Team Suzuki Press Office – January 20.

Suzuki’s Rhys Carter came from behind to win Sunday's annual King of the Mountain motocross in Taranaki in New Zealand.

In only his third race since being side-lined for three months following injury, the RM-Z450 rider claimed the MX1 class overall victory with two race wins - after having to charge through the pack - and a third place in the final feature race.

Said Carter: “The track wasn't very safe in that third race. I knew John Phillips was my main threat for MX1 class honours, so I just kept an eye out for our relative positions on the track. When he crashed in the final race, the pressure was off for me and I could cruise a little bit.

"It was quite dusty and vision was certainly affected, but I knew second or third would be enough for me to win the class."

Carter won the MX1 class at the big annual Whakatane Summercross just after Christmas, a debut win for him in New Zealand riding the big Suzuki RM-Z450, but, in his second outing since returning from injury, he crashed at the Valley Champs near Morrinsville last weekend and damaged his bike, putting him out for the day.

Sunday's event was an integral part of his build-up for the upcoming New Zealand Motocross Championships, round one of which will be staged at the same venue on the outskirts of New Plymouth next month.

Said Carter: “I'm getting better on the 450cc bike and looking forward to the nationals.”

Words and photo by Andy McGechan @

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