Former world number two Josh Coppins has captured his maiden victory in the Rockstar Energy Drink MX Nationals, Australian Motocross Championship, in Sydney today.
The series returned to the Macarthur Motorcycle Club’s Appin complex on 3 April for the second round of the 2011 season, and it was the New Zealander who stormed to the win for CDR Rockstar Energy Yamaha in an action-packed event.
Coppins, who entered the round with an ankle injury sustained in the NZ national title last weekend, won the overall with 2-3-4-3 results, his consistency sealing the overall.
With the series featuring four motos at all rounds this season, consistency once again proved the key and it was the experienced 34-year-old Kiwi who managed the format best in Sydney.
“I knew it was going to be tough and that the track would be tricky, especially since I picked up an injury last week,” Coppins commented. “I had to be a little bit careful and I think it worked into my favour – I backed it down slightly and was really consistent. Guys kept crashing around me and I managed to pull it off.”
Taking over the title lead after two of nine rounds is talented 20-year-old Australian Dean Ferris (Monster Energy Kawasaki), last year’s national number three finishing second overall at Appin on Sunday.
Ferris finished with 10-6-1-1 results in a stellar finish to his day, missing out on the overall by just four points behind Coppins for the round. Ferris, from Lismore in NSW, now has a two-point lead in the series over teammate Billy Mackenzie, who was eighth today.
“To get the red plate now that I’m leading the championship is awesome and I’ve been dreaming for a long time about this,” Ferris explained. “I don’t plan on giving it up and I’m going to put in a lot of hard work to try and keep it on my bike.
“To go 1-1 in the last two motos was such a great feeling. To win races so early in the season is great because it took me until the second last round to win a race in 2010. This is a massive confidence booster for me.”
Rounding out the Appin podium was Wollongong’s defending triple champion Jay Marmont (CDR Rockstar Energy Yamaha), whose chances of the overall slipped through his fingers with a crash on the opening lap of the final moto.
Marmont, 27, raced to 4-4-2-8 results during the day, with Kiwi Michael Phillips (Carlton Dry Honda Thor Racing) and Marmont’s 26-year-old brother Ryan Marmont (JDR Motorex KTM) completing the top five.
Former national Pro Lites champion Marmont, who is a rookie in the premier class, won moto two in a popular victory following a heartbreaking DNF with bike troubles in race one.
Rockstar Motul Suzuki’s lone title contender Cody Cooper, second entering the round, was a disastrous 15th at Appin, crashes dashing his hopes after he managed to win the opening race of the round.
JDR Motorex KTM’s Matt Moss made it two victories from two attempts since returning to Australia for this season, the 2009 champion proving victorious in the Motul Pro Lites.
In what is his home round on the calendar, the 22-year-old scored 1-1-5-3 results, good enough to stretch his championship lead to a comfortable 47-point advantage after two of nine rounds.
“It’s pretty much my home race, so I really wanted to win today in front of my family and friends,” Moss reflected. “I won the first two pretty convincingly, but in the final motos I just made some silly mistakes.
“I got back to where I needed to be to win overall and now I’ve got a 47-point lead in the series. I just need to eliminate the mistakes and I think I can keep stretching my lead – it’s all about plugging away so I can get back to the U.S. next year.”
Second behind Moss was South Australian Kirk Gibbs (Serco Yoshimura Yamaha), who enjoyed a consistent round with 2-2-4-5 results to boost himself to second in the title chase.
Rounding out the podium was American import Phil Nicoletti (Monster Energy Kawasaki), managing to take his first ever race victories in Australia during motos three and four. Nicoletti was eighth in moto one, but had a costly DNF in moto two.
Fourth overall was another local in Cody Mackie (Team 07 Axis Motorsports Honda), while Orangeville’s Daniel McCoy (Rockstar Motul Suzuki) rounded out the top five.
Errol Willis took a triumphant clean-sweep of the Pirelli Under 19s development category, the Raceline Pirelli Suzuki rider proving the dominant force at Appin.
With his victory, Willis took over the title lead from round one winner Luke Arbon (GYTR Rockstar Yamaha), who finished fourth overall today in the series’ second round.
