Paulin and Searle hand double victory to Kawasaki
— FIM MX1/MX2 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
— ROUND 02 SUNDAY APRIL 22 SEVLIEVO, BULGARIA
— Weather: Sunshine, light cloud / Temperature: 17 degrees C
— Attendance: 15,000
The sun was shining in Sevlievo today and the 15000 spectators present at Gorna Rositza’s track enjoyed incredible racing in both MX1 and MX2 classes, as well as during the race two of the UEM EMX125. Gautier Paulin and Tommy Searle were on the top of the podium in Sevlievo in their respective classes and Tim Gajser won the first round of the UEM EXM125.
Gautier Paulin has obtained the first overall victory of the season since he is in MX1 with Kawasaki Racing Team, while Christophe Pourcel was second and Antonio Cairoli third. Clement Desalle finished third in the first heat, but he crashed in the second one while he was riding fifth and he ended eighth overall.
In MX2 another Kawasaki machine was on the first step of the podium thanks to Tommy Searle’s victory. Jeffrey Herlings was second and Joel Roelants was third in Sevlievo thanks to his 1-4 result.
Kawasaki Racing Team’s Paulin has obtained the first overall victory of the season on his new 450cc machine after being second and first in today’s heats. In the first heat, Paulin admitted that he made several mistakes because he is still getting used to the extra power of his bike, but he managed to finish second. However, in the second moto Paulin had an excellent race, and once he overtook Christophe Pourcel in the opening lap, he pulled away until the chequered flag.
CP377 Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit’s Christophe Pourcel did an incredible first race, getting the lead already in the first lap and dominating it until the end. In the second race, he took the holeshot and led the opening lap, but he admitted that he was surprised by Paulin’s speed and had to settle down for the second position.
The third step of the podium was for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Cairoli after finishing fourth and third in today’s heats. The Italian, who is still leading the championship, suffered from arm pump in the beginning of both heats, so it was difficult for him to keep the speed. Cairoli decided to ride safe, get as many points as possible and he is now ready to improve his riding on hard pack to win on his home soil next weekend.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s De Dycker did not have a good start in the first race and was only seventh, but he got a much better start in the second moto, he fought against Cairoli and Desalle and he moved up to the third position at one point of the race. In the end, De Dycker was fourth in the second moto, which gave him an overall fourth position.
For Honda World Motocross’ Bobryshev it was not an easy weekend, as his right thumb is still hurting a lot, but he battled against the pain and finished fifth overall. In the first heat, the Russian did not take the first corner really well and was stuck in the eighth position most of the race, but in the second one he had a better start and finished fifth.
Boog did a really good start in the first heat and finished sixth, but in the second moto he had to fight from an initial thirteenth position to finish in a solid seventh place, which gave him an overall sixth result. The French was followed by Philippaerts, who was fifth in the first heat but a crash in the second moto made him cross the finish line in the 13th position.
Desalle had a consistent first moto and managed to finish third, but in the second heat, while he was fighting for the fourth position, he made a mistake after the finish jump and his handle bar was completely torn. Desalle tried to make a lap, but he had to enter the pitlane to receive some assistance from his team. His 18th position in the second heat made him obtain an overall eighth place.
Simpson was ninth and Sebastien Pourcel completed the top ten.
Dean Ferris carded 20th in the opening moto before improving to a 15th place finish in the second bout in his return to competition from injury.
