Thor Race Report: MXGP Round 6

Leaving the European continent for the first time this season, the FIM Grand Prix Motocross teams jetted to Sugo, Japan for the sixth round the world championship. 

THOR’S MX 1 title contender, Josh Coppins, qualified on pole (his second consecutive of the season) at the well prepared Sugo circuit situated near the city of Sendai. 

Josh Coppins

Coppins struggled to find form in both moto’s but continued his string of podiums with a consistent 3-3 inevitably stretching his lead to a massive 63 points over Belgian’s Kevin Strijbos.  Factory Yamaha team-mate Marc de Reuver was literally counted out as the effervescent Dutchman sustained a light concussion in a first moto crash.  Scotsman Billy MacKenzie, won his first GP of the season on the factory Kawasaki.

In the MX2 class, THOR’S, Gareth Swanepoel posted a  consistent 5-4 result which has shot the South African up two places in the MX2 championship.  Frenchman, Christophe Pourcel, rode an astounding second moto, after winning the first, to break Antonio Cairoli’s string of successive GP victories.

The GP teams have a well deserved week break before trekking to sunny France and the former Des Nations circuit of St Jean d’Angely on the 9-10 June.

Josh Coppins:

“I was surprised I qualified on pole to be honest.  I haven’t felt good on the bike all weekend and I think it showed in the race.  I struggled to find good lines and my rhythm and had to make the best of bad day.  It didn’t really go as I had hoped but I did my best.  Of course I think about the championship all the time and trying to concentrate on race wins is not easy.  On the other hand my consistency has built me a good lead in the championship,”

Marc De Reuver:

"I was fifth at the start of the first heat but made a small mistake just before the finish line. I lost some time because I had to bash the bars and levers back into position. Billy Mackenzie lapped me and I ran behind him without any problem until the big crash over the table-top. The front wheel just washed out on the landing and I hit my head hard. I don't even remember how I got back to the paddock and Michele and Carlo thought it was better that I don't ride. It is a disappointing weekend but I am lucky that I only have a black eye."

Gareth Swanepoel:

“I had two lonely races today.  In the second moto I had a better start and ran with the guys up front for a little while but then lost touch and was off their pace.   I didn’t feel comfortable this weekend but was happy to have two consistent races and to move up two places in the championship.  The last few GP’s I’ve been up and down so I just want build some consistency and then aim at getting back onto the podium.”

Race results:

MX2 Race 1

1        Pourcel, Christophe   FRA     Kawasaki

2        Rattray, Tyla  RSA    KTM

3        Cairoli, Antonio         ITA     Yamaha

4        Searle, Tommy         GBR     KTM

5          Swanepoel, Gareth  RSA     Kawasaki (THOR)

6        Leuret, Pascal FRA     Honda

7        Boissiere, Anthony    FRA     Kawasaki

8        Hamblin, Sean USA    Suzuki

9        Church, Tom  GBR     Kawasaki

10      Seistola, Matti          FIN     Honda

11      Dougan, Jason          GBR     Suzuki

12      Gundersen, Kenneth NOR    Yamaha

13      Aubin, Nicolas FRA     Yamaha

14      Verbruggen, Dennis   BEL     Yamaha

15      Kojima, Youhei          JPN     Suzuki


MX2 Race 2


1        Cairoli, Antonio         ITA     Yamaha

2        Pourcel, Christophe   FRA     Kawasaki

3        Searle, Tommy         GBR     KTM

4          Swanepoel, Gareth  RSA     Kawasaki (THOR)

5        Rattray, Tyla  RSA    KTM

6        Leuret, Pascal FRA     Honda

7        Boissiere, Anthony    FRA     Kawasaki

8        Nunn, Carl      GBR     Yamaha

9        Gundersen, Kenneth NOR    Yamaha

10      Kojima, Youhei          JPN     Suzuki

11      Guarneri, Davide       ITA     Yamaha

12      Barr, Martin    GBR     Yamaha

13      Verbruggen, Dennis   BEL     Yamaha

14      Simpson, Shaun        GBR     Kawasaki

15      Dougan, Jason          GBR     Suzuki


MX2 Championship standings:

1        Cairoli, A.       ITA     292

2        Pourcel, C.     FRA     228

3        Rattray, Tyla  RSA    218

4        Searle, Tommy         GBR     175

5        Leuret, Pascal FRA     173

6          Swanepoel, G.          RSA     147 (THOR)

7        Gundersen, K. NOR    139

8        Aubin, Nicolas FRA     134

9        Seistola, M.    FIN     115

10      Boissiere, A.   FRA     95

11      Schiffer, M.    GER     90

12      Nunn, Carl      GBR     69

13      Church, Tom  GBR     65

14      Verbruggen, D.         BEL     62

15      Frossard, S.   FRA     58



MX1 Race 1


1        Mackenzie, Billy        GBR     Kawasaki

2        Barragan, Jonathan   ESP     KTM

3          Coppins, Joshua       NZL     Yamaha (THOR)

4        Philippaerts, David     ITA     KTM

5        Brown, Mike   USA    Honda

6        de Dycker, Ken         BEL     Honda

7        Pourcel, Sebastien    FRA     Kawasaki

8        Atsuta, Yoshitaka     JPN     Honda

9        Ramon, Steve BEL     Suzuki

10      Noble, James  GBR     Honda

11      Priem, Manuel BEL     TM

12      Strijbos, Kevin          BEL     Suzuki

13      Masuda, Kazumasa    JPN     Honda

14      Nemeth, Kornel         HUN    Suzuki

15      Nagl, Maximilian        GER     KTM


MX1 Race 2


1        Brown, Mike   USA    Honda

2        Mackenzie, Billy        GBR     Kawasaki

3          Coppins, Joshua       NZL     Yamaha (THOR)

4        Ramon, Steve BEL     Suzuki

5        Atsuta, Yoshitaka     JPN     Honda

6        Philippaerts, David     ITA     KTM

7        Leok, Tanel    EST    Kawasaki

8        Noble, James  GBR     Honda

9        Priem, Manuel BEL     TM

10      Strijbos, Kevin          BEL     Suzuki

11      Pourcel, Sebastien    FRA     Kawasaki

12      Nagl, Maximilian        GER     KTM

13      Theybers, Danny      BEL     Honda

14      Nemeth, Kornel         HUN    Suzuki

15      Toda, Kuraudo          JPN     Suzuki


MX1 Championship standings:


1          Coppins, J.    NZL     274 (THOR)

2        Strijbos, K.     BEL     211

3        Ramon, Steve BEL     186

4        Pourcel, S.     FRA     154

5        Philippaerts, D.         ITA     148

6        de Dycker, Ken         BEL     146

7        Barragan, J.   ESP     143

8        Brown, Mike   USA    141

9        Noble, James  GBR     128

10      Leok, Tanel    EST    126

11      Mackenzie, B. GBR     120

12        de Reuver, M.           NED     115 (THOR)

13      Priem, Manuel BEL     103

14      Nagl, M.        GER     95

15      Nemeth, Kornel         HUN    80