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Cooper is King of the Mountain

King of the Mountain 2016

maddix park mx

JANUARY 25, 2016: The wins just keep coming for Bay of Plenty motocross ace Cody Cooper.

The 32-year-old New Zealand MX1 champion was simply too powerful for his rivals at the weekend's annual King of the Mountain (KoM) motocross in Taranaki, the man from Mount Maunganui taking his Honda Racing Team CRF450F to four wins from four starts, winning the MX1 class outright and also winning the all-important King of the Mountain all-capacities feature race from which the event gets its name.

Fresh from winning the MX1 class at the Waikato Motocross Championships in November, the Auckland Motocross Championships in December and the Honda Summercross, in Whakatane just after Christmas, Cooper was heavily favoured to win despite it being his first appearance at the KoM event on Sunday.

And he certainly lived up to his star billing. 

Cooper was never headed all day and, although the track was becoming "quite risky" late in the afternoon and, even with the MX1 class win by then already in his pocket and vital races coming up in the next few weeks, he was still prepared to accept the challenge and line up for the day's final feature race at the steep Barrett Road circuit.

He led the feature from start to finish, crossing the line ahead of Queenstown's former national MX2 champion and last year's KoM winner Scott Columb, with two-time former KoM winner Brad Groombridge, of Taupo, claiming third place. 

"I tried to ride within my comfort zone because I didn't want to risk too much with some big races coming up, like the Honda New Zealand Motocross Grand Prix at Woodville next weekend and the (four-round) nationals after that," said Cooper.

"But Scotty (Columb) really pushed me. He was right there (behind me) and I had to go outside my comfort zone a bit today. The track was slippery and getting quite chopped up at the end. It was pretty sketchy out there.

"The tyres I was using today had already been used a bit. I raced with the same tyres at Summercross, so they had lost their sharp edge and that made things difficult for me. But I have been trying to become mentally stronger and ride around any problems I have like that. 

"I did feel strong today and I think I'm ready for Woodville and the nationals." 

Winner of the junior King of the Mountain title was 16-year-old Stratford rider Sam Cleland.

Class winners on Sunday were Mount Maunganui's Cody Cooper (MX1); Mangakino's Kayne Lamont (MX2); Ngatea's Ben Broad (National 125/under-21); Otago's Courtney Duncan (Women); Inglewood's Larry Blair (Vets over-35); Wellington's Glen Woods (Vets over-45); Morrinsville's Brendon Mcaskie (MX3); Masterton's Camden Butler (Junior 14-16 years 250cc); Matamata's Brodie Connolly (Junior 12-14 years 125cc and 14-16 years 85cc classes); Palmerston North's Toby Winiata (Junior 12-13 years 85cc); Pukekohe's Coleman Brydon (Junior 8-11 years 85cc); New Plymouth's Jesse Wickham (Junior 8-11 years 65cc).

The Honda Racing Team is supported by Blue Wing Honda, 100% Goggles, Alpinestars, Bell Helmets, Diesel Mechanical, Dr Trim, DRC, EBC Brakes, EZE Race Products, Hinson Clutch, Honda Racing, Matrix Products, Motul, NDub Designs, Picton Auto Electrical, Pirelli, Raceengines.com, Renthal, Supersprox, Talon, TSUBAKI, Twin Air, Vortex Ignitions, Works Connection, Yoshimura and Zeta.


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

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