“I’ve been working my whole life to come out and do something like this, so it’s an amazing feeling,” Willis said. “Now that I have the red plate and a 26-point lead in the series, I couldn’t ask for much more.”
Second overall at Appin was Arbon’s teammate Shaun Redhead with 3-2-2-12 results, while Dylan Peterson (Team 07 AXIS Motorsports Honda) rounded out the podium overall after taking 5-6-6-2 finishes in a consistent effort.
Round three of the 2011 Rockstar Energy Drink MX Nationals will be contested at Raymond Terrace in New South Wales on Sunday, 10 April. Practice and qualifying will commence at 8:30am with the official opening ceremonies taking place at approximately 10:30am.
– Pictorials from MX Nationals Rnd 2 – Gallery A –
2011 Rockstar Energy Drink MX Nationals
Round 2 Results:
Rockstar Energy Drink Pro Open
1. Josh Coppins (CDR Rockstar Energy Yamaha) 80
2. Dean Ferris (Monster Energy Kawasaki) 76
3. Jay Marmont (CDR Rockstar Energy Yamaha) 71
4. Michael Phillips (Carlton Dry Honda Thor Racing) 69
5. Ryan Marmont (JDR Motorex KTM) 60
6. Cheyne Boyd (Carlton Dry Honda Thor Racing) 54
7. Lawson Bopping (Raceline Pirelli Suzuki) 51
8. Billy Mackenzie (Monster Energy Kawasaki) 48
9. Louis Calvin (Herb Watson Racing KTM) 47
10. Lewis Woods (Top Gear KTM) 42
Motul Pro Lites
1. Matt Moss (JDR Motorex KTM) 86
2. Kirk Gibbs (Serco Yoshimura Yamaha) 78
3. Phil Nicoletti (Monster Energy Kawasaki) 63
4. Cody Mackie (Team 07 Axis Motorsports Honda) 60
5. Daniel McCoy (Rockstar Motul Suzuki) 59
6. Ford Dale (Serco Yoshimura Yamaha) 58
7. Josh Cachia (JDR Motorex KTM) 58
8. Luke Styke (Yamaha) 54
9. Keiron Hall (Team 07 Axis Motorsports Honda) 53
10. 48 Kade Mosig (Berry Sweet Strawberries/Lucas Oil Honda) 50
Pirelli Under 19s
1. Errol Willis (Raceline Pirelli Suzuki) 100
2. Shaun Redhead (GYTR Rockstar Yamaha) 73
3. Dylan Peterson (Team 07 Axis Motorsports Honda) 68
4. Luke Arbon (GYTR Rockstar Yamaha) 61
5. Kyle McKeddie (Mornington Kawasaki) 57
6. Dylan Long (Top Gear KTM) 51
7. Anthony Feliks (Honda) 47
8. Joshua Melis (Gecko KTM) 46
9. Corey Lucas (Suzuki) 42
10. Mitch Norris (JDR Moss Institute Suzuki) 41
Championship Standings (after 2 of 9 rounds):
Rockstar Energy Drink Pro Open
1. Dean Ferris 139
2. Billy Mackenzie 137
3. Josh Coppins 134
4. Ryan Marmont 128
5. Cheyne Boyd 123
6. Lawson Bopping 121
7. Jay Marmont 118
8. Michael Phillips 113
9. Louis Calvin 99
10. Cody Cooper 96
Motul Pro Lites
1 102 Matt Moss 180
2 5 Kirk Gibbs 133
3 10 Josh Cachia 124
4 22 Phil Nicoletti 120
5 33 Cody Mackie 120
6 12 Brenden Harrison 111
7 65 Daniel McCoy 111
8 2 Ford Dale 107
9 26 Luke Styke 100
10 48 Kade Mosig 99
Pirelli Under 19s
1. Errol Willis 181
2. Luke Arbon 155
3. Shaun Redhead 131
4. Dylan Peterson 113
5. Kyle McKeddie 99
6. Jacob Mcleod 89
7. Kale Makeham 84
8. Jacob Wright 83
9. Jake Emanuelli 83
10. Anthony Feliks 79
– Carlton Dry Honda Report
Carlton Dry Honda Thor Racing riders Michael Phillips and Cheyne Boyd have finished fourth and eight respectively in the Pro Open class at the second round of the MX Nationals at Appin Motorcycle Park today.
