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Cooper Has One Hand on the Trophy

NZ MX Nationals 2014

maddix park mx

CAPTION: Mount Maunganui's Cody Cooper (The Honda Shop Racing Team CRF450), on his way to another overall win in the 2014 New Zealand Motocross Championships. Photo by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ.com

MARCH 10, 2014: The pressure may be off for The Honda Shop Racing Team's MX1 class rider Cody Cooper, but nobody in the slick and professional motocross team will consider relaxing just yet.

The 2013 New Zealand MX1 motocross champion from Mount Maunganui installed himself top of the podium for a third consecutive time at the weekend, dominating the day at Pukekohe's third round of four in this year's New Zealand Motocross Championships on Sunday, just as he had as round one near Timaru last month and at round two at Tokoroa a fortnight ago.

And so, at the rate the Honda star is going, he will clinch the title again in 2014 with a race or two to spare.

Cooper left the track at Tuakau on Sunday with a massive 37-point lead over visiting Scottish former Grand Prix star Billy MacKenzie, Cooper's 1-1-2 results on Sunday easily enough for him to claim the top step on the day's MX1 podium and boost his championship advantage.

"The lead is good but we are not taking anything for granted," advised his team boss, former world and New Zealand motocross champion Ben Townley.

"We will still focus race by race. Cody won two out of three holeshots today and that was good because we have placed a lot of emphasis on that.

"But we are not relaxing as we head to Taupo (for the final round in two weeks' time). If we do what we always do, we should get the same results (victories), but it's not over yet."

Cooper was similarly circumspect.

"It's always good to get a couple of wins ... I would have liked three actually," he laughed. "But I can head to Taupo with a race up my sleeve.

"But these guys are getting faster each week and they were pushing me today. I pass on my congratulations to (Australia's) Kirk Gibbs for winning that last race today. He rode well.

"I like racing at Taupo, so hopefully it will all work out for me there."

Cooper's MX2 class team-mate, Rotorua rider John Phillips,  also finished the day on the podium at Pukekohe.

Phillips finished 3-3-5 in his three MX2 (250cc) outings to take the No.3 podium spot and improved his championship standings to fourth overall.

The 2014 senior nationals wind up with the fourth and final round set for Taupo on March 22.

Credit: Words by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com

 
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