Team Rockstar Motul Suzuki battled slippery, rough and rutted conditions at the first round of the 2010 Rockstar Energy MX Nationals at Horsham in Victoria, but still managed to collect a solid points haul in both classes as Cody Cooper and Lawson Bopping spearheaded the team’s title charge.
In the premier Pro Open class, series dark horse Cooper returned to Australia after a successful season in the 2009 AMA outdoor championship. Poor starts in the first two motos left Cooper positioned deep in the field, however the likable New Zealander’s speed was evident for all to see as he consistently passed his rivals, ultimately finishing eighth and ninth in the first two 20-minute motos.
Persistent rain saw conditions worsen by the third moto with track conditions verging on treacherous. A change in strategy saw Cooper pick a wide gate resulting in his best start of the day, and he entered turn one is second position and immediately put space between his competitors. A fall mid race saw him lose several positions however he recovered to finish sixth, contributing to a total of 40 points and ninth place overall.
In the Pro Lites class, rising star Bopping had similarly bad starts and was also forced to fight his way from near the back of the field.
Bopping showed glimpses of speed that saw him finish third in the 2009 Super X Championship, with an eleventh, seventh and eleventh resulting in 34 points for the round and eleventh position in the Championship.
Team Rockstar Motul Suzuki Team Manager Jay Foreman, although disappointed with the days results, was philosophical.
“We always knew the first round was going to be tough, and the bad starts by both riders in almost every moto hurt us,” Foreman said. “It was an inconsistent surface today and both guys were conscious of the need to not push it too hard and make sure we scored as many points as possible. There’s no doubt the bikes are quick enough, and both Cody and Lawson showed glimpses of what could be.”
Foreman said the team was looking forward to the next round in Canberra.
“It’s Lawson’s home track, he knows it well, and we’ll be looking for a much better result and the start of our assault on the 2010 championship,” he concluded.