Kiwi legend Josh Coppins will race as a wildcard at round seven of the Maxxis ACU British Motocross Championship supported by Pro Clean at Preston Docks on July 30. The two-time British champion, who was leading the 2007 world MX1 championship by 107 points until he was injured, will travel across from his base in Belgium where he’s spending the summer months looking after WMX title-contender Courtney Duncan.
“I’m coming over to the UK the weekend before,” he said, “and I’ve got the time off before flying to the South of France on holiday so I was looking for somewhere to have a ride and I saw that event was on. I’ve never ridden there so I thought I’d enter.
“I still do a few races – this will be my third one this year. I’m a test rider for Yamaha so it’s important that I stay somewhat in shape so it’s a good opportunity to see where I’m at and how my riding’s going. There’s no better way to do that than race.”
The 40-year-old, a two-time world vice-champion, still feels he can be competitive five years after retiring from full-time racing.
“I think if I could be close to a podium I’d be happy. My focus is on Courtney and her championship but I still get to ride occasionally. Obviously I’ve got a lot of experience, it’s just whether I’ll have the fitness and speed and to see if I still do is part of the reason I’m racing.
“I’m doing the World Vet Champs at Glen Helen in November so if I do this race I’ll see where I’m at in my preparations for that.
“I’ve got a Yamaha here that I do some training on so I’ll put it in the van and come over. I won’t have a mechanic or anything, it will just be purely race, see how I go and enjoy myself.”
Maxxis series manager Stuart Drummond is looking forward to watching Coppins race.
“Obviously we’re very excited at the prospect of seeing a rider of Josh Coppins’ calibre in action in the Maxxis ACU British Motocross Championship,” he said. “He made a lot of fans during his time racing in the UK who will be keen to watch him race again.
“He’s been retired for a few years from top-flight racing but I know he still rides and is famous for being a fierce competitor so it will be interesting to see how he gets on. He’s certainly not travelling all that way just to make up the numbers.”