The Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing Team will come out all guns blazing at this weekend's New Zealand season-opening MX Fest in Taupo, NZ, but each of the squad will have different targets.
Instead of taking on his customary role of observing from the sidelines, team boss Josh Coppins has assigned himself to riding duties also at Taupo as he awaits the arrival of the squad's second MX1 rider, Australian Dean Ferris, expected to arrive in the country in time for the Whakatane Summercross just after Christmas.
The 39-year-old Coppins, from Motueka, is a former world No.2 and he retired from fulltime racing four years ago, but he will ride a Yamaha YZ450F in the MX1 class on Sunday, using the event as part of his preparation to tackle the Veteran's Motocross World Championships at Glen Helen, in California, on November 5-6.
So, although Coppins won the MX1 class at Taupo's MX Fest last season and he also won the event's feature race, winning outright again is less important to him than just building strength and fitness for his American campaign.
He will be joined on the MX1 start line by former New Zealand MX2 champion Kayne Lamont, the man from Mangakino now recovered from injury and also on a mission to build strength and fitness for making his national championships MX1 class debut in Timaru on February 5.
The Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing Team will also have a twin-pronged attack for the MX2 class, with Women's Motocross World Championships hopeful Courtney Duncan, from Otago, and Waitakere's Ethan Martens both entered on their Yamaha YZ250F machines.
"Trying to win every time we race is always important, but the aims of each of our riders will be different this weekend," said Coppins.
"This weekend will be the first race for Ethan (Martens) on the YZ250F; the focus for Courtney (Duncan) is to get herself ready for the Women's Motocross World Championships (which kick off in Indonesia on March 5); Kayne (Lamont) is coming off a long injury and so his focus is on building up and getting fit is the aim for me too.
"We are all preparing for different things and this is the only major ride I will be doing in New Zealand for the time being. My preparation for the Veterans' Motocross World Championships is going well and I think I'll be in a good position when I get over there.
"I have raced twice before at Glen Helen and, while it is not my favourite track and I don't know much about what riders I'll face in America, I think I'll be okay."
The Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing team is supported by Altherm Window Systems, Yamaha, JCR, CRC, Ados, GYTR, Yamalube, Fox Racing, Hollands Collision Centre, Star Moving, Ward Demolition, Fulton Hogan, Pirelli, FMF, DID, NGK, Matrix, Renthal, Motomuck, Workshop Graphics, Motoseat, Hammerhead, SKF, Vertex Pistons, Rtech Plastics, Etnies, Biketranz and Fulton Hogan.
Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com