The 17000 people present in Fermo,Italy witnessed incredible racing in both MX1 and MX2 classes as Christophe Pourcel raced to his maiden MX1 victory of the season, while Jeffrey Herlings obtained his second GP victory in the MX2 class.
CP377 Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit’s Christophe Pourcel obtained his maiden GP victory of the season and he is now third in the point standings 27 points behind Antonio Cairoli who continues to lead the points standing after his second place finish.
In the first heat, Pourcel and Paulin exchanged the lead on several occasions. Pourcel even stalled the bike in the last lap, but he managed to start the bike again quickly, catch Gautier Paulin, crossing the finish line in first position thanks in part to a mistake in the final few corners by his fellow Kawasaki rider.
In the second heat, Pourcel succeeded in finishing second even though he was bleeding from his nose during the last laps after a rock had hit his face, giving the Frenchman a well deserved overal win.
“I was confident already when we arrived here in Italy." stated Pourcel. "We had the bike set up really well from the race last weekend in Bulgaria and I immediately felt comfortable on this track."
"My Kawasaki got me out of the gate well in both races and I won the first race after an exciting battle with Gautier Paulin.
"I was sitting comfortably in second place in the second moto and was optimistic that I could win that race too, but a rock hit me on the nose a few laps from the end; blood was streaming down my face so I decided it was wiser to settle for second place as this would secure the overall GP win." he explained.
"We’re a young team and it’s great to win already at our third GP to confirm the potential we showed in Bulgaria.” concluded Pourcel
Antonio Cairoli still holds the points lead after three rounds - Credit: R.Archer
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli was third in the first heat. He took the holeshot in the second moto and was never headed, keeping the lead until the checkered flag.
After not having the best qualifying race yesterday, Cairoli was determined to do well today and hand a victory to his home crowd that had been cheering for him until the end. Cairoli is still leading the MX1 point standings with 17 points advantage over Paulin.
"I had a good start in the first heat and I was second but I was not so happy with my riding in the beginning." said Cairoli. "I made a few mistakes and I dropped back to 5-6 ."
"Then after 10-15 minutes I found my rhythm and closed the gap on the front guys but I was a bit tired so I stuck to my third place." he added
"In the second race I also had a good start and I tried to make some good laps at the beginning of the race. I was also happy with how things went in the second race and I did a pretty good job.” concluded the 2011 MX1 champion.
The third step of the podium was claimed by Rockstar Energy Suzuki World’s Clement Desalle thanks to his 4-3 result. However, the Belgian admitted that he is not fully satisfied with performance today and he needs to keep on working to try to conquer the first step of the podium in the upcoming Grand Prix.
"I'm not so happy because when I ride the bike I like to have fun and I didn't enjoy myself this weekend." admitted Desalle. I found the track difficult, especially compared to when I won here in 2010; it felt like you were on the edge of making a big mistake all the time."
"I must keep working because I know what I can do. I will keep positive." he concluded.
Kawasaki Racing Team’s Gautier Paulin had an incredible first race and he actually missed the victory because he made a mistake in the last lap and Pourcel overtook him. In the second heat, Paulin crashed in the first corner and had to fight from the back of the pack to end sixth, which made him finish fourth overall.
“I had a good rhythm in the first moto but I made too many small mistakes; I nearly passed Christophe several times, but I always made a mistake and even after I did take the lead with two laps to go I went wide in a corner and lost the race." said Paulin.
"I ruined my second race by crashing at the start; I recovered to sixth place but I want to be on the podium every week. We’ll continue to work for that, and the speed we showed this weekend confirmed our results from Bulgaria.” he concluded
Desalle made his way to the podium on a difficult day - Credit: Suzuki Racing
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Ken De Dycker obtained another solid result in Fermo and completed the top five of the Italian Grand Prix. De Dycker had a bad start in the first heat and started from an initial twelfth position to finish seventh. However, in the second heat the Belgian started third and rode a consistent moto until the end.
“I didn't have a good start in the first moto and I didn’t find my rhythm or any good lines." amitted De Dycker. "The second moto was much better, It was easier for me and I was more relaxed so there was not so much pressure."
"I didn’t expect more from this GP because its not one of my favorites." he added.
