Monday Conversation: Josh CoppinsMonday, May 7, 2007 | 11:21 AM
With three GP wins from four rounds, New Zealander Josh Coppins is using his experience to work towards his lifetime goal. After just one month of World MX1 championship battle, the Rinaldi Yamaha rider is slowly moving away from his rivals in the championship points. We decided to ask Josh about his Grand Prix of Italy victory (in Mantova) and also about his injuries, and Kevin Strijbos. Here is what he had to say:
Racer X: Josh, how are your injuries from Portugal?
Josh Coppins: My toe is still a little sore, bit swollen, not too bad, just normal motocross injuries. I was more angry about Portugal—I took the pain medication for my foot and it had a funny effect on me.
He got some confidence, but he didn’t take any points from me in Portugal. Kevin is a great rider, but in saying that I look at the points now and keep my head down. I think I doubled my points in Mantova, like 36 or 37 points, so I am happy about that.
Three GP wins after four rounds, you have to be liking this…
I would never had expected that I would have three GP wins after four rounds. My pre-season wasn’t that special, so I wasn’t super confident coming into the season. I hope to pick up the red plate now and do it with good results. Last week the Belgian press are asking me who is going to get between Kevin and I, but look at today (Strijbos struggled in Mantova). Like I said from the start, I am not going to win every week, I am not going to win every moto, I do hope to be on the podium in every round.
What about Mantova? It was a hard day at the office. Many riders showed good speed, but you still came away with 1-1 results.
I came out swinging this weekend, and I said I would. I was a little nervous, but more because of the way it was going, it was chaos, and I didn’t want to get involved in anything dangerous. Brownie was holding me up a little bit again, then Ken (de Dycker) passed me and brake checked me a little and was messing around with me, then de Reuver crashed and when he was picking his bike up he hit me, I lost some time there and it was really kicking off. Once I got into the lead and dropped the lap times I felt I was getting it going. My rhythm was better.
Mike Brown once again lead you, he actually seemed to be riding really well in those first few laps. What did you think?
In the second moto I got a good start, Brownie was riding really aggressive and riding really hard, he got away from me there for a little while and I just waited for him to wear himself down. On the third lap I passed him and then Ken came back and was strong, he had some good lines, I had some lines I was struggling with, so I let Ken pass me and watched him for a while. I took some breaths and came back at him.
Germany, it’s not a track a lot of riders like because of the high speed and hard surface. What do you think of Teutschenthal?
Teutschenthal has been fast and a little easy, but they brought some sand in, have done some good work to the track, so I am hoping they have made it a little rougher and more technical. I don’t dislike Germany as much as Mantova.
What is your schedule for the season. Will we see you racing at Belgian or British championships?
I am just taking one race at the time and the moment. I won’t do any Belgian championship or British championships or anything like that. It’s a long season; we go for six months and I don’t want to be in a bad condition from racing too much. My condition is probably 80 percent. I need a little more fitness, I am feeling a little tired at the end of the motos. In Spain I felt okay, but in places like Mantova I struggle a little. I want to be 100 percent in about two months. I am using a lot of energy because I am not riding that well. It will come good if I just keep doing what I am doing, keep working on the bike.
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Jean-Michel Bayle, the iconic superstar of yesteryear, raced motocross for the first time in twenty-one years at the Vets MXdN in England. Page 126.