Coppins-Yamaha Enters Third Year

Former double world championship runner-up Josh Coppins will enter a third year with Yamaha and the Yamaha Monster Motocross Team after putting pen to paper to extend his current deal this week.

The popular New Zealander, who presently sits third in the 2008 FIM MX-1 series as the calendar reaches its tenth stop this weekend in South Africa, has won six Grand Prix in a potent combination with the YZ450FM, including a memorable debut success at Valkenswaard for the opening round of 2007 and almost clinching the ’07 title before an unfortunate injury halted his progress deep into the season.

The 31 year old has walked the podium 12 times and won 11 motos in the space of a year and a half and 21 Grand Prix with the factory team. His alliance with the YZ has proved incredibly effective and he topped charts of: Moto wins, Grand Prix wins, Podiums accumulated and rounds led (13) in 2007.

He dominated the Grand Prix of Germany several weeks ago and is just 16 points behind team-mate David Philippaerts. Thanks to his efforts and that of the Italian alongside him – who is already confirmed for 2009 – Yamaha lead the Manufacturers’ standings and retain a realistic and viable chance of world championship success this year.

“Once I had made the decision I wanted to race another season and another world championship there was no other option in my mind than to continue with Yamaha,” said the Kiwi. “We have had success in a short period of time and that is partly due to the excellent way the team work. The world championship was so close for us last year and we are right there for the 2008 title. I know that the team and Yamaha are right behind me and I could not wish for a more professional set-up. Signing the new deal was pretty quick, I’m glad to get things sorted out early so we can push on with doing the business this season.”

“For Yamaha it is a very logical decision to continue with David and Josh next year as we are very happy with the current rider line up,” said Yamaha Motor Europe’s Racing Division Manager Laurens Klein Koerkamp. “Josh is a very experienced rider with an amazing fighting spirit and dedication for the sport and that is very valuable for Yamaha. I am confident that he will be a title contender both this year and the next. The aim for 2008 and for 2009 is to win the Rider and Manufacturer’s title, and have both riders at the top of the ranking.”