Tuesday, June 4

COPPINS STILL HAS WHAT IT TAKES

It was never going to be a comeback but Kiwi MX ace Josh Coppins certainly proved at the big 30th anniversary Michael Godfrey Memorial Motocross at Waipara, north of Christchurch, at the weekend that he has not forgotten how to win races since he retired from fulltime motocross racing at the end of last season.

The Yamaha rider won four out of five MX1 races, opting to ease up a little for the fifth race and settling for a fourth for that outing as he strived to conserve energy ahead of the weekend’s feature race.

That gesture proved to be in vain, however, as Coppins was the victim of a shunt from behind at the start, the accident damaging his bike and forcing him to withdraw.
“The weekend was not too bad for me considering I hadn’t done much preparation,” said the 36-year-old former world No.2.

“Speed was not an issue for me, just fitness. I felt I could pass the other riders with ease. It’s a pity I was taken down in the feature race but that’s racing sometimes.
“I really enjoyed myself, although it wasn’t really about me. I only stepped in to make sure we had a presence with both Scotty (Columb) and Billy (MacKenzie) unavailable. My main job is to focus on managing the team, not racing any more these days.”
It was also an outstanding weekend from fellow Yamaha rider Ethan Martens, the young Aucklander racing a YZ450F to fifth overall in the MX1 class and also riding a Yamaha YZ250 to win MX2 class outright.

Topping his weekend off the 21-year-old also finished third in the feature final race, behind MX1 regulars Justin McDonald and Michael Phillips.

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