (Husqvarna) completed the top five at the opening round.

The 2017 New Zealand Motocross Championship will now travel to Rotorua for round two of the scheduled four on Sunday, 19 February.