Thor GP Race Report

June 12, 2007 10:42am

A partisan crowd of 28.000, has seen the FIM motocross championship reach the halfway point at a sweltering St Jean d’Angely in France. Factory Yamaha and THOR racer, Josh Coppins, is now the runaway leader in the MX1 with an astounding 90 point lead and the new Zealander added another GP victory to his name by posting an impressive 1-2 at round 7 at the hilly French circuit close to Bordeaux.

Coppins grabbed the perfect hole-shot in moto 1 questioning Mike Brown’s reputation as being the hole-shot king. The New Zealander never put a foot wrong and worked with his YZ450FM to build a steady lead, flowing with the hilly and hard pack circuit.  Coppins cruised to victory while championship rival Kevin Strijbos failed to score points due to an ongoing knee injury. The Belgian would not come out for the second moto.  Dutchman, Mark de Reuver experienced a huge crash while moving through the field and was luckily unscathed but shaken up.

It was once again poetry in motion as Coppins  ousted American Mike Brown out of the hole-shot.   Scotsman Billy MacKenzie managed to sneak by a few turns later but Coppins regained his composure and took over the lead with Steve Ramon following suit.  Ramon would eventually get the better of Coppins to take the moto win but the overall victory and championship lead extension was for the Kiwi’s taking.

Antonio Cairoli continued his onslaught in the MX2 class with a perfect score and was unchallenged by crowd favourite Christophe Pourcel.  THOR racer Gareth Swanepoel, was fending off a Pourcel challenge in moto1 when he went down in the infamous sand section.  The South African quickly got going again to fight back and salvage 9th.  A second moto 7th  guaranteed 7th overall for the GP.

MX GP teams and riders will have little recuperating time before the long haul to Sevlievo, Bulgaria for the 8th round, next weekend.

Josh Coppins: “I feel sorry for Kevin Strijbos. I have also had my fair share of knee problems in the past so I know how he feels.  He is a very good rider and I’m sure he will come back strong.  It is a shame for the championship as people would like it to be much closer but at the same time I am happy with the lead.  My choice of lines let me down in the second moto and I used too much energy on them.  I finally found some good lines after Steve passed me but he was riding well and deserved the win . The championship is looking good for me and I just want to try and win some more GP’s.  Of course it would have been great to win both heats but it’s winning the GP that counts.” 

Marc de Reuver: "The first heat did not start that badly, but I shut off too early and everyone passed me on the first turn. After four laps I was into a rhythm and was fast. I came up to eighth place but then I made a mistake. I got into the corner before the pits too hard and could not brake anymore. I went over the berm and off the track and crashed pretty hard. In the second heat I don't know what happened; I just did not have the confidence."

Gareth Swanepoel: “I ripped the start in the first moto but then threw it away when I went down in the sand section.  I put together some fast laps and got back to 9th.  The second moto I got through the pack really fast after a bad jump and was running a good speed until we hit the 25 minute mark.  I couldn’t keep the pace going which I’m not happy about.  St Jean is not my favourite track although I should have come away with a few more points.   I was really pleased with how the KX250F worked today.  The suspension was also awesome which makes me feel confident for the Bulgarian GP, next weekend.”

Race results:

MX2 Race 1

1        Cairoli, Antonio         ITA     Yamaha
2        Pourcel, Christophe   FRA     Kawasaki
3        Rattray, Tyla  RSA    KTM
4        Leuret, Pascal FRA     Honda
5        Searle, Tommy         GBR     KTM
6        Aubin, Nicolas FRA     Yamaha
7        Dougan, Jason          GBR     Suzuki
8        Guarneri, Davide       ITA     Yamaha
9         Swanepoel, Gareth  RSA     Kawasaki (THOR)
10      Church, Tom  GBR     Kawasaki
11      Bonini, Matteo          ITA     Yamaha
12      Goncalves, Rui          POR    KTM
13      Nunn, Carl      GBR     Yamaha
14      Boog, Xavier   FRA     Yamaha
15      Seistola, Matti          FIN     Honda

