Coppins takes a convincing lead
Skills and experience gained during 15 years of racing in Europe helped Josh Coppins to victory in the first round of the New Zealand Supercross Championships in Tokoroa on Saturday.
The event was being held in December for the first time after revising the supercross calendar.
Coppins, from Motueka, won the open class in wet and tricky conditions.
Coppins seemed out-of-sorts in the lead-up to the night’s three championship points races but said afterwards he was ‘‘ just getting the bike dialled-in’’.
‘‘It took me the early qualifying races to work out I needed to ride in a higher gear,’’ he said. ‘‘I was wheelspinning at the start and in the tight corners but once I worked out that third-gear starts would work I was away.’’
Coppins had his work cut out in the first of his three races and was forced to settle for runner-up spot behind his Yamaha team-mate Hayden Clark of Hamilton.
Coppins won the next two in convincing style to emerge as the round winner at the end of the night. Christchurch’s Justin McDonald was second overall and Mount Maunganui’s Cody Cooper third.
In the Lites class Queenstown’s Scott Columb showed remarkable courage to battle through the pain barrier and win the night.
‘‘I crashed my bike about a week ago,’’ he said. ‘‘I was in a heap of pain.
‘‘ But I dug deep and managed to win the night here. That’s good,’’ he said.
The top junior class rider in Tokoroa was Levin’s James Anderson, ahead of another South Islander, Rangiora’s Micah McGoldrick (KTM), and Atiamuri’s Dion Picard.
The second of four rounds in the series is scheduled for Taupo on January 2.
Coppins’ MXDK Rockstar Yamaha team boss Darryll King was thrilled with the outcome.
‘‘I was stoked to see Hayden win a moto but he cooked himself beating Josh and couldn’t really recover,‘‘ he said.
‘‘In races two and three Josh showed what a true champion he is and demonstrated some superb riding skills.’’ Mr Hill said groups were congregating in the park on Fridays to drink and police were regularly called to the park after fights had occurred or complaints had been received from neighbours.
Mr Hill said sport organisers provided licensed facilities at the venue for players to drink in and, if a liquor ban was in place, anyone drinking outside that licensed area could be removed before potential problems arose.
However, the council will not consult the public until after its next meeting in January. Public consultation will take a month, after which hearings will be held. Any changes to the liquor ban rules will then take several more weeks to be implemented so any rule change may not be in place until March.
Deputy Mayor Jenny Shattock told the council even if the proposed bans were released for consultation after Thursday’s meeting they would not be in place before the holidays.
The council had been criticised for seeking consultation during the Christmas period so she argued it would be preferable to wait until 2011. Most councillors agreed to wait to start consultation.
FULL FLIGHT: Josh Coppins took two wins and a second to win the Tokoroa round of the national supercross championships.