Cairoli wins American GP from Alessi and Desalle
Antonio Cairoli in the MX1 class and Marvin Musquin in the MX2 took victory at this successful USA Grand Prix comeback to Glen Helen Raceway, hosting the hottest Grand Prix of the year so far with high temperatures all over the weekend.
Cairoli, who won heat one despite a broken gear lever, topped the podium from home rider Mike Alessi and Clement Desalle. The Italian continues to lead the MX1 Championship.
MX2 series leader Musquin dominated both heats to top the MX2 podium ahead of home rider Zach Osborne and Steven Frossard.
In the Veterans’ World Cup Doug Dubach took the overall win with Darryl King in second and series leader Mats Nilsson in third.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing MX1’s Cairoli took an incredible victory of this USA Grand Prix by winning moto one and taking third in moto two. What the fans will remember is surely the Italian’s performance in heat one, when he was leading until he broke the gear lever of his KTM 350 SX-F. Alessi took the chance to move past and get the lead but a gusty Cairoli made it back to first and took victory despite his bike being stuck in third gear.
Jägermeister Factory KTM’s Alessi, also onboard the KTM 350, was second overall. After taking second in moto one, the American battled it out with Cairoli for third but eventually dropped down to fourth after the two passed each other several times.
Desalle of Rockstar Teka Suzuki World MX1 made his comeback to the podium courtesy of third overall. The Belgian was fifth in moto one but made up for that in moto two where he took a solid second place behind winner Townley – in moto one the New Zealander crashed twice and pulled out.
Kawasaki Racing’s Boog was fourth overall as he put together a sixth and a fifth place finish in the moto’s. Other Rockstar Teka Suzuki World MX1 rider Ramon completed the top five.
After a third place in moto one, Nagl crashed in moto two and did not score points. The runner up in the Championship has now a gap of 41 points from leader Cairoli.
Philippaerts struggled with the track to take only a 15th place overall and drop down to fourth in the Championship while Desalle is now in third.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing MX2’s Musquin was his solid self in the United States where he took two moto wins and the overall. The French took two good starts and led the races from the opening lap already, opening up an initial gap then racing on his own until the chequered flag.
Taking his first podium of the season was home rider Osborne of Bike It Cosworth Yamaha UK. The American could not go catch Musquin for first as he had to get rid of Simpson in both heats. The duo fought tooth and nail in heat one, with Osborne taking fourth eventually, and in heat two when Osborne took his best heat result of the season courtesy of a second place.
Kawasaki CLS’ Frossard made it to third on the podium despite a tough qualifying heat yesterday, when he crashed and injured his right thumb. The French raced a superb heat one, taking an eventual second after Kullas broke the bike and pulled out. In moto two he was fourth. Frossard is now third in the Championship which is a confidence booster ahead of his home GP next weekend.
Teka Suzuki Europe World MX2’s Roczen was a bitter fourth overall. The German recovered to third in heat one after he was involved in a tangle but went down in the final moto due to another tangle – eventually he was fifth.
Other Red Bull KTM Factory Racing MX2 man Simpson rounded off the top five while team mate Herlings was 14th overall after crashing in both heats.
Despite taking third in yesterday’s qualifying, Anstie struggled and crashed on race day. He finished 17th.
Home rider Dubach was the first one to break Nilsson’s dominance of this 2010 FIM Veterans’ World Cup as he went on to take victory in both heats at Glen Helen Raceway. Dubach topped the podium from former GP winner Darryl King of New Zealand, who went two-two in the heats. Nilsson was third overall to maintain the series lead. Nicoll and Davis completed the top five.
The seventh of 15 GP’s will be held at St. Jean D’Angely, France, on the June 6 weekend and will host also the fourth round of the FIM Women’s World Championship as well as the third round of the UEM EMX 125 series. The fourth round of the FIM Veterans’ World Cup will be held in Kegums, Latvia, on the June 27 weekend.
