Josh Flew at BoP:

Posted: Mon 29 Dec 2003

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World motocross star Josh Coppins has cruised through the big Christmas event in New Zealand.

The nation\'s top motorcycle racer, Coppins was using the event as training for his title bid in the world\'s glamour class next year. Notching up a series of first and second placings, plus one third, Coppins declared himself happy with today\'s outing at the Awakaponga circuit in the Bay of Plenty.

The Honda ace rode a CRF450 four-stroke similar to the factory bike he will use in his bid for the world\'s premier title, the MX1 championship in Europe through 2004. He also rode a CRF250 four-stroke today.
\"It was rough and sandy and I rode more than two hours total racing time,\" commented 26-year-old Coppins. \"I\'m pretty tired now but it\'s good training. \"I had a bit of practice on the 450 as I\'ve been building up my fitness over the past month, but I\'d had only one day on the 250. \"The little bike was good, real good, and fun to ride. \"The 450 was where I was concentrating though, and I won what I wanted to on that,\" said the man from Motueka.

Today\'s Whakatane event, part of the NZ Dirt Bike Federation championship, signals the start of Coppins\' public buildup to his world title bid.

He leaves for Europe in a week to concentrate on his preparation for the world championship beginning in March.

Coppins was sidelined by serious injury this year, after bagging runner-up spot in the world\'s glamour class in 2002.

Ian RJ Miles