The second event on the 2011 calendar saw the controversial race format change from four back-to-back motos to two pairs of 10-minute motos.
Michael Phillips got off to a great start finishing third in the opening moto while Boyd was fifth. In the second race Phillips didn’t get the best start but still finished eighth while Boyd again finished fifth.
With a gap to the next pair of Pro Open motos the Carlton Dry Honda Thor Racing Team made a few tweaks to the factory Honda CRF450’s before they returned to the track.
Phillips, who finished third and fifth in the next two races said he was disappointed a silly mistake cost him a podium.
“Fourth overall was a good result today although I made a silly mistake in the last race which cost me a podium,” Phillips explained.
“It was a much better result than the opening round and I achieved my goal of recording four top ten race finishes.
“I got two good starts and two terrible starts but I was feeling quite ill throughout the day. I am happy I have come away with some good points and moved up a couple of spots in the championship,” Phillips concluded.
Teammate Cheyne Boyd finished Moto 3 in sixth place but a first lap collision with Jay Marmont in the final race left him to come from the back of the pack and he eventually finished fourteenth.
Boyd admitted he felt flat and said he may have over-trained in the lead-up to this event.
“It wasn’t the best day,” Boyd acknowledged. “To be honest I felt flat and have felt flat for the past couple of days. I had a big training week leading in to this event and I think I overdid it a bit.
“I finished top six in the first three races and thought if I could get another top five finish then I could salvage a reasonable result but that wasn’t to be.
“Jay (Marmont) and I came together heading into the first turn and the bikes got tangled so it took me a while to get going again.
“It is not all bad,” Boyd continued I am healthy and I know what I need to work on. I am looking forward to Raymond Terrace next weekend.
Carlton Dry Honda Thor Racing Team Principal Yarrive Konsky praised the team for their consistency but said they needed to work on their starts.
“The team are working very well in these conditions and we are consistent but we need work on our starts,” Konsky said. “They are even more important now with these new four race formats.
“There are still 28 races to go and we know what we need to work on between now and Raymond Terrace next weekend.”
– JDR Motorex KTM Report
KTM Australia’s factory Australian Motocross Championship team, JDR Motorex KTM, has again taken victory in the second round of the 2011 Rockstar Energy Drink MX Nationals at Appin in New South Wales on Sunday, 3 April.
The Pro Lites class saw 2009 champion Matt Moss take his second overall victory in as many tries this season aboard the KTM 250 SX-F, while rookie Ryan Marmont raced to his first ever Pro Open class national victory for the KTM 350 SX-F in race two today.
Moss, 22, was in devastating form at what is his home round on the calendar, the Sussex Inlet local taking 1-1-5-3 results across the four motos contested during round two of nine.
“I started off in qualifying and was first by two and a half seconds – I felt so comfortable,” Moss explained. “I pretty much smoked the first two races, just felt so comfortable on the bike in the lead and felt confident for the final motos.
“I got great starts but I made a couple of mistakes and that made it tough. We came away with the win, although it wasn’t the way I wanted to do it. I wanted the clean-sweep.”
Moss was joined by rising star teammates Josh Cachia and Brenden Harrison in the Lites, the pair finishing seventh and 11th respectively after a hard-fought day.
“I ended up salvaging some good points and I’m still third in the series,” Cachia said. “For a bad day I can’t complain really. My starts helped me out even though I didn’t show what I’m capable of. Hopefully I can reach the podium next weekend.”
Harrison was struck with bad luck during the round, but he’s keeping his head held high as he maintains sixth in the series.
“In the first race I snapped my rear brake but finished fifth, then in races two and three I crashed and was stuck underneath my bike both times,” Harrison explained. “In the last race I was kind of sore and had an average start, so I just tried to score some points.”