MX1 Race 1 top ten: 1. Christophe Pourcel (FRA, Kawasaki), 39:09.159; 2. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:05.667; 3. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), +0:07.718; 4. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:08.467; 5. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), +0:20.631; 6. Xavier Boog (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:21.770; 7. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), +0:36.027; 8. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:44.249; 9. Rui Goncalves (POR, Honda), +0:44.410; 10. Gregory Aranda (FRA, Yamaha), +0:57.539;
MX1 Race 2 top ten: 1. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), 39:17.879; 2. Christophe Pourcel (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:02.427; 3. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:23.189; 4. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), +0:26.379; 5. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:29.251; 6. Sebastien Pourcel (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:29.975; 7. Xavier Boog (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:31.978; 8. Tanel Leok (EST, Suzuki), +1:05.762; 9. Shaun Simpson (GBR, Yamaha), +1:07.483; 10. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, KTM), +1:08.192;
MX1 Overall top ten: 1. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), 47 points; 2. Christophe Pourcel (FRA, Kawasaki), 47 p.; 3. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 38 p.; 4. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), 32 p.; 5. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), 29 p.; 6. Xavier Boog (FRA, Kawasaki), 29 p.; 7. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), 24 p.; 8. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), 23 p.; 9. Shaun Simpson (GBR, Yamaha), 22 p.; 10. Sebastien Pourcel (FRA, Kawasaki), 21 p.;
MX1 Championship top ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 88 points; 2. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), 79 p.; 3. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), 67 p.; 4. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), 63 p.; 5. Christophe Pourcel (FRA, Kawasaki), 59 p.; 6. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, KTM), 51 p.; 7. Xavier Boog (FRA, Kawasaki), 49 p.; 8. Shaun Simpson (GBR, Yamaha), 45 p.; 9. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), 44 p.; 10. Tanel Leok (EST, Suzuki), 42 p.;
MX1 Manufacturers: 1. KTM, 88 points; 2. Kawasaki, 82 p.; 3. Suzuki, 77 p.; 4. Yamaha, 68 p.; 5. Honda, 58 p.; 6. TM, 1 p.;
Team Floride Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit’s Searle had a perfect weekend in Sevlievo, as he did not only won the qualifying race yesterday, but he also obtained the first overall victory of the season today. Searle had really good starts in both heats and he managed to lead both races from the beginning. However, in the first moto he lost his front break and had to settle down with a third position. In the second one, he had no opponent and he dominated it from beginning to end.
The second position was for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Herlings, who was very satisfied with his performance today, especially taking into account his starting position in both heats. Even starting from the outside, Herlings managed to ride at the front since the very beginning of both heats, and while he took advantage of Searle’s mechanical problem in the first heat to finish second, in the second moto he rode second from beginning to end.
Team Floride Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit’s Roelants succeeded in winning the first heat of the day, but the fourth position in the second one made him finish on the third step of the rostrum. Roelants has admitted that riding with Kawasaki this year has made improve his riding significantly, and the fact of having a hard pack specialist like Searle as teammate has helped him a lot to improve his riding on tracks like the one in Sevlievo.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Van Horebeek rode two solid motos this weekend and ended fourth overall. In the first heat he did not have a good start and had to move up from the tenth position to finish fourth, whereas in the second heat he rode comfortably on the third place from beginning to end.
Honda Gariboldi – Esta’s Anstie completed the top five this weekend thanks to his 6-5 result. In the first heat he did not have a really good start, but in the second one he was already fourth in the first lap. Anstie and Roelants exchanged the fourth position in several occasions during the heat, but in the end the Brit had to settle down with the fifth place.
Kullas was more fortunate this weekend and he obtained an overall sixth position, while Ferrandis and Tonkov where seventh and eighth respectively. Nichols, who had a really good start in the first moto, could only finish seventh and twelfth in today’s motos and he ended ninth overall. Lupino completed the top ten thanks to his 14-6.
Butron was tenth, followed by Leib and Tixier. Home rider Petrov could only finish 14th.
Valentin Teillet, who did an incredible qualifying race yesterday finishing second, suffered a heavy crash in the first lap of the first heat and had to be taken to the hospital to have some exams done. Fortunately, Teillet has nothing broken but he feels pain everywhere, so at the moment his presence in Fermo is still uncertain.
