CODY Cooper’s red-hot form is showing no sign of abating.
On Sunday, the former Opotiki motocross rider claimed his fourth victory in as many weeks. The 35-year-old claimed victories at Summer at Matata in December, the King of the Mountain event two weeks ago and the Honda New Zealand Motocross Grand Prix at Woodville last week.
On Sunday he began his campaign to reclaim the New Zealand MX1 championship title, with the opening round of four in the series being staged at the Barrett Road Motocross Park, on the outskirts of New Plymouth.
Cooper finished the day in Taranaki with two firsts and a second placing – enough to give him a three-point edge over his nearest threat, defending champion Kirk Gibbs.
Australian visitor Gibbs registered one win and two runner-up finishes behind Cooper. Mangakino’s Kayne Lamont chimed in with three third placings.
Cooper is a six-time New Zealand MX1 champion and did not take kindly to losing his crown to Gibbs last season, something he is determined to rectify this year.
“The first race was frustrating because I just couldn’t find a way past Kirk.
“Well, I actually did get past him at one stage, but then I went off a jump sideways and lost that position again. I was probably a little bit too relaxed here.
“I was trying to tippy-toe around the track today, to not make any mistakes,” said Cooper.
“There are parts of this Taranaki track where you can be pushing and feel good and then suddenly it all lets go.
“As long as I was in the hunt for the title when I left here today I would be happy and I’m actually leading the way, so that’s even better.”
Round two of the New Zealand Motocross Championships is in Rotorua in just two weeks before round three on February 24 and the final round is at Taupo on March 10.