FAENZA, 15 July 2007 - An extremely well organized and crowd packed Monte Coralli circuit -with 29000 weekend spectators - hosted its first Motocross Grand Prix today since 1993.
It was a great comeback, with four extremely battled moto’s that ended with a Pourcel one-two; Sebastien won the MX1 GP for the first time in his career, as Christophe clinched the overall win in the MX2 class.
All riders struggled with a demanding heat, showing their strength and preparation once again.
An unbelievable Sebastien Pourcel of GPKR dominated the Italian Grand Prix by clinching two consecutive victories. The Frenchman rode smart and pulled away with the lead after two decent starts, beating Yamaha Motocross’ Josh Coppins, who finished second on the podium. Mike Brown of CAS Honda completed the podium ahead of Billy Mackenzie and poleman Jonathan Barragan. Sebastien Pourcel dominated this Grand Prix
Sebastien Pourcel dominated this Grand Prix
After taking the holeshot, Mike Brown tried to pull away with the lead but a very smart Sebastien Pourcel was following him from very close, waiting for an open door to pass.
Once he got the chance, Pourcel squeezed himself and his machine to arrive first to the chequered flag; after a bad start Josh Coppins had to recover from the bottom of the top fifteen. The solid Kiwi rode an incredible heat to finish second, less than four seconds behind the winner.
Ken de Dycker battled with team mate Brown until he reached the second place, but was finally passed by Coppins and settled for an important third place.
Brown brought the bike home in fourth after having lead the early laps, and Jonathan Barragan rounded off the top five.
Cedric Melotte of Aprilia Off Road had a storming start to the heat, riding in third place for a couple of laps, but finally retired. He was not 100%, as he has been ill for the last couple of days. He did not take part in moto two.
MX1 GRAND PRIX RACE 2
A super David Philippaerts took a great start and lead the pack into the first turn; Sebastien Pourcel started once again in second place and followed the Italian until he was ready to pass. Once he moved up to first, Pourcel ran away with the lead to secure his first place; Coppins was actually coming up fast after a decent start, but could not close the gap by the time he moved up to second.
Philippaerts was running after Pourcel when he landed and hurt his already injured shoulder -from a race of last weekend. Coppins moved past him, but the Italian eventually dropped down to fifteenth.
Billy Mackenzie finished third behind Coppins, after having fought with a very motivated Mike Brown. The American brought the bike home with another fourth place, ahead of Jonathan Barragan.
De Dycker ended a difficult final moto with a tenth place.
The battle between GPKR’s Christophe Pourcel and Yamaha De Carli’s Antonio Cairoli ended with the Frenchman’s revenge, with Pourcel beating the Italian on home soil. Cairoli scored as many points as Pourcel with a first and a second place, but finished second on the podium ahead of a solid Tyla Rattray of KTM Red Bull Racing. The South African sand specialist struggled on the hard pack Italian track, but was ahead of both Pascal Leuret and Rui Goncalves.
Tony Cairoli started like a freight train, but did not get rid of Christophe Pourcel; the Frenchman moved to the lead right away, and tried to ran away from rival Cairoli.
Cairoli did not follow and looked like settling for the runner up spot, but the Championship leader came back up to close a gap of about four seconds.
Cairoli made it to first at half race distance, and rode alone to the chequered flag while Pourcel settled down in second place.
Tyla Rattray was once again consistent and recovered from the bottom of the top ten to the third place; Tyla was put massive pressure by Nicolas Aubin, who never lost the contact with the South African.
Rattray left no open doors and made no mistakes, giving Aubin no chance to pass and leaving him behind in fourth. Pascal Leuret rounded off the top five ahead of a surprising Marvin Musquin; the European Championship contender had a great start and lapped in third for the first seven laps.
For the final heat, Pourcel put himself together and headed the pack into the first turn; on the other hand Cairoli had a difficult start, and was forced to recover positions while his rival pulled away with an impressive pace.
Once Cairoli made it to second by passing Rattray, he tried to close the ten second gap from the defending Champion, but the mission was impossible.
Cairoli settled down for second behind winner Pourcel, as Rattray soldiered on in third until he reached the chequered flag.
Pascal Leuret fought for the whole heat to secure his fourth place ahead of Tommy Searle; the British was on a mission, as he had to make up for the first moto, where he crashed and finished eleventh.
Another rider coming from the European Championship, Gautier Paulin, started the final heat really well; he completed three circulations in third place, but finally dropped down to thirteenth. His physical condition was not 100%, as he tangled up with another rider and crashed in the opening moto.
The battle was tough but Christophe Pourcel won it
The battle was tough but Christophe Pourcel won it
Joshua Coppins has now 107 points more than runner up Steve Ramon, who had a difficult weekend in Italy. Sebastien Pourcel stormed from sixth to third after today’s haul of 50 points, as David Philippaerts dropped down to fourth. Jonathan Barragan rounds off the top five.
There is still the same gap of 102 points between series leader Tony Cairoli and runner up Christophe Pourcel, as both conquered the same amount of points today. Rattray reinforced his third position ahead of Searle and Leuret. Stephen Sword marked his GP’s comeback by clinching his first four Championship points.
NEWS OF THE DAY : WINGS FOR LIFE AUCTION
This morning at Monte Coralli’s paddock a special charity auction for Wings for Life took place; the amount of money that was collected by selling Motocross gear of Stefan Everts, Christophe Pourcel, Tyla Rattray, Antonio Cairoli, Ricky Carmichael and James Stewart will be given to Wings for Life at the next Grand Prix in Loket. More of such auctions will be held at some of the forthcoming Grand Prix’s.
Such a hot Grand Prix requires at least one week of vacation, and this is exactly what the FIM Motocross World Championship will do. The forthcoming Grand Prix of Czech Republic will be held at Loket, on July 29.