MX2 Race 1 top ten: 1. Joel Roelants (BEL, Kawasaki), 39:43.795; 2. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +0:09.286; 3. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:17.680; 4. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, KTM), +0:24.904; 5. Harri Kullas (FIN, Suzuki), +0:39.615; 6. Max Anstie (GBR, Honda), +0:44.290; 7. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), +0:50.642; 8. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:53.251; 9. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), +0:54.123; 10. Michael Leib (USA, Yamaha), +1:09.346;
MX2 Race 2 top ten: 1. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), 39:24.388; 2. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +0:02.231; 3. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, KTM), +0:43.372; 4. Joel Roelants (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:52.201; 5. Max Anstie (GBR, Honda), +0:59.616; 6. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Husqvarna), +1:18.428; 7. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), +1:23.833; 8. Alexander Tonkov (RUS, Honda), +1:26.744; 9. Harri Kullas (FIN, Suzuki), +1:29.499; 10. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), +1:29.660;
MX2 Overall top ten: 1. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), 45 points; 2. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 44 p.; 3. Joel Roelants (BEL, Kawasaki), 43 p.; 4. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, KTM), 38 p.; 5. Max Anstie (GBR, Honda), 31 p.; 6. Harri Kullas (FIN, Suzuki), 28 p.; 7. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), 24 p.; 8. Alexander Tonkov (RUS, Honda), 23 p.; 9. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), 23 p.; 10. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Husqvarna), 22 p.;
MX2 Championship top ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 94 points; 2. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), 87 p.; 3. Joel Roelants (BEL, Kawasaki), 85 p.; 4. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, KTM), 74 p.; 5. Max Anstie (GBR, Honda), 57 p.; 6. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), 51 p.; 7. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), 48 p.; 8. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), 48 p.; 9. Harri Kullas (FIN, Suzuki), 43 p.; 10. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Husqvarna), 38 p.;
MX2 Manufacturers: 1. Kawasaki, 94 points; 2. KTM, 94 p.; 3. Honda, 61 p.; 4. Suzuki, 47 p.; 5. Yamaha, 43 p.; 6. Husqvarna, 38 p.; 7. TM, 4 p.;
– Kawasaki Report
Gautier Paulin and Christophe Pourcel scored a resounding 1-2 success for Kawasaki in the second round of the FIM World MX1 Motocross Championship at Sevlievo in Bulgaria.
With a magnificent display the two Frenchman truly dominated the Bulgarian GP, taking first and second places in both strenuous motos. The Kawasaki riders took a race victory and a second place apiece; the overall GP victory went to Paulin for the Kawasaki Racing Team though Pourcel recorded an identical points score for Team CP377 Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit.
Both Paulin and Pourcel are contesting the complete MX1 world series for the first time, and their successes were an emotional affair for each of their teams. Team CP377 is a new team this year, whilst the Kawasaki Racing Team has been desperately unlucky with injuries in recent years; Paulin’s success was the team’s first GP victory since 2008.
The superiority of Kawasaki’s KX450F-SR was displayed admirably as both riders moved quickly to the front in both races and neither Paulin nor Pourcel were ever seriously challenged by their rivals. Paulin is now second in the world standings, just nine points from the lead, whilst Pourcel, despite his disappointing display two weeks earlier at the series opener, is already back to fifth in the points.
Xavier Boog of KRT and Sebastien Pourcel of CP377 added to the celebrations by each returning a top six finish, and Boog is now only two points away from placing no less than three Kawasakis in the first six of the championship.
Gautier Paulin: “It’s a very emotional day for me to win my first GP for the Kawasaki Racing Team. I knew when I joined them that this was the right team for me and we have all worked hard all winter for this result. Even though I finished second in the first race I rode a little tight, but I felt good, the bike was perfect, and I really enjoyed my riding in the second race.”
Christophe Pourcel: “I knew that I had to get back on the box here after my bad weekend in the Netherlands. We made some changes to the settings of the bike since then as it was actually too powerful for me and I couldn’t give my all. And it worked. I got two great starts and was soon able to build a gap in the first race, but Gautier surprised me in the second race. He was quickly five seconds ahead and we had the same speed so I couldn’t catch him, but this is a great result for Team CP377.”