Russian Evgeny Bobryshev is continuing to recover from his thumb injury, finishing in sixth position overall at a track where he did not really feel comfortable. Kevin Strijbos, who finished tenth in the first heat after starting from an initial 16th position, was seventh in the second moto and seventh overall for the day.
David Philippaerts was ninth for the day and once again endured some bad luck; five minutes before the end of the first moto, the Italian made a mistake while in fourth position and went down.
He managed to finish ninth but he hit his face heavily and had some vision problems heading into moto two. In the second moto he finished eighth giving him the same position overall for the round.
Xavier Boog finished ninth and Tanel Leok rounded out the top ten overall.
Australian Dean Ferris finished the round in 11th position overall including an impressive 10th place finish in the second moto.
”I’m very satisfied with my riding. I didn’t do anything crazy, I rode consistently.”, commented Ferris after the second moto. ”I want to thank the team from the hard work and the new set up.”
Herling's claimed his second round win and increased his championship lead. - Credit: R.Archer
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffery Herlings won both moto's but it was not an easy victory for the Dutch rider. In the first moto, he was able to keep the lead from the beginning to the finish line, but by the end of the moto Herlings started feeling that his bike was having some problems.
In the second moto, Herlings and Searle’s wheels touched and the Dutch lost the front break but he managed to go from eleventh to first.
“I had a little bit of luck in the first moto and I went on to win by 15 seconds from Jeremy so it was a solid result." said Herlings.
"I then took the holeshot in the second moto but I got cleaned out by Tommy (Searle). We both went down and came back from pretty much last place." he explained.
"I tried to push as hard as I could, I went into the lead and made it happen. So today I got 28 points on Tommy and that was good.” concluded the current MX2 points leader.
The second overall position for the day went to Monster Energy Yamaha’s Michael Leib in just his second appearance in the FIM Motocross World Championship this season.
Leib did an incredible job in the first race moving from 15th to third and in the second moto he led the race until the last three laps, where he was overtaken by Herlings and Searle.
Leib is very grateful towards Monster Energy Yamaha for having given him such opportunity and he admitted that his near future is still uncertain at the moment.
"I got the opportunity to come over here for two weeks and ride a good bike and the goal was to do exactly what I accomplished today." It is not everyday you can achieve a highly set aim like that, especially one other people think you cannot reach." stated Leib.
"I proved myself and it was a very emotional feeling. I’ve had pretty good success in supercross and I was starting to build myself up. Today was a day where I wanted things to come together and they did." concluded the American
Leib was impressive in Italy - Credit: Yamaha Racing
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeremy Van Horebeek earnt his first podium finish of the season after being second and fourth in the two moto's. In the first moto, the Belgian was riding comfortably in second position when he suffered a heavy crash, he managed to recover quickly and did not lose his second place position by race end.
Van Horebeek admitted that he struggled a lot in the second moto to finish fourth, as he was suffering a heavy headache caused from the crash in the first moto. The Belgian is now second in the point standings.
“I came out of the gate in second in both motos and in the first race I was behind Jeffrey till mid way." commented Van Horebeek. "We had a big lead and then five minutes before the end I had a crash in the whoops and I hit my head pretty hard."
"I was dizzy but I still managed to finish second." he continued
"I didn’t feel so good between the motos but I wanted to give the team the podium so I worked hard in the second moto. I was leading for a few laps but my head was hurting and then I had to drop the pace." concluded the KTM rider.
It was a disappointing weekend for championship contender Tommy Searle, especially after having won the qualifying race yesterday and having so high expectations for this weekend.
In the first moto he crashed during the opening lap and damaged his bike so badly, that he had to pull out of the race. In the second moto, Searle’s and Herlings’ bikes touched at the start and he had to fight from almost the last position managing to move to second place by the time the checkered flag was flown.
"In the first race someone hit me in the second corner; the radiator and the pipe were smashed and the front disc bent but I still had hopes of coming through to second until the radiator was completely empty and the bike inevitably stopped." explained Searle.
"I got another good start in race two, but Herlings came over so hard on me and hit my front wheel; there was nothing I could do about it and many riders crashed into me.
"His action was stupid and dangerous. I came from dead last to second and nearly caught the winner even though I could hardly see anymore because my goggles were filled in." he concluded.
The next GP will be held in two weeks time at Guadalajara, Mexico.