News 24 May 2012

70’s Say: MXN Mid-Season’s latest columnist Lawson Bopping checks in with his take of 2012 so far.

We’re in the middle of the MX Nationals series and so far it’s been a pretty decent season for me since joining CDR Yamaha. The first round I struggled a little bit, finished sixth at Conondale, and then the second round at Coonabarabran felt like I rode really well there.

That was probably my best ride so far, but the results didn’t show it at the end. I went down in the last moto there, so it was kind of strange for me at that point. I rode a lot better there, but the result was actually worse than the first round with seventh overall.

Wonthaggi was a really good round for me, my first podium of the year, and my first with the CDR Yamaha team. I ended up third overall and it was a good weekend. After that we tested at Rosebud – that track is so hard and so gnarly – preparing for Wanneroo.

That sorted me out, so we went to Western Australia a few days early before the national, got the bike dialled in a little bit better for those sandy conditions, and then I felt like I rode alright at Wanneroo. I just sort of rode around, didn’t really try overdo it, because you can’t really do that in those conditions when it’s so sandy.

CDR Yamaha's Lawson Bopping is a brand new columnist on MotoOnline during 2012. Image: Alex Gobert.

I finished second in moto one, third in moto two and then sixth in moto three for second overall behind my teammate Josh Coppins. That was awesome, the team was pumped too, to finish 1-2 in what was such a hard round of the year.

It was a short week after that into Murray Bridge, but I got to ride twice and then the weekend went pretty good. It’s a funny track because it looks really good when you get there, but never forms up the way that you think it will. The track was a lot wetter than I thought it would be after it rained, but it was still good.

It wasn’t a bad day for me, but it wasn’t great either. I went down in the first race and got a seventh, and then the second race was alright. I struggled with starts in the first two motos, but the last one was decent and probably the best 30-minute moto I’ve done all season. I finished third in that one and ended up fourth overall.

It’s been a pretty good year so far. Pretty much at all the rounds my first two races were good and then I’d struggle in the 30, which was weird because I throw down 30-minute motos all week and I knew that I could do them. I just sort of struggled at the races, but Murray Bridge was good and I was able to put it together on race day.

The CDR Yamaha team has been great ever since I joined them and the transition to the YZ450F wasn’t hard at all. The bike was set-up really good at the end of last year and they didn’t change too much for this year. I jumped straight onto a good bike, changed a few little personal things like the ’bars, seat and stuff, then it was right for me.

Bopping made it a CDR Yamaha 1-2 finish in the sands on Wanneroo this month. Image: Adam Riemann.

Gary Benn is really good with suspension and he’s been around forever, plus Craig Dack is also awesome to have in my corner. He’s been around a long time, was a racer and he knows what we go through as racers. Josh helps me a little bit as well and I really like having him as a teammate, but he’s not giving too much away!

Now that we have some time off during the nationals, I’m going to America for a few weeks. I actually wanted to go after supercross last year when Cody Mackie went, but then I got this ride at CDR Yamaha and it was too much, too soon. I hadn’t ridden the bike or anything at that stage, so we got talking and I asked when we go on, could I get a bike in the States during the break.

Josh is going to Europe as well, so it’s a good time for me to go to the States as I was just getting sick of riding my track. I’ve ridden all the tracks around my place so much, so it’s fresh to go and ride new tracks with all the guys over there. It took a fair bit of convincing Dacka to let me go actually, but we got through and he’s helping me out heaps while I’m there by organising a bike, parts and everything.

I’m over there for three and a half weeks, which isn’t a long time, but it should be good. I’ll get back then and into my normal routine at home before we head off to Hervey Bay at the start of July for the season half of the MX Nationals season.