In the Pro Open ranks, Marmont, 26, once again proved he belongs in the series’ premier class, racing to his second top five in two attempts. Marmont’s moto two win was a highlight aboard the world title-winning 350cc against the higher capacity 450s as he raced to DNF-1-8-2 results for the round.
“Today was up and down for me,” Wollongong’s Marmont admitted. “I passed a lot of people and had a good rhythm in race one but I had a mechanical problem of some kind. I switched to my spare bike, and I was hungry to get some points. I got my first Pro Open win and I was stoked – kind of a monkey off my back.
“I had a few moments in the third moto, kind of tensed up, but in the final moto I was able to get second behind Dean Ferris and I did my best to win but came up a little short. All in all it was a good day and we’ll work hard for next weekend.”
Queenslander Daniel Reardon, the 2007 title winner, had a difficult start to the round with a pair of non-finishes, however he was able to rebound with 7-4 results in motos three and four.
“I’ve been sick over the past three weeks and haven’t been able to ride much,” Reardon said. “I crashed in race one and snapped my throttle, then in race two I had a few more troubles.
“My start wasn’t the best in moto three but I finished seventh, and then in the final moto I was able to improve to fourth. The last two results were tolerable, but the DNFs weren’t what I needed for the series.”
Two more KTMs to finish inside the Pro Open top 10 at Appin were Louis Calvin (Herb Watson Racing KTM) and Lewis Woods (Top Gear KTM) in a pair of credible results.
The Under 19s development category saw Top Gear KTM’s Dylan Long finish in sixth position for the round, while Joshua Melis (Gecko KTM) was eighth this weekend.
– – CDR Rockstar Yamaha Report
A three week team soul searching mission and some extensive testing on the race bikes has paid huge dividends for the CDR Rockstar Yamaha duo of Josh Coppins and Jay Marmont as they pulled off a sensational 1-3 result at round two of the MX Nationals held at Appin over the weekend.
After the huge disappointment of round one where the team struggled to seventh and ninth places, Coppins and Marmont showed the fight and spirit team boss Craig Dack was looking for with Coppins taking the round win and Marmont nailing down third for the round.
Fighting off an ankle injury sustained at a recent round of the New Zealand Motocross Championships, Coppins limped his way into the Appin circuit but the Kiwi gritted his teeth and got down to business of re-establishing himself in this championship.
In the two by back to back race format, Coppins produced consistently good results to take the round win with 2-3-4-2 positions in the premier Pro Open class. The rough and rutty track spells danger for any rider carrying an ankle injury but Coppins smooth style and world championship experience saw him take the round win, rocket up to third in the championship and keep his ginger ankle out of harms way.
“Things obviously went a lot better today than the opening round,” said Coppins. “I was able to keep clear of trouble in all four motos and focused on putting in the best laps I could given the conditions and my ankle.”
“I also must give credit to the CDR Rockstar Team. Everyone worked tirelessly since round one to ensure the bike was perfect and that I had no excuses.”
“This is also my first win in Australia, the championship points got a lot tighter and I think we are starting to pick up some momentum,” Coppins signs off.
Jay Marmont entered round two with the motocross community questioning if he has what it takes to win this years’ championship. Marmont answered in the best way possible, by slamming his number 1 plated YZ450 at the head of the field and racing with his heart on his sleeve.
After the opening three motos, Marmont was right in contention to take the round win day but a first turn crash in race four left him well down the field and the round win slip through his fingers. Still he fought on and charged back inside the top 10 to finish the day with 4-4-2-8 places and the final spot on the podium in the Pro Open division.
“I came into today determined to get a better result, one that I was proud off and while I didn’t win the day it was a huge step in the right direction and I feel like I put in a good effort,” Marmont said.
“It was a shame that I could quite seal the deal for the round as I crashed in the first turn of the last race, but I think I have clawed back a lot of points and look forward to the next round at Raymond Terrace,” Marmont enthuses.
Craig Dack, Team CDR Rockstar Yamaha Manager, was in a much happier frame of mind leaving the Appin venue and is proud of the effort and energy his riders and team put in.
