Thursday, August 8

COOPER TO LEAD NZ MXoN TEAM

Suzuki ace Cody Cooper will lead the three-rider New Zealand squad to tackle the annual Motocross of Nations event near Leipzig, in southern Germany, on September 30.



Cooper will be joined by Rhys Carter and Kayne Lamont in a team managed by former Grand Prix star Josh Coppins.

Cooper and Carter, both from Mount Maunganui, and Mangakino's Lamont are no strangers to intense international competition, although only Cooper and Lamont have previously raced at this premier event.

It will be Carter's first time in the Kiwi line-up but his recent performances in Australia show he should cope well with the fierce contest.

Cooper, Lamont and Coppins, before he retired last year, were the Kiwi team riders who contested the Motocross of Nations when it was held in Belgium last season. They finished with an overall ranking of 15th among the more than 30 countries competing.

Coppins said he was excited to be team manager for the first time and was pleased with the calibre of riders he had to help choose from.

"It will be a first for Rhys to ride this event and it is a huge undertaking but we will be calling on the experienced Cooper to step up and make another huge effort as our lead rider. These three riders are currently racing in Australia and they are extremely fit."

Motorcycling New Zealand motocross commissioner Bryan Davidson, of Marton, said he was confident the New Zealand team would acquit itself well in Germany.

"It is a good mix of youth and experience and, following on from last year, we have selected the riders that gained so positively from being involved in 2012.

"MNZ was very pleased with the calibre of applicants and I know these  selected riders will step up to race in the Motocross of Nations. It is also a privilege for the team to be managed by Josh Coppins, who will no doubt follow on from the excellent work done by Tony Cooksley in recent years.

"MNZ funds the sending of the NZ team to this event, but we have also again received financial support from the FIM (the sport's world governing body) and a special thanks goes also to the Taupo Motorcycle Club and their hosting of the Battle of Clubs which also contributed funds to  the New Zealand team."

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