Kawasaki’s Cooper sends warning message to rivals

The 2022-23 New Zealand motocross season could not have started better for Bay of Plenty rider Cody Cooper.

The 39-year-old who just turned 39 has shown that age is no barrier to performing at the highest level if you have a winning machine under you and a superb team to back you up.

Multi-time New Zealand motocross champion Papamoa rider took his Bridgestone Kawasaki Racing Team KX450F to win the premier MX1 ​​class at the big annual MX Fest event at Digger McEwen Motorcycle Park on the outskirts of Taupo over the weekend. end of work.

It wasn’t easy, but Cooper dug deep to win the races that mattered, snatching class overall from rival Maximus Purvis, beating the Mangakino rider with an elegant victory in what became the decisive seventh and final race for them on Sunday.

Cooper’s eventual two-point margin of victory over Purvis gives the Kawasaki rider a huge boost in confidence with a busy racing season ahead of him, although Cooper never doubted his own abilities and always had confidence in the depth and strength of the support to come. of its experienced team leadership and pit crew.

Cooper’s Bridgestone Kawasaki Racing teammate, Rangiora’s Micah McGoldrick, also impressed finishing fourth overall in the MX1 class, behind Cooper, Purvis and Te Puke’s Tyler Steiner.

Rounding out the top five in this class was International Six Days Enduro gold medalist Josh Jack of Helensville, further illustrating the international class of this MX1 field.

These results may offer a clue as to who might be fighting for silverware at the annual New Zealand motocross Grand Prix in Woodville in late January or when the national championships kick off in the South Island in February.

“It’s a great way to start the season. I haven’t had any physical issues and it’s after doing the least amount of pre-season training,” Cooper said.

“I guess everyone is the same boat, with their routines disrupted by the pandemic, but I felt the best I’ve ever had at this event. Admittedly, I had a string of best starts from raced at this event in the past, so I still have some work to do, but I got the starts I needed today.

“Max (Purvis) is riding well, you know, and so I think it would have been a bit unexpected for me to win here today. He was about four seconds a lap faster than me in practice. being that my experience gave me an edge where I needed it.

“I’m very happy with the bike and I’m doing really well. Everything is set up the way I like it. I just have to test a few things now.

“I am looking forward to the Waikato Motocross Champs in November and I am also racing the New Zealand Veterans Motocross Championships near Cambridge next weekend,” Cooper said, the statement further underscoring how much the achievement of this “old man” was remarkable. by winning in Taupo against all the young rising stars of the sport.

Credit: Words of Andy McGechan,

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