The news we’ve all known for some time now is officially out … Josh Coppins will race for the Aprilia factory in next year’s MX1 world championships.
Here he gives us this run-down on what’s been happening in his life in recent months and how the decision came about to stick at it in Europe for another season
Take it away Kiwi world No.6 Josh Coppins …
“The 2009 season was a bit up and down. I started well but I lost way too many points from GP three to GP nine.
“I knew this but I had a few problems and I was doing my best. It’s hard to see a top three result slipping away like that but I am happy to have finished the season strong. By now most people know I’m not at Yamaha in 2010.
“I want to say I have had a great time there for the past 3 years and they always looked after me. I am going to miss them and I hope they are going to miss me!
“Due to many factors, I knew and so did they that we wouldn’t continue the relationship for 2010. Yamaha have re-structured due to some budget cuts and have gone with a MX1 and a MX2 rider for 2010. David Philippaerts will stay and they have taken on Gautier Paulin, who is a great kid with a big future.
“My mechanic, Fabio, will stay at Rinaldi. We both wanted to continue to work together as the past eight years have been great but it wasn’t possible for many reasons. I am happy and so is he so it’s good to part like this but never the less it was a sad day when we did our last race.
“Fabio and I have won around 12 GP’s and had over 30 podiums on the world champs together. Over the eight years we have grown to respect each other and our friendship will continue forever.
“Many people speculated that I was going to Aprilia for 2010 and it was true but it took a long time to sort out.
“At first I was thinking to head home and race in Australia. Why? because I liked the idea of heading home and trying something new … but then Aprilia came along with an interesting proposal and after a lot of meetings and talks we finally made it all official last week.
“My decision has certainly raised eyebrows and I will admit I wasn’t sure at first — that was until I tested the bike and visited the factory in Noale, Italy.
“After testing the bike and seeing the Aprilia racing structure first-hand, I was convinced that not only is the bike good but there also so much potential in the project and still a lot to come. My goal is to be the first rider to win a GP on a V- twin.
“I’ve had one test and have another scheduled next week. There is not a lot of work to do. The bike handles well and honestly it is the fastest dirt bike I’ve ever ridden.
“For the past four weeks I’ve been on holiday and have just relaxed and put on a lot of weight! My training will begin again soon, which to I’m looking forward to.
“On my break I’ve been to Dubai which was a cool experience … We went scuba diving, shopping, surfing at a water park, and to the world’s biggest indoor snow park. The F1 was on and I had planned to go but it sold out. I tried to buy some tickets from the black market but they were £600 each, so I settled to watch it on TV.
“Since being back I’ve done a shop open day in the UK and also a few prize-givings for clubs. I also visited the dirt bike show in the UK and last week I went to Eicma motorcycle show in Milan, I spent the day at Aprilia (check me out on biaggis superbike, below) and I visited my other sponsors: THOR, AIROH and SCOTT. I was only there for the day so it was busy.
“Last weekend was (my daughter) Myla’s christening. It was a great day and I was a very proud dad. She took it all in her stride and there were no tears — she handled it all well.
“A mate of mine is playing rugby for England this weekend against the All Blacks and has got us tickets to go to the game. It’s at Twickenham and I can’t wait. I’ve told him I’d be happy if he gets a few tries but as long as the All Blacks win it will be all ok!
“On a sad note I was sorry to hear of Timotei Potisek’s death. I was only racing with him a few weeks earlier in France and he was his normal happy smiling self. RIP Timotei and my thoughts are with his family.
“Last week I visited Ty Kellet. He is the rider who had a bad accident at the Weston beach race. He is still in hospital but doing really well. I will visit him again tonight and must say I was nervous to visit him the first time as I wasn’t sure if he would want to see a racer after such a bad accident. His family and him were really happy to see me and we all talked about racing all night.
“I took him a DVD but he already had it! It’s great to see him happy and to know that full recovery is ahead.
“I’ve got a few more days of rest on the calendar before I push the reset button and start the hard work for 2010.”