New Zealand‘s Josh Coppins finished third overall at the fifth round of six in the Belgian Motocross Championships at the weekend.
This means the man from Motueka remains third in the series standings, 47 points behind his great rival, Belgian Suzuki rider Ken De Dycker, who finished fourth overall at the Orp-Le-Grand track, which is located in the French speaking southern region of Belgium.
Belgian Honda rider Clement Desalle (pictured above) won the day and continues to lead the championship standings.
Having had a superb ride in last week’s Lierop Grand Prix, where he stood on the podium, Coppins (Monster Energy Yamaha) was confident of another top result at the weekend.
As the gate dropped for the opening moto, Coppins powered his Yamaha through the first turn within the leading few. Closing up the opening lap of the short race ‘Lizzard’ was in second place, right behind Belgian’s Steve Ramon.
The two GP stars soon dropped the trailing pack as they raced each other lap after lap. With five minutes remaining Coppins put in a move for the lead but slipped out allowing Ramon to edge a small gap. ‘Lizzard’ continued to push hard as he closed back in on Ramon, however with time run out Coppins crossed the line to take second place in the opening international race of the day.
In the second moto Coppins was once again quick out the blocks, rounding the opening lap in fourth position. Pushing hard to try and make a move on South African Gareth Swanepoel for third, Coppins slipped out again, hitting the ground.
Quickly re-mounting, the Kiwi got back into his rhythm and hunted down the riders in front. With only a handful of laps to make amends, Coppins crossed the line just ahead of De Dycker to take fifth spot.
In the final race of the day, Coppins once again closed up the opening lap inside the top five. Racing hard from start to finish ‘Lizzard’ rode a solid race to cross the line in 4th position, awarding him with 3rd overall and a place on the podium.
Coppins heads off to Brazil today in order to take part in the final GP of the season next Sunday.
Heat 1: 1 Steve Ramon (BEL-Suzuki), 2 Josh Coppins (NZ-Yamaha), 3 Clément Desalle (BEL-Honda), 4 Tanel Leok (EST-Yamaha), 5 Manuel Priem (B-Aprilia), 6 Ken De Dycker (B-Suzuki), 7 Marvin Van Daele (BEL-Honda), 8 Patrick Caps (BEL-Suzuki), 9 Shaun Simpson (GBR-KTM), 10 Bengt
Heat 2: 1 Clément Desalle (B- Honda), 2 Steve Ramon (BEL-Suzuki), 3 Tanel Leok (EST-Yamaha), 4 Gareth Swanepoel (RSA-Kawasaki), 5 Josh Coppins (NZ-Yamaha), 6 Ken De Dycker (B-Suzuki), 7 Manuel Priem (B-Aprilia), 8 Marvin Van Daele (BEL-Honda), 9 Marc De Reuver (NED-Honda), 10
Patrick Caps (BEL-Suzuki), 18. Dennis Verbruggen (BEL-Honda).
Heat 3: 1 Ken De Dycker (B-Suzuki), 2 Clément Desalle (BEL- Honda), 3 Max Nagl (DUI-KTM), 4 Josh Coppins (NZ-Yamaha), 5 Manuel Priem (BAprilia), 6 Gareth Swanepoel (RSA-Kawasaki), 7 Marvin Van Daele (BEL-Honda), 8 Tanel Leok (EST-Yamaha), 9 Marc De Reuver (NED-Honda), 10 Bengt Laeremans (BEL-Suzuki), 11 Shaun Simpson (GBR-KTM).
Overall on the day:
1 Desalle 67, 2 Ramon 67, 3 Coppins 56, 4 De Dycker 55, 5 Leok 51, 6 Priem 46, 7 Van Daele 41, 8 Swanepoel 40, 9 De Reuver 33, 10 Caps 33, 11 Simpson 32.
Belgian championship standings after Orp-le-Grand (round 5 of 6):
1 Desalle 337,
2 Dycker 319,
3 Coppins 272,
4 Van Daele 186,
5 Ramon 152,
6 Caps 144,
7 Leok 117,
8 Priem 116,
9 Roelants 107,
10 De Reuver 102,
11 Verbruggen 98.
Photos by CDS