Yamaha Monster Energy racer, Josh Coppins, rounded off the Italian championship with yet another consistent ride this past weekend at the technical circuit of Gazazane. Sunday morning dawned with sunshine on the well prepared hillside circuit nestled in the Italian mountains, as Josh prepared for his final race before the Grand Prix season gets underway for 2009.
The first heat took off and Josh got a great start amongst an almost complete GP rider line-up. Up in the top 5 Coppins put the hammer down and wasted no time in getting his YZ450FM into second position and pushing for the lead. Fighting with the continuous small choppy pumps ‘Lizzard’ got arm pump and battled to hold onto the powerful Yamaha as the laps ticked bye. Unable to hold his usual super fast pace, Josh slipped back into 4th position as the leading riders crossed the finish line for the end of the first moto.
As MX1 Heat 2 launched out the starting gate Coppins did not get the jump he was hoping for. Down in 10th position in this elite field was not what he wanted as Josh rounded up the opening lap. Throughout the race, one by one, Josh picked off the competition gaining positions gradually as the clock counted down. At the end of yet another hard race Coppins crossed the finish line in 5th position.
With the days result, the consistent Kiwi came away from the Italian Championship with a 4th overall, which is incredible considering he did not take part in all rounds.
With the final preparation race over, we caught up with Josh ahead of the first Grand Prix. “This season has started well for me, I am strong, the bike is strong and we have shown great consistency in all these season opening races. This week I am going to do further suspension testing Belgium to try iron out some little niggles I am having, but otherwise I am ready for the first GP in Faenza.”