|MX1 Race 1
|MX1 Race 2
|1 Antonio Cairoli KTM ITA 40’08.080
2 Mike Alessi KTM USA 0’00.668
3 Maximilian Nagl KTM GER 0’08.443
4 Ken De Dycker Yamaha BEL 0’17.447
5 Clement Desalle Suzuki BEL 0’30.090
6 Xavier Boog Kawasaki FRA 0’36.188
7 Steve Ramon Suzuki BEL 0’40.895
8 Davide Guarneri Honda ITA 0’48.051
9 Grant Langston Yamaha RSA 0’56.959
10 Kyle Chisholm Yamaha USA 0’58.316
11 David Philippaerts Yamaha ITA 1’03.955
12 Evgeny Bobryshev Honda RUS 1’05.388
13 Kevin Strijbos Suzuki BEL 1’06.214
14 Gareth Swanepoel Honda RSA 1’18.985
15 Nicolas Aubin Kawasaki FRA 1’23.222
|1 Ben Townley Honda NZL 40’44.289
2 Clement Desalle Suzuki BEL 0’07.997
3 Antonio Cairoli KTM ITA 0’09.528
4 Mike Alessi KTM USA 0’11.313
5 Xavier Boog Kawasaki FRA 0’25.269
6 Steve Ramon Suzuki BEL 0’28.412
7 Davide Guarneri Honda ITA 0’34.088
8 Anthony Boissière TM FRA 0’36.597
9 Joshua Coppins Aprilia NZL 0’42.774
10 Ken De Dycker Yamaha BEL 0’56.451
11 Rui Goncalves KTM POR 0’58.653
12 Kyle Chisholm Yamaha USA 1’16.044
13 Kevin Strijbos Suzuki BEL 1’20.115
14 Nicolas Aubin Kawasaki FRA 1’40.815
15 Matthias Walkner KTM AUT 2’00.151
|1. Antonio Cairoli KTM ITA 259
2. Maximilian Nagl KTM GER 218
3. Clement Desalle Suzuki BEL 196
4. David Philippaerts Yamaha ITA 184
5. Ken De Dycker Yamaha BEL 174
6. Steve Ramon Suzuki BEL 173
7. Xavier Boog Kawasaki FRA 167
8. Tanel Leok Honda EST 135
9. Evgeny Bobryshev Honda RUS 115
10. Davide Guarneri Honda ITA 111
11. Joshua Coppins Aprilia NZL 90
12. Kevin Strijbos Suzuki BEL 86
13. Anthony Boissière TM FRA 75
14. Sébastien Pourcel Kawasaki FRA 75
15. Gareth Swanepoel Honda RSA 74
1. KTM 287
2. Suzuki 242
3. Yamaha 225
4. Honda 192
5. Kawasaki 183
6. Aprilia 90
7. TM 75
8. CCM 11
9. Husqvarna 4
|MX2 Race 1
|MX2 Race 2
|1 Marvin Musquin KTM FRA 40’13.981
2 Steven Frossard Kawasaki FRA 0’03.707
3 Ken Roczen Suzuki GER 0’09.005
4 Zach Osborne Yamaha USA 0’39.125
5 Jeremy Van Horebeek Kawasaki BEL 0’40.533
6 Travis Baker Yamaha USA 0’44.492
7 Arnaud Tonus Suzuki CHE 0’50.547
8 Jeffrey Herlings KTM NED 0’55.585
9 Shaun Simpson KTM GBR 1’04.309
10 Jake Nicholls KTM GBR 1’20.608
11 Gautier Paulin Yamaha FRA 1’29.765
12 Valentin Teillet KTM FRA 1’39.971
13 Joel Roelants KTM BEL 1’45.381
14 Dennis Verbruggen KTM BEL 2’03.077
15 Matiss Karro Suzuki LVA 2’08.417
|1 Marvin Musquin KTM FRA 23’53.935
2 Zach Osborne Yamaha USA 0’12.420
3 Shaun Simpson KTM GBR 0’16.677
4 Steven Frossard Kawasaki FRA 0’18.739
5 Ken Roczen Suzuki GER 0’34.302
6 Dennis Verbruggen KTM BEL 0’35.856
7 Jake Nicholls KTM GBR 0’36.968
8 Jeremy Van Horebeek Kawasaki BEL 0’38.909
9 Gautier Paulin Yamaha FRA 0’46.465
10 Harri Kullas Yamaha FIN 0’53.474
11 Arnaud Tonus Suzuki CHE 0’58.789
12 Matiss Karro Suzuki LVA 1’05.502
13 Joel Roelants KTM BEL 1’11.281
14 Vince Friese Yamaha USA 1’14.798
15 Alessandro Lupino Yamaha ITA 1’20.868
|1. Marvin Musquin KTM FRA 268
2. Ken Roczen Suzuki GER 228
3. Steven Frossard Kawasaki FRA 205
4. Jeffrey Herlings KTM NED 197
5. Shaun Simpson KTM GBR 170
6. Zach Osborne Yamaha USA 163
7. Jeremy Van Horebeek Kawasaki BEL 157
8. Arnaud Tonus Suzuki CHE 154
9. Joel Roelants KTM BEL 134
10. Jake Nicholls KTM GBR 129
11. Harri Kullas Yamaha FIN 120
12. Dennis Verbruggen KTM BEL 101
13. Christophe Charlier Yamaha FRA 81
14. Alessandro Lupino Yamaha ITA 81
15. Matiss Karro Suzuki LVA 68
1. KTM 295
2. Suzuki 235
3. Kawasaki 211
4. Yamaha 201
5. Honda 57
6. TM 10
— KTM Report
KTM’s Cairoli and Alessi bring home the MX1 double at the USGP on the 350 SX-F
