Bel-Ray Weekend Wrap UpTuesday, September 11, 2012 | 9:20 AM
Christophe Pourcel of the Bel-Ray backed CP377 Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit rode through the pain of his recent injuries to score two second-place moto finishes on Sunday in Italy during round fifteen of the 2012 FIM World MX1 Motocross Championship series. Pourcel’s excellent motos allowed him to close to within six points of third place in the 2012 championship with only one round remaining.
“I have less pain to my shoulder blade now, as I got some treatment since England, and I’m happy to be back on the podium here in Italy,” said Christophe following the event. “I had some nice battles with Antonio (Cairoli) today; I came very close to him in the second moto but I couldn’t quite pass him.”
Christophe’s teammate and older brother Sebastien was also able to score good results this weekend. Sebastien missed the previous round due to an injury but came back strong in Italy. He was the winner of Saturday’s qualifying race, proving he has the speed to race up front with the elite racers in the class. With more time to recover from his injuries, he could be a contender at the final round in Germany on September 23rd.
“It was a great feeling to win again, even if it was only a qualifying race. I got the holeshot in the first moto, but Cairoli and Christophe were faster and they both passed me,” said Sebastien after Sunday’s second moto. “I was still strong in third until I made a mistake and crashed in a downhill. After that I had arm pump and lost a few positions in the last ten minutes, but I was happy with this top ten result. I got another holeshot in the second race but my rhythm was not as good but I still scored a top-five result; I’ve worked hard this season to recover from my previous injuries, and it’s great to race in front again.”
Bel-Ray sponsored Floride Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit team racer Tommy Searle saw his hopes for a World Championship slip away this weekend in Italy. Despite two second-place finishes for the afternoon, Searle was mathematically eliminated from the title. He holds a forty-one point advantage over the third-place racer with only one round remaining, so a runner-up position in the series is virtually wrapped up. After Searle’s early-season teammate Joel Roelants suffered a season-ending injury, a replacement racer needed to be found to conclude the season. Bel-Ray sponsored Maxime Desprey of the NGS Junior Kawasaki team was originally slated for the chance but a midweek injury forced the team to find another racer. French racer Loic Larrieu was the choice and he rewarded the team for their confidence with two excellent finishes. An eighth place in the first moto was combined with a ninth place in the second moto for eighth place overall in his first race for the team.
Searle spoke about his disappointment after the day’s racing concluded and his resolve to win the final GP of the year. "It was a so-so GP for me. I got 2-2 but Herlings was fast all weekend to clinch the title. We gave our best and I'm not disappointed with my season, but I couldn't look at the championship celebrations. Now it's time to regroup and head for Germany in a fortnight, looking for a win to end the GP season."
Larrieu spoke about the chance to race for the team after the final moto. “The team called me on Thursday, and I only tested the bike for one hour on Friday. Since I left the GPs I have been practicing at home on a 450 Kawasaki, but it didn’t take me too much time to get used to this 250 during the training sessions. I had two good starts and then was happy to battle with (Arnaud) Tonus and (Jake) Nicholls in both races; the last ten minutes were pretty rough as my last race was two months ago in Belgium, but this GP was a great experience and I will be stronger physically in two weeks for the GP of Germany.”
The 2012 AMA Pro Motocross Championship series concluded on Saturday afternoon at the Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park in Lake Elsinore, California. The sweltering temperatures of the Southern California afternoon were a match for man and machine but Bel-Ray’s racer in attendance persevered and finished well during the competition. In the 450-class, Andrew Short faced more than just the heat as an illness earlier in the week hampered his training. Regardless, Short scored eight-thirteen moto finishes for eighth overall. His consistent finishes all season enabled him a top-five finish in the overall standings with a fourth place. Also in the 450-class was Bel-Ray Elite racer Derek Anderson. Derek has been travelling to and from the events each week with his teammate Tucker Saye and recording it for a You Tube series. The Driven-to-Ride series chronicled their efforts during the outdoor series, showing the highs and lows along the way. This week, Derek finished fourteenth in moto one and twentieth in moto two for a solid eighteenth overall. His strong showings during the season earned him a twenty-third place overall finish for the series.
In 250-class racing Bel-Ray backed Rockstar Energy Racing Suzuki racer Blake Wharton had consistent eight-eight moto finishes for eighth overall while teammate Jason Anderson rebounded from a first moto thirty-first place finish with a strong fifth-place second moto for twelfth overall. Both racers were inside the top-ten in the overall series standings with Wharton in seventh and Anderson in eighth. Despite missing several rounds due to injury, teammate Martin Davalos was nineteenth place overall for the series.
The heartbreak of the day goes out to Bel-Ray sponsored Rockstar Energy Racing Suzuki racer Jessica Patterson. Patterson held the red plate as the points leader for much of the season but in the end injuries would get the better of her. First, in the middle of the season, she was forced to compete with a broken hand to salvage points and then during the last round she would have to race with an injured ankle. Never knowing how to quit, Patterson fought back the pain for a fourth-place in moto one but in the second moto she couldn’t take it any longer and was forced to DNF. Unable to stand on her injured ankle, she was helped from her bike by the medics on the scene. Despite the DNF, Patterson still finished third overall for the season.
The twelfth round of the 2012 FIM Superbike World Championship series took place this weekend at the Nurburgring race track in Nurburg, Germany. The Bel-Ray backed Althea Ducati race team of Carlos Checa and Davide Giugliano experienced mixed results for the afternoon.
Checa started well in the first race of the day and was quickly into third place early in the competition. Unfortunately, two laps later, the defending champion found himself on the ground and rejoined the race in last place. Giugliano was also the victim of an early crash. His crash however, damaged the bike too much to continue and he was forced to the garage with a DNF. Checa charged through the field and by the end of the race scored a respectable twelfth place finish.
The second race of the day offered a bit of redemption for the team as both racers scored top-ten finishes with Checa in sixth and Giugliano in seventh. A ninth-place start forced Checa to charge to the front, setting the fastest lap of the day along the way.
Following the race, Checa spoke about the day’s events. “The crash is just one of those things – we were doing what we needed to do, pushing hard to stay with the frontrunners. It was a shame because I had made a great start and had good pace. Once I got back on track I got back into my rhythm and was able to pass several riders throughout the race. It wasn’t easy because I had lost my foot pedal in the crash but I think I rode a good race from last position, and in the end was able to take a few points. The second race went better as far as the result was concerned but we cannot fight with the others who get away in acceleration – it’s an unbalanced game right now as far as I’m concerned. We need to continue fighting and doing what we can with what we have, pushing our package to the limit and seeing what comes of it.”
Giugliano reflected on his mixed results from the weekend. “Unfortunately when you’re pushing hard, crashes can happen. To be with those in front, I was giving it my all and at a certain point I just lost the front. In the second race we at least managed to finish in seventh. Seeing as Carlos was sixth, I think that shows that the bike’s potential was more or less that, today we gave 100% but to do any more than we did was not possible. A difficult day after a fairly positive weekend. Anyway, we still have two more rounds and I would like to conclude my first Superbike season with some more positive results.”
With only two rounds remaining, Checa is currently fourth and Giugliano tenth in the overall series standings. The series will enjoy a short break before resuming on September 23rd in Portugal.
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Jean-Michel Bayle, the iconic superstar of yesteryear, raced motocross for the first time in twenty-one years at the Vets MXdN in England. Page 126.