NZ Team Finishes Fourth In World Motocross Champs
NZ Team Finishes Fourth In World Motocross Championship
Coppins, Townley and King come within a whisker of the World Crown.
The New Zealand Motocross team finished fourth at the season finale - The Motocross of Nations, held in Zolder, Belgium, this weekend.
On a sandy man made track at the Formula One venue the New Zealand team of Ben Townley, Josh Coppins and Shayne King had a good start against 31 nations by qualifying second on Saturday following heavy overnight rain. Townley was in great form winning his heat on a track that was not too dissimilar to the Taupo surface he was developed on.
Sunday was semi final day and the Kiwis won their semi heading off Finland and Japan. Josh Coppins (Motueka) won the race with King (New Plymouth) and Townley not far in arrears. This made the New Zealanders number one seed for the top 12 final. Notable ommissions from the final were France and Australia.
At the start of the final both Coppins and Townley were at the front of the field at the chaotic first turn. Townley didn't survive the mayhem and was unable to complete the race. Coppins finished fifth and King fourteenth - Townley was uninjured.
The mathematics went against the Kiwis by three points. The star studded Belgian team including Everts and Smets won the crown form the Ricky Carmichael led USA team. In the end Finland ousted us into third by a three-point margin.
In the individual standings Ricky Carmichael (USA) led from the two Belgians - Everts and Smets. The best of the Kiwis was Coppins who was fifth on the ladder.
Trevor Gill, CEO of Motorcycling New Zealand rates the campaign an outstanding success. "Coppins and Townley hardly featured in the individual world championships this year after both had terrible accidents at the start of the year. Then we lost Daryl Hurley to a serious injury and Shayne King had to step up.
we have competed against the best of the world on a budget
of $10,000 (NZ), to have qualified as top country for the
final is a huge result on its own. Underneath that we have
a raft of young elite motocrossers doing well and in demand
worldwide. This achievement is no fluke, we are already
well advanced in our plans to be the first country to take
the Des Nations outside of Europe or America."