Unlucky last year with a big crash in qualification, Mickael Pichon took his revenge on the Talkessel circuit this weekend. The Frenchman got the holeshot in both races and this was the key to his success as the thunderstorms of Saturday night affected the track. Setting some fast laps in the opening circulations he established a strong gap over his rivals and notched his first double win since the 2004 GP of Czech Republic. After a bad start in the first heat, Stefan Everts crashed in the fourth corner and restarted last; he came back to eleventh but lost fifteen points to Pichon. He then finished second in the other race, missing the final podium for the first time this year. Josh Coppins and Joel Smets clashed together in both heats but shared the podium with Pichon, while Tanel Leok collected his best result of the 2005 campaign on the 450 Kawasaki
Both MX2 races were exciting despite the track conditions and the final stages were pretty intense with a couple of riders battling for the win. Leading most of the opening race Andrew McFarlane finally beat Antonio Cairoli by four tenths of a second, and then battled with Alessio Chiodi and Davide Guarnieri during the second heat. Race leader Guarnieri didn’t crack and won his first ever GP moto, while Chiodi surprised McFarlane in the last minutes; the three members of team Ricci climbed on the podium and offered a nice and unusual present to Ilario Ricci, their team manager. Third in the opening heat Melotte crashed in the second one, as also did Antonio Cairoli who kept the red plate by only one point over Chiodi. Stephen Sword crashed in each moto and finished fifth behind Italian David Philippaerts who confirmed his good result in Namur and could change his 125 for a 250 four stroke KTM in the following weeks. The next round is scheduled in two weeks in Sugo (Japan).
Mickael Pichon: “I was waiting for this win for a long time. I’ve been training really hard this winter and like all of us I just want to win races. Last weekend in Namur was a tough day for me, I never felt really good on the bike and on that track and I was pretty happy with two fourth positions. Here I wanted to win, I like this circuit a lot even if last year I had a bad crash. This morning I was pretty happy to see that the weather was good; it would have been difficult with more rain. Of course the start was really important and we worked really hard with the team this weekend on the settings; I felt really good on the bike, suspension as well as engine, and I had a perfect set-up for the start. I got both holeshots, but in the second heat Stefan tried to make an early pass in one of the first corners; I was struggling a little bit and went too much to the outside, Stefan tried to pass me in the inside. I was maybe half a bike length in front of him but he still tried to pass, we touched each other and almost crashed! He hit a neutral I think and I was able to make the gap. I want to thank my team, they never stopped working on the bike and this weekend everything went perfectly.”
Andrew McFarlane: “I felt really strong in the first moto, I made a good pass immediately on Cairoli. The bike was working exceptionally well, especially the suspension and engine and it’s a credit to Yamaha and also the team. In this race it was difficult to pass as the track was one line, and I took some risks to overtake some lapped riders; in one lap I lost four seconds and that’s always a little bit frustrating. In the second moto I tried different things, Guarneri was riding really smart and Chicco was pushing. I didn’t want to let him pass but in the last laps I made a mistake and he got through. I wanted to win both races here, but I’m happy with my second consecutive overall win. I feel really good now, the bike is awesome and I’m happy for Illario the team boss that his three riders are on the podium.”
Information and results on www.motocrossmx1.com, the official website of the Motocross World Championships.