MX2 Race 2

1        Cairoli, Antonio         ITA     Yamaha
2        Pourcel, Christophe   FRA     Kawasaki
3        Rattray, Tyla  RSA    KTM
4        Leuret, Pascal FRA     Honda
5        Aubin, Nicolas FRA     Yamaha
6        Searle, Tommy         GBR     KTM
7        Swanepoel, Gareth  RSA     Kawasaki (THOR)
8        Boissiere, Anthony    FRA     Kawasaki
9        Nunn, Carl      GBR     Yamaha
10      Church, Tom  GBR     Kawasaki
11      Boog, Xavier   FRA     Yamaha
12      Goncalves, Rui          POR    KTM
13      Bonini, Matteo          ITA     Yamaha|
14      Guarneri, Davide       ITA     Yamaha
15      Tarroux, Jeremy        FRA     Yamaha

MX2 Championship standings:

1        Cairoli, A.       ITA     342
2        Pourcel, C.     FRA     272
3        Rattray, Tyla  RSA    258
4        Leuret, Pascal FRA     209
5        Searle, Tommy         GBR     206
6        Swanepoel, G.          RSA     173 (THOR)
7        Aubin, Nicolas FRA     165
8        Gundersen, K. NOR    149
9        Seistola, M.    FIN     125
10      Boissiere, A.   FRA     111
11      Schiffer, M.    GER     90
12      Nunn, Carl      GBR     89
13      Church, Tom  GBR     87
14      Guarneri, D.    ITA     70
15      Boog, Xavier   FRA     63

MX1 Race 1

1        Coppins, Joshua       NZL     Yamaha (THOR)
2        Philippaerts, David     ITA     KTM
3        Ramon, Steve BEL     Suzuki
4        Pourcel, Sebastien    FRA     Kawasaki
5        Mackenzie, Billy        GBR     Kawasaki
6        Barragan, Jonathan   ESP     KTM
7        Brown, Mike   USA    Honda
8        Leok, Tanel    EST    Kawasaki
9        Nagl, Maximilian        GER     KTM
10      Noble, James  GBR     Honda
11      Nemeth, Kornel         HUN    Suzuki
12      Priem, Manuel BEL     TM
13      Crockard, Gordon      IRL      Honda
14      Leok, Aigar     EST    Yamaha
15      Bill, Julien       SUI     Honda

MX1 Race 2

1        Ramon, Steve BEL     Suzuki
2        Coppins, Joshua       NZL     Yamaha (THOR)
3        Leok, Tanel    EST    Kawasaki
4        Mackenzie, Billy        GBR     Kawasaki
5        Philippaerts, David     ITA     KTM
6        Barragan, Jonathan   ESP     KTM
7        Brown, Mike   USA    Honda
8        Priem, Manuel BEL     TM
9        Pourcel, Sebastien    FRA     Kawasaki
10      van Daele, Marvin     BEL     Honda
11      Bill, Julien       SUI     Honda
12      Nemeth, Kornel         HUN    Suzuki
13      Renet, Pierre A.        FRA     Honda
14      Leok, Aigar     EST    Yamaha
15      Desalle, Clement       BEL     Suzuki

MX1 Championship standings:

1        Coppins, J.    NZL     321 (THOR)
2        Ramon, Steve BEL     231
3        Strijbos, K.     BEL     211
4        Philippaerts, D.         ITA     186
5        Pourcel, S.     FRA     184
6        Barragan, J.   ESP     173
7        Brown, Mike   USA    169
8        Leok, Tanel    EST    159
9        Mackenzie, B. GBR     154
10      de Dycker, Ken         BEL     150
11      Noble, James  GBR     139
12      Priem, Manuel BEL     125
13      de Reuver, M.           NED     115 (THOR)
14      Nagl, M.        GER     107
15      Nemeth, Kornel         HUN    99