Xavier Boog: “My starts weren’t so great this weekend, but I found a good rhythm and that was important. I lost too much time behind Karro in the early laps of the second race, but once I got past him I moved strongly to seventh. After two GPs I have made a solid start to the season and can build from there.”
Sébastien Pourcel: “It was great to race again for a top six result in the second moto. I got a great start and soon found the same rhythm as the top guys, but after fifteen minutes I started to feel tired; I know that I’m not yet as fit as I want to be, but we’re working on it and I can feel the progress we’re making every week.”
Tommy Searle won the second round of the FIM MX2 Motocross Championship at Sevlievo in Bulgaria for Team Floride Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit with Joel Roelants also scoring a moto victory.
The Kawasaki teammates sprinted to the front in the opening moto around the hillside track, moving clear of the opposition at two seconds a lap until leader Searle suddenly lost the use of the front brake and had to slacken his pace. Roelants took over for a clearcut victory with only one rival also able to take advantage of Searle’s misfortune.
A determined Searle made no mistakes in race two, leading throughout to clinch the overall victory on the day and move to within seven points of the series lead, whilst Roelants overcame a hectic first lap to clinch third place on the podium.
GP Rookie Dylan Ferrandis of Team Rockstar Bud Racing Kawasaki again showed his potential as he twice raced into the top ten for the second consecutive GP and the teenager now holds eighth place in the championship.
His teammate Valentin Teillet scored a tremendous second to Searle in the qualification race, but was unfortunate enough to crash heavily on the second lap of the opening race when holding sixth place. He was in great pain after sustaining a hematoma in his back and suffering shock, but was unable to contest race two.
Tommy Searle: “My Kawasaki is even faster than last year and I had no problem to take the holeshot in both motos. That always make the races easier and I was unlucky not to have a double win this weekend. We’re still not sure how it happened but I lost the front brake in the first race; I had to change my lines and it was difficult on a track with so many steep downhills but I only lost two places and I knew that a win in race two would give me the overall GP victory.”
Joel Roelants: “I never got a good result at this track before, but the team and the bike are so good. I quickly got into second place behind Tommy in the first race so I could see his lines and we built a big lead over the rest of the field. We have a really good relationship and help each other in training; when he had a problem I was able to take over for the moto win and back it up with another result in race two to end the day on the podium.”
Dylan Ferrandis: “I didn’t felt so comfortable on this track; the ground was so hard so it was a demanding weekend for me physically as I’m still not back to 100% after my injury during the winter. But I got my second top ten result in two GPs and I’m sure I can progress even further during the summer.”
– HRC Report
Honda World Motocross’ Evgeny Bobryshev defied pain and discomfort from a recently dislocated thumb to score an excellent fifth position overall on his factory CRF450R at a sun-kissed Sevlievo circuit for the Grand Prix of Bulgaria and the second round of sixteen on the schedule for the FIM Motocross World Championship. The event was won overall by Kawasaki’s Gautier Paulin by virtue of his second moto victory after he tied on points with his French counterpart Christophe Pourcel as they each recorded a win and a second place over the two races.
The Bulgarian hard-pack was dowsed with water after heavy showers on Friday evening and some rain during the practice and qualification timetable on Saturday. Sunday dawned sunny and warm, which helped dry the bumpy and slippery terrain. The fast layout saw riders circulating within tenths of a second and therefore placed even more emphasis on the importance of a good start.
Bobryshev, who was competing with a painful and weak right hand after sustaining the injury two weeks ago at the season-opener in Holland, took painkilling tablets but still had to push his reserves and levels of determination to stretching point in order to complete the two 35 minute and 2 lap motos. The Russian made average starts, but didn’t disappoint his team or fans at the venue by taking eighth and fifth for his final ranking.
Team-mate Rui Goncalves did not fare so well. The Portuguese suffered with arm-pump in a first moto chase to ninth, but was able to at least bag twelve points for his efforts. In the second race ‘999’s speed was better, but his progress into the mid-top ten was halted half way through when his machine developed a problem and he had to stop.
