Mount Maunganui's Cody Cooper has made a solid points-scoring start to his US motocross campaign.

The multiple New Zealand champ is contesting the 12-round Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship and has completed the opening weekend of racing in 13th overall.

The venue for Saturday's series opener was the Hangtown MX track near Sacramento in northern California.

Cooper qualified 15th on his Honda CRF450R and also finished 15th in the opening 30-minute moto. In the second moto Cooper moved up the order to achieve a 12th place finish.


The premier MX450 class for the first round featured an international field of 56 riders attempting to qualify for a place on the 40-wide starting gate.

Both races were won by defending champion Eli Tomac (Kawasaki) ahead of Frenchman Marvin Musquin (KTM). Round two of the US Nationals is at Glen Helen Raceway near San Bernadino, California this weekend.

Also in action overseas was Mount Maunganui's Rhys Carter racing in a double-header weekend of the Australian Motocross Nationals at the Wonthaggi track in Victoria.

Carter had a strong third round on Saturday with fifth and seventh placings in the MX1 races on his Kawasaki. Sunday's fourth round began with an eighth placing in the first moto and then Carter had to recover from almost last at the start of the second moto to finish 11th.

With four of the 10 rounds completed in the Australian title Carter is eighth overall. Round five is at Murray Bridge in South Australia on May 27.