News 23 Oct 2020

NZ MX1 champion Gibbs’ title defence dependent on borders

Youthful Kiwi line-up of Lamont, Purvis and Dixon made official.

Image: Supplied.

Defending New Zealand MX1 champion Kirk Gibbs’ title defence remains dependent on international border restrictions and his future in Australia, still intent on returning with the Altherm JCR Yamaha team.

Gibbs claimed his second NZ crown earlier this year prior to the coronavirus pandemic putting world sports on hold and JCR owner Josh Coppins has indicated that he would like Gibbs to defend the crown.

“We are waiting to see what we can do come December and January,” Coppins stated. “If the New Zealand borders are open then he will come out to ride for us but if not, then unfortunately he will have to miss this season.”

The future of Queensland-based Gibbs will also factor into whether or not he will be able to return across the Tasman, since his current Australian contract with CDR Yamaha Monster Energy is up at the end of his year. If that deal isn’t renewed and he swaps brands locally, it would be unlikely that he will be able to ride the Yamaha in NZ.

Aside from Gibbs, Altherm JCR Yamaha has announced that Kayne Lamont will be aboard the team’s YZ450F in MX1, while Maximus Purvis will return to defend his MX2 championship riding the YZ250F. In addition, Madoc Dixon will ride the YZ125.

“As always we will be trying to win as many races as we can,” added Coppins. “Our Altherm JCR Yamaha team riders are great representatives for the brand and we have good values within the team. That’s very important to us.”

Altherm JCR Yamaha will take part in a series of pre-season races beginning with the Taupo MX Fest this weekend between 24-25 October, before the national championship commences with the Woodville Grand Prix on 31 January. It will span four rounds, including Rotorua (21 February), Hawkes Bay (21 March) and Taupo (28 March).