High Five with Josh Coppins - 100% definitely not my last season

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After years of racing at the very top Josh Coppins is still fit, healthy and having fun riding his motocross bike, not bad for a guy who has won 16 different titles worldwide including two British championships.

Good news for British fans this weekend in Scotland as the Kiwi ace is heading to Duns to race the third round of the Maxxis British championship.

MOTO – Good to see you back racing in the UK Josh are you looking forward to Duns?

“Yeh I’m looking forward to it, the last British championship I did was in 2006 so it’s been a while. I was out injured in 06 but managed to come back and race the final half of the British championship and won every round I did. I’ve never raced at Duns before but Johnny Hamilton has built the track so it should be good. Duns might be the furthest away but he built it and that’s why I’m here.”

MOTO – You didn’t seem to have the best of time at Valkenswaard last weekend, what happened?

“I had a bad first and good second race, over the year so far has been like that. Bulgaria went well for us and the second round at Mantova I crashed in the first race and the same thing happened on Sunday in Holland. Two bad moto’s from six but the rest I’ve been in the top 10. That’s about our position at the moment just inside the top 10 that’s as good as we’re going to do right now. I think we’ll get better as the season progresses but those two bad races have really hurt me and I’m currently in 15th in the points, that sounds terrible but I’m only 6 points off 9th place and maybe without those bad crashes I could be in 8th. It’s not all bad I just need some consistency.”

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MOTO – You said at the beginning of the year you could be anywhere from 3rd to 10th in any race, has that gone to plan?

“Yeh it has as the best is 9th and the worst is 11th in the races I’ve finished. We knew this but we didn’t expect to come good until Portugal or Spain as the bike is still being developed so this year is all about progression and we knew this.”

MOTO – Is the Aprilia that much different to a Japanese bike?

“It’s not different when you first get on, it’s a good bike but to get that last bit is a big step. The closet way to explain it is its like riding a two stroke again from the engine and I’m still learning the chassis. For me it’s been hard going to a race knowing were not ready to race at 100%, there’s a lot to think about. For me it’s been new as for me it’s been going to a race to win. When I signed for Aprilia I knew that it is part of my job to improve the team and to improve the bike.”

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MOTO – A few teams like CCM are not making the trip to the USA for the GP, are you guys going?

“100% we are racing all the GP’s. Aprilia are looking forward to the USGP as it’s a chance to showcase the bike on the other side of the world in the biggest market in the world. I’m looking forward to it and I think we’ll do well.”

MOTO – Are you racing Hangtown on the weekend before the GP?

“I’m out there on the Tuesday before doing some stuff for my sponsors and just preparing for the GP itself. We just haven’t got time to race Hangtown, like racing in the UK this week is all about testing the same reason why I raced the Dutch championship two weeks as we need to test as much as possible.”

MOTO – Is this only British championship we will see you at in 2010?

“Originally I wanted to do the whole series as that was the plan, then the dates came out but the first two rounds were so early which caught me off guard and I had to do the Italian championship rounds which clashed with the Maxxis. So I missed the first two, I sorted a deal with a dealer up near Mallory and that fail through, that was all promises and never came together. That was to do the last six rounds, so now the only one I can say I’m actually doing is Duns and that’s 100% off my own back as I’ve heard the tracks good and I’m living in the UK more or less now. I would like to race a Red Bull Pro if I get the chance but it’s a matter of fitting it all in. I’m paying to fly my mechanic in this weekend because I want to do a good job. Maybe next year I can sort a British only deal which will allow me to race all the rounds.”

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MOTO – So your Aprilia contract is only for one year?

“Yeh but there is an option for another year based on performance and results. And to be honest it’s possible to meet those results and get a second year but I’m not sure that is what I really want to do.”

MOTO – So this is definitely not your last competitive season then?

“No 100% definitely not my last season but it could be my last at GP’s, I’m still capable, I think if you’re running top 10 in the world on Aprilia I think I can still do a pretty good job.”

MOTO – Thanks for that Josh good stuff as always.

Interview and images by Ray Chuss

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