News 8 Aug 2012

CDR Yamaha's Dack starts seeking Coppins replacement

CDR Yamaha's Craig Dack is yet to finalise the team's plans for 2013 following the announcement that Josh Coppins will retire at season's end.

Craig Dack (right) is currently looking at a replacement rider following Josh Coppins' 2013 retirement announcement. Image: Simon Makker/

CDR Yamaha’s Craig Dack has commenced his search for a new rider ahead of the 2013 season, following the announcement that Josh Coppins will retire at season’s end.

Coppins, who currently leads the Monster Energy MX Nationals MX1 category, confirmed at Appin’s eighth round that he won’t continue next year, concluding his career with two successful seasons at CDR in Australia.

The departure of the Kiwi leaves big shoes to fill at CDR Yamaha ahead of 2013, with Lawson Bopping expected to remain in blue after a promising debut season aboard the YZ450F.

A seat at CDR under the guidance of Dack is the most coveted in the country, this year celebrating its 20th anniversary in the sport together with Yamaha.

“We have known about Josh’s retirement for a good two or three months now,” Dack told today. “If you look at our history over the years, when we try and find a new rider, we look for someone who fits the CDR way obviously.

“Also, when we choose someone, we like to make sure that relationship can be as long term as it can. We look for continuity, which give or take a few years, that’s pretty much how we’ve done it in the past.

“So we’re basically watching, looking and listening to what’s going on out there. We’ve had a couple of chats to a number of riders, but are still a long way off choosing or deciding who we’d like to target.

“I haven’t rang any riders specifically, but I have had a few calls from overseas riders’ managers, both in Europe and America. I’ve also spoken to a couple of riders here, but all very informal. Apart from that, we still haven’t clearly found a direction that we want to pursue.”

Dack’s intentions are clear for next season regardless of the rider, looking to continue the team’s relentless winning ways. If Coppins manages to seal this year’s MX Nationals title, that will make five straight for the CDR Yamaha operation.

Considering that feat, the Melbourne-based team is aiming to continue battling for championships, not prepared to treat 2013 as a development year of sorts.

“I don’t think it’s in CDR’s DNA to do a rebuilding thing,” Dack continued. “We have always wanted to win and have tried to with the best riders we could get at any particular time. We’ve got Lawson there, who is developing above expectations and the plan with him was always to get him ready for 2013.”

With Coppins recently naming former teammate Jay Marmont as the man most similar to him during an interview with MotoOnline, Dack hasn’t completely ruled out the possibility of a shock Marmont return to the CDR Yamaha fold.

Marmont and Dack enjoyed four-straight titles together in an unbeaten stretch between 2008 and 2011, before Monster Energy Kawasaki signed him for 2012. With Marmont suffering a nightmare season littered with injury as he adapts to the KX450F, and CDR potentially looking for an experienced campaigner to join Bopping, Dack acknowledges the suitability.

“Who knows? Funnier things have happened, maybe Marmont might come back?” Dack said. “I agree with Josh’s comments, that both Josh and Jay are very similar in their tenacity and the way they go about their business in certain ways.

“Look, you never say never, but who knows? I’ll leave it at that.”