Kiwi Josh Coppins wrapped up his 15–year Motocross Grand Prix career with a solid seventh place overall at Fermo in Italy on Sunday.
The 33-year-old piloted his factory Aprilia MXV 450 to another top ten result however it was his final moto spurt that had over 22,500 spectators in awe of his tenacity and ‘never-say–die’ spirit in hi sfinal fulltime GP appearance.
“Today has been very emotional for me,” admitted Coppins. “On the one hand I’m going to miss this competitive level of racing, not to mention all the friends and kind people I have met over the years in all the different countries, but on the other hand I was really happy to cross the finish line and put an end to a memorable career in Grand Prix Motocross.”
Despite fighting against a fleet of traditional single-cylinder 450cc machines, Coppins rode his Italian-built Aprilia V-twin to seventh in moto two to finish out the championship in 12th place for the season.
“I really had a great time in the second moto,” he reflected. “The bike was working really well and I wanted to make my final moto a tribute to the Aprilia team for the effort they have put in over the season. I have really enjoyed my time with them working on the motocross project and feel we have achieved good results together.”
On completing his final moto in an astounding international career, Coppins’s impressive resume lists two vice world championship placings, 12 GP wins with over 50 podiums and a pair of British Motocross Championship titles.
Coppins will now compete for New Zealand alongside Ben Townley and Brad Groombridge at the MX of Nations to be held on 26 September in the United States, before he focusses on a recently-announced deal with Yamaha in New Zealand and Australia for 2011.