Sunday, January 16


Words and photo by Andy McGechan, 

Motueka’s Josh Coppins is national champion again.

Now back in New Zealand at the end of a long career racing in Europe, the Yamaha star wasted no time in taking his first domestic scalp in many years when he wrapped up the open class title at the fourth and final round of the Backflips-sponsored New Zealand Supercross Championship near Timaru on Saturday afternoon.

It wasn’t all plain sailing, however, with Mount Maunganui’s Cody Cooper (Suzuki), Christchurch’s Justin McDonald (Honda) and Rotorua’s Michael Phillips (Honda) and Hamilton’s Hayden Clark all taking wins off Coppins during the series.

“It’s a great result for Yamaha,” said Coppins afterwards.

“I’ve had great support from Craig Dack Racing in Australia and from Yamaha’s Peter Payne in New Zealand and this is the best way to repay them.”

The senior lites (250cc) class, as expected, went the way of Christchurch rider Craig Smith (Honda).

The dominant rider in the class at three of the four rounds, Smith finished the series a whopping 33 points clear of Taupo’s Nick Saunders (Kawasaki) and 40 points ahead of Tauranga’s Peter Broxholme (Honda).

Despite constant pressure coming from Rangiora’s Micah McGoldrick (KTM), Atiamuri’s Dion Picard (Suzuki) held on to win the Junior 250 crown, while Hamilton’s Josiah Natzke (Yamaha) was clearly in a world of his own in the junior lites (85cc) class, winning 11 of the series’ 12 races, to finish a massive 38 points ahead of Pahiatua Kawasaki rider Scott Sowry.

Backflips Clothing NZ was the series’ main sponsor, with additional support coming from Demon Energy Drinks.