Week 1 @ Valkenswaard, Netherlands, sees four Monster Energy-backed MXGP racers in the top ten, along with a Euopean MX2 win @ Talaverna de la Reina, Spain
CORONA, Calif., (April 8, 2008) – Monster Energy has stepped up its international presence in professional motocross, this year more than doubling its sponsorship efforts with teams based out of Europe competing in the MX1 class on the FIM Motocross World Championship circuit, as well as the FIM European MX2 Championship.
FIM Motocross World Championships: At the 2008 season opener at Valkenswaard, Netherlands, Monster Energy was pumped to have four of its racers place in the top ten in the premier MX1 class. Monster Energy was led by Billy Mackenzie (Monster Energy/CAS Honda) who just missed the overall MX1 class podium, placing 4th overall (10-2, 33 points). Also placing in the MX1 class top ten at Valkenswaard were Monster Energy/Yamaha’s David Philippaerts in 5th overall (4-6, 33 points), Josh Coppins in 6th place (6-7, 29 points). Team GPKR’s Kevin Strijbos would finish in 9th place overall (21 points).
Coppins: “All in all this has been a pretty good weekend under the circumstances. Qualifying went well with 8th place. My starts were good in both motos however I went a bit wide in the first one and slid out in the second but was up there. This weekend was just damage control really and I rode the best I could within the pain, trying not to damage the foot at all. I haven’t been able to do the work to be best prepared for this race. I am quite happy with the result which is a relief after what I have gone through in the last two weeks. I’m sitting in 6th overall now whereas two weeks ago I was looking at the bones sticking out of my toes so I’m happy with the position I am in.
I have the stitches removed from my toes tomorrow and then I plan to get some more time on the bike later in the week. We’ll head to France for some guaranteed better weather and hopefully with that time in the saddle I’ll be able to build back some strength for Spain and aim to be strong in Portugal.”
Philippaerts: "I have to say that I am happy. For my first GP I had good speed and also a nice feeling on the bike. The first moto was not great because I made some small mistakes and was quite nervous but I was glad to see that I could go at the front. In one corner I almost crashed and was completely off the side of the bike; that caused me to lose a lot of time. I pushed hard again but had a problem with my goggles and that was a hassle with the sand. It was because of this I hit with Josh. I wanted to go on the outside but I ran out of room. It was not something I meant to do and just one of those racing incidents. I wanted third position but Pyrhonen blocked me and I lost speed, so Ramon passed me starting the last lap. I was frustrated by this but after I calmed down I was actually content because my goal had been top five and I had taken fourth. In the second heat I started well but lost a lot of positions by getting blocked in the second corner. I came up behind Josh and it took a lot of energy to pass him.
I was being extra careful because I did not want to touch again. When I got through I was physically finished. I am happy with the points I took this weekend. I am not far from second place and the championship has started quite well for me."
Strijbos: “The conditions were very different to last weekend and on this wet sand I didn’t feel comfortable on the bike. We worked on the suspension last week but my main problem here came from the engine. We are late in our testing program but we now have two weeks to prepare the following round of the championship.”
MX1 Moto1: 1. Ken De Dycker (Suz); 2. Max Nagl (KTM); 3. Steve Ramon (Suz); 4. David Philippaerts (Yam); 5. Manuel Priem (Kaw); 6. Josh Coppins (Yam); 7. Kevin Strijbos (Kaw); 8. Marc De Reuver (Hon); 9.
Kornel Nemeth (KTM); 10. Billy Mackenzie (Hon)
MX1 Moto2: 1. Ken De Dycker (Suz); 2. Billy Mackenzie (Honda); 3.
Jonathan Barragan (KTM); 4. Steve Ramon (Suzuki); 5. Max Nagl (KTM); 6. David Philippaerts (Yamaha); 7. Josh Coppins (Yamaha); 8. Manuel Priem (Kaw); 9. Kornel Nemeth (KTM); 10. Aigar Leok (Yamaha)
O/A: 1. Ken De Dycker (50pts); 2. Steve Ramon (38pts); 3. Max Nagl (38pts); 4. Billy Mackenzie (33pts); 5. David Philippaerts (33pts); 6.
Josh Coppins (29pts); 7. Manuel Priem (29pts); 8. Kornel Nemeth (24pts); 9. Kevin Strijbos (21pts); 10. Jonathan Barragan (20pts)
Also, Jose Butron of the Yamaha-Gariboldi Racing Team went 2-1 to capture the opening round of the FIM European MX2 Championship in Talavera de la Reina, Spain, this past weekend. Said Butron: "I'm very happy for this victory, for myself, for the team and for my fans. In the first race after a bad start I finished second, but in the second race I wanted to win and I felt very strong and with a good start everything was much easier for me. The Championship has fourteen races and I will try to collect as many points as possible on each event and we'll see at the end of the season."