Red Bull KTM factory rider Tony Cairoli of Italy and his American counterpart Mike Alessi rode like demons this weekend at the MX1 USGP on the Glen Helen circuit to crack 1-2 on the podium and introduce the new KTM 350 SX-F racing machine to American fans in a style that underlined KTM’s “Ready to Race” philosophy.
Cairoli, the championship leader and ruling MX1 world champion scored a 1-3 result to top the podium with Alessi beside him in second place. Red Bull Factory Racing’s Max Nagl was third in the first moto but came unstuck and entangled in the notorious green netting towards the end of the second moto and DNF-ed, while teammate Rui Goncaves was able to improve his consistency in lap times.
Painting Glen Helen Orange
The first moto shaped up to be an amazing battle in the second half of the race that turned out to be a blaze of Orange and a fantastic display of KTM power and riding skills as Tony and Mike battled it out on the soft, loamy track and hot summer temperatures, with teammate Max Nagl on the KTM 450 SX-F close behind. It was a display of riding and machinery that couldn’t fail to impress and turned out to be a perfect platform to show off just what the innovative new bike is all about. The KTM 350 SX-F has been developed at the company headquarters in Mattighofen, Austria in close cooperation with the Red Bull KTM Factory racing Team manager and 10-times World Champion Stefan Everts.
Tony and Mike enjoy their on track fights
Tony’s third place in the second moto gave him a comfortable victory and piled on the championship points. He now leads the standings by 41 points ahead of his teammate Nagl. “It was nice to win here because it’s been a long time since there was a USGP,” Tony said. “I like to fight with Mike Alessi, one of the best riders over here in the USA. We can improve a lot more, also with the bike, we are working really well and we’re very happy. Today everything went perfect, also in the long straight here at Glen Helen where I got the holeshot in the first moto and was in the top six in the second.”
Mike Alessi shared Tony’s sentiments saying: “It was a great weekend. I had a lot of fun racing with Tony Cairoli and the rest of the top GP riders. My KTM was working very well this weekend. It was very good in the corners and on the hills and I got a second place start in the first moto and a third place start in the second. I learned a lot and I had fun.”
Nagl enjoys the conditions at Glen Helen circuit
Despite the incident in the second moto Nagl was also able to take away good memories from Glen Helen as well as more points. “It was actually nice, so much faster than in Europe and big jumps,” he said. I was riding well and I was up with the good guys from the USA like Mike (Alessi) and (Ben) Townley. The first heat was okay. I got tired but I finished fourth so that was okay. The second heat I was very tired the first 10 minutes of the race but I started to get better and better. I could see the other guys were getting tired and my plan was to pass them with four laps to go. I got past Mike but them I made a mistake and got caught up in the green netting. I lost two minutes and for this I am very disappointed.”
Goncalves in the points
The third Red Bull KTM factory rider Rui Goncalves of Portugal also noticed an improvement in his consistency and took away 15 championship points from Glen Helen. He has mixed fortunes in Saturday’s qualifying and admitted not to feeling confident on the new track where he said “you need to have good lines”. “I felt better on Sunday even though I still lacked some consistency. One lap I was good then the next not so good,” he said. “But the second race was better. I am not yet happy with the results and it’s not where I want to be riding but I had more consistency with the lap times.”
