Monday, December 13

SOUTH ISLANDERS DOMINATE IN TOKOROA

Justin McDonald, Josh Coppins and Cody Cooper
Words & Pic by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ.com

The age-old battle of North Island versus South Island bragging rights in motorcycling took a sharp turn in favour of the south in Tokoroa on Saturday night.

Motueka’s Josh Coppins (Yamaha) dominated the Open class and Queenstown’s Scott Columb did likewise in the Lites (250cc) class at the opening round of the Backflips New Zealand Supercross Championships in Tokoroa on Saturday night.

Coppins seemed out-of-sorts in the lead-up to the night’s three championship points races but, as he explained, he was “just getting the bike dialled-in”.

Coppins finished 2-1-1 in the three championship races, easily enough to edge out Christchurch’s Justin McDonald (Honda), who finished 3-3-2 and Mount Maunganui’s Cody Cooper (Suzuki), who came home 4-2-4.

In the Lites class, Columb showed remarkable courage to battle through the pain barrier and win the night.

“I crashed my bike about a week ago,” said Columb. “I was in a heap of pain.

“But I dug deep and managed to win the night here. That’s good,” said the man who was national No.2 in this class last season.

Runner-up was fellow Suzuki star Brad Groombridge, the Hawera-based Taupo rider who represented New Zealand at the Motocross of Nations in Denver, Colorado, in September. Third overall was Honda rider Peter Broxholme, of Tauranga.

Top junior class rider in Tokoroa was Levin’s James Anderson, ahead of another South Island superstar, Rangiora’s Micah McGoldrick (KTM), and Atiamuri’s Dion Picard (Suzuki).

The second of four rounds in the series is scheduled for Taupo on January 2.

2011 MNZ NEW ZEALAND SUPERCROSS CHAMPIONSHIPS:

Round 1 – Tokoroa, Saturday, December 11, 2010
Round 2 – Taupo, Sunday, January 2, 2011
Round 3 – Nelson, Sunday, January 9, 2011
Round 4 – Timaru, Saturday, January 15, 2011