MotoCross > 2005 Round 11: South Africa > Race Results
WMX South Africa July 17, 2005
2005 FIM Motocross World Championship Round 11
Grand Prix of South Africa, Sun City

Super second victory in a row for Coppins

The eleventh round of the 2005 FIM MX1 / MX2 Motocross World Championships, at a hot and sunny Sun City in South Africa, was another successful outing for Honda's off-road racing effort as CAS Honda rider and Swedish Grand Prix victor Josh Coppins extended his winning run to two consecutive rounds.

Josh Coppins

Josh Coppins

Watched by 18,000 fans the Kiwi triumphed in a scintillating battle with defending World Champion Stefan Everts to take his third career garland and bring his total of successive MX1 moto victories to four; only the second rider in the class this season to accumulate this total.

Coppins recorded the second fastest lap in Timed Practice at the venue where he won only his second MX1 Grand Prix moto last year and was clearly going to be in the hunt for more podium celebrations. Two decent starts saw the 28 year old holding a position inside the top three from the opening circulations in both races.

The duel between Coppins and Everts in the first moto was captivating. The pair changed positions numerous times on a jumpy, rough and tricky circuit that involved numerous patches of very slippery terrain. One dodgy spot caught out KTM’s Ben Townley who fell out of third place in both motos, also scrubbing any chance of being able to mix in the Yamaha and Honda tussle for the lead. Coppins refused to allow Everts to breakaway and they were already running into slower traffic by the fifth lap. The pace was frantic and Coppins surged ahead with minutes remaining in the heat to beat the eight times World Champ in a comprehensive manner in which he is not normally accustomed. The difference at the flag was just over a second.

In the second sprint the duo detached themselve’s again but the racing was less intense and Everts managed to escape as Coppins was plagued by cramp. With a healthy lead the Belgian was waving to fans on the final circulation when he incredibly lost control of his machine and crashed. Damage to the front brake meant that Coppins was able to reel in and overtake, scooping another winner’s trophy. Everts was furious with his rookie error afterwards and will be equally sore about the six points Coppins’ has shaved off his World Championship lead that now stands at a difference of 39. KTM’s Steve Ramon gained his first podium of the season with third.

Multitek Honda’s Paul Cooper finally was able to compete with his MX1 peers after enduring a torrid few months struggling with low energy levels and a severe case of fatigue. He started well in the first moto and finished sixth after being as high as fifth for several laps. In the second race he fell at the start and also made a mistake while chasing Brian Jorgensen that dropped him out of the top ten to fourteenth. He completed his first South African Grand Prix with ninth overall and the meeting marked his best race since round three in Portugal.

RWJ Honda rider James Noble twisted his right knee in practice yesterday but was nevertheless happy to collect eighth and twelfth for eighth overall. Noble is now eighth in the World Championship and will next week go to the Landrake circuit in the UK to try and defend his lead in the MX1 British Championship. The Briton was beaten in the overall standing this afternoon by French privateer Pascal Leuret who continues to defy the odds with his shoe-string effort by posting consistent top ten results. The former double French Supercross Champion collected a career best finish of third at the Grand Prix of Italy and today placed sixth overall with moto of eleventh and fifth. Leuret is now seventh in the series points table and lies behind his friend and countryman Mickael Pichon.

Pichon completed a successive outing at a small French race last week as part of his recovery from minor surgery on his left knee and will be making a competitive return to action at Nismes in two weeks time. Coppins’ CAS team-mate Jussi Vehvilainen will also be coming back from a roadside accident several weeks ago in Belgium.

In MX2 Honda were best represented by Team Sarholz rider Wyatt Avis. The young South African looked very strong and pumped for his home Grand Prix when he finished fourth in the second qualification race on Saturday but three crashes in the two motos lowered him to 17th and 13th respectively for 16th place by the close of play. Martin Honda rider Matteo Bonini was happy with his speed throughout the weekend but several rendezvous with the dirt limited the Italian to 14th and 17th positions. KTM’s David Philippaerts won his second GP of the season and was followed onto the podium by Yamaha riders Billy Mackenzie and Antonio Cairoli. After knocking his head at the Grand Prix of Sweden and feeling out of sorts RWJ Honda’s Erik Eggens did not attend the event.

The World Championships will again visit Belgium when the paddock reconvenes in a fortnight for round twelve; the Grand Prix of Wallonie at Nismes.

Joshua Coppins

Paul Cooper

Josh Coppins:
“I pushed really hard in the first heat. It was my best race ever because it was a time when Stefan didn’t have bike problems or that he was not riding well or had problems with lapped riders; I beat him because I was the best. This is an important time in the Championship because I want to show Stefan I can race him for this title. Even though he has a big lead you can see that he makes mistakes, more this year than ever before. This is the right time for me to push on and try to win as many motos as possible. I got a lot of cramp in the second race. My speed was OK I was just struggling with the cramp; this is something I need to work on for the next GP. I am a little bit disappointed with that second moto because he was stronger but I can very easily live with that first race and I am really happy to have won two in a row.”

James Noble:
“It wasn’t too bad today. Yesterday was a bit of a disaster as I hurt my knee so I did not expect to do that well for the motos. I got an 8th in the first one and then a 12th in the second which I was pretty pleased with. I have been struggling all day. I could not take the right-handers because I wasn’t able dab my foot and the left-handers were tricky because I couldn’t bring my knee right up. I just had to get through today, and to take 8th overall was not too bad at all.”

Paul Cooper:
“That was definitely my best race for some time. I am very pleased and happy to have finished both motos and I feel like there is light at the end of the tunnel concerning my condition. I was a little disappointed with the second race because I had some trouble in the first corner and was hit which dropped me way back. I felt like I rode really well for the first 15-20 minutes and got behind Jorgensen but then I crashed. I had used a lot of energy but I got a second wind and finished the moto at a fairly good pace. It was awesome to race here and it has been good to be home. I have always wanted to race in front of the people who support me here and during the off-season.”

Wyatt Avis:
“The first race started off OK but unfortunately I was trying a little bit too hard to get near the front and the front-end washed out on a slippery part of the track. I caught back up to the main group but crashed again and finished 17th which was really disappointing, especially after the heat race yesterday. In the second moto I had a good start but I was again a bit nervous at the beginning. A few guys passed me but I got faster and found a rhythm. I was fighting in the top ten and feeling good but then I hit a rock in the sandy section and it was all over.”

2005 FIM Motocross World Championship Round 11
Grand Prix of South Africa, Sun City

MX1 - Race 1 Result
1 COPPINS Joshua (Honda)
2 EVERTS Stefan (Yamaha)
3 RAMON Steve (KTM)
5 SMETS Joël (Suzuki)
6 COOPER Paul (Honda)
7 BARRAGAN Jonathan (KTM)
8 NOBLE James (Honda)
11 LEURET Pascal (Honda)
12 JORGENSEN Brian (Yamaha)
13 ATSUTA Yoshitaka (SUZUKI)
15 VAN DAELE Marvin (Honda)

Josh Coppins (Honda)
MX1 - Race 2 Result
1 COPPINS Joshua (Honda)
2 EVERTS Stefan (Yamaha)
3 RAMON Steve (KTM)
4 BARRAGAN Jonathan (KTM)
5 LEURET Pascal (Honda)
6 SMETS Joël (Suzuki)
9 ATSUTA Yoshitaka (SUZUKI)
10 DE DYCKER Ken (Honda)
11 THEYBERS Danny (Suzuki)
12 NOBLE James (Honda)
13 HUCKLEBRIDGE Mark (Honda)
14 COOPER Paul (Honda)
15 VAN DAELE Marvin (Honda)

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