Yamaha Monster Motocross Team’s Joshua Coppins is facing a rush to be fully fit for the opening round of the 2008 FIM MX1-GP World Championship in two weeks after an incident while training Saturday morning (22nd March) caused to break two toes on his right foot and undergo immediate surgery.The New Zealander travelled to the Dunkirk circuit in France to begin his motos early Saturday morning to avoid a crowded venue later in the day. However he crested a hill only to find a local rider picking up his machine.Coppins’ right foot bore the brunt of the subsequent collision as he caught the other bike’s footpeg. With counsel from renowned motocross surgeon Dr Claes, Coppins went under the knife successfully the same afternoon and did not require the insertion of any metalwork into the two smallest toes on his foot.The natural healing process means that one of the strongest favorites for the MX1-GP title is now staring at the possibility of missing the first meeting of the GP series at Valkenswaard in the Netherlands on April 6th.Joshua said:
“I cannot believe my luck, this is the third injury in a row that I have had that was not my fault, Valkenswaard is 50-50 at the moment. My foot has to heal naturally and we might run out of time; I’m not too sure how things will go at the moment. We will have to assess things over the next few days. I am trying to stay positive but clearly this was not what I wanted. It is a long season though and we have to keep looking ahead.”Coppins has won races in Italy and France over the last six weeks in a promising pre-season period on the works YZ450FM. He claimed five grand prix victories in 2007 and was leading the world championship by 107 points until a freak accident at the Grand Prix of Czech Republic, four rounds before the end of the campaign, caused him to surrender the chase for what would have been his first crown.