Fresh off his first podium achieved at round one of the Italian championships last week, New Zealand’s Josh Coppins looked set to test his speed against a star studded field at the Valence MX international held in France over the weekend.
Meanwhile, defending world MX1 champion Antonio Cairoli (KTM), won the day, making it his second international win of the pre-season.
The Italian rider went 5-1-1 for 66 points and finished well ahead of second placed Monster Energy Yamaha rider David Philippaerts who went 4-4-3, third overall was Suzuki factory rider Steve Ramon with 12-2-2.
Rounding out the top five was Anthony Boissiere and Sebastien Pourcel. American Mike Alessi struggled against the leading GP riders and finished in 14th overall, while Jimmy Albertson was 12th overall.
Coppins finished the weekend 13th overall.
Motueka’s Coppins, on the factory Aprilia, posted 12th fastest time in the morning qualification session and looked confident going into moto one.
He grabbed a reasonable start, but then got stuck behind Alessi and could not find an opening to get past the American. Eventually he made his move but then made a mistake as he was working his way through the field and had to settle for 9th spot.
Requesting some suspension changes for the second moto, Coppins was happy with the settings chosen, but had an issue with the clutch at the start of the moto. He worked his way up to 11th but then hit a false neutral and went down. Re-starting at the back of the pack he fought through to 11th.
A technical problem with the clutch in the Super Final saw a disappointed Coppins pushed to the sideline.
“We have been testing some new settings and parts and obviously there are still some issues which we need to have ironed out.
“I am really happy with the performance of my bike and am confident I have what I need to run up top.
“Starts will be very important this year with so many fast guys, so this is an area we are working on at the moment. I am looking forward to doing some more testing this week in Italy and then I head to round two of the Italian championships next weekend,” commented Coppins.
MX1 Moto one: 1. Greg Aranda, 2. Jonathan Barragan, 3. Clement Desalle, 4. David Philippaerts, 5. Antonio Cairoli, 6. Max Nagl, 7. Anthony Boissiere, 8. Davide Guarneri, 9. Josh Coppins, 10. Tanel Leok, 11. Marc De Reuver, 12. Steve Ramon, 13. Jimmy Albertson, 14. Xavier Boog, 15. Mike Alessi, 16. Sebastien Pourcel, 17. Christophe Martin, 18. Loic Rombaud, 19. Manuel Priem, 20, Mathias Bellino…21. Kevin Strijbos, 26. Ken De Dycker
MX1 Moto two: 1. Antonio Cairoli, 2. Steve Ramon, 3. Sebastien Pourcel, 4. David Philippaerts, 5. Clement Desalle, 6. Jonathan Barragan, 7. Mike Alessi, 8. Anthony Boissiere, 9. Xavier Boog, 10. Jimmy Albertson, 11. Josh Coppins, 12. Manuel Priem, 13. Max Nagl, 14. Christian Martin, 15. Loic Rombard
MX1 and MX2 combined: 1. Antonio Cairoli, 2. Steve Ramon, 3. David Philippaerts, 4. Tanel Leok, 5. Sebstien Pourcel, 6. Anthony Boissiere, 7. Steven Frossard, 8. Gautier Paulin , 9. Max Nagl, 10. Ken Roczen, 11. Xavier Boog, 12. Gregory Aranda, 13. Marvin Musquin, 14. Jimmy Albertson, 15. Marc De Reuver
MX1 overall: 1. Antonio Cairoli, 2. David Philippaerts, 3. Steve Ramon, 4. Anthony Boissiere, 5. Sebastien Pourcel, 6. Jonathan Barragan, 7. Clement Desalle, 8. Max Nagl, 9. Gregory Aranda, 10. Tanel Leok, 11. Xavier Boog, 12. Jimmy Albertson, 13. Josh Coppins, 14. Mike Alessi, 15. Marc De Reuver.
Photo by CDS