NAMUR, 5 August 2007 - The Citadelle S72 track hosted a sunny and dry 60th edition of the Belgian GP, in front of a crowd of 31000 Motocross fans.
Sebastien Pourcel came back to victory after his maiden one at Faenza, as a surprising Davide Guarneri topped the MX2 overall for the first time in his GP career, giving Team Ricci their second consecutive win after Nicolas Aubin’s success at Loket.
The opening round of the FIM Veterans’ Motocross World Cup was won by Tony Cooksley in the Veteran class and Dave Thorpe in the Senior class.
Winning the opening moto but riding safe in the final one, GPKR’s Sebastien Pourcel marked his comeback to victory, the second of his MX1 career. David Philippaerts of KTM Red Bull made it to the podium after a difficult first moto, but he won the second one. Kawasaki Racing Europe’s Tanel Leok completed the podium thanks to a solid final heat, while home riders Ken De Dycker, Steve Ramon and Kevin Strijbos completed the top six.
MX1 GRAND PRIX RACE 1
After a great start, David Philippaerts lost the lead and progressively dropped down to an eventual seventh. A determined Sebastien Pourcel moved up to first by passing Mike Brown, but Ken De Dycker put the heat on the Frenchman and passed. Pourcel controlled the Belgian and finally made his move, securing the victory. De Dycker brought the bike home in second, while the battle for third place was a dogfight. After a disastrous start, a gutsy Kevin Strijbos came back up to third after he had passed Steve Ramon and Philippaerts. Poleman Billy Mackenzie struggled to find his rhythm in the first half of the heat, but eventually chased Strijbos for third and passed with two laps to go. Strijbos did not give up, arriving fourth on Billy’s tail, while Ramon rounded off the top five ahead of Tanel Leok. Jonathan Barragan crashed when he was fourth, and did not finish.
David Philippaerts took the holeshot and rode a perfect moto, finishing first at the chequered flag. The Italian’s job was not easy, as a strong Tanel Leok put the heat on him for several laps, but eventually settled down for second. Julien Bill was the first to put Philippaerts under pressure, as he was chasing the Italian from second place. After Leok had passed him, Bill rode to secure the third spot, which was the Swiss’ best career result. Sebastien Pourcel made a mistake, letting Steve Ramon pass and get fourth. Strijbos secured a fifth place finish after a crash, while an exhausted Pourcel rounded off the top six.
An unexpected Davide Guarneri of Ricci Racing won his maiden GP today, giving the team their second consecutive victory after Aubin’s triumph at Loket. A solid Tommy Searle of KTM Red Bull made it to second overall, ahead of KTM fellow rider Rui Goncalves of AXO Silver Action Team. Both Goncalves and Searle had a troubled final moto. Marcus Schiffer and Jeremy Van Horebeek rounded off the top five. Tony Cairoli and Christophe Pourcel finished at the bottom of the top ten, as both were involved in a first corner accident in moto one.
MX2 GRAND PRIX RACE 1
A collective crash at the start involved both Antonio Cairoli and Christophe Pourcel, while Tommy Searle took the lead. After fighting with Rui Goncalves, Searle pulled away with the lead to win in front of the Portuguese. A motivated Jeremy Tarroux tried to follow the leading duo, but was passed by countryman Gautier Paulin. Paulin was cruising in third when his chain broke and forced him off the race. Marcus Schiffer was handed third place; he tried to attack Goncalves in the final laps, but he eventually settled down for third, while Davide Guarneri and Kenneth Gundersen rounded off the top five. Cairoli moved up to an eventual fifteenth, while Pourcel crashed another time and did not finish the race.
The victory of the final heat was decided in a three men fight; Tony Cairoli took the holeshot, but was soon reached by Davide Guarneri and Christophe Pourcel, with the trio riding close for more than half the moto. Pourcel finally made it to the lead, as Guarneri dropped down to third after having lead for one lap. Cairoli was sandwiched between the two, but reached Pourcel’s tail in the final laps. Despite having put loads of pressure on the Frenchman, Cairoli could not pass and finished second behind winner Pourcel. With Guarneri third, Jeremy Van Horebeek and Matti Seistola rounded off the top five. Rui Goncalves finished ninth, feeling pain to his left shoulder after he had been hit by a stone yesterday, whereas Tommy Searle was tenth because of a disastrous start.
IN THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS STANDINGS
Steve Ramon is still second, 43 points away from a currently injured Joshua Coppins. Sebastien Pourcel slightly consolidated his third position in the Championship, but David Philippaerts is only 11 points behind. Kevin Strijbos rounds off the top five, while Tanel Leok, seventh, is now only two points behind Ken De Dycker, sixth. Jonathan Barragan has dropped down to eighth.
FIM VETERANS’ MOTOCROSS WORLD CUP
Clinching victory in the final heat, Dave Thorpe won the opening round of the Cup in the Senior class. Defending Champion Thierry Godfroid rode to a solid second, which placed him third on the podium behind countryman Jan Blancquaert. Andres Krestinov and Regis Simon rounded off the top five overall.
The final three race run to secure both World Titles –MX1 and MX2- will begin on August 19 at Moneyglass Demesne and will finish at Lierop, on September 2, passing by Donington Park –August 26. The latter GP will also host round two of the Veterans’ Cup, while Lierop will host the final round of the Women’s Cup.
Information and results on www.motocrossMX1.com, the official website of the FIM Motocross World Championships.