Promising motocross rider Karaitiana Horne joins Pro Circuit Team Green Race Team

MAY 29, 2023:

Kawasaki Motorcycle Distributors is proud to announce the support of Karaitiana Horne for the 2023/2024 New Zealand motocross season. Joining the Pro Circuit Team Green Development Race Team, Karaitiana will contest race events aboard her Pro Circuit Team Green KX250.

 Alarn Young, team manager says, “We’re excited for Karaitiana to join the team. Karaitiana is a talented up-and-coming rider with a bright future. I look forward to seeing her grow as a rider and potentially follow in the footsteps that Courtney Duncan has paved to the world stage.”

 When asked what Karaitiana’s expectations are for the season she says, “my goal is to train hard, be faster and win”. The 14-year-old from Raetahi already has multiple junior national titles to her name, most recently winning her class at the 2023 NZ Junior Nationals with 5 from 5 wins.

Karaitiana will join team riders Maz Parkes, Flynn Watts, Soren Staudinger, Tyler Brown and Jared Hannon.

The team has already had a stellar first season since establishing last year with teammates Maz Parkes and Flynn Watts winning their respective classes at Junior Nationals. Their senior graded teammates Tyler Brown and Jared Hannon also tasted success with Tyler clinching both the MX1 and MX2 titles at the NZ TT Champs while Jared has been busy on the world stage racing in the USA.

 With the arrival of her KX250, Karaitiana is busy getting acclimatised to her new bike in the lead-up to the season.

Karaitiana has the full support of her family and receives mentorship from her father Richard, a successful racer in his own right. The upcoming season will see Karaitiana jump up from the junior ranks and test her abilities against senior riders at select events for the first time.

Karaitiana is also supported by C4, Nutrition Systems, Stihl Shop Hamilton East, Whites Powersports, Motomuck, Bridgestone, Bike Torque, Chase Works, Got Speed Media, Powerparts Depot, RB Bikes, Forest Service & Training and Fly Racing.




MAY 18, 2023: Like father, like son – winning national motorcycling titles became a family affair at the 2023 edition of the New Zealand Motocross TT Nationals at Taupiri at the weekend.

Throttles were twisted to the stops on the mostly-flat grassland course at Taupiri, north of Hamilton at the weekend and riding skill, bravery, bike reliability and a perhaps a small element of luck were the key ingredients in determining the eventual title winners.

Hosted by the Patetonga Motorcycle Club, this year’s RAM-sponsored New Zealand Motocross TT Championships on Saturday and Sunday had it all, with riders from all corners of the country arriving to battle the elements and one another over the two days.

The entry list included the stars of motocross, cross-country, enduro and even a few road-racing heroes, and it was Kawasaki father and son pair Craig and Tyler Brown who stole a large portion of the limelight.

Pukekawa’s Tyler Brown (Pro Circuit Team Green Kawasaki KX250), overall winner in two separate categories at the 2023 TT Nationals north of Hamilton at the weekend. Photo by Andy McGechan,

The 18-year-old Tyler Brown, a former national junior motocross champion now racing in the senior ranks, was the outstanding individual of the weekend, winning two of the premier bike categories, while his 49-year-old father Craig Brown captured the veterans’ over-45 years’ age group title.

Tyler Brown sealed up both the MX1 (open class) and MX2 (250cc) class titles with dominant displays over the two days.

Racing a MR Motorcycles Kawasaki KX450 that he’d only collected the week before the event, Tyler Brown finished with a 1-2-1-2-2 score-card in the MX1 class and took his Kawasaki KX250 to lodge a 1-1-2-1-2 score-card in winning the MX2 class title. He never finished worse than runner-up in any of the 10 races he started at the weekend.

The teenager finished ahead of Rotorua pair Callum Dudson and Hunter Steens in the MX1 class and Waihi’s Luke Maitland and Pukekawa’s Adam Hodge completed the podium in the MX2 class.

His dad, Craig, was similarly dominant, taking his Kawasaki KX450 to register 1-1-1-3-2 results in his veterans’ class races, enough to edge out former national TT and motocross champion Mitch Rowe, of New Plymouth, and Te Awamutu’s former national cross-country and motocross frontrunner Mark Penny.