“We were under the pump at round one and had plenty of work to do to get back in the hunt. The team pulled together well and got the improvement out of the bikes we needed and the riders showed good mental strength to fight back from a disappointing round one.”
“We still have a long way to go and but we leave Appin with a positive frame of mind and ready for the next challenge at Raymond Terrace.
– Kawasaki Report
Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Dean Ferris won two of the four motos at the second round of 2011 Australian Motocross Championship at Appin on Sunday 3 April to move into the Championship lead, just 2 points ahead of his team mate, Billy Mackenzie. Lites rider Phil Nicoletti found his rhythm at Appin, winning his final two motos to take 3rd overall for the day and moving into 4th place in the Championship.
Perhaps it was a burst of Monster Energy, or the Moroccan spiced beef kebabs that the Monster Energy Kawasaki chef served up for lunch. Whatever it was, the Monster Energy Kawasaki riders turned an average morning into an exceptional afternoon with the team winning every moto they raced in after the lunch break.
After qualifying in 4th place, Dean Ferris had a tough first race with a crash putting him at the back of the pack. Ferris managed to push himself to 10th place by the time the chequered flag came out. Things looked up for the second race when Ferris fought his way to the lead in the early stages of the race however a collision with a lapped rider meant he had to settle for 6th place. After lunch, Ferris came out firing in the third moto grabbing the lead early in the first lap and never relinquishing it to take the moto win. Another win in the final moto and Ferris’s 10-6-1-1 results handed the young Monster Energy Kawasaki rider 2nd place for the round but more importantly, the 2011 Championship lead.
An excited Dean Ferris says, “It’s a dream come true. I’ve been dreaming about a Red plate for four years since I started the Nationals and having that now gives me a lot of confidence. I don’t want to give it up. I really want to keep it til the end but it’s going to be tough, there’s a lot of good riders. I’ve got to stay consistent and pull out some moto wins when I can and see how it pans out.”
Billy Mackenzie had a round that he’s quickly putting behind him. Taking the Championship leading red plate with him to Appin, Mackenzie was on the pace early qualifying in 2nd place. Grabbing the hole-shot in the opening moto. Mackenzie worked himself into a comfortable lead until a crash sent him to the back of the field. Crashes throughout all four motos saw Mackenzie playing catch up for most of the day. His 8-10-5-13 results gave him 8th for the day and puts him back a place to 2nd in the Championship behind teammate Ferris.
Billy Mackenzie says, “I’ve had such a weird day. I’ve been riding really well. I felt really comfortable on the bike, my fitness has been great, I was strong til the end of every moto but I was just on the ground more times than I really would have liked to have been. There’s not really any reason for it, I was just getting caught out. The track was really tricky today. They say you make your own luck but I don’t know, something was going wrong today.”
“I’d like to think that this will be my only bad round of the series. I’ll make sure I work hard so I don’t have another one like this. At least Kawasaki are still 1,2 in the Championship.”
Lites rider Phil Nicoletti turned a dreadful morning into an outstanding afternoon. After a crash in the first moto that resulted in 8th and a DNF in the second moto, the young New-Yorker appears to have found a good set-up for his KX250F, coming out after lunch and winning the final two motos of the day. Nicoletti’s 8-DNF-1-1 was good enough to get him on the podium, taking 3rd for the round and moving him into 4th place in the Championship.
A happy Phil Nicoletti says, “I went for a walk by myself after the first two motos and figured I needed to get my stuff together. It was a rough beginning to the day but the team worked with me to get the bike good for the third and fourth moto and we came out and did what we had to do.”
When asked about his game plan for next week, Nicoletti says, “To win! I’m over not winning anymore. 3rd was good today. It’s definitely pointing in the right direction. The plan is to go 1-1-1-1.”
Monster Energy Kawasaki Team Manager Troy Carroll remarks on what was in the end, a positive day for the team saying, “It was a really bad start to the day. The riders weren’t feeling the track. At lunch time we had a good talk to the boys and changed the bikes up a little bit and they went out there and it was an amazing afternoon for both Dean and Phil. Billy had some bad luck today, he wasn’t himself. We know his spirit, we know what he’s like and I can guarantee he’s going to come back next weekend and be at the front again.”