LS Honda Racing’s Jonathan Barragan is still optimising his race bike in terms of suspension settings and Sevlievo represented the first hard-pack GP of the year. The Spaniard was unable to figure at the top of the leader-board due to small crashes in each outing. He was sixteenth and twelfth for fourteenth at the end of the day.
The FIM MX1 Motocross World Championship standings show all three Honda pilots on the fringes of the top ten with Goncalves eleventh, Bobyrshev thirteenth and Barragan fourteenth.
In the MX2 class Max Anstie took his Gariboldi Honda-Esta CRF250R to a decent fifth position overall. The young Brit, who turns nineteen this coming week, lacked effective starts, but placed himself squarely in contention for the top five by riding to sixth and fifth in the moto classifications. The teenager’s consistency means that he retains the same slot in the MX2 points table.
Evgeny Bobryshev: Race Result: 8th / 5th Championship position: 13th “I did my best so I’m happy. I stayed on two wheels and made no mistakes. I had lots of pain on the impact of coming down the hills and jumps. It was hard to even hold on and the pain was pulsing. I had to slow down sometimes, but I didn’t want to give up. I just gritted my teeth and got on with it. The painkillers helped but not so much. I just hope it might be a bit better in Fermo. The team did a great job and the whole group has been really supportive so I am very thankful to them.”
Rui Goncalves: Race Result: 9th / DNF Championship position: 11th “In the first race I missed the start and it was difficult to pass. I rode with arm-pump all moto and it didn’t make it any easier. In the second I was away better, but a rider touched me on the inside of the first turn and it pushed me wide. I felt the bike wasn’t working normally after a while and in the end I had to stop. A Grand Prix to forget. We will see what happened and of course hope for better in Italy.”
Jonathan Barragan: Race Result: 16th / 12th Championship position: 14th “I’m not very happy. In the first race I had unbelievable arm-pump and we don’t know why. We are still working with the suspension and I think this is the main problem. The second moto went better and even though I had a crash I kept going for twelfth. I couldn’t get comfortable. We are trying to improve but we are already two races into the season.”
Max Anstie Race Result: 6th / 5th Championship position: 5th “I think we made some good improvements this week and we’re definitely going in the right direction. I’m really looking forward to the next GP in Italy. We’ll keep making steps from here and I think the podium is getting close and last year I got a third in Fermo. I can’t wait to have a good week. It is my birthday on Wednesday.”
– Yamaha Report
Monster Energy Yamaha’s David Philippaerts and Shaun Simpson took their YZ450FM motorcycles to positions inside the top ten of the Grand Prix of Bulgaria at a sunny Sevlievo circuit. 15,000 spectators came to the impressive venue that hosted the second stop of sixteen on the FIM Motocross World Championship schedule. Philippaerts posted results to claim 7th overall while Simpson was 9th at an event in which Steven Frossard was sidelined with a twisted knee.
Light showers and a slick track on Saturday were replaced by sunshine and a faster hard-pack terrain on Sunday. The layout saw many MX1 riders circulating at a similar pace on a course that was quick and didn’t pose too many technical difficulties despite the long uphill climbs and steep downhill descents and some rutty corners.
David Philippaerts rode strongly and consistently in the first moto of 35 minutes and 2 laps to record an encouraging fifth position. It was only the Italian’s third GP outing in eight months. Sadly the former world champion could not reach the same slot at the second time of asking as a crash after hitting a damp and watered area of the track put him at the back of the pack. ‘DP’ charged from last all the way to thirteenth, still an impressive feat and one that further proves Philippaerts is nearing past levels of performance.
Shaun Simpson was again regular with his speed and application in just his second Grand Prix with the YZ450F to record more points and maintain a steady trajectory. The Scot made a decent getaway in the first moto but lost some momentum in the middle of the race. Eleventh position was followed by a slightly better ride in the dusty conditions to ninth later on.