“This was only Tyler’s second time of racing a 450cc bike,” explained Craig Brown. “But he looked really comfortable on the bike and he soon got the hang of switching over from a 450cc bike to the 250cc version and then back again throughout the weekend.

“We both knew what we had to do to win the titles and we each built up good points leads early on. This allowed us to relax and cruise a bit later in the weekend. That was the strategy anyway,” he laughed.

“I had a bit of a crash in my fourth race, but I didn’t need to go too hard in that race anyway,” said Craig Brown, a racer who is no stranger to winning national motocross and TT titles.

Also keeping it all in the family, a father and daughter combination also featured at the weekend, with Rowe’s daughter, Mikayla Rowe, from Gordonton, backing up her dad’s separate winning of the classic bike class by winning the senior women’s class title.

Other class winners over the weekend were Kumeu’s Logan Maddren (125cc); Beachlands’ Blake Gillard (veterans’ 35-44 years); Tuakau’s Cody Sheppard (junior 14-16 years, 250cc); Otorohanga’s Cooper Phillips (junior 12-16 years, 125cc); Karapiro’s Jack Hazelden (8-12 years, 85cc); Phillips 12-16 years, 85cc); Hamilton’s Ella Mackie (junior women, 85cc); Waimauku’s Ruby Leech (junior women, 125/250cc); Dudson (enduro bikes); Mitch Rowe (classic bikes); Stratford’s Rex Rooney (mini 50cc); Coatesville’s Sebastian Bassett (mini 65cc trail bikes); Stratford’s Camo Keegan (ATV support).

Credit: Words and Photo by Andy McGechan,



April 24, 2023:Even if you think you’ve had a tough day at the office and you’re totally spent as you head home after work, you really still have no idea just how gruelling an eight-hour shift can actually be.

Sunday’s inaugural Forestland Eight-Hour Cross-country race, held on steep and waterlogged farmland at Oparau, near Kawhia, was perhaps the ultimate test of man and machine, with more than 260 of New Zealand’s elite off-road motorcycle riders battling one another, brutal terrain and the clock in a bid to become the first champion in this new marathon contest.

Bridgestone Kawasaki Racing Team rider Cody Cooper (Kawasaki KX450X), who co-rode with Whyteline Kawasaki ace Brad Groombridge to win the inaugural Forestland Cross-country race near Kawhia on Sunday. Photo by Andy McGechan,

To cut a long story short, it was the two-man pairing of Taupo’s Brad Groombridge and Papamoa’s Cody Cooper who reigned supreme at this Maxima Racing Oils-sponsored event, the two Kawasaki riders alternating to complete 15 arduous laps between them in the eight hours – one of only two teams to do so.

The race duration for Groombridge and Cooper was actually eight hours, 24 minutes and 12 seconds by the time the chequered flag was finally shown.

Runners-up and the only other pairing to complete 15 laps were Operau brothers James and Cooper Scott, who crossed the finish line just over eight minutes behind the victorious Groombridge/Cooper combo.

Wairoa’s Tommy Watts and Taupo’s Wil Yeoman teamed up to finish third overall, a lap behind the leading two teams, while New Plymouth’s Sam Parker and Cambridge’s Dylan Yearbury co-rode their way to fourth overall and Kawakawa Bay’s Ryan Hayward and Oparau’s Hunter Scott shared riding duties to claim fifth spot overall.

Despite the impressive winning margin, the 32-year-old Groombridge and 39-year-old Cooper didn’t have an easy time of it.

“I had the job of riding first for us,” said Groombridge. “And I managed to get a fairly good start. I was in about 15th at the beginning of the opening lap, but got my way up to third by the end of that lap. Each lap took us about 34 minutes to complete,” he said.

“We remained in fourth throughout most of the first half of the race. It was very tough because there were lots of ruts and it was very bumpy. Visibility was also an issue because it was drizzling in places and my goggles were a mess.

“Our plan had been to race two laps each time we changed over riders but, because of the tough conditions, we decided to go one-for-one for the first six laps or so, before we then changed to each of us doing two-lap stints.

