by Geoff Meyer /


A year older, but it is hard to see Josh Coppins slowing down. After his terrible (for him) 2008 season the New Zealander is fresh for 2009 and ready to crack some heads. He proved at last weekends opening round of the Italian MX1 championship that he means business after leading the opening moto before dropping out, and winning the second moto of the day. In beating the likes of World Motocross Champion and team-mate David Philippaerts, former World Champion Antonio Cairoli, and Tanel Leok, he showed that his preparation is going right to plan, and his goal of arriving at the opening Grand Prix of the season in Faenza, Italy on March 29 in good condition is looking possible.


Coppins was a bit of a question mark before the opening two races of the 2009 season in Mantova and Montevachi, but on both occasions he showed the speed and condition we were used to seeing in him from 1999 until 2007. While he showed glimpses of his old self in 2008, he lacked consistency and often looked like an old man ready for the GP scrap-heap. Well, once again the Rinaldi Yamaha rider is proving people wrong and coming back from disappointment and injury.

 2009 FIM World Motocross Preview: Josh Coppins Interview - Photo 1 of 1

We sat down with Josh last week and asked him some questions about his preparation and feeling after racing in Mantova, Italy.

Q: Josh, while you didn’t look great in Mantova, your times were good, and you did okay. How did it feel for you?


I felt quite good on the Saturday in Mantova. I don’t like the track, so that was strange for me to be honest. I was nothing special, but also not too bad. I was happy to have a little bit of riding under my belt and to do okay. The biggest thing for me & what made me happy at Mantova was the bike out of the start. We struggled a bit out of the start last year, but in Mantova it felt good, … got good starts. We need to keep working of course, but it showed we did some good work with the bike. I just need to improve my riding a little now.

Q: When do you start taking the racing more seriously?


I think for everyone is it different, … every rider has a different time that they get serious. For me it is after the Internationals. Prior to the Internationals you build up your fitness and try and improve your speed, and when you do the Internationals you know roughly where you are at, and you slowly start to improve on other things. I think for me it is after the Internationals, and I also like to have something to work on for the Grands Prix.

Q: What was your impression of the other riders in Mantova. Antonio Cairoli struggled a little?


I think everyone in Mantova was in trouble, the track was one line, and I don’t think we looked at anyone and thought, “Wow, he was bad” … nothing like that. It was pretty much what everyone expected. Of course we expected (Max) Nagl to be really good, he has been good here always, and he has a lot of riding under his belt. Kevin (Strijbos) was a little bit of a surprise, but on the other hand he has been riding a long time and he has so much motivation, … but I didn’t expect his speed to be there straight away after like we saw last year.

I can’t judge them, I can only judge myself.


Q: Are you happy with where you are at the moment?


Coppins: I was happy because mostly I don’t enjoy the riding in Mantova, but I was happy this time. I have improved in some areas and I was in the fast group. All I wanted on Sunday was three consistent results and I would leave Mantova and go to some tracks I prefer and lift my game slowly.

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