The high-profile Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing Team intends to start the season off with a bang at Whakatane next week.

The big annual Whakatane Summercross on Wednesday and Thursday will be a good workout for the four-rider squad, although team manager Josh Coppins, himself a former outright winner at the Summercross event, sees no reason why the "2017 season build-up meeting" should not also be a winning one for his riders.

Australian MX1 champion Dean Ferris arrives in New Zealand on Boxing Day and he will immediately go to work on the Altherm JCR Yamaha YZ450F, with Summercross just the first of many major events he is targeting for wins in New Zealand this summer.

Ferris arrives for senior racing at Summercross next Tuesday and will race for the Yamaha team also at the New Zealand Motocross Grand Prix at Woodville at the end of January, before tackling the four-round New Zealand Motocross Championships, which kick off in Timaru on February 5.


He will be joined in the Yamaha enclosure at all four events by fellow MX1 rider Kayne Lamont, of Mangakino, and the team's two MX2 class riders, Otago's Courtney Duncan and Waitakere's Ethan Martens.

"The timing is quite tricky at this time of the year, trying to get everything prepared around Christmas, but I have set up the bike for Dean (Ferris) and it will be identical to the one he races in Australia," said Coppins.

"I imagine he'll hop on it and feel comfortable straight away. I was with him in Australia last week and he's just back from his end-of-season holidays and ready to go hard again in the New Year. He's really looking forward to coming over here.

"Summercross will be a good first hit-out for the team as we work towards Woodville and the nationals.

"Kayne has been progressing well with the YZ450F and it's all about getting consistent results for him.

"Courtney is building towards the 2017 Women's Motocross World Championships and she's not quite where she needs to be for that just yet. It's too early for her to be reaching a peak, but we still expect good results from her at Whakatane."