Moto Media

Catch-up with Josh Coppins

First up let's talk about the Veteran’s Motocross des Nations event at the famous Farleigh Castle in England, two weeks before MXoN in Germany.   Josh was 2nd in the Vets MXdN Evo Class on a CR250 ahead of a field of 500cc 2-strokes. American ace John Dowd went 1-1-1-1 and you were 2nd overall with a 2-2-3-3. 

From all the images and videos I posted, it looks to be a great event?

Yes it was a nice event. I remember a lot of the famous riders in that era when I was a kid so to line up against them was pretty cool. 

Lots of big motocross names there, it would be great to catchup?

It was, I know of all of them but I don't know many of them personally, for me it was cool to race in the UK as I have a lot of fans there and they all came out to support me, so it was great to catch up with them. 

Whose bikes were you on?

Well, I had a issue with my original bike so I got a Honda last minute.  Not ideal as I am a Yamaha man but it was all I could do and so many people came to see me race so I couldn't say no. The bike was Martin Bott's he was a sponsor of CAS Honda when I rode for them. He's really passionate about motocross and has a good collection of bikes. 

How did you find those races on the CR250 up against the big 500s?

I struggled. I had to start in first gear, for some reason it kept bogging off the line so I struggled in the starts against the 500,s but on the track it went pretty well. I got a bit tired once I worked my way through to 2nd and I was thinking to myself; "Right have a breather and then go again and pass Dowd." .. but I just never recovered from my breather - haha. 

What happened in the smaller class with two 'apparent' DNFs? 

I holeshot and had a good lead in the first race and it seized on the last corner. Then in the second race I was leading and my front brake locked on.  After that I was over it because I couldn't win and I was too tired to race both classes, so I flagged it and focused in the one class. 

No Darryll King,  so you were the only Southern Hemisphere rider?

No my team mate was Australian super bike rider Josh Brooks he's awesome at road racing and pretty good on a dirt bike but we needed 4 riders so as a team we didn't do to good!

Let's now talk about the 2013 MXoN.  Josh Managed the NZ Team made up of Cody Cooper (Open), Rhys Carter (MX1) and Kayne Lamont (MX2).

NZ Qualified well and our riders should have been pleased with that?

Yeah, they did good in qualifying, we were struggling in Practice - all 3 were outside the top 20 and I said; "Boys you will have to pull finger or we won't qualify for the Main and to their credit they did."

13th out of 41 countries. A pleasing result for the new Team Manager
but as Josh said;  "It's about the racing on Sunday, not the Qualifying."

Results are what they are. Give us your thoughts on the 3 races from your Team Manager's perspective?

From warm-up Sunday morning I knew we were in trouble, they struggled to adapt to the toughness of the track. It was hard and they couldn't get there head around it. They had two options. 1) Push on and probably crash or  2) Slow down, they slowed down. I know the result looks shit on paper but in reality no other NZ riders could have done better. It's not because our team didn't have the skill, the result is because they didn't have the experience and until we have riders racing at the world level again the reality is that we are not a top country anymore. 

I saw your comment; "No Kiwis riding European GPs will make it hard for us getting in the top 10." 

The result may be hard for people to understand because of the past results with Ben and myself and the Kings, but we raced there full time and we had the experience and we were in our comfort zone. Bottom line is that, as a nation we don't have a chance to make the top 10 until we have riders on the world stage again. 

Can we as a country, do it better?  We're fortunate to have MNZ funding but ... I mean, do we go up there too late etc.

Yes we do go up too late, but who's going to pay for the riders to go up there and race the last 2 or 3 GP,s?  MNZ already do very well at getting us to the MXoN (with help from others) but we travel further than any other nation, the cost is already very high. Until we have riders that earn their place in America or Europe, I don't see the results changing. Again, I know this is hard for the NZ public to understand but it's a reality of where our level of EXPERIENCE is right now. Our riders have the skill I honestly believe that.  

Aussie Dean Ferris went very well.  Did you get the chance to remind him that in 2011 he took you out and you lost the Australian Championship with a busted shoulder?

No I didn't.  Australia is where NZ was 10 years ago. And NZ is where Australia was 10 years ago. Next year Australia have 3 riders in GPs and 3 in AMA. 

The Americans.  Tomac looked at home in the rough but not Barcia and especially Dungey?

It wasn't only our guys that couldn't adapt to the conditions, Barcia and Dungey couldn't either and neither could Team Japan, Canada nor Puerto Rico. The conditions are very different than in the USA. Both your riding style and bike set-up has to be different otherwise it is a hard day.

The Belgians were very excited and none more than Joel Smets.  Did you catch up with him at the Belgian Beer Tent afterwards?

No I was tired and the boys were disappointed we went for dinner and went to bed. As I was leaving I did congratulate Joel and Ken de Dyker. 

It's a tough job being Team Manager ,as simply getting about is a huge problem.  How did you enjoy it as Team Manager?

I liked it. It was a bit stressful in terms of managing the riders because a lot is different from rules, to the bikes, to passes. You name it really?

Any other comments you want to make?

Thanks to MNZ for the opportunity and to Cody, Rhys and Kayne for being a pleasure to work with and giving it there all.