Steven Frossard was forced out of the Grand Prix after twisting his right knee during the qualification heat on Saturday. The Frenchman was found to have damaged his meniscus after scans that same evening and is set for an operation on Monday. The chances of his participation at Fermo for the Grand Prix of Italy – Philippaerts’ home event – and the third round of the series next weekend will then be determined.
David Philippaerts: “Not much luck. I had a good race in the first and I am very happy. I felt fast on the track, was close to the other guys and was consistent with the lap-times. The track was not easy on my wrists with all the downhills but it was good. At the start of the second I got pushed wide on the first corner but came from twelfth to seventh on the first lap. After the big jump around the back of the circuit I hit a watered park of the track and lost the front. I picked up the bike and then just tried to make each lap a bit better than the one before. I think I was 32nd or something and came back to 13th so not so bad. I am really motivated…just unlucky today! Fermo next and it is two years that I’ve missed a home GP. I’m on the path back to the top after my injury and I’m happy with how it’s going so far.”
Shaun Simpson: “I came here quite positive because I was fast here last year and the bike is much better now than the one I had so I knew I had some speed. I was looking for a good pace and lap-time and for some reason it didn’t really work out on Saturday. The track was a different story today it was harder, dustier and faster. I got a decent start in the first moto, in about eighth or ninth, and charged on to finish eleventh. It was a similar story to Valkenswaard in that I had a little dip in the middle. When you have guys like Leok and Karro behind you then it becomes tricky to get the flow. I needed to ‘go’ with someone in front of me. It was the same in the second moto and it’s something I need to work on. Overall it has been another solid and reasonably positive day for me. I want to keep up this consistency, as everyone knows you have to finish the motos to be up there at the end of the year so that’d what I am trying to do.”
Monster Energy Yamaha were able to count on the pace and determination of American Michael Leib at Sevlievo for the Grand Prix of Bulgaria and the 20 year old proved his own abilities and the potential of the agile 2012 YZ250F by taking the bike to twelfth overall despite not having ridden the machine until the first practice session.
Leib was drafted into the team last week alongside Mel Pocock and boost the Yamaha entry that is still feeling the injury effects of Zach Osborne, Arnaud Tonus and Christophe Charlier. Poor weather in the UK meant he couldn’t ride the bike until Saturday morning but adapted quickly and even clocked the fastest time in Sunday morning warm-up.
Leib made two reasonable starts and set lap-times that would have given him a comfortable slot higher up the leader-board. Tenth position in the first moto was complimented by an eleventh later in the afternoon as the Yamaha man tired towards the end of the race purely due to his efforts concentrated in shorter supercross main events so far in 2012. Leib will be back in action for round three in Italy next week and will be testing with the team on Thursday.
Mel Pocock was lucky to escape injury in the first moto when he was struck by a falling Jose Butron and dumped on the ground. The MX2 British Championship leader was able to remount and recover from last position to seventeenth. Fifteenth in the second race allowed the same overall ranking in the MX2 classification.
Christophe Charlier is hopeful of being able to ride for the first time in the coming days and since breaking his foot one week before the opening round of the season. The Frenchman could possibly return to competitive action for the Grand Prix of Italy at Fermo next weekend.
Michael Leib: “It was tougher than I expected. I flew over to England on Wednesday, jumped on a plane again on Friday and didn’t get on the bike until Saturday morning. I started in the wrong gear for the first moto and that was stupid on my part. I got going about ten or fifteen minutes through and rode really well. In the second race I didn’t have anything left in the tank because all I’ve been doing is riding and testing for Supercross. Anyway I got my feet wet and now we’ll head off to Italy. I’m super-stoked that Steve Dixon and Monster Energy Yamaha gave me the chance to come out here and race and hopefully we’ll put on a good show in Fermo.”
