FUNCHAL (PORTUGAL) – Round two in Sevlievo, Bulgaria, will follow an extremely wet season opener in Faenza with thrilling races and unexpected results.
Tanel Leok now leads the MX1 Championship ahead of De Dycker and Desalle while defending Champion Philippaerts is behind in ninth place.
In MX2 Gautier Paulin leads from Van Horebeek and Musquin but 11th placed Simpson seeks revenge in Bulgaria, where he collected his maiden podium in 2008.
Yamaha Red Bull De Carli’s Tanel Leok had a stunning start to the season as he took victory straight away during his first Grand Prix with Yamaha. The first moto results handed Leok the win as the second heats were not run due to torrential rain.
Ken de Dycker took the Teka Suzuki WMX1 machine in second; the Belgian is ready to carry on strongly in Bulgaria, where last year he finished a distant tenth.
Surprising Clement Desalle of LS Motors Honda took his maiden podium in Faenza and now sits on the third place in the Championship standings. This looks like the season of the 19 year old’s breakthrough with the move from Suzuki to Honda proving to be a good choice for the French speaking Belgian.
TM Factory’s Aigar Leok and other Yamaha Red Bull De Carli racer Tony Cairoli now round off the top five and will try to assault the top three this weekend. Cairoli has a bitter memory from Sevlievo due to the crash of last year leaving the Italian with a damaged rib.
Looking back at 2008 two riders seem to have solid victory chances. David Philippaerts of Yamaha Monster Energy Motocross was the overall winner in Sevlievo 2008 but he was actually handed victory by KTM Silver Action’s Jonathan Barragan. The latter was on route to take the overall but a second moto crash dropped him to second overall. The Spaniard would wait until Great Britain to take his maiden GP win while Philippaerts increased his Championship lead courtesy of his first Yamaha win.
Visiting the podium last year at Sevlievo, Factory Kawasaki rider Seb Pourcel hopes in a stronger result than Faenza’s 24th place.
2008 MX1 PODIUM:
1. David Philippaerts
2. Jonathan Barragan
3. Sebastien Pourcel
A great Gautier Paulin took victory at Faenza after a disastrous qualifying due to a crash-though the French made an impressive recovery showing a stunning race pace. Bud Racing’s Paulin rode well on the mud, bringing the bike home safe in first.
This weekend he might be attached by a KTM army as the Austrian manufacturer completed last year’s podium with Searle, Rattray and Simpson with the latter now riding for the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team. Sevlievo can be the occasion for the Scottish to improve on his current 11th place in the Championship.
KTM Factory Junior’s Jeremy Van Horebeek will fight to defend the runner up spot in the Championship which was big news for the youngster. The trio Paulin-Van Horebeek-Musquin were all at their maiden podium in Italy.
NGS’ Marvin Musquin had a solid start to 2009 which looks like a promising year for the French hopeful.
Yamaha Monster Energy Ricci Motocross Team’s Guarneri is currently the closest to the top three which he will try to enter this weekend.
Beursfoon Suzuki MX’s Jeremy Tarroux is expected to move up in the standings after showing up at the lead of the opening laps at Faenza’s GP.
2008 MX2 PODIUM:
1. Tommy Searle
2. Tyla Rattray
3. Shaun Simpson
Saturday: WMX Free Practice 9:00-9:30; MX2 Free Practice 10:00-10:40; MX1 Free Practice 10:50-11:30; WMX Time Practice 12:00-12:30; MX2 Pre Qualifying Practice 13:30-14:10; MX1 Pre Qualifying Practice 14:30-15:10; MX2 Qualifying Race 16:00; MX1 Qualifying Race 17:00; WMX Race 1 18:00.
Sunday: WMX Warm Up 8:45-9:05; MX2 Warm Up 9:15-9:35; MX1 Warm Up 9:45-10:05; WMX Race 2 11:15; MX2 Grand Prix Race 1 12:10; MX1 Grand Prix Race 1 13:10; MX2 Grand Prix Race 2 15:03; MX1 Grand Prix Race 2 16:03.
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