Fans and riders alike reveled in the atmosphere of the US circuit and it was obviously a welcome return to the American scene where the last (250 cc) USA Grand Prix was held in Budds Creek 11 years ago. The last time the FIM GP riders rode the Glen Helen circuit in California was back in 1992.
KTM’s Marvin Musquin shines at Glen Helen to clean sweep MX2 GP
Red Bull KTM factory rider Marvin Musquin was in a class of his own at the Glen Helen Raceway in the USA on Sunday sweeping two impressive wins to take the victory in the MX2 GP in the heartland of the sport of motocross and soar further ahead in the championship standings
Musquin, who came from nowhere at the beginning of 2009 to finish the season with the world title in his pocket won the qualifying race on Saturday, took both holeshots and won both motos in a display of riding that belied the difficult conditions – hot and windy weather and a very difficult track.
“It’s great to come to the USA,” the 20-year-old Frenchman said. “I was in the lead in both races, I was able to stay focused on the lines and on my style, I was fast and smooth and I was able to prove that my KTM bike was very strong on the start.” Adding to the unique and special nature of the US race, Musquin came away not only with the coveted Red Plate as the championship leader but also with a guitar instead of the usual silverware.
Great starts at Glen Helen
Marvin came out of the gate like a rocket in the first moto, took the holeshot, mastered the tricky first corner and settled down to build himself a nice lead, which he then carried all the way to the chequered flag. Then just to show those who had not seen him ride before that it was no coincidence, he put in another almost flawless performance in the second moto, which was ultimately red flagged with 10 minutes left of race time after a bridge on the track blew over in the high winds. It was a perfect introduction to the USA for Musquin who has already signed to ride in the US competition for KTM in 2011 and 2012. He now leads the championship from Germany’s Ken Roczen by 40 points.
Good points tally for Simpson
Red Bull KTM teammate Shaun Simpson also had two excellent starts and stayed with the front runners for the first half of both races. He finished ninth in the first race and was third across the line in the second, garnering 32 championship points for fifth overall in the GP. While Shaun was pleased to get the points he did admit that it had been tough adjusting to the extremely hot weather. “It was very different riding here,” Simpson said. “The weather was hot, the track was very fast and the long rips in the start straight made it difficult to get a good start. I felt tired after the first 15 minutes in the first moto but the second was better and I had a better rhythm.”
Mixed fortunes for Jeffrey Herlings
It was not a happy weekend for Jeffrey Herlings, the young 15-year-old Dutch rider and the third member of the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team. He twice got tangled with other riders in the early stages of the motos and had to fight his way back into the action from the back of the pack. While it was understandably disappointing for Jeffrey who has already had a GP victory in his first season and is up with the leaders in the standings, he could still take something positive away from the experience. “There was a big difference in the track and it was very fast compared to the ones in Europe. It didn’t bring me any luck but it was still pretty cool,” he said. Herlings was able to add 13 points to his championship tally and is still fourth in the championship standings, putting all three Red Bull KTM factory races in the top six. KTM also has a 60-point lead in the Manufacturers standings.
— Yamaha Report
De Dycker shines with first race ride in USA
The sixth round of fifteen in the FIM MX-GP World Championship was a tough one for the Yamaha Monster Energy squads at a fast and demanding Glen Helen in east California. Under hot sunshine and watched by 16,000 spectators Ken De Dycker stood out with a splendid ride to 4th position in the first moto, using the potential of the YZ450F to battle rivals and also a rough course with several steep hills and many gravity-defying jumps.
The first American Grand Prix of the century and of the MX1/MX2 era took place at one of the most renowned circuits in the USA and Glen Helen not only gave the world championship riders their hottest weekend of the season so far but also one of the trickiest circuits with a lengthy layout with many elements to conquer.
De Dycker started quite well in the first race and his speed pulled him up into a three-way battle for 3rd position. He eventually defeated Clement Desalle but lost out in his quest for a second top three finish of 2010 to Max Nagl. In the second outing the Belgian was stuck a little further back in the pack and quickly pulled into the pits at one stage after hearing an altered exhaust note. Able to immediately rejoin the sprint the 25 year old completed the distance with 10th for 6th overall.
