Team Suzuki Press Office – March 24.

Brad Groombridge won the final MX1 race of the 2014 New Zealand Motocross Championship on Saturday and came incredibly close to moving-up one step of the series' final podium.

The Bel Ray Pro Rider Suzuki Team star had to settle for third overall in the championship - a single point behind visiting Scottish star Billy MacKenzie - as Cody Cooper won the crown for a second consecutive season.

Cooper rode a Suzuki RM-Z450 to seal the crown last season but was on board a Honda this time around: Cooper arrived at the track with more than an entire race up his sleeve and so his eventual win came as no surprise, but the battle was on between Groombridge (pictured) and former Grand Prix star MacKenzie to claim the runner-up spot.

When Groombridge came on strong at his home track, MacKenzie and his crew had reason to be worried. He finished 3-2-1 in the MX1 class on Saturday, getting better as the day wore on, and his final race win was especially impressive because the sand and pumice track was at its worst after a long day of brutal racing.

But Groombridge's fitness regime this season has proven to be his secret weapon and certainly gave him the edge he needed.

Cooper finished 1-1-3 and, while he had no answer for Groombridge in that final race, he'd done enough to win the day outright, with Groombridge taking second spot on the podium for the day for third overall for the championship.

Said Groombridge: "I have been hunting that race win for so long now, so to finish the series like this with a win is fantastic. I'm off to Australia next weekend for the first round of the Australian Motocross Championships. I will be racing across the Tasman this season for Byrner Suzuki in Melbourne and SP MX. It's not a factory team but the next best thing and I'm really looking forward to it."

His boss in the Bel Ray Pro Rider Suzuki Team, former national champion Andrew Hardisty, was overjoyed with the way their Kiwi nationals campaign finished.

"I'm naturally thrilled with Brad's second overall ranking for the day and with him finishing third in the championship too," said Hardisty.

"His commitment in recent months to his motocross racing and to Suzuki makes Brad's results extremely satisfying and rewarding. I'm thrilled to have him on the team, showcasing the brilliant RM-Z450. Sometimes it's not always about winning, but about an individual's journey to get to the top. I can see bigger and better things to come from Brad."

Groombridge's Bel Ray Pro Rider Suzuki team-mate, Rhys Carter, who was racing in the MX2 (250cc) class on a Suzuki RM-Z250, also came on strong at Taupo and he won the final MX2 race of the season.

Carter finished 2-4-1 in the MX2 class on Saturday, good enough to finish the day overall runner-up at Taupo, but, unfortunately for him and his Suzuki team, difficulties in the early part of the series meant he had to settle for seventh overall for the championship.

Words and photo courtesy of Andy McGechan @

Follow Team Suzuki Racing
Powered by Midlands Performance© Suzuki Motor Corporation 2004-2022