Last Sunday the 28th October the International Oceania MX race took place in Australia. The event is a kind of a mini MX des Nations just for the two states down under; Australia and New Zealand. The best professional, junior and women riders of both countries competed at the Barrabool circuit west of Melbourne to determine who could call themselves the best Motocross nation in Oceania. Yamaha Motocross Team rider Joshua Coppins won all his races, but that was not enough to get New Zealand the title.
"I really enjoyed myself this weekend" smiled Coppins. "I set the fastest time in practice and qualifying on Saturday and stayed out of trouble on Sunday and managed to win all my races. The track was fast and technical which I liked and we had good weather with some wind in the morning making it a bit dusty." Despite Coppins' wins, Team New Zealand was unable to pry the trophy from a hungry Aussie team. "NZ did well in the professional and women's classes, with a great ride from our Katherine Prumm, but we really struggled in the junior class which I guess is where we lost out to Australia".With Josh's third place in his first ever Supermotard race a fortnight ago in Mettet, Belgium and a second place at the Weston Beach race in the UK a little over a week ago it is clear the "Lizard" has made a full recovery from his shoulder injury that cost him the 2007 MX1 World Championship title.
Any doubts about Coppins' fitness vanished as he negotiated the deep sandy dunes of Weston beach on a production 2008 YZ450F. "I didn't know what to expect from this race." admitted Coppins. "I have heard a lot about the Weston Beach race and now that I have one under my belt I'm going to be back for more. I rode a complete standard YZ450F 2008 model and was amazed how well the bike pulled and held up in the deep sand. We ran stock suspension and a standard fuel tank so I just had to stop more often to re-fuel which is obviously where I lost some time
"I took it easy on the first lap and was around 20th position after the start. Mike Brown and Steve Ramon were long gone, but then 'Brownie' cooked his clutch and after the first hour I was two minutes behind Steve. I got a rhythm going and closed down the gap to 50 seconds by the time the organisers red flagged the race so I was pumped with my riding and fitness."
"I loved doing these events and am going to stay on a little longer in Australia for a bit of a holiday before heading back home to Motueka." added the Yamaha Motocross Team star.