Yamaha Monster Energy MX Team’s David Philippaerts had a tough day after a crash on one of the downhills while holding second place in Saturday’s Qualification Heat partially threw his preparation for the rest of the weekend. Strong winds on Saturday caused practice to be cancelled and left little time for learning the circuit and set-up refinement. The Italian struggled to find an effective rhythm on race day and had a technical problem in the second race meaning an overall classification of 15th.
After maiden US appearances for Philippaerts and De Dycker the pair rest 4th and 5th in the championship standings.
Team, riders and crated bikes were shipped back to Europe Sunday evening with a swift view towards the Grand Prix of France at St Jean D’Angely next weekend.
Ken De Dycker, Yamaha Monster Energy Ricci MX Team: “I didn’t have a good start in the first moto but I came back strong and had energy to push to the end. Fourth place was the best I could do because I was making fast laps but also some mistakes. In the second moto I could not get rid of the mistakes and made a poor start. There was a bit of rattling from the exhaust so I came into the pits but it seemed it was OK and I went back out. It was hot out there and I am pretty pleased with my performance.”
David Philippaerts, Yamaha Monster Energy MX Team: “There is not much I can say about the weekend. I had a fast crash on Saturday and we struggled to find the best set-up and a good rhythm across the track. It was not a normal circuit for us and the first hot race of the season. We had a problem in the second moto and overall it was a weekend that we won’t remember!”
The 2010 YZ250F gained its first FIM MX-GP MX2 world championship podium result when Bike it Cosworth Yamaha’s Zach Osborne raced to be runner-up overall at the Grand Prix of USA at Glen Helen and the sixth round of fifteen. The American appeased his home fans with the second rostrum finish of his career and the first since his triumph in Turkey last year.
In front of 16,000 spectators the 20 year old – who has been drawing closer to the top three each passing GP after recovering from a wrist injury that ruined his 2009 term – glided around the steep hills and across the fast bumps and many jumps of the Glen Helen course to mark 4th and 2nd positions. The MX2 competitors had precious little time to get to grips with a long and demanding track after strong winds forced the free practice sessions to be cancelled on Saturday.
Sunday saw the gusts appear only infrequently but the scorching sunshine remained for easily the hottest and sweatiest event of the year so far. Osborne started averagely in the first moto but pushed his way past Shaun Simpson to arrive to 4th. He again had to relegate the Scot after a better launch in Moto2 but faced a hefty distance to leader Marvin Musquin. The race was red-flagged with 12 minutes remaining when the wind blew a bridge onto the course.
Yamaha Monster Energy MX Team’s Gautier Paulin was fairly luckless. The Frenchman was delayed by an incident involving Jeffrey Herlings and Ken Roczen on the second corner and finished 11th. He then suffered a crash at the start of Moto2 and ploughed a route back to 9th before the race was curtailed. In only his second GP after returning from a broken leg Paulin was 10th in the final ranking.
Yamaha Monster Energy Gariboldi’s Harri Kullas was 15th overall but hoped for better. The teenager Finn could have troubled the top five in the first race after an excellent start but some mechanical trouble ended his participation. In the second moto he was inside the top ten when the bridge that collapsed onto the track actually trapped the unfortunate teenager! Unhurt but bemused, Kullas still classified 10th. Yamaha Monster Energy Ricci MX Team’s Alessandro Lupino took points in both motos for 16th overall.
Osborne is now 6th in the world championship and 7 points away from the top five. Kullas is 11th while Paulin has pulled up to 16th despite missing four rounds. St Jean D’Angely will entertain the Grand Prix of France and the seventh race of the 2010 schedule next weekend.
Zach Osborne, Bike it Cosworth Yamaha: “To be on the podium here is such a good feeling. I did not spend so much time in California before this GP so I really could have used that extra practice time on Saturday but it worked out OK. I am on the right track and now able to run with these guys. It is hard to race with Marvin when you are behind someone like Shaun who is hard to pass. When Marvin has a ten second lead by the second lap then making up that distance is so difficult. I could see the fans going mental around the track and that was special to experience.”
Gautier Paulin, Yamaha Monster Energy MX Team: “Today was not easy. I had a bad start in the first heat and Herlings crashed on the first uphill and I was right behind him. I lost many positions and the track is very fast so it was not easy to catch-up. My speed is still not there. I got up to eleventh but was riding quite nervously and a bit uptight. I had a great start in the second moto but had a crash on some slippery ground hitting a downhill section as I lost the front. I worked my way back to ninth before they stopped the race. I have been feeling a bit sick today and I think this was a bad weekend for me. I have to hope for more from my home GP.”
