The Italian Grand Prix was one of the most exciting of the season, with intense races in the S2 class where Fabio Balducci and TM got their first GP win. In this class nobody was able to get three good results in a row, as all the favourites had at least one bad race! Max Verderosa had a puncture in the second final and crashed in the superfinal, Simone Girolami also had a puncture while leading the superfinal, Jerome Giraudo broke a foot peg and his rear-brake pedal in the second final, Davide Gozzini crashed in both finals, while Fabrice Lecoanet and Fabio Balducci also crashed in the second final…. Everything seemed possible this weekend in Latina, and finally it was a great day for Italians with two riders (Balducci and Boano) and two bikes (TM and Aprilia) on the S2 podium. Girolami got the holeshot aboard his Honda, while Andrea Bartolini and Adrien Chareyre crashed in the first corner. Winner of the second final, Girolami was leading the superfinal when he retired after three laps; Balducci took the lead but the Aprilia boys didn’t let him quiet at all! Giraudo and Bolley followed by Ivan Boano (on the Husaberg) put pressure during most of the race, and the last laps were great with Balducci and Bolley fighting for the win, Giraudo and Boano fighting for the third position. Boano did a great move in one of the last corners to secure a podium, while Bolley missed his last attack in the off-road section. Unlucky in the last two GP’s, Balducci got his revenge and is the fifth rider to win a S2 GP this year!
In the S1 class Latina was another good day for Thierry Van Den Bosch and Boris Chambon. Both shared the wins in the two finals, and dominate the superfinal. Unfortunately for Boris, Thierry was too strong once more and took a better start; second in the opening lap behind Massimo Brondi, he led the rest of the race…. Boris was unable to put more pressure, but he secured his second position in the GP and the championship. Hopefully for the crowd Ivan Lazzarini, Fabrice Guyot and Eddy Seel had a nice battle behind the leaders! Ivan ended the GP with a podium, Fabrice got his best result so far (it was a good day for the TM factory) while Eddy just save some points after a difficult first final; coming at the inside in the first corner, he was forced to go on the grass and had a terrible start. Far on the grid for the following races, he scored more points than his team-mate Gerald Delepine not too lucky this weekend… Max Manzo had a difficult week-end too, crashing twice and scoring only points in the first final; third after a great start, the Aprilia rider crashed heavily on the asphalt during the second final and ended his week-end with another crash in the off-road section during the superfinal. One more GP for them, next week in Finestrat (Spain), and the season will be over!
They say after the race.
Thierry Van Den Bosch (winner in S1): “It’s another great weekend for me, I got my sixth GP win so far and come closer to the title. The weekend was not perfect as I didn’t got the pole position yesterday; we struggled with the tyres but we solved the problem for today. At the start of the first final I was lucky when Seel hit me, as well as in the second race when Manzo hit me; in the superfinal I had a good start in second, and passed Brondi in the opening lap. Then I made a good gap and pushed to keep the pace with my rivals. I have now a strong lead at the championship, I’m confident but we know that everything can happen in our sports. For next year nothing is signed yet, but we are close to an agreement with KTM.”
Boris Chambon (2nd in S1): “I’m happy to get my second podium in a row, but not so happy as the gap between Thierry and me is bigger than in Greece two weeks ago. Yesterday after the qualifying session I was a little bit disappointed as I really like this track and expected a better result. I was afraid to have problems in the first corner, it’s the first time this season that the off-road section is so close after the start; I was a little bit lucky not to have any problem there! It was the condition to get good results this weekend; in the superfinal I had a good start and tried to pass Brondi in the inside, but at the end of the offroad I was third behind Brondi and VDB. I passed Brondi easily and came second, but then it was impossible to beat Thierry. He has now a big lead, we’ll see what will happen in Spain where I will do my best as always.”
Ivan Lazzarini (3rd in S1): “I had two difficult start in the finals and lost the advantage of the pole position, and I wasn’t too lucky today. In the superfinal I had a better start but I was only fifth and lost time to pass Fiorentino and then Brondi in the off-road sectioni; when I came third Thierry and Boris were too far, but with this podium I’m now again in the battle for the third place in the championship. Of course I’m a little bit disappointed as my goal was to win today, I will try again next week in Spain. For sure it will be difficult against Eddy and Gerald, but I will do y best to offer the podium to KTM”.
Fabio Balducci (winner in S2): “The week end didn’t started so well, as yesterday I had problems with our race engine. In the second race I crashed and lost a good opportunity but in the main I was a little bit lucky as Girolami who was leading retired with a puncture. I pushed really hard to make the gap with the Aprilia, but in the last part of the race I had troubles with my rear tyre and it was really difficult for me to control Frédéric Bolley. The bike was sliding too much in the last laps and I was a little bit afraid to have again problems… I lost many points in Sachsenring (flat tyre), Ottobiano (no front brake) and Athens (black flag due to a broken pipe) and I was wondering if I could finish a race without problems! I’m happy to let this bad luck behind me, and to offer a GP win to the team. We are currently in discussion for next season, but nothing has been decided yet”.
Frédéric Bolley (2nd in S2): “Yesterday was difficult for us, we had some troubles to find the right settings on the bike. We decided to change some small parts on the bike in the night, and today was much better but I was only ninth on the grid. For sure I was not expecting a podium after the qualifying session! We proved that the team is able to react promptly, every race is new for us and we discovered a new situation every weekend. When we arrived here the track was a little bit dirty and as usual there was more grip for the superfinal and we got there our best results; it was difficult to choose the good tyre and for the main race we discussed a lot with the Dunlop engineers. In the last lap I tried to pass Balducci in the off-road section but I did a small mistake and then it was impossible to find another spot where it was possible to pass”.
Ivan Boano (3rd in S2): “I’m very happy with this result, and I was confident as this track suits perfectly to the Husaberg. I got a first podium in Germany and my goal was to get another before the end of the season, and it’s great to take it in Italy. I did two safe finals, my goal was to be consistent and get a good position on the grid for the super final. I pushed really hard during the race, and I saw in the last laps that Giraudo had troubles with his tyre; I stay close to him and made the pass in the last corner. Next season I will continue with Rigo Racing, but we don’t know yet which bike we’ll use”.
SuperFinal S1: 1.Van Den Bosch (FRA, KTM) / 2.Chambon (FRA, KTM) / 3.Lazzarini (ITA, KTM) / 4.Guyot (FRA, TM) / 5.Seel (BEL, Husqvarna) / 6.Brondi (ITA, Husqvarna) / 7.Gotz (SWI, KTM) / 8.Delepine (BEL, Husqvarna) / 9.Fiorentino (ITA, KTM) / 10.W.Bartolini (ITA, Husaberg) / etc….
SuperFinal S2: 1.Balducci (ITA, TM) / 2.Bolley (FRA, Aprilia) / 3.Boano (ITA, Husaberg) / 4.Giraudo (FRA, Aprilia) / 5.Lecoanet (FRA, KTM) / 6.Baraccani (ITA, Yamaha) / 7.Verderosa (ITA, Honda) / 8.Pignotti (ITA, Honda) / 9.Gozzini (ITA, Husqvarna) / 10.T.Chareyre (FRA, Husqvarna) / etc….
Next event: Grand Prix of Spain (Finestrat, November 27th-28th)
More info and full results on the official website of the championship: www.supermotoS1.com
Photographer: J. Barte