The international motocross season is now firmly underway as we gain momentum towards the first Grand Prix of the season. This weekend the cream of the European Motocross crop headed to yet another cold international, this time in Valence, France. Yamaha Monster Energy racer, Josh Coppins, who has won the last 2 years in a row at the French International, arrived confident after the previous weeks strong form in Italy where he ran away with the second heat.
Sunday morning dawned with ominous dark clouds as the thousands of fans poured onto the hills of the Valence circuit waiting to cheer on the mass of Grand Prix Stars.
As the start gate hit the floor for Heat 1, Coppins launched his YZ450FM towards the first corner alongside team mate Philippaerts. Coppins and Philippaerts put on a great performance as the two Yamaha stars led the entire race. At the chequered flag Josh crossed the line in 2nd position a few seconds adrift of his Italian team-mate.
Heat 2 was to be another strong ride for the Kiwi as once again he was up in the leading group after a good start. This time around, Belgian, Ken De Dyker managed to get himself between the two Yamaha riders with some aggressive passes, which placed Josh in a respectable third position at the end of the race. Only a few seconds separated the top 5 riders for some exciting racing.
For the last race of the day the fans would be treated to the super final, consisting of the day’s best finishing MX1 and MX2 riders. With track conditions now slippery and with a constant drizzle Coppins did not take any risks and safely finished in 5th for 3 strong and consistent placings.
At the end of a hard day’s racing Josh had some time to update us: “I came here today confident in myself - my riding is going well and the bike is working well. I want to keep building on my form and improve the finer details. We still have some time before the the first GP in Italy so I am confident that I am on track.”
Coppins’s next appearance will be round 2 of the Italian championship in Ponte Egola in a fortnight.
Overall results MX1 :
2.De Dycker 4/2/1
5.De Reuver 9/4/3