Friday, May 31

COPPINS BACK IN THE SADDLE THIS WEEKEND

Kiwi MX legend Josh Coppins will be back in the saddle this weekend - but he stresses his ride this weekend at the two-day Michael Godfrey Memorial Motocross meeting at Waipara north of Christchurch is strictly a one-off affair.

The 36-year-old former Kiwi motocross international retired from fulltime professional racing at the end of the 2012 season, just weeks after winning the Australian open class motocross title, and immediately switched his attentions to mentoring some of New Zealand's rising young stars, as well as managing the JCR Yamaha Racing team in New Zealand.

In doing so he tasted immediate success as a manager, Scotty Columb (YZ250F) winning the national MX2 title and Cameron Vaughan (YZ125) the national 125cc crown.

However, with Columb currently unavailable to race and the team's MX1 rider, Scotsman Billy MacKenzie, committed overseas, Coppins was left with few options for this weekend's Michael Godfrey Memorial meeting.

Vaughan will step up to the MX2 class this weekend, racing a YZ250F, while Coppins will again pull on his helmet to race MacKenzie's MX1 YZ450F bike at the popular race meeting.
"This is the biggest race in the South Island and I really wanted Yamaha to be represented there, but this is definitely NOT a comeback," Coppins told Kiwi Rider.

"Having been a professional athlete for so many years, I know that you get out what you put in, but I don't expect to win this weekend.

"I have been very busy and so this has not been the best build-up for me to race again. I know Christchurch's Justin McDonald and Rotorua's Michael Phillips will be fast, but hopefully I will be competitive."

Coppins won numerous national and international titles in a long and illustrious career that also saw him twice finish runner-up and twice third in the world motocross championships, in a Grand Prix career spanning nearly two decades, and there is no doubt riders and spectators alike will relish the opportunity to witness Coppins slicing his way through the Canterbury soil again this weekend.

The JCR Yamaha Racing team is supported by Yamaha Motor New Zealand, Yamalube, GYTR, Josh Coppins Racing, Yamaha Motor Finance, Star Moving, Holland's Collision Centre, Fox, Alpinestars, Atlas, POD, Racetech Plastics, Renthal, DID, NGK, Pirelli, Motomuck, ilabb, Factory Effex, Boyesen, Pro Circuit and Matrix.



Credits: Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com