“I suffered two big crashes on our fifth lap … my third lap … and that cost us a lot of time,” Groombridge explained. “I was somersaulted off the bike in one of those crashes but, thankfully, I wasn’t really hurt.”

However, team-mate Cooper was hurt during his first time out in the track, the team’s second lap.

“I pulled my groin and was in a bit of pain after that,” Cooper revealed.

“The elements were difficult to deal with, but it all worked out for us in the end. I took some painkillers and rode a little tentatively, but I managed to get into a rhythm and got the job done.”

“It was a long day, and I was feeling pretty sore afterwards.”

Groombridge snatched the lead for the Kawasaki duo on the eighth lap – about halfway through the race – and they steadily built on that to create what became a winning buffer.

As Groombridge remarked after Sunday’s marathon race “you really couldn’t find a better duo than Cody and me” to tackle this event.

Groombridge is a three-time former national cross-country champion (winner in 2016, 2017 and 2018) and he also twice won the national enduro crown (in 2016 and 2018) and has multiple Acerbis Four-Hour crowns to his credit, most of them achieved while riding solo.

Cooper is a multi-time national 125cc, MX2 (250cc) and MX1 (450cc) motocross champion, having just last month taken a Kawasaki KX250 to clinch the national MX2 title for 2023. Cooper is also a record five-time former winner of the fabled Tarawera 100 cross-country marathon near Kawerau.

Credit: Words and Photo by Andy McGechan,



April 17, 2023:

Bay of Plenty’s Flynn Watts demonstrated perfectly why green means go when he clinched his first national motocross title in Southland at the weekend.

The 16-year-old from Pukehina, near Whakatane, took his bright green Kawasaki KX250 to seal up the premier 14-16 years’ 250cc class title at the three-day 2023 New Zealand Junior Motocross Championships on the outskirts of Invercargill.

The annual school holiday event was run from Friday through until Sunday, at The Sandpit track at Otatara, and the racing was incredibly fierce, with the elite of New Zealand’s junior motocross talent, aged between eight and 16 years, all determined to make their mark before they graduate to the senior ranks, where racing and winning gets a whole lot harder.

Watts has been racing high-powered motocross bikes since he was aged just four and he needed every kilogram of experience to tackle and eventually beat the nation’s elite junior racers in Invercargill at the weekend.

Watts finished runner-up to rival Seth Morrow, from Silverdale, in the first race of the weekend, but then he won the next two, which meant he led the standings with just Sunday’s racing still to come.

Another runner-up finish and then an unaccustomed fourth in the final race of the weekend was enough for Watts to get the job done and he finished the event on top of this premier grade, ahead of Levin’s Phoenix Van Dusschoten and former Southland rider Morrow.

“I knew where I had to finish in that last race, so just relaxed a bit and settled for fourth,” Watts explained.

“The track was challenging and fast too, but that suited me. The suspension set-up was great and I had no bike issues all weekend.

“I had finished third overall in my class at the junior nationals in Tauranga two years ago and was forced to skip last year’s nationals in Taranaki because of injury, so it was great to bounce back and win my first title now. I was sidelined with injury for something like eight months, but that’s all forgotten now.

“I am hoping I can head away to race in the United States later in the year, but that’s just in the planning stages at the moment.”

Meanwhile, his Pro Circuit Kawasaki Racing Team-mate, Mangakino’s Maz Parkes, also tasted great success at the weekend, winning the 12-13 years’ 85cc/150cc class title.

Parkes won four out of his five races at the weekend and, like Watts, he was satisfied to settle for fourth in his final outings, easily enough to get the job done and seal up the title ahead of Karaka’s Hayden Draper and Auckland’s Jack Ellingham.

It is interesting to note that Papamoa’s Cody Cooper took his Bridgestone Kawasaki Racing Team KX250 to win the senior MX2 (250cc) title at the 2023 senior New Zealand Motocross Championships in March, which means the brand now holds both the national senior and junior titles for 250cc motocross competition.

Credit: Words by Andy McGechan,

Keep up to date with the new team on Facebook and Instagram. @procircuitteamgreen




March 27, 2023: There was simply no stopping Kawasaki ace Cody Cooper as he produced another startling performance in this year’s senior New Zealand Motocross Championships, which wrapped up at Taupo on Sunday.

