The warm-ups are over and now the real business begins for Honda hero Cody Cooper.
The 34-year-old national MX1 champion from Mount Maunganui was again the dominant force in the premier class at this year's 57th annual Honda New Zealand Motocross Grand Prix at Woodville, posting a 1-1-2 scorecard and reinforcing his status as the nation's leading MX1 rider.
With the four-round national championship series set to get under way in Taranaki this weekend, Cooper showed he was in great shape to successfully defend his crown and thereby extend his nationals win-streak to six consecutive seasons.
He was denied a perfect hat-trick of wins in his final nationals warm-up at Woodville on Sunday and missed out on clinching a third overall Woodville GP crown with the event's namesake feature race won instead by Hamilton rider Kayne Lamont.
But the nationals are the main focus for Cooper.
He won the national MX1 title for the first time in 2011 and then won it five consecutive years from 2013 to 2017, but he admits he's a "little bit behind" in his preparations for the nationals this year.
"We found out a few good things with the bike at Woodville and I've got a few more things to test and try this week."
Cooper has his focus on winning the national championships again and was "feeling great physically".
"The track was very demanding, but I managed to flow well with it. I think my ability to get good starts made a huge difference. Auckland's Hamish Harwood did well to win the final race from me. Good on him."
Meanwhile, Hamilton's Chris Power took a Honda CRF450 to win the novelty River Race at Woodville on Sunday.
Power convincingly won both the day's races and he finished the day eight points clear of his nearest challenger, Palmerston North's James Galpin, the young man who had won the River Race at Woodville in 2016.
After round one of the New Zealand Motocross Championships in New Plymouth this Sunday, the series heads to Rotorua for round two on February 25. Round three is set for Hawke's Bay on March 11, with the fourth and final round in Taupo on March 24.