Mel Pocock: “I had a decent start in the first moto but was then properly taken out by someone. They hit me from behind and sent the bike flying out of my hands. I was thirty seconds back and in last place and managed to fight my way back up to seventeenth, which wasn’t too bad. The second race was kind of like a procession. I felt like a hamster running around on a wheel out there! The same lines, same corners, same ruts. I was behind Michael for most of the race but then I made a small mistake which let the group of riders catch me. This isn’t my favourite track on the list but I’m in one piece and ready to go to Italy. My mind is set on these three GPs and the Europeans. I am leading the British Championship, which I am really happy about and will hope to extend my lead in two weeks.”
– Suzuki Report
Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1’s Clement Desalle was at the heart of the tussle for podium positions and grabbed third place in the first moto of today’s Bulgarian GP at Sevlievo on his RM-Z450 before a second moto spill ruined his chances of consecutive silverware.
After changeable conditions and some rain showers on Saturday, the hard-pack terrain was softer, slower and a little rougher than usual. Fine weather and bright sunshine pushed up the temperatures and increased the speed on race day – which drew a crowd of 15,000 – but it was a tough circuit for overtaking and produced similar lap-times among the MX1 elite.
Desalle enjoyed some ‘cut-and-thrust’ with World Champion Antonio Cairoli and Gautier Paulin in the first 35 minute and 2 lap outing but was finally able to defend a solid third position – his third consecutive finish in the top three of a moto classification – until the flag. The second race again placed Desalle in the heat of the battle for third place as Gautier Paulin and Christophe Pourcel set the pace at the front. The Belgian shared track space with Cairoli and Ken De Dycker and was eyeing his chance for another ranking of third when a small mistake launching off the finish line jump saw him land awkwardly and crash. He was able to swiftly recover his machine but the front end and handlebars were bent. He lost time manhandling the bike back into shape and then rode-out the rest of the race in a search for points, which he managed to do with 18th place by the end. Desalle now sits third in the MX1 standings 21 points behind Cairoli.
Tanel Leok re-aggravated his sore leg during practice on Saturday and this condition, coupled with his lack of race mileage over the past two months, determined the Estonian’s possibilities in Bulgaria. A pair of less-than-ideal starts and a protective approach to the motos led to 11th position overall. The former Grand Prix winner fared better in the second moto as his finish of eighth was six places better than his efforts in the first sprint. Leok now holds 10th in the World Championship points table.
The countdown begins immediately for the Grand Prix of Italy next weekend. The hard-pack and hilly circuit of Fermo will host round three of the series.
Clement Desalle: “The first moto was not too bad. I got into my rhythm and passed Cairoli and pushed all race to try and close on Paulin. Third was OK and some good points. My start was similar in the second moto and again I got by Cairoli. I was riding my own race and trying not to take risks because the track was difficult; a small mistake could easily turn into a big one. De Dycker and Cairoli put me down to fifth but I was not worried and not getting nervous. I then made a small error before the finish line double and it sent me out of shape after the take-off. You had to be perfect on that part to be able to hit the inside line on the landing. Anyway I came up a bit short and made a big crash. The bars and radiator were bent and I lost time to stop and straighten the bike. I went out to try and get some points and managed three; better than nothing but it was not what I expected from this GP. This is part of racing though and I will continue to do my best. I have some pain in my ankle but nothing is broken and I will see if I can ride this week.”
Tanel Leok: “I’m not so happy again. Yesterday I was perhaps a little too comfortable and when I was scrubbing a jump my leg came off the bike and I hit it on the ground. I had a lot of pain after that and practice was a write-off. In the first race I was hesitant and a bit afraid of making it worse and by the time I picked up the speed, it was too late to make up any positions. I couldn’t be as aggressive as I wanted and couldn’t pass riders. The second race was better because I felt comfortable on the bike but I’m suffering in areas – like my neck and back – simply because I haven’t ridden that much. Physically I’m in good shape but I’m getting tight. I need to ride more and I’ll be fine. ”
– KTM Report
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings and Tony Cairoli picked up podiums for second and third respectively in the MX2 and MX1 GPs of Bulgaria in Sevlievo on Sunday to both retain the red plate as championship leaders in these classes.