They say age is just a number and that may be true, but this is traditionally a young person’s game and a 39-year-old winning titles at the pinnacle of the sport is truly outstanding.

The multi-time former national champion from Papamoa reckons he’s loving the sport more and more with each passing year and, since his transition to the high-profile Bridgestone Kawasaki Racing Team, he believes he’s going even faster than before.

That’s probably true too, because he won the MX2 (250cc) title at the weekend with a race to spare and, with that, he handed Kawasaki its first New Zealand motocross title in 16 years, when Rotorua’s Michael Phillips won the MX2 (250cc) crown for the brand in 2007.

Cooper had been an extremely busy man during his build-up to the 2023 nationals, starting off by winning the premier MX1 class at the MX Fest extravaganza at Taupo’s 2022-23 season opener in late October.

He backed that up by easily winning his men’s 35-39 year’s class at the 2022 New Zealand Veterans’ and Women’s Motocross Championships near Cambridge just a week later.

Cooper then dominated the Waikato Motocross Championships series in December, this time opting to also race a 250cc version of his four-stroke Kawasaki and this time he comfortably won both the MX1 and MX2 categories.

That’s a mighty impressive build-up to the 2023 senior New Zealand Motocross Championships and he completed his mission at the weekend, winning the national MX2 class title with a race to spare at the final round in Taupo on Sunday.

He actually tackled the MX1 class as well, but Cooper was forced here to settle for the third step on the podium, beaten to the chequered flag in that class by Mangakino’s Maximus Purvis and Auckland’s Hamish Harwood.

The vastly-experienced Cooper was one of only three riders brave enough to enter more than one class this season – with Harwood and Auckland-based former Taihape man Hayden Smith the other two riders to do so – and Cooper was a strong contender in the MX1 class throughout the series.

“It was definitely satisfying to wrap up the MX2 title with a race to spare, because this meant I could rest, not have to line up for the final MX2 race, and save a bit of energy for the final MX1 race,” said Cooper.

He had played it smart in that penultimate race of the series.

“I had a reasonable start until everyone crashed in front of me and I got bottled up in the mess. I settled down to battle back through the field.

“I was keeping an eye on where (main MX2 class rival) Hayden Smith was and knew that, in the position he was on the track ahead of me, in third or fourth I think, I could afford to finish seventh or eighth and still seal the title.”

Cooper finished fifth and the title was his.

“I was feeling quite fatigued this weekend, especially with doing two classes and it being back-to-back racing on Saturday and Sunday. But both bikes handle like a dream and that helps immensely.”

If Cooper returns for another crack at winning the MX1 and MX titles next season, or perhaps if rising young Kawasaki stars such as Te Puke’s Flynn Watts, Pukekawa’s Tyler Brown, Palmerston North’s Luka Freemantle or Opunake woman Taylar Rampton also break through to join him at the top of a nationals podium, Kawasaki could come close to reliving the famous “Green Sweep” that the brand had celebrated back in 1984 when it scooped up the titles in every senior championship category available.

Meanwhile, Harwood wrapped up the 125cc class title on Sunday and Mount Maunganui’s Roma Edwards won the women’s championship class.

2023 New Zealand Motocross Championships:

  • Round one: February 12 – South Otago (at Balclutha);
  • Round two: February 26 – Rotorua (including women’s nationals);
  • Round three: March 19 – Hastings (including women’s nationals);
  • Round four: March 26 – Taupo (including women’s nationals).


Credit: Words by Andy McGechan,

Keep up to date with the team on Facebook and Instagram. @BridgestoneKawasakiRaceTeam

First Solo Jet Ski Lap of New Zealand Ever Completed

February 28, 2023: The first man to lap mainland Australia and Tasmania, solo on a Jet Ski has completed the Australasian trifecta by circumnavigating New Zealand.

Lindsay Warner (64) tackled cyclones and rough weather conditions during the lap making the feat all the more impressive.

The adventurer and real-estate agent/auctioneer based in Adelaide took 9 days on the water to lap the South Island and another 12 days on the water to lap the North Island.

The mission started on the 14th of January and was completed on 21 February 2023. The remaining days off the water used to maintain equipment and ride out cyclone weather.

