Motocross

Coppins and Cooksley looking for fame at Namur

Author: Andy McGechan

Posted:

It‰Ûªs a fairytale setting and this year is likely also to be the scene of a fairytale story. The ancient battlements of the Citadelle Castle, perched atop a giant stone promontory overlooking the southern Belgian city of Namur, on the banks of the Meuse River, is a Mecca for motocross enthusiasts. This August the historic venue again hosts a round of the motocross world championships and this year it will have special significance for at least two New Zealanders. As the 12th round of this season‰Ûªs 15-round series, the racing at Namur could see Josh Coppins (Yamaha) lift himself into a virtually untouchable position on top of the MX1 world standings. Coppins is 97 points in front of his nearest challenger, Belgian Suzuki rider Steve Ramon after eight rounds thus far and is threatening to run away with the world crown this year. By the time Coppins and Ramon arrive at Namur, the 2007 world championship could already be decided. This year Coppins will again be joined by fellow Kiwi Tony Cooksley, the man from Bombay another top candidate for a podium finish at the famous circuit. Cooksley raced there last season and looked very much at home around the treacherously steep course. He raced last season in the Senior Championship (for riders aged between 40 and 50 years), but, with a birthday in the meantime, he‰Ûªll progress to the next division, the Veteran‰Ûªs Cup competition (for riders aged 51 to 60 years). Despite crashing spectacularly while running fifth in the first of his two races at Namur last season, Cooksley (Yamaha YZF450) managed to recover and claw his way back through the field. He finished 9th with a best time of 3 minutes, 09.403 seconds. It was the same story for the second moto, with Belgian Thierry Godfroid claiming his second consecutive win and, though battered and bruised from his earlier crash, Cooksley was again on the pace. With a best time of 3 minutes 7 seconds, Cooksley moved up one spot to finish eighth and the New Zealand hero took eighth overall for the event. ‰ÛÏI was really pleased with how I went,‰Û

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