News 9 May 2012

MX Nationals return to the wild west this weekend at Wanneroo

Australia’s premier motocross contenders will make a long-anticipated return to Western Australia for the first time since 2009 this weekend on 12-13 May when the Monster Energy MX Nationals reaches round four at Wanneroo.

Australia’s premier motocross contenders will make a long-anticipated return to Western Australia for the first time since 2009 this weekend on 12-13 May when the Monster Energy MX Nationals reaches round four at Wanneroo.

The Australian Motocross Championship will enter the toughest sand track on the calendar that will prove a real test of man and machine, giving WA dirt bike fans an opportunity to witness some of Australia and the world’s best riders put to the ultimate test.

Following three of 10 rounds to be contested nationwide in 2012, it is CDR Yamaha’s former world number two Josh Coppins who will lead the field into Wanneroo. In his final season of professional racing, the 34-year-old Kiwi has a 20-point lead in the series and is excited to race on the soft sands of WA.

After a successful long-standing career in the world championship based near the iconic Lommel sand circuit in Belgium, Coppins is a clear favourite for the win at Wanneroo, but knows that the shorter 15-minute back-to-back motos to commence the round will be tough ones. The third and final moto will span the more traditional length of 30 minutes.

“Honestly, I’m not sure what to expect because sand racing is all about trying to find a rhythm, which is hard to do in the shorter motos,” Coppins explained. “I’ve got to try and improve my short races after some problems at Wonthaggi, but I feel confident about the sand and that’s the most important thing.

“I rode last week in the sand testing with the CDR Yamaha team in Victoria and felt really good, so after living in Belgium for much of my career I don’t have an issue adapting to it, it’s just a matter of making it work considering the short motos.”

Josh Coppins leads the MX1 class standings as the series rolls into Wanneroo. Image: Simon Makker/

Behind Coppins in the series so far is Carlton Dry Honda Thor Racing series rookie Brad Anderson, the two-time British champion having sampled the Wanneroo venue in 2010. Anderson also won the prestigious Manjimup 15,000 during that visit to Australia.

Anderson claimed his first win of the season at Wonthaggi’s third round in Victoria late last month, now moving within striking distance of Coppins despite not finishing a race at Conondale’s opening round.

Third at this stage is Aussie rising star Todd Waters, the 21-year-old Motul Pirelli Suzuki rider from Cairns scoring two podiums to date this season to prove he’ll be a title threat all season long. Waters is 29 points behind Coppins and top Aussie in the series so far.

Two more Australian young guns sit fourth and fifth in the standings with Jake Moss (Campbell Mining Services/Maxima/Troy Lee Designs Honda) next best, following by Coppins’ CDR Yamaha teammate Lawson Bopping, who was third overall in round three.

Defending four-time champion Jay Marmont is sixth in the championship in his first season with Monster Energy Kawasaki, but is another to excel in the sand of WA after winning the Manjimup 15,000 three times in his career, including last year.

The local assault in the premier MX1 proceedings will come from series regulars Dean Porter (Full Force Racing) and Louis Calvin (Berry Sweet Strawberries/Lucas Oil/Yamaha). Both are proven sand performers and will relish the opportunity to race ahead of a home crowd in the west.

Luke Styke has made the most of his opportunity to ride on the factory Serco team. Image: Simon Makker/

In the Motul MX2 category featuring the nation’s leading 250cc contenders, Serco Yamaha Metal Mulisha Racing’s Luke Styke will lead the field into Western Australia. Fit and relentlessly fast in 2012, Styke will be charging hard to maintain his red plate toward the mid-point of the season.

“My plan is to be fast and consistent at every round and so far things are on track after the first three rounds,” commented Styke, who has reinvented his career after the official factory Yamaha MX2 program offered him a guest appearance last season that has continued into 2012.

Styke heads Carlton Dry Honda Thor Racing’s Ford Dale in the points by 13, with the latter coming off a breakthrough win at round three when he scored the victory. The Styke/Dale battle is only just heating up, with Serco Yamaha Metal Mulisha Racing’s round one winner Kirk Gibbs right there to challenge them all the way.

Round four will also include the Rookie Lites class for 13-U16 100-150cc two-stroke and 250cc four-stroke models, as well as the second round of the ATV Cup for the country’s top quad contenders. The majority of those support races will take place on Saturday during the weekend.

The series will continue at Wanneroo in Western Australia on 12-13 May, marking round four of 10 for the 2012 season.