News 24 Feb 2023

Kiwi veteran Cooper confirmed as Empire Kawasaki fill-in

Experienced New Zealander back to MX2 class in place of Constantinou.

Image: Foremost Media.

New Zealander Cody Cooper will contest the opening round of the 2023 Penrite ProMX Championship at Wonthaggi on 5 March in the MX2 category, replacing injured Empire Kawasaki team regular Jai Constantinou.

Cooper, 39, has opted to race both MX1 and MX2 in the NZ national championship this year, sweeping the opening round on the KX250 with a 1-1 scorecard, before logging a respectable 3-3 on the 450 to take third overall.

“I was originally thinking about coming and racing Wonthaggi on a 450,” multi-time New Zealand champion Cooper told MotoOnline. “But since there’s so much depth in MX1 in Australia and I’m racing the 250 back at home, I thought maybe I’ll just race MX2.

“I don’t have to take as much stuff over then because my 250 I race at home is close to standard, but my 450 has so much stuff I’d have to bolt on. Then the option to fill-in for Jai in MX2 came up, so I thought that’d be a lot easier than carting all my stuff over.

“At this point we’re just taking it race by race and we’ll assess after Wonthaggi – that way it’s fair on the team and fair on me, because if I perform it’s good for them and if I don’t perform, it’s still good for them because then they’re not stuck with me [laughs].

“I’m pretty easy with whatever happens going forward… I’m a lot fitter this year though, so I’d love to race the MX2 championship if it’s the right fit with the team. We’ll see what happens I guess, it’s just a bit of fun and, you know, I just want to do this sort of stuff before I can’t anymore.”

Cooper was a mainstay in Australian motocross through much of his career prior to returning home to New Zealand. His most recent ProMX appearance came at Coolum last year in a one-off ride, finishing 11th in the opening moto on that occasion.