Third podium on the trot for Coppins

2006-07-16 20:56
FIM MX1 / MX2 World Motocross Championship
Round 10 of 15 - Sunday 16th July 2006
South African Grand Prix, Sun City

CAS Honda rider Josh Coppins has finished on the podium at the last two South African rounds at Sun City and won the event twelve months ago. For the 2006 edition the New Zealander picked up his third trophy and third set of silverware this season since making his comeback to the 2006 Motocross World Championship.

With two second positions from the two motos today the 29 year old finalised the runner-up spot overall behind Stefan Everts and in front of Steve Ramon at the tenth round of fifteen in the FIM series.

The Sun City circuit was again immaculate in its organisation. The resort, some 180km from Johannesburg and 1500meters above sea level, played host to the Grand Prix for the third and final time before the South African round switches to Durban in 2007. The tacky clay-based terrain proved to be much softer through better mixing and watering than previous years and this produced a surface that yielded several lines in places.

A 25,300 crowd enjoyed some winter sunshine and also a set of four 35 minute and 2 lap motos, two for each MX1 and MX2 class. The surface was slippery in places and the MX1 contestants also had to battle the glare of a dipping sun later in the afternoon.

Coppins dashed into the first corner of moto1 with the holeshot on his CRF450R and led nemesis Stefan Everts for one lap before the World Champion (in such a ruthless vein of form) moved through and set about establishing a gap of six to seven seconds over the New Zealander. Coppins in turn worked hard to keep a distance over Steve Ramon in third. The second race witnessed a re-run as Everts was too fast for Coppins but Josh was the best of the rest and withheld a late flurry from Ramon to confirm second place.

Coppins' team-mate Ken De Dycker was as high as fourth in the opening sprint after winning a close dice with Cedric Melotte but the Belgian felt the force of his exertions recovering from a mediocre start in the lower top ten and was overtaken by Tanel Leok in the latter stages. In race two De Dycker was again slack off the line and had to work hard from 20th spot to arrive up to seventh. He was fifth overall.

Javier Garcia Vico took some time to learn the bumps and subtleties of the track on Saturday having missed the two previous South African rounds run this century due to injury. The Spaniard was jostling for a position inside the top ten in the first moto but was robbed of eighth place on the last lap when a backmarker caused him to crash heavily and knock his head. The 31 year old felt groggy, had pain to his right arm and did not line-up for the second race, opting for a visit to hospital for a check-up. The other Martin Honda rider, Brian Jorgensen was an absentee after his back injury had not recovered sufficiently to make the long trip to the southern hemisphere worthwhile.


Wulfsport Honda's Gordon Crockard qualified in a reasonable eighth position - his highest placing in more than three years after some torrid seasons plagued by injury - but could not show the same speed in the races and finished 13th overall. Multitek Honda's Pascal Leuret finally feels healthy after recovering from his foot problem and was the third and last Honda in the top ten with seventh.

The MX2 class was won by Antonio Cairoli for the first time this season with Tyla Rattray and Carl Nunn filling the podium positions.

The MX1 World Championship standings now show that Coppins has moved up to 16th despite only participating in three Grand Prix. De Dycker is fifth and eight points behind Leok. Leuret is seventh and Vico ninth.

Honda riders fill seven positions in the top twenty and the manufacturer has taken four podiums this season as the campaign enters the final third. The eleventh round of fifteen will take place in a fortnight at the hilly Loket circuit for the Grand Prix of Czech Republic.

Josh Coppins, CAS Honda:
"This is my third podium but it is not easy out there. I am just trying to improve my condition. My first races have been OK but I have been feeling tired at the start line for the second motos. I am pleased with my starts today and I was riding better on the opening laps but I have to try and relax a bit more. To finish on the podium in my first three GPs is not a bad achievement and I am quite proud of that. This race for me was like the third round of the season while all the other riders are doing their tenth. I am a little nervous going to the line because everybody should be at their best, fittest and happy with their bikes but I am playing catch-up. I am riding stiff at the moment but I was encouraged in that first moto because I saw that Stefan and I were the only ones going into the 1min 55 second lap-times so I knew I was not doing too badly."

Ken De Dycker, CAS Honda:
"In the first heat my start was not bad but I made mistakes on the first few corners and I had to come back from 11th to fifth. Halfway through I got a bit tired going at that pace and Leok caught me and I had to step it up again. The result was OK. In the second heat I messed up the start completely and was almost last. It was a hard race and the sun was low which made it hard to see. I am happier with this GP compared to Sweden and things are getting better."

Results Motocross

MX1 Race 1 (20 laps = 31.6 Km)
Pos / Rider / Nat. / Bike / Time
1 / EVERTS Stefan / BEL / YAMAHA / 39:49.835
2 / COPPINS Joshua / NZL / HONDA / 39:55.390
3 / RAMON Steve / BEL / SUZUKI / 40:01.544
4 / LEOK Tanel / EST / KAWASAKI / 40:09.380
5 / DE DYCKER Ken / BEL / HONDA / 40:11.548
6 / MELOTTE Cedric / BEL / YAMAHA / 40:43.141
7 / LEURET Pascal / FRA / HONDA / 40:52.171
8 / PRIEM Manuel / BEL / YAMAHA / 40:54.758
9 / STRIJBOS Kevin / BEL / SUZUKI / 41:01.621
10 / BILL Julien / SUI / YAMAHA / 41:17.389
11 / PYRHONEN Antti / FIN / TM / 41:24.097
12 / AVIS Wyatt / RSA / KTM / 41:39.044
13 / BARRAGAN Jonathan / SPA / KTM / 42:33.395
14 / GARCIA VICO Javier / SPA / HONDA / 38:51.977
15 / CROCKARD Gordon / GBR / HONDA / 39:56.320

