New Zealand‘s Josh Coppins has slipped back one more position as action heated up again in the Motocross World Championships in Belgium at the weekend.
The factory Yamaha rider finished 4-7 in his two MX1 outings, giving him a solid sixth overall for the day, but his main championship rivals had a better day in the deep sand of the circuit at Lommel, forcing the Kiwi down to sixth in the championship standings.
Saturday’s qualifying race was very good for ‘Lizzard’ as he powered his Yamaha YZ450FM through from 7th on lap one up to 3rd position by the end of the 20 minute and 2 lap race.
In the opening 35-minute and 2-lap moto on Sunday, Coppins was just inside the top 10 exiting the first corner, however the Kiwi was on a charge and wasted no time in getting past the competition lap after lap. Riding a superb race from beginning to end, Coppins pulled all the way through to finish the long race in fourth position.
Moto two was unfortunately not as good a result for Coppins. After getting a good jump out the gate, the Yamaha rider was taken down in a 3rd corner collision involving a number of riders.
Quickly re-mounting and setting charge on the pack, Coppins had his work cut out if he wanted to salvage a good number of points. The experienced GP racer pushed his Yamaha to the limit as he sliced his way back through the elite pack. In superb style, Coppins climbed back up the lap charts to cross the finish line in 7th position, awarding him a 6th overall for the day.
“Saturday’s qualifying went quite well for me so I expected a decent result today. We were a little off the mark with the bike set-up in the first race due to the rain and change of conditions which means I spent a lot of energy fighting the bike as it was. Clement Desalle crashed in front of me on the start and then I got hit from behind so started the race in last and worked my up to 7th.
“This is definitely not the track where you want to come from behind so it physically tough. Considering the two tough races I had I’m pretty happy with the overall result,” said Coppins.
Meanwhile, Belgian Ken De Dycker (Suzuki) won the day to move himself up to fourth in the championship while Frenchman Marvin Musquin (KTM) won the MX2 class to build on his championship lead.
Sweden’s Mats Nilsson wrapped up the Veteran’s World Cup on Saturday but carried on, winning the second moto on Sunday for a dominant overall win ahead of Ton Van Grinsven and Jonas Engdahl.
Max Nagl and Tony Cairoli completed the MX1 podium while Belgians Joel Roelants and Dennis Verbruggen were second and third overall in MX2.
Championship leader Cairoli turned a bad weekend into a good one, as he secured the podium despite a disastrous qualifying on Saturday and lost just two points from runner-up Nagl. Cairoli took two bad starts in the heats but recovered to fifth and second in each moto.
Ramon was fourth overall at his comeback race after he injured his neck at Valkenswaard. The overall result, including a third place finish from heat one, showed the Belgian is ready for a strong finale to the 2009 season.
Being the third home rider in the top five, Belgian Desalle was fifth overall as a second moto crash at the first corner damaged his pipe – after a noise control Desalle was given a one minute penalty and dropped down to ninth.
Belgium’s Kevin Strijbos, coming back this weekend despite another crash last week hampered his right shoulder, was ninth in heat one but had to pull out of heat two because of a technical issue.
Results, Grand Prix of Belgium:
MX1 Moto one: 1. Ken De Dycker (Suz); 2. Clement Desalle (Hon); 3. Steve Ramon (Suz); 4. Josh Coppins (Yam); 5. Antonio Cairoli (Yam); 6. Max Nagl (KTM); 7. David Philippaerts (Yam); 8. Tanel Leok (Yam); 9. Kevin Strijbos (Hon); 10. Manuel Priem (Aprilia)
MX1 Moto two: 1. Max Nagl (KTM), 2. Antonio Cairoli (Yam); 3. De Dycker (Suz); 4. Steve Ramon (Suz); 5. Manuel Priem (April); 6.Tanel Leok (Yam); 7. Josh Coppins (Yam); 8. Gareth Swanepoel (Kaw); 9. Clement Desalle (Hon); 10. David Philippaerts (Yam)
MX1 O/A: 1. Ken De Dycker 45pts, 2. Max Nagl 40pts, 3. Antonio Cairoli 38pts, 4. Steve Ramon 38pts, 5. Clement Desalle 34pts, 6. Josh Coppins 32pts, 7. Tanel Leok 28pts, 8. Manuel Priem 27pts, 9. David Philippaerts 25pts, 10. Shannon Terrenblanche 14pts
MX1 Championship points:
1. Antonio Cairoli 466pts,
2. Max Nagl 415pts,
3. David Philippaerts 388pts,
4. Ken De Dycker 383pts,
5. Clement Desalle 379pts,
6. Josh Coppins 375pts,
7. Tanel Leok 327pts,
8. Jonathan Barragan 215pts,
9. Gareth Swanepoel 188pts,
10. Aigar Leok 167pts
MX2 Moto one: 1. Marvin Musquin (KTM); 2. Rui Goncalves (KTM); 3. Joel Roelants (KTM); 4. Jeremy Van Horebeek (KTM); 5. Dennis Verbruggen (Hon); 6. Ken Roczen (Suz); 7. Davide Guarneri (Yam); 8. Rasmus Jorgensen (Suz); 9. Manuel Monni (Yam); 10. Loic Larrieu (Yam)
MX2 Moto two: 1. Marvin Musquin (KTM); 2. Joel Roelants (KTM); 3. Dennis Verbruggen (Hon); 4. Nicolas Aubin (Yam); 5. Marcus Schiffer (KTM); 6. Ken Roczen (Suz); 7. Rasmus Jorgensen (Suz); 8. Rui Goncalves (KTM); 9. Davide Guarneri (Yam); 10. Manuel Monni (Yam)
MX2 O/A: 1. Marvin Musquin 50pts, 2. Joel Roelants 42pts, 3. Dennis Verbruggen 36pts, 4. Rui Goncalves 35pts, 5. Ken Roczen 30pts, 6. Rasmus Jorgensen 27pts, 7. Nicolas Aubin 26pts, 8. Davide Guarneri 26pts, 9. Manuel Monni 23pts, 10. Jeremy Van Horebeek 23pts
MX2 Championship points:
1. Marvin Musquin 421pts,
2. Rui Goncalves 383pts,
3. Gautier Paulin 372pts,
4. Davide Guarneri 357pts,
5. Steven Frossard 284pts,
6. Ken Roczen 269pts,
7. Nicolas Aubin 229pts,
8. Joel Roelants 222pts,
9. Manuel Monni 222pts,
10. Xavier Boog 197pts
Photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com