Warner’s choice of equipment was the same 2017 Kawasaki Jet Ski Ultra LX he used on the Australian laps. A backup 2022 Jet Ski Ultra LX was taken by his 2-support road crew but was untouched for the journey.

Lindsay Warner’s longest day on the water was during the first leg of the South Island where he travelled 375km on the West Coast. The last 3 days of the journey required a marathon effort to cover a total of 850km (305km, 320km and 220km) in order to beat another major weather pattern.

To read more on Lindsay Warner’s adventure, visit

Photo Credit: Images courtesy of Lindsay Warner


February 27, 2023: Bay of Plenty’s Cody Cooper is going from strength to strength with his 2023 national motocross championships campaign.

Nobody would call him a greedy man, but the 39-year-old multi-time former national champion from Papamoa wants to keep adding to his bulging trophy cabinet and there’s no reason to suggest he might not even collect a couple more pieces of silverware before the year is out.

The Bridgestone Kawasaki Racing Team rider has been busy over the past few months, starting with his win in the premier MX1 class at the MX Fest extravaganza at Taupo’s 2022-23 season opener in late October.

He backed that up by easily winning his men’s 35-39 year’s class at the 2022 New Zealand Veterans’ and Women’s Motocross Championships near Cambridge just a week later.

Cooper then dominated the Waikato Motocross Championships series in December, this time opting to also race a 250cc version of his four-stroke Kawasaki and this time he comfortably won both the MX1 and MX2 categories.

That’s a mighty impressive build-up to the 2023 New Zealand Senior Motocross Championships and now, halfway through that series, he finds himself running away with the MX2 title and within strike range of clinching the MX1 class title as well.

Cody Cooper

The second round of four in the nationals was held at Horohoro, just south of Rotorua on Sunday and there he went on the charge again with his Kawasaki KX250.

He won two out of his three MX2 (250cc) races and finished third in the other at Horohoro on Sunday and, added to his hat-trick of wins at the series opener at Balclutha, in Southland, two weeks earlier, he has further enhanced his position at the top of the standings.

With five wins from six starts thus far, he is now 25 points clear of his nearest challenger, Oparau’s James Scott, with just two rounds at Taupo remaining, and this means – with 25 points on offer for a race win – he already has a full race up his sleeve.

The former national MX1 champion took his Kawasaki KX450 to line up also in MX1 class at Horohoro on Sunday and was back into familiar territory when he won the opening race of the day.

It was his first MX1 class race win of the series but, added to his solid podium finish in this class at Balclutha, he has moved up to now be just two points shy of the overall runner-up spot.

Mangakino’s Maximus Purvis leads the MX1 class by 10 points from Aucklander Hamish Harwood, with Cooper, figuratively speaking, nipping at Harwood’s rear wheel.

“I have the speed to win in both classes, but I am suffering a little bit with fatigue. Doing two classes is hard, although it does mean I’m fresh with knowledge about the how the track is changing between races. There are pluses and minuses with this.

“I always wanted to do two classes and I’m really loving the 250 bike, so I’m glad I’m riding it.

“I’ve got a month now before the final two rounds at Taupo, so I’ve got a bit of time to work more on my body, getting fitter.

Cody Cooper

“I feel I have made some great steps forward since my racing at Balclutha and I love the track at Taupo, so I’m feeling quite positive. My starts let me down a bit today, but I always seem to start well at Taupo, so that has me feeling positive too.”

Cooper, his fellow Bridgestone Kawasaki Racing Team riders and all the other title hopefuls are preparing now for the final phase of the nationals, a tough two days back-to-back in Taupo, round three of the series on Saturday, March 25, and the fourth and final round on the same turf the following day.

2023 New Zealand Motocross Championships:

  • Round one: February 12 – South Otago (at Balclutha);
  • Round two: February 26 – Rotorua (including women’s nationals);
  • Round three: March 19 – Hastings (including women’s nationals);
  • Round four: March 26 – Taupo (including women’s nationals).


Credit: Words by Andy McGechan,

Keep up to date with the team on Facebook and Instagram. @BridgestoneKawasakiRaceTeam


February 13, 2023: He is 39 years old and has a trophy cabinet that’s fit to burst, but Bay of Plenty’s Cody Cooper isn’t ready for the smoking pipe, slippers and retirement home option just yet.

