You just don’t find many diamonds in the rough in pro motocross these days, and real surprises are few and far between. The Doug Henry or John Dowd type of rider who comes out of nowhere—with a public-school education—doesn’t seem to exist anymore.
Or maybe he does.
There’ not much background information about Cold Spring Harbor, New York’s Justin Cooper. He was never a top minicycle prospect, and his Loretta Lynn’s results only go back a handful of years (and were by no means sensational). His Hookit profile is ranked #5,183 in popularity, its humble introduction reading, “I love motocross and work hard every day to become what I want to be.”
Cooper didn’t grow up in the SoCal motocross scene, nor did he trade his childhood for year-round residence at a training facility; his hometown of 5,070 on Long Island is about as far from the mainstream motocross community as you can get.