You might not know of the name Maximus Purvis unless you are a dedicated and close follower of motocross down under. He is a four time NZ motocross champion, finished on the series podium in the MX Nationals twice and ready to mix it up with the big boys of Australian racing when the gate drops on the 2020 season. Purvis will be part of a strong Yamaha presence in the MX2 category and headline the WBR Yamaha Bulk Nutrients effort this year.
Maximus now finds himself in a similar situation to Kirk Gibbs where he has Yamaha supported rides in both Australia and New Zealand, but that level of support has been a few years in the making.
Purvis’ rise has been under the radar and even his achievements have taken Josh Coppins, his JCR team manager in NZ, by surprise.
“Max has been a bit of a surprise to us but in a good way,” Coppins begins. “He came to our attention in 2016, when he won a couple of national junior championships for us in the 125 and 250cc classes. His success there was worthy of some support and he has continued to improve since that day.
“He won the national 125 MX championship, then went on to finish third in his first year of MX2 and this year he was able to win the class and beat a lot of established names. Add to that his results in the MXD class in Australia for the last two years and you have a pretty good body of work over the past few years.”
Purvis, from Mangakino, a small rural town on the North Island of New Zealand, has certainly ticked a lot of boxes on the track and proven to be a real fighter when the gates drop, but has a laid back personality off it and keeps to himself and a close circle of friends.
“Getting a hold of Maximus can be hard work but over the last 12 months he has taken his racing a lot more seriously and his victory in the NZ MX champs was worthy and hard fought. He deserved his results and achieved them by dedication and determination,” Coppins ends.
For 2020, this will be Purvis’ third full time season in Australia. He first floated across the ditch in 2017 for the MX Nationals round at Nowra and instantly ran towards the front of the field in each race. Injury slowed his season but it whet his appetite for racing here and he returned with the support of Yamaha Australia and JCR for 2018 for a full season in the MXD class.
It was this season that caught the eye of Travis Whitten from the WBR Yamaha team and when he needed a headline rider to contest the 2019 season, Purvis was the natural selection given Yamaha’s successful step up racing strategy. He showed plenty of speed throughout 2019 as he and eventual champ, Regan Duffy, went bar to bar at the majority of rounds at the MX Nationals. The two were a step above the remainder of the field and only some falls and costly mistakes prevented the championship going down to the wire as Purvis learned the hard way on how to manage a championship at a professional level.
But, he put those lessons into practice and won the 2020 MX2 New Zealand Championships on his Yamaha YZ250F.
“2020 will be our second season with Maximus and our first together in the MX2 class. Working with Max and the JCR Yamaha team has been seamless and he slots right into our team when the New Zealand championships are over,” Whitten explains.
“Last year he showed a lot of speed but not the consistency it takes to win a championship at this level. He showed he is a fast learner and he has no better mentor than Josh Coppins to pass on plenty of knowledge and assist him in all areas of racing.
“Usually we would have two MXD riders in our team, but we didn’t want to lose Maximus as he has been good for Yamaha both in Australia and New Zealand, so it made sense he stay with us as he moves into MX2 class and be in a familiar environment with people he already has a working relationship with.
“Given what he did in New Zealand and his experience now gained in Australia, we hope Max will be a real contender in MX2 for 2020 and we are hoping he continues his steep career path up with Yamaha,” Whitten ends.