Results MotoCross World Championship, St D'Angely, France2007-06-10 12:35
A humid and action-packed Grand Prix of France at the St Jean d'Angely circuit was won by Josh Coppins from Steve Ramon and David Philippaerts this afternoon in front of a 28,000 crowd. CAS Honda's Mike Brown finished eighth overall.
The St Jean venue, that had not seen a World Championship event for two years, offered a very fast and hard-pack surface with the shortest lap of the season. The pace was furiously quick and there were precious few ruts or technical sections to test the riders contesting both
categories. The emphasis on outright speed meant that Timed Practice on Saturday separated the fastest twenty riders by just two seconds. Starts were crucial for the 35 minutes plus two-laps Grand Prix motos.
Brown made a typically positive getaway in the
first race and was holding second position behind
Josh Coppins before needing to ease his way into
a rhythm. He lapped within the top five but
finally slipped back to seventh spot. The
American had put himself under pressure to at
least repeat his podium from Japan. He was a
little less proactive in the second moto - in
fact he had a bad start by his lofty standards on
the first lap - but rode to the same classification for eighth overall.
Ken de Dycker had a nightmare of first moto and a
disappointing GP. The tall Belgian was last
coming out of the gate and although he cut
through a lot of riders in the opening laps he
clashed with Kornel Nemeth and fell to the back
of the pack. Finally scoring 17th. The CAS Honda
rider had hurt his left leg in practice on
Saturday and did not finish the second race through pain and leg cramps.
Former MX3 Grand Prix winner Julien Bill was
making his debut in Honda Martin colours and
scored twelfth overall after some decent speed in
practice and qualification. He was pleased with
the result but admitted that he could have
performed better in the races. The Swiss was fifteenth and eleventh.
Multitek's James Noble picked up his second dnf
of the season after a double spill damaged his
machine. He was tenth in Moto1. Martin Honda's
Antoine Meo's period of recovery on his left knee
is still uncertain. He underwent surgery in
France last week but a return to the saddle is still too early to determine.
As the World Championship prepares to enter its
second half the standings show that Coppins has a
mammoth 90 point advantage over Steve Ramon in
the MX1 class. Kevin Strijbos was unable to start
the second moto after finishing out of the points
and off the pace in race one due to his injured
knee. Mike Brown is now Honda's highest placed
representative with seventh and is only 15 points
from breaking into the top five. Noble has dropped to eleventh.
The MX2 class was won for the sixth time this
year by Antonio Cairoli. The Sicilian triumphed
ahead of Christophe Pourcel and Tyla Rattray,
taking his fifth double moto success of the
season. Martin Honda's Pascal Leuret was a decent
fourth overall and was strong in both motos to
claim finishes of fourth place each time out. He
rode particularly well in race two after recovering from a lacklustre start.
The Frenchman retains fourth place in the
standings but stares at a large 49 point
difference to Rattray and further promotion.
Cairoli now holds a 70 point margin over Pourcel.
Round eight of the World Championship will take
place next week at the Sevlievo circuit - voted
best of 2006 by the FIM - for the Grand Prix of Bulgaria.
Mike Brown, CAS Honda: "I qualified better this
week but did not ride as well as in Japan. I
struggled a little bit with arm-pump but not as
much as before and felt better with the bike on
the track. The team has got the Honda working
well and it is just up to me now. I got a good
start in the first moto and was second there in
the first laps but then got a bit tight. I put a
little bit too much pressure on myself this week
to go out and win, which was a big mistake. We
will regroup for next week. I want to keep on
giving 100% and I know that is the key if I want to win again."
Ken de Dycker, CAS Honda: "I crashed on Saturday
and the foot peg dug right into my leg muscle. I
couldn't really move my leg. I got a bad start in
the first heat but came through until I then
crashed with Nemeth. When I started going again I
had a lot of pain and cramps. My start was better
for the second heat although I could not pass
other riders as quickly as I wanted. I could not
put my foot down so I was getting cramps again; it was not a good weekend."
Julien Bill, Martin Honda: "On Saturday I had a
really good Timed Practice and was sixth; I was
happy with that. Today I felt a bit of pressure.
I had two good starts but really bad arm-pump in
the first race and towards the end of the second
I was feeling tired. It is not a bad first GP
with the team but I know I can do better."
James Noble, Multitek Honda: "I wanted to try and
go the whole season without any DNFs and that's
my second now so I'm a bit disappointed for that.
I have never got on with this track in the past
and tenth place was OK in the first moto. I was
in a similar position in the second race but I
bent the radiator when I hit a post going down
the hill. I had a look to see if it was leaking
but didn't spot a rider who had some trouble in
front of me and had stopped. I clipped his back
wheel and came off. That damaged the front brake
and then radiator again. I was really far back and decided to come in."
Pascal Leuret, Martin Honda: "I am happy with the
result but not 100%. I think if I had made a
better start in the second race then it might
have been possible to fight with Tyla for third.
It was a good weekend anyway because I felt some
pressure to do well for the team and the people.
I am pleased because I did not make a mistake today."
Source: Honda Pro Image
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