A totally dominant performance at the penultimate round of this year’s Australian Motocross Championships in early August was a definite highlight of the season for Kiwi rider Maximus Purvis.
The 18-year-old from Mangakino rides in New Zealand for the high-profile Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing Team and again this season he had backing from Yamaha in Australia too, racing there for the WBR Bulk Nutrients Yamaha Racing Team.
This ensured he stayed with his preferred Yamaha YZ250F machine and he certainly looked comfortable on the bike when he dominated the day, scoring back-to-back wins, at the ninth round of 10 in the Australian series at Coolum, in Queensland, on August 3.
He could not quite match that at the 10th and final round at the same venue the following day, settling instead for two runner-up finishes, but that was still easily enough to ensure that he finished the championship ranked second overall in the MX Development (Under-19) class.
Australian rider Regan Duffy wrapped up the MXD title win at Coolum.
Purvis had finished runner-up in this class last season too, on that occasion finishing behind fellow Yamaha rider Bailey Malkiewicz, and he had high hopes of taking the trophy this time around.
However, Purvis suffered a massive set-back at a muddy round two of the 2019 series at Wonthaggi, in Victoria, in March, when he finished an unaccustomed 18th in one of his two races that day.
“That was something he was always going to struggle to recover from,” said his Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing Team boss Josh Coppins. “Even though Maximus won three rounds this season, he was never really going to be able to get back those points he lost at Wonthaggi. He had the speed again this year, but there was no coming back from what happened at Wonthaggi. We’ll try to come up with a plan to improve things for Maximus as he will look to head into the MX2 class in Australia next season.”
Purvis was gracious in congratulating his main rival.
“We had a good battle and it was fun racing with him (Regan Duffy) all season. Coming into this season my goal was to win this championship so I’m a little disappointed that I wasn’t able to make that happen. Regan raced well all year and I just made some costly mistakes at the wrong time as well as not always getting great starts which set me back,” said Purvis. “This was my last year in MXD and I can’t thank the WBR Yamaha team enough for offering me this opportunity this year. It’s been awesome having them working with me at the events and providing such good bikes to race. It’s a real family team and everyone works so hard. My plan is now to head back to New Zealand for a couple of weeks before getting started in supercross. I have only done a couple of supercrosses before and I really liked it so I’m keen to keep learning how to ride the smaller tracks and improve my technique on them.”
Another Kiwi racing in Australia at the weekend was Rotorua’s Josh Bourke-Palmer and, although he competed in only a selected few of the 125 Gold Cup class races in Australia this season, he managed to finish an impressive seventh overall.
“The relationship between Yamaha in Australia and New Zealand is great,” said Coppins. “Racing in the 125cc Gold Cup races was a good experience for Josh (Bourke-Palmer) and the co-operation between Yamaha in Australia and New Zealand shows these young riders that there is a pathway for them. By racing in Australia, it gives riders like Josh and Max the chance to develop and improve during the Kiwi off-season.”
Purvis won the New Zealand 125cc crown in 2018, before racing his way to runner-up spot in the MXD class on his 250cc Yamaha that same year.
He progressed to the 250cc competition fulltime at the start of 2019 and raced in the MX2 class in the New Zealand Motocross Championships earlier this season, finishing that series third overall, making in two years in a row now that Purvis has finished on the podium on both sides of the Tasman Sea.
Purvis will remain in Australia now to contest the Australian Supercross Championships and he is not expected to be seen in race action in New Zealand until the Whakatane Summercross in late December.
Meanwhile, in terms of title-winning performances in the MX1 and MX2 classes in Australia this season, the final two rounds at Coolum provided double celebrations for the DPH Husqvarna Team, with Todd Waters winning the MX1 class and Wilson Todd winning the MX2 title.
Waters dominated round 10, enjoying a perfect weekend, winning Superpole and both MX1 motos en route to claiming the 2019 championship title.
CDR Yamaha Monster Energy’s Luke Clout captured second overall for the series and Raceline KTM Thor’s Hayden Mellross finished the season third overall in MX1.
In the MX2 class, Wilson Todd took the title ahead of Penrith Pirelli CRF Honda Racing’s Kyle Webster and Yamalube Yamaha’s Jay Wilson.
The Yamaha Rising Star Rookies class saw Yamaha’s Alex Larwood dominate the weekend’s races at Coolum and take out the Championship. Ricky Chalmers and New Zealand’s Cobie Bourke finished round 10 second and third overall respectively, while the Championship podium had Larwood first, Brad West second and Cameron Torpy third.
The Yamaha 125cc Gold Cup saw Yamaha’s Cameron Taylor again win the series, ahead of Nicholas Murray and Lachlan Wilson.
FINAL 2019 AUSTRALIAN MX STANDINGS:
MX1 Championship Standings:
1 Todd Waters, 568 Points
2 Luke Clout, 530 Points
3 Hayden Mellross, 462 Points
4 Kirk Gibbs, 435 Points
5 Brett Metcalfe, 432 Points
6 Justin Rodbell, 373 Points
7 Richie Evans, 372 Points
8 Jesse Dobson, 360 Points
9 Dylan Long, 325 Points
10 Jayden Rykers, 300 Points
MX2 Championship Standings:
1 Wilson Todd, 562 Points
2 Kyle Webster, 536 Points
3 Jay Wilson, 523 Points
4 Nathan Crawford, 492 Points
5 Aaron Tanti, 460 Points
6 Dylan Wills, 394 Points
7 Bailey Malkiewicz, 387 Points
8 Ricky Latimer, 360 Points
9 Cooper Pozniak, 345 Points
10 Morgan Fogarty, 327 Points
MXD (U19) Championship Standings:
1 Regan Duffy, 593 Points
2 Maximus Purvis, 561 Points
3 Rhys Budd, 472 Points
4 Noah Ferguson, 435 Points
5 Brodie Ellis, 419 Points
6 Jai Walker, 411 Points
7 Liam Walsh, 389 Points
8 Jayce Cosford, 384 Points
9 Mackenzie O’Bree, 346 Points
10 Tye Jones, 337 Points
Words and Photos: Andy McGechan