Fastest Lap: EVERTS Stefan in 1:55.210 on lap 6


MX1 Race 2 (20 laps = 31.6 Km)
Pos / Rider / Nat. / Bike / Time
1 / EVERTS Stefan / BEL / YAMAHA / 40:19.139
2 / COPPINS Joshua / NZL / HONDA / 40:23.730
3 / RAMON Steve / BEL / SUZUKI / 40:28.354
4 / LEOK Tanel / EST / KAWASAKI / 40:56.690
5 / STRIJBOS Kevin / BEL / SUZUKI / 40:59.869
6 / BARRAGAN Jonathan / SPA / KTM / 41:44.862
7 / DE DYCKER Ken / BEL / HONDA / 41:52.066
8 / LEURET Pascal / FRA / HONDA / 41:56.439
9 / PYRHONEN Antti / FIN / TM / 41:58.712
10 / BILL Julien / SUI / YAMAHA / 41:59.676
11 / CROCKARD Gordon / GBR / HONDA / 42:00.148
12 / PRIEM Manuel / BEL / YAMAHA / 42:24.011
13 / AVIS Wyatt / RSA / KTM / 40:21.794
14 / DUGMORE Collin / RSA / KAWASAKI / 40:31.080
15 / NOBLE James / GBR / HONDA / 41:18.423
Fastest Lap: EVERTS Stefan in 1:57.680 on lap 10

MX1 World Motocross Championship Standings
Pos Rider Total
1 Everts, Stefan 492, 2 Strijbos, K. 356, 3 Ramon, Steve 334, 4 Leok, Tanel 330,
5 de Dycker, Ken 322, 6 Barragan, J. 235, 7 Leuret, Pascal 186, 8 Melotte, C. 172,
9 Garcia Vico, F. 172, 10 Priem, Manuel 168, 11 Bill, J. 167, 12 Noble, James 138,
13 Jorgensen, B. 131, 14 Pyrhonen, A. 128.



MX2 Race 1 (20 laps = 31.6 Km)
Pos / Rider / Nat. / Bike / Time
1 / PHILIPPAERTS David / ITA / KTM / 39:58.600
2 / RATTRAY Tyla / RSA / KTM / 39:59.852
3 / CAIROLI Antonio / ITA / YAMAHA / 40:25.932
4 / SWANEPOEL Gareth / RSA / KAWASAKI / 40:31.269
5 / NUNN Carl / / GBR / KTM / 40:33.081
6 / SEARLE Tommy / GBR / KAWASAKI / 40:37.129
7 / GUARNERI Davide / ITA / YAMAHA / 40:41.051
8 / POURCEL Sébastien / FRA / KAWASAKI / 40:44.590
9 / CHIODI Alessio / ITA / YAMAHA / 40:44.976
10 / POURCEL Christophe / FRA / KAWASAKI / 40:45.603
11 / MONNI Manuel / ITA / KTM / 40:57.801
12 / GONCALVES Rui / POR / KTM / 41:10.159
13 / CHURCH Tom / GBR / KAWASAKI / 41:38.282
14 / DOUGAN Jason / GBR / HONDA / 41:59.711
15 / KOK Michael / RSA / KTM / 42:02.676
Fastest Lap: RATTRAY Tyla in 1:56.519 on lap 19

MX2 Race 2 (20 laps = 31.6 Km)
Pos / Rider / Nat. / Bike / Time
1 / CAIROLI Antonio / ITA / YAMAHA / 40:44.327
2 / RATTRAY Tyla / RSA / KTM / 40:49.137
3 / NUNN Carl / / GBR / KTM / 40:50.577
4 / POURCEL Christophe / FRA / KAWASAKI / 41:05.919
5 / MONNI Manuel / ITA / KTM / 41:07.800
6 / GONCALVES Rui / POR / KTM / 41:10.658
7 / POURCEL Sébastien / FRA / KAWASAKI / 41:13.917
8 / SEARLE Tommy / GBR / KAWASAKI / 41:14.473
9 / GUARNERI Davide / ITA / YAMAHA / 41:22.621
10 / SWANEPOEL Gareth / RSA / KAWASAKI / 41:37.012
11 / MACKENZIE Billy / GBR / YAMAHA / 41:46.630
12 / CHIODI Alessio / ITA / YAMAHA / 42:13.915
13 / CHURCH Tom / GBR / KAWASAKI / 42:31.569
14 / DOUGAN Jason / GBR / HONDA / 41:21.545
15 / NAUDE Sacha / RSA / YAMAHA / 41:25.252

Fastest Lap: CAIROLI Antonio in 1:58.286 on lap 10

MX2 World Motocross Championship Standings
Pos Rider Total
1 Pourcel, C. 379, 2 Cairoli, A. 347, 3 Philippaerts, D. 329, 4 Rattray, Tyla 305,
5 de Reuver, M. 284, 6 Nunn, Carl 241, 7 Mackenzie, B. 228, 8 Searle, Tommy 224,
9 Swanepoel, G. 210, 10 Pourcel, S. 207, 11 Gundersen, K. 194, 12 Goncalves, Rui 193,
13 Chiodi, A. 185, 14 Guarneri, D. 153, 15 Monni, Manuel 125.


Source: Honda Motor Company

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