The Kawasaki hero from Papamoa reckons he still has work to do and one of his tasks is to grab another national title, or possibly two, in this year’s senior New Zealand Motocross Championships.

The opening round of the Aon Insurance, Pirelli tyres and Fox apparel-sponsored series at Balclutha, in Southland, on Sunday was really the first major race on the 2023 calendar and the Bridgestone Kawasaki Racing Team rider was naturally eager to get out on the race track again.

Cooper had won the premier MX1 class at the MX Fest extravaganza in Taupo in late October and then went on to easily win his men’s 35-39 year’s class at the 2022 New Zealand Veterans’ and Women’s Motocross Championships near Cambridge a week later.

He then dominated the Waikato Motocross Championships series in December, this time opting to also race a 250cc version of his four-stroke Kawasaki and this time he comfortably won both the MX1 and MX2 categories.

With an impressive 2023 season build-up like that, his rivals might well have been worried and, if not worried, they should at least have been respectful.

Cooper certainly earned that respect at Balclutha on Sunday, eclipsing the entire field as he dominated the talent-laden MX2 class.

With three wins from three starts in the MX2 class, Cooper set a benchmark that will be hard to beat and, because of uncertainty regarding results behind him – with full results officially listed only as “pending” – he doesn’t really know who might be his main threat at the three remaining rounds of the series.

In addition to blitzing the MX2 class on Sunday, Cooper also finished the day third overall in the MX1 class, behind defending national MX1 champion Hamish Harwood and Mangakino’s Maximus Purvis.

“I’m pretty happy with that … I can’t complain,” said Cooper afterwards.

“I feel I need to work on some areas of my riding, but my starts were very good. I think I holeshot every race or at least in front by the time we were all heading to the second corner.

“I love the 250 because it’s more flexible, more supple. With the 450, I think it had too much power for this track, a little bit too much for me actually. We made a few changes to the 450 suspension and it was better after that.

“I can’t remember when I last raced a 250cc bike at the nationals … it was ages ago. I’m loving the smaller bike. It’s a stock bike and so much fun to ride.

“I might want to take a look at my hydration and diet in general, with me racing two classes it’s really tough. I’m happy with the speed, handling and reliability of the bikes … it’s just my body that needs some work,” he laughed.

The next round in the series is set for two weeks’ time on the outskirts of Rotorua (on February 26), followed by racing at Fernhill, near Hastings, on March 19 and, finally, at Taupo, on March 26.

The 2023 senior women’s motocross nationals will share the programme for the North Island rounds, enhancing even more the scale and importance of the racing this season.

It will be the first time that the senior women’s nationals will run in tandem with the corresponding men’s competition.

2023 New Zealand Motocross Championships:

  • Round one: February 12 – South Otago (at Balclutha);
  • Round two: February 26 – Rotorua (including women’s nationals);
  • Round three: March 19 – Hastings (including women’s nationals);
  • Round four: March 26 – Taupo (including women’s nationals).


Credit: Words and photo by Andy McGechan,

Keep up to date with the team on Facebook and Instagram. @BridgestoneKawasakiRaceTeam

A sign of things to come from the new KMD Racing Team

10 January 2023

A sign of things to come from the new KMD Racing Team
Round 3 of the 6-round NZSBK Championship concluded over the weekend at Ruapuna with rookie Dale Finch taking his first ever premier class win in race 1 aboard his Ninja ZX-10R.
The changeable conditions on day 1 forced riders to run their wet setup. After a flying start, Dale pushed his lead out to almost 10 seconds before bringing home his first win. In race 2, Dale would run into trouble in under braking while leading again causing a red flag and a resultant DNF. Unfortunately race 3 was similar and another mistake ended his hopes at his first overall round victory.
Dave Sharp was also setting a hot pace and after a false start, he charged from the back of the pack to finish race 1 in 3rd place. Dave went on to round out the podium for the round in a solid 3rd and also sits 3rd in the championship.
Avalon Biddle was a little off the pace in race 1 on a slippery track but things improved considerably on day 2 in races 2 and 3. Avalon fought hard in race 2 from the mid-pack, setting impressive laptimes on the way forward to an eventual 5th place in the hotly contested Supersport 600 class. Race 3 was looking even better until an incident caused the race to be red-flagged.