It was a strong first performance for the team’s first outing for 2012 on a hard pack surface that was softer for Saturday’s qualification but became dusty, slick and more difficult as Sunday’s races progressed.
Herlings recovered well from a crash in Saturday’s qualifying that deprived him of a top starting gate on Sunday. Nevertheless the sand specialist delivered a strong day on the Bulgarian track with two seconds in the two MX2 motos on his KTM 250 SX-F. He finished the day just one point behind Tommy Searle in the overall standings and still hangs on to the red plate as championship leader. His KTM teammate Jeremy van Horebeek finished fourth overall with a 4-3 moto result. The factory team’s rookie rider Jordi Tixier of France finished overall thirteenth.
Herlings had his work cut out in the first moto starting mid field after losing the front end in Saturday’s qualifying. But while eventual winner Tommy Searle got away strongly in the opening race Herlings worked his way up the order into third place. Then when Searle had brake problems he was able to move into second behind Belgian Joel Roelants leaving only third place to Searle. The Dutch teenager was on the charge from the drop of the gate in the second moto, moving quickly through the ranks and was in range of the victory right up to the final flag.
Jeffrey Herlings: “The riding was really tight for the first six laps and it was pretty good towards the end. In the second moto I got close to Tommy and I almost managed to pass him. Now I have a seven-point lead on Tommy and for the big picture we just lost one point. I really wanted to win the overall but there are still 14 rounds to go.”
MX2 team boss Stefan Everts said he was happy with his riders. “Jeffrey made that little mistake yesterday in qualifying and that’s why he had a bad start but I think he made the best out of it. The first moto he struggled a bit in the beginning and he finally finished second and in the second moto he had a good speed. He came from seven seconds behind and he showed really good things.” Everts had encouraging words for Jeremy van Horebeek who he said was near getting a podium and maybe would achieve that next week in Fermo. He also said that while things had not gone well for Tixier, the season was long and he still showed potential.
Cairoli had a 4-3 result on the KTM 350 SX-F for his overall third to put the ghosts of last year’s ride here in Bulgaria behind him when he injured his knee that made the first races of the season difficult. It was also a very strong day for Ken de Dycker the factory team’s stand-in rider for the injured Max Nagl who was right up with the leaders in the second MX1 moto and even mid race challenged Cairoli for third.
Cairoli, the ruling MX1 champion was not unhappy with his performance and said he had the speed on a track that is certainly not his favorite. “Today was really very hard,” he said of the hard pack surface. “When it gets like this you have to stay on one line and stay smooth and clean. I did make some mistakes and after 3-4 laps I had some arm pump and both Pourcell and Paulin were riding really good in this kind of track. I like my performance today. The speed was there and now I just have to train a bit more on this kind of surface and be confident going to Fermo next weekend.”
It was only the second GP for Ken de Dycker in the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing kit and he looked particularly confident in the second moto where in the second half of the race he put pressure on Cairoli and even briefly controlled third place. Arrangements have been made for him to stay with the factory team in the first phase of the 2012 championship to give Nagl enough time to recover completely from two operations on his back.
de Dycker is riding the KTM 450 SX-F
De Dycker said he was satisfied with his performance particularly because he is still getting used to the KTM 450. “I have won one heat here before. You need to get a good start and you need some luck. For me it’s still difficult because I don’t know the bike so well yet. I have only had two GPs only six starts with the guys lined up next to me so I am still getting used to it.
MX1 Team boss Claudio de Carli said he was more than satisfied with his two riders this weekend. ‘We never expect too much on this type of track because its not Tony’s favorite but he even got pole yesterday and that was already more than we hoped for. Third place means some more points for the championship so its okay for us. Fermo (next weekend) is also a track that Tony doesn’t love but after that there will be others that suit him better and we can relax a bit.” De Carli also had words of praise for de Dycker’s ride in the second moto. “The game he was playing with tony was wonderful and it even looked like he wanted to catch the front two.”