The CDR Yamaha pilot has been relentless in his pursuit of the Australian Motocross Championship in 2012, but has been coming under increasing pressure from rising local Aussie standout Todd Waters, of the Motul Pirelli Suzuki team.
Coppins and Waters went head-to-head in a thrilling final moto a fortnight ago at round seven, a battle in which Coppins took an all-important victory to keep his series lead at eight points.
It was Waters who won the overall for his second round win of the season though, keeping pressure firmly applied on Coppins as the final rounds wind down.
Appin holds nice memories for Coppins, who claimed his first MX Nationals victory of Australian soil last season in his debut season. He will carry that confidence into Sunday.
“I just need to keep doing what I’m doing,” Coppins said. “I need to try and be a little bit more consistent and iron out some of the problems I’ve had, but it’s definitely not panic stations and I’m riding well at the moment.
“Two of these [final three] rounds I won last year, and I went 1-2 at Coolum before the injuries. I’ve ridden all three tracks, so that’s going to be good for me. It will be interesting to see how the young guys handle the championship pressure, so we’ll see how it goes.”
Waters, 21, is enjoying his time at Suzuki and, despite his recent form surge, he’s simply focusing on each race as it comes. His newfound rivalry with Coppins is an aspect he is relishing at this point.
“We’re well within striking distance now,” Waters said. “In a perfect world we’re aiming to keep Josh behind us [in the races], but you know what it’s like with racing – anything can happen. I’m going out there to race my own race, I can’t control what Josh does out there, but I’m really enjoying racing him at the moment. I’m expecting this championship to be a fight to the end.”
Two more riders who remain in title contention are Brad Anderson (Carlton Dry Honda Thor Racing) and Lawson Bopping (CDR Yamaha). Both have won rounds this year and are right there to pick up the spoils should Coppins or Waters clash in the final rounds.
Wollongong’s Jay Marmont may not have had the title defence he was hoping for since joining Monster Energy Kawasaki in 2012, but the reigning four-time champion would like nothing better than to nab a win in his home round of the series.
Appin is a hotbed of national motocross talent throughout the year, with the venue being the home round for the likes of Marmont, Bopping, Daniel McCoy, Jake Moss and more.
Nowra’s Luke Styke enters his home round with a commanding lead in the Motul MX2 category for Serco Yamaha Metal Mulisha Racing. Despite finishing a frustrating fifth overall at round seven, he enters Appin in a positive frame of mind.
“Considering how I rode [at Horsham], the points damage was okay and we can start fresh at the Appin round, which is almost like a home track for me,” Styke explained.
Styke’s advantage sits at 36 points ahead of Ford Dale (Carlton Dry Honda Thor Racing), while in-form JDR/KTM Factory Racing rider Josh Cachia has elevated himself up to third.
The Pirelli MXD class has been controlled by another Kiwi in Kayne Lamont of late, picking up four-straight overall wins to stretch out a handy 29-point lead in the series aboard a KTM 250 SX. Behind Lamont is former series leader Dylan Long (Choice Motorsports KTM), while another KTM contender in Dylan Leary is third.
Visit www.mxnationals.com.au for further information on the Monster Energy MX Nationals series. Search MX Nationals on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for daily updates from behind the scenes.
2012 Monster Energy MX Nationals, Australian Motocross Championship
Appin Rd8 Event Information:
Children (aged 5-15 years) $15
Family (two adults and two children aged 5-15 years) $70
Gates Open 7.00am
Practice Starts 8.30am
Rd1 – 1 April – Conondale, QLD
Rd2 – 14-15 April – Coonabarabran, NSW
Rd3 – 28-29 April – Wonthaggi, VIC
Rd4 – 12-13 May – Wanneroo, WA
Rd5 – 20 May – Murray Bridge, SA
Rd6 – 1 July – Hervey Bay, QLD
Rd7 – 15 July – Horsham, VIC
Rd8 – 29 July – Appin, NSW
Rd9 – 19 August – Moree, NSW
Rd10 – 25-26 August – Coolum, QLD
- TwoThree Public Relations