Season Schedule


Round 1 held at Taupo (Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park) on 3-4 December

Round 2 held at Feilding (Manfield) on 10-11 December


Round 3 held at Ruapuna (Mike Pero Motorsport Park) on 7-8 January

Round 4 held at Teretonga Park Raceway on 14-15 January

Round 5 held at Hampton Downs (including Motofest) on 4-5 March

Round 6 Final held at Taupo (Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park) on 11-12 March


Keep up to date with the new team on Facebook and Instagram. @kiwimotorsportsdevelopment



DECEMBER 5, 2022: Like a fine wine, Bay of Plenty motocross star Cody Cooper just seems to keep getting better with age.

Though considered a veteran in this traditionally young man’s pursuit, the Bridgestone Kawasaki Racing Team rider from Papamoa once again proved he’s still at the pinnacle of the sport and his rivals for the upcoming New Zealand Motocross Championships series will possibly need to lift their game just to be able to stick with the 39-year-old.

The multi-time former national MX1 champion dominated the elite MX1 class at first of two rounds in this year’s Waikato Motocross Championships near Huntly last month and then dealt up another solid performance at the final round near Te Kuiti on Sunday.


Current national MX1 champion Hamish Harwood (KTM), from West Auckland, actually won the day at Kuiti, but Cooper won the war, clinching the series honours outright.

Injuries meant Harwood had been a no-show at round one of this series last month, but his 1-2-1 score-card from his three MX1 class races at Te Kuiti on Sunday will obviously make him a threat to Cooper in the nationals in the New Year, although Cooper was downplaying that.

“With the duration of each race on Sunday of 18 minutes plus one lap, it gave me a chance to see where I am sitting fitness-wise. I have not been doing much endurance training lately, so overall I was pretty happy with how I performed. I’ll be doing a lot more riding over the next couple of months and I’ll only get better.”

With three wins, two runner-up finishes and a fourth placing from six starts in the two-event series, Cooper was easily the most dominant rider in the MX1 class throughout the series and comfortably wrapped up the title overall.

To further underscore Cooper’s strength, speed and power, the Kawasaki rider took a 250cc version of his bike to also win the series outright in the MX2 class.

Cooper scored three wins and three runner-up finishes in the MX2 class.

“The 250 was pretty good for standard suspension and engine and so forth. It’s impressive straight out of the packing crate. I’m loving these bikes,” said Cooper.

“I’m blown away by the 250 actually. It’s a stock standard machine and performs like a works bike.”

Cooper has won the MX1 class at the season-opening MX Fest extravaganza in Taupo in October and then went on to race at the New Zealand Veterans’ and Women’s Motocross Championships near Cambridge a week later. It was no surprise that he comfortably won the veteran men’s 35-39 years’ class at that event.

All of this must be ringing a few alarm bells for his rivals as Cooper seriously considers racing both the MX1 and MX2 classes at the four-round senior New Zealand Motocross Championships starting in Balclutha in February.

“By racing in two classes I was pretty tired at the end of the day at Te Kuiti, but I’ll be working hard on improving my fitness in the coming weeks,” Cooper warned.

In addition to the four-round nationals in February and March, Cooper will turn up to race his Kawasaki bikes at the big annual Whakatane Summercross just after Christmas, followed by the New Zealand Motocross Grand Prix at Woodville (in late January).

Other class winners at the Waikato Motocross Championships at Te Kuiti were Auckland’s Hamish Harwood (KTM, MX125); Mount Maunganui’s Roma Edwards (Honda, senior women); Titirangi’s Ryan Buxeda (KTM, veterans’ 35-44 years); Te Awamutu’s Bryce McDougall (Honda, veterans’ over-45 years); Buxeda (MX3); Te Kuiti’s Luke Riley (GasGas, junior support 85/150cc).

Credit: Words by Andy McGechan,

Keep up to date with the team on Facebook and Instagram. @BridgestoneKawasakiRaceTeam