CAIROLI AND POURCEL SHOCKED THE WORLD AT BELLPUIG
BELLPUIG, 15 April 2007- After heavy rain compromised the first day of the Grand Prix of Spain, the second round of the FIM Motocross World Championship literally resurrected on a sunny Sunday, that saw great racing in both the MX1 and MX2 class.
The morning’s qualifying sessions had two protagonists; Kawasaki Racing’s Tanel Leok clocked the pole, ahead of Josh Coppins and Steve Ramon. In the MX2 class, GPKR’s Christophe Pourcel and Yamaha De Carli’s Antonio Cairoli almost clocked the same lap time, but the Frenchman was slightly faster than the Italian, and gained the first spot on the grid. Nicolas Aubin was third fastest.
22.300 people attended an eagerly awaited Grand Prix of Spain, at the Circuit de Motocròs de Catalunya. The track was wet at the beginning, but it progressively dried out thanks to the sunny weather conditions.
Joshua Coppins won the MX1 Grand Prix, as Yamaha fellow rider Antonio Cairoli won the MX2 class, after a breathtaking duel with Christophe Pourcel.
Yamaha Motocross’ Joshua Coppins raced a great GP, and won both motos, but Suzuki WMX GP’s Kevin Strijbos tried his hardest to clinch his first moto victory of the season. He finished in second place overall, ahead of a very motivated Maximilian Nagl of the KTM Sarholz Team. It is still a tough debut for Aprilia and WRM; Aprilia Off Road’s Alessio Chiodi was twenty third, ahead of Cristian Beggi of Moto Race Team.
MX1 RACE 1
A superb Mike Brown stormed into the first corner, and grabbed the holeshot. The American kept the lead of the race for the first three laps, but he was followed by a very motivated Josh Coppins, who passed him at lap four. While Brown was dropping down to twelfth, the Kiwi pulled away with the lead. The Suzuki team mates Steve Ramon and Kevin Strijbos fought for second place, but Strijbos held on until the chequered flag, and finished second. Ramon finished third, ahead of local hero Jonathan Barragan. The Spaniard came very close to Ramon, and was only three tenths behind the Belgian at the end of the race. Max Nagl ended the top five, ahead of Ken De Dycker, who was sixth, after he crashed with five laps to go.
MX1 RACE 2
Coppins had a great start to the final moto, and lead the pack into turn one. Kawasaki young guns Sebastien Pourcel and Billy Mackenzie -who are both experiencing their first season in the MX1 class- tried to follow the Kiwi; Mackenzie passed Pourcel for second place, as Ramon crashed with Crockard, Salvini and Desalle. Ramon’s team mate Strijbos did not have a good start, and was twelfth at the end of the opening lap. But the Belgian fought his way up to third, behind a very fast Nagl, who finished the moto in second place. Nagl passed Mackenzie for second at lap 16, and left the Scott facing the attacks of a hungry Strijbos. Strijbos passed, and so did Pourcel, who finished fourth. Mackenzie ended the top five, ahead of home rider Barragan.
The MX2 Grand Prix of Spain was fantastic. Yamaha De Carli’s Antonio Cairoli was the overall winner, after two incredible battles with defending World Champion Christophe Pourcel of Team GPKR. KTM Red Bull’s Tyla Rattray was third, thanks to two solid motos.
MX2 RACE 1
There was an all French battle in the first turn, between Nicolas Aubin, Pascal Leuret and Christophe Pourcel. Aubin got the holeshot, but Pourcel clinched the lead a few corners later. The defending Champion tried to pull away with the lead, followed by Leuret; Aubin and Erik Eggens fought for third, as Antonio Cairoli was coming up from fifth. Leuret crashed, as Eggens and Cairoli passed Aubin. Cairoli passed Eggens for second place, and started to close the gap on leader Pourcel. The gap reduced dramatically, and Cairoli snatched the lead from the Frenchman with three laps to go. Pourcel passed again, and Cairoli stayed on his tail until he made a couple of mistakes in the final two laps. Pourcel won, with Cairoli second, and Eggens third. Tyla Rattray made it to fourth, and Leuret ended the top five. Aubin had technical problems, and could not finish the race.
MX2 RACE 2
Pourcel lead since the start, and once again he tried to open up a gap on runner up Nicolas Aubin. Cairoli did not have a good start, and it took him seven laps to snatch the second place from Aubin, who was blocked in a rut at lap five. Eggens crashed, as Rattray and Tommy Searle battled for fourth place. The South African passed the British, and begun to chase Aubin for third place. Both Rattray and Searle passed Aubin at lap ten, when Cairoli was still closing in on Pourcel. At the last lap, the Italian was very close to the defending Champion. It was a fantastic finale, with Cairoli passing Pourcel, and riding the rest of the lap with the Frenchman on his tail. Tony won the moto, with Pourcel second and Rattray third. Searle was fourth, and Aubin closed the top five.
The MX1 class is lead by Josh Coppins, who increased his advantage from Valkenswaard. Kevin Strijbos is now second with a 19 point gap, and Jonathan Barragan dropped down to third. Thanks to a fantastic Spanish Grand Prix, Max Nagl is fourth, ahead of Steve Ramon, fifth.
Antonio Cairoli’s motivation for this Title reflects on the MX2 World Championship standings; Cairoli is first, with 15 points more than runner up Tyla Rattray. Christophe Pourcel moved up to third, and is followed by Erik Eggens, fourth, and Pascal Leuret, fifth. Gareth Swanepoel dropped down to tenth, after a disappointing Spanish Grand Prix.
There will not be much rest for the FIM Motocross World Championship circus, as everyone is now heading West, to Agueda, Portugal, for the third GP of the series on April 22.
Information and results on www.motocrossMX1.com, the official website of the FIM Motocross World Championships.