– Suzuki Report
Team Rockstar Motul Suzuki’s Pro Open challenger Cody Cooper showed that he is the fastest contender in the 2011 Australian National Motocross Championship – but an injury has temporarily sidelined his championship challenge.
In the first of four Pro Open motos, Cooper destroyed the field, taking the win by nine and a half seconds from New Zealand countryman Josh Coppins.
In the second moto, Cooper had again gapped his competition and was well ahead of the field when he crashed heavily on an uphill double. He re-joined the race and was able to finish the moto but he sustained a rib injury in the crash and was sidelined for the remainder of the day.
It was a disappointing end for the Rockstar Motul Suzuki pilot. Prior to the crash Cooper had clearly demonstrated that he was the man to beat and his race time for moto one proved to be the fastest moto of the day.
With only a week before the third round of the Championship, Cooper will face an uphill battle to be fit for Raymond Terrace, however, Cooper has proved his physical and mental toughness on many an occasion, and the team is hesitant to rule out a round three return.
Cooper currently sits tenth in the Championship, 43 points behind series leader Dean Ferris. With 700 points still on offer, the reigning New Zealand MX1 Champion is still a serious Championship contender.
Team Raceline Pirelli Suzuki’s Lawson Bopping also had a challenging weekend. A 6-2-DNF-7 result saw him finish seventh on the day and sixth in the Championship.
In the Pro Lites class, Daniel McCoy put in a solid performance over the four Pro Lites motos.
McCoy again struggled with poor starts which proved difficult to overcome. His 3-9-6-9 result saw him finish fifth on the day and he currently sits equal sixth in the Championship.
Team Rockstar Motul Suzuki Team Manager Jay Foreman, was circumspect with the weekend’s results.
“With Cody, it is what it is. We know he is fast so hopefully he will be fit enough to race next week. This week we will be busy with Daniel to get on top of poor starts. He showed he has the speed to run with the front guys, but he just needs to start with them. We are testing again this week to work on starting techniques.”
– Marmont Report
Defending triple Australian Motocross Champion Jay Marmont has taken his first podium of the 2011 Rockstar Energy Drink MX Nationals season with third overall at Appin on Sunday, 3 April.
The Wollongong-based fan favourite raced to 4-4-2-8 results during the round’s gruelling four-moto format consisting of 20 minutes per heat, enough to secure an overall position on the rostrum.
After qualifying fastest for the round, 27-year-old Marmont was relentless in his pursuit of victory in motos one and two despite bad starts, clawing his way back to fourth on both occasions.
Later in the afternoon in the second pair of back-to-back motos, Marmont enjoyed a tight tussle with Dean Ferris to finish second in moto three, before a first turn crash dashed his hopes of an overall win in the day’s finale.
After remounting at the rear of the 40-rider field, Marmont sliced his way through the pack to salvage eighth, sealing third overall and boosting him from ninth to seventh in the title chase.
“I qualified first so I thought the whole day was going to come easy for me at what is my home race at Appin,” CDR Rockstar Energy Yamaha’s Marmont reflected. “I’m kind of used to the surface here and I just thought it would come together for me, but it wasn’t to be.
“I didn’t get very good starts in the first two races so I had to work my way to fourth in those from outside of the top 10, but in looking at my lap times I should have been able to get those race wins.
“Going into the last two races the day was still wide open, and I was able to have a good battle with Ferris in moto three – full credit to him because he was riding really good.
“In the final race I got an okay start but I was involved in an incident at the first turn and my bike got stuck with [Cheyne] Boyd’s. Once I got going I had another crash, but I eventually got back to eighth.
“All things considered I’ll take that podium overall and I definitely know that I’ve got the speed to win more races. I just have to go home, put my head down, and come out swinging at Raymond Terrace.”
Following two of nine rounds, Marmont now sits 21 points out of the series lead, halving the deficit of 42 points that he was faced with after the opening round held in Victoria last month.
— MX Nationals 2011 – Round Two Appin NSW