Harri Kullas, Yamaha Monster Energy Gariboldi: “In the first race I had a really good start. I was in fourth and then up to second around the next corner but after two laps we had a problem with the bike and that was it. Just bad luck and nothing we could do. We changed engines and I did the best I could in the second moto. I made some positions around the second turn. My riding was going good and I was being smart until the bridge came down on my head! I was lucky not to hurt and somehow still finished tenth! The Glen Helen track had a bit of everything and I enjoyed it.”
— Team Suzuki
Teka Suzuki Europe World MX2 had reason to curse their ill-fortune as Ken Roczen could only place fourth at Glen Helen for the Grand Prix of USA and the sixth round of the FIM Motocross World Championship.
The lively German was held up by a second corner melee in the first race but still managed to push himself through to third. He was again unlucky to be baulked by a fallen rider in the opening stages of the second sprint and climbed to fifth before the moto was stopped in bizarre circumstances.
The first visit to America for the world championship this century meant negotiation of the historic Glen Helen circuit. The severe hills and long and fast course had some daunting jumps and involved combination of loose dirt and rippled hard-pack.
Like the MX1 field, the MX2 riders had to learn the track and set-up their machines in swift fashion on Saturday as bright sunshine was tempered by some strong winds; causing the first half of practice to be cancelled. Sunday provided a dry heat that drove temperatures up into the thirties and some hefty gusts remained. While Roczen was being hindered in his launch for the first race team-mate Arnaud Tonus was also left ruining a less than ideal getaway from the gate. The RM-Z250s of both riders worked admirably as the two teenagers cut a path through the pack to reach 3rd and 7th respectively.
In the second moto Roczen was delayed by a fallen Max Anstie and then embarked on a chase from 13th to fifth until the race was halted with ten minutes to go after the wind collapsed a bridge onto the track. Tonus had slipped off his bike on the third lap and had been recovering to 11th to gain 8th by the end of the day.
In the world championship Roczen stares at a 40 point gap to leader Marvin Musquin. Tonus is 8th and 16 points from the top five.
Round seven of fifteen will take place next weekend at St Jean D’Angely for the Grand Prix of France. The old hillside circuit has undergone a revamp under the guidance of former Suzuki World Champion Mickael Pichon.
Ken Roczen: “I don’t know why I am having this bad luck and it has to stop! In the first race I got a really good start but then had that mistake with Jeffrey and just tried my best the rest of the moto. The second moto was the same. Anstie crashed in front of me and I had nowhere to go. I will try to keep my head up. The track was something different and it was fun to race here. The team worked really well and now we will go to France.”
Arnaud Tonus: “In the first moto I had a really bad start and I’m not sure what happened there because the second was not great either; so that is something we definitely need to work on and improve. I pushed hard on the first lap of the first race and was around thirteenth. I kept going and arrived to seventh. It was a pretty good race and my rhythm was OK; I was consistent. I crashed on the third lap of the second moto and had to push hard to reach the top eleven when the red flag came out. I am disappointed about the crash and also my starts and I know I can do much better. I enjoyed the track. We fly home tomorrow now and we have a house near Bordeaux so we will go there to rest a little bit before thinking about St Jean.”
— HRC Report
Honda celebrated their second chequered flag in successive events as Troy Lee Designs Lucas Oils Honda’s Ben Townley won the second race at a sun-drenched Glen Helen for the Grand Prix of USA and the sixth round of fifteen in the FIM Motocross World Championship. Antonio Cairoli claimed overall victory from Mike Alessi and Clement Desalle and Townley classified eighth in the final ranking due to some bad luck in the first moto that forced his retirement.
16,000 spectators travelled to San Bernardino at Glen Helen to see the first Grand Prix event at the venue since 1992 and the first American round of the FIM series this century. Sunshine and temperatures in the low thirties graced the whole weekend and strong winds on Saturday were replaced by occasional gusts on Sunday. The track itself was much longer and faster compared to normal GP layouts and became progressively rougher.
