Athlete(s) Involved: Josh Coppins & Rui Goncalves
Saturday saw a good beginning for both Josh Coppins and Rui Goncalves, both setting the 2nd fastest time in pre-qualifying practice. In the Qualifying Race MX 2, Rui had an awesome start only to be taken out in the first corner, by a bunch of riders. He went flying a couple of metres away from his bike. Feeling sore, he got up and managed to finish 33rd overall. Josh Coppins on the other hand in the MX 1 Class, got a good start, second into the first corner, but took the lead straight after that from Max Nagel. He led the whole race, holding off the pack, and eventually pulling away from everyone as well. The sun was going down, and there were a lot of dark patches on the track, and with 2 laps to go, Josh did not see a hole at the bottom of the hill, and landed with his front wheel right in it. His bike came to a complete stop, and both bike and Josh cartwheeled over and over. We thought, that was that, he had fallen so hard. But the tough guy he is, and with lots of determination, he got up and finished 31st.
Sunday, Race day. Well, the rain just came down and kept coming. The riding conditions just got worse and worse. Josh and Rui were both so pumped, they were ready to take on anything that came their way, including the weather. Rui Goncalves in MX 2, got a good start, but on lap 7 he got stuck in the mud, and was so deeply imbedded, he could not free his bike, and was forced to retire. Josh Coppins, in MX 1, having seen what happened in MX 2, decided to just take the race easy , and get around the whole track and finish the race, rather than try and go for a win, which might result in a DNF and jeopodize his overall points. That was a clever move, after getting stuck and lying in about 15th position, he slowly picked them off and managed to finish in 6th position. He kept calm and collected, there were a few times he did not make the steep climbs, but he just turned around and had a re-run at it.
Due to the very bad conditions, and lots of protests, they decided to call the 2nd race off. This was really not a true reflection of skill and fitness, there was a lot of luck involved. We were very happy with the outcome of the day, and relieved to come away injury free, not totally pain free, but definately injury free. We will see what happens in Bulgaria this weekend. Will keep you updated.
MX1 Josh Coppins 6th 15 Pontis
MX2 Rui Goncalves DNF 0 Points
See pictures under Gallery 09 GP