Wild-card entrant and aspiring AMA title campaigner Townley was a proactive force at his first GP event since 2005. The former MX2 World Champion (2004) was part of the battle for the lead in the first race until a collision with Alessi caused damage to his exhaust and front fork and after two more slips he could not continue. The New Zealander escaped from the pack in the second affair for a comprehensive win on the CRF450R; his first world championship triumph since the GP of England in 2005.
LS Motors Honda’s Davide Guarneri was seventh overall with finishes of eighth and seventh. The Italian made a mediocre start in the first moto but circulated just adrift of the battle for third spot in the second race until fatigue caused him to drop two places. Team-mate Tanel Leok – victor of the Catalan GP two weeks ago – did not complete either moto. The Estonian twisted his knee in Moto1 and pulled into the paddock and then suffered a technical problem in the second race.
CAS Honda were unlucky as Evgeny Bobryshev and Gareth Swanepoel both had crashes. The Russian managed twelfth in the first moto, two positions ahead of his team-mate, but both would pull out of Moto2. Bobryshev had two heavy falls, knocking his head on one occasion and also hurting his thumb and neck. Swanepoel caught his right foot in a rut and badly twisted the joint.
Martin Honda’s Jimmy Albertson was ruled out of the Grand Prix after a Saturday spill during the Qualification Heat left the American battered and bruised. Thankfully no damage had been done to the dislocated left shoulder he suffered two weeks ago but the 21 year old hurt his back and needed a visit to the hospital. It remains to be seen if he will be able to fly to Europe early this week and will undergo further medical examinations on Monday.
Marvin Musquin won the MX2 class from Zach Osborne and Steven Frossard.
Leok, Bobryshev and Guarneri are eighth, ninth and tenth in the world championship respectively.
Round seven will take place at St Jean D’Angely for the Grand Prix of France, next weekend on June 6th.
Ben Townley, Troy Lee Designs Lucas Oils Honda: “It was awesome and a great feeling to win. It doesn’t matter what race it was but to beat the best people in the world – whether in America or Europe – is the goal I was aiming for. I am not anywhere near how could I can be and when that point arrives then it will be pretty cool. I felt like I had some of the old magic back a little bit after the qualification race yesterday and it came together today. Following Mike and Tony was not hard for me, so speed-wise I don’t have a problem.”
Tanel Leok, LS Motors Honda: “A hard Grand Prix and disappointing after winning in Spain. In the first moto I twisted my knee and I had a lot of pain. I tried to ride for a little bit but I soon had to stop. We put some ice on the leg between the motos and I wanted to attempt the second race. It was not going too badly but then we had a mechanical problem that finished the day.”
Evgeny Bobryshev, CAS Honda: “Wow, this was a tough GP. I crashed too many times and after going down twice in the second moto I had pain in my neck and also my hand. It was hard to come here and learn the place and I just want to concentrate on getting fit and being ready for France now.”
Jimmy Albertson, Martin Honda: “I had a bad crash on the first big downhill and I felt lucky to be walking away. I was hurt in Spain and have been doing all possible to be here so that setback was pretty big. It is a real shame not to be racing here but I have to do what I can now to get healthy and get back into the world championship.”
Davide Guarneri, LS Motors Honda: “It was a pretty good GP. I have had some problems in the past with the really hot weather but today was not bad, I lost two positions on the last lap because I was completely finished. In the second moto I was keeping pace with Alessi and Cairoli; I did not start that strongly but was building my speed. I rode better in the first moto and had more energy but my start was terrible and I was outside the top twenty!”
Gareth Swanepoel, CAS Honda: “There were a few deep ruts out there and I just caught my foot in one after making a small mistake. At the time I could not put any weight on my foot and had to stop. I went to see the medical team and they said it was OK so I should hopefully just need a couple of days rest. The first moto was OK; I did not get the best of starts but once I got my rhythm I worked my way up and thirteenth was alright, nothing special, I was hoping for more from the second race.”
Roger Harvey, Off-road Manager, Honda Motor Europe: “On one hand it was great to see Ben Townley running at the speed we know he is capable of and it shows the good work the guys are doing in the US to have him competitive in the AMA one weekend and then winning here and beating the best the next. We cannot walk away too happy from Glen Helen as there were simply too many injuries and we again had poor luck. Everyone will be heading back to France now and we have a busy few weeks ahead.”