Brazil MXGP Race Report

Photo courtesy Youthstream.

This morning Beto Carrero woke up with heavy rain, but it did not stop the thousands of motocross fans to come to the track to cheer the best motocross riders in the world. Christophe Pourcel and Tommy Searle succeeded in putting two Kawasaki’s on the top of the podium, while Antonio Cairoli and Jeffrey Herlings finished eighth and seventh respectively.

The mud was one of the protagonists today at Beto Carrero’s track due to the heavy rain, so the start was crucial for all the riders to fight for the top positions. The riders who managed to be the first ones to reach the first corner just needed to make their best not to make mistakes and ride safe until the end, and this is what actually Christophe Pourcel and Tommy Searle did; while Pourcel went 1-4, Searle dominated both MX2 heats. David Philippaerts and Kevin Strijbos completed the MX1 podium and Christophe Charlier and José Butrón obtained their maiden podium in the MX2 class.

MX1

CP377 Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit’s Pourcel admitted that they had to change the clutch of his Kawasaki yesterday after the qualifying race and today he felt again really comfortable on his bike. The French rider did an incredible first race, imposing a really good rhythm and finally crossing the finish line with one minute and a half difference with second classified Philippaerts. In the second heat Pourcel took the holeshot and led the first laps, but his compatriot Boog overtook him right in the middle of the race. The CP377 Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit rider admitted that he made a couple of mistakes by the end of the heat and this is why he had to settle down for the fourth position. In any case, Pourcel managed to obtain the second victory of the season this weekend in Beto Carrero.

Monster Energy Yamaha’s Philippaerts was back on the podium this weekend thanks to his 2-6 result. The Italian admitted that he found the track really hard, but after having a good first moto, his goal in the second one was to ride safe and try to be on the rostrum, and this is what he finally accomplished.

The third step of the podium was for one of the most experienced MX1 riders in the paddock, Kevin Strijbos. The last time the Belgian rider was on the podium was back in 2007, so he was really satisfied with his performance this weekend. In the first race Strijbos crashed in the first corner, but he managed to finish fifth, and in the second moto the HM Plant KTM UK rider rode consistently in the fourth position and when there were two laps to go, Pourcel made a mistake and Stirjbos moved up to the third position.

Kawasaki Racing Team’s Paulin was fourth overall and he missed the podium in Beto Carrero being tight in points with Strijbos. The French rider did not have a good start in the first moto but he was able to move up some positions and crossed the finish line third. However, in the second moto he made a mistake and it took him a lot of time to put the bike up again and had to settle down with the fifth position.

Honda World Motocross’ Gonçalves completed the top five of the Honda Grand Prix of Brazil even struggling with a thumb and groin injury. It was a tough race for the Portuguese rider, but so far it has been the best result of this 2012 season. Gonçalves made an excellent start in the first heat and he rode second during the first two laps, but he then made a mistake and he was dropped down to fourth. Gonçalves was fourth in the first moto and in the second one he was only able to finish eighth.

Boog had a very tough first heat because after not having had a good start, his Kawasaki engine broke in the last laps of the race. In the second moto he did a better start and he managed to take the lead in lap six and he kept such position until the chequered flag. Boog was finally sixth overall, and he was especially happy because he succeeded in obtaining his first moto victory of his career in the FIM MX1 World Championship.

Desalle was once again unfortunate this weekend, because after riding really well in the second moto and finishing second, in the first one he crashed in the end of the heat while he was sixth and he could not start the bike again. Desalle finished seventh overall, tight in points with Boog.

Cairoli had a day to forget in Beto Carrero, in fact, the Italian admitted that it has been one of his worst Grand Prix of his career. In the first moto he started in the front, but he then made a mistake, struggled to go back to the top and crossed the finish line eighth. In the second heat, he did not have such a good start, he crashed again and he was only ninth, which gave him the overall eighth position.

Bobryshev finished ninth overall and he was a bit disappointed with his performance today. However, taking into account that he is still recovering from his thumb injury and his bronchitis, finishing in the top ten is a really good result for the Russian rider.

Simpson completed the top ten with his 7-12 result, and De Dycker finished right after the Brit. De Dycker was sixth in the first moto even making several mistakes, but in the second one he was only able to cross the finish line in the 13th position.

Christophe Pourcel: "It's never easy in conditions like these, but my Kawasaki gave me a great start in both races and the first moto was unbelievable. I didn't feel I was riding super fast but after only a few laps my mechanic boarded me that I was a minute in front. In the second race I made a few mistakes with the lappers. I was planning to repass Boog in the closing laps; in the end it was me who made a couple of mistakes and I lost two places, but I knew I still had the overall win."

David Philippaerts: "I'm very happy, especially for the team who have worked a lot to get the bikes ready for the mud. Yesterday I was riding well and then in the first moto today I made a decent start that put me sixth or seventh and I pushed from there. In the second race I tried not to make any mistakes because the track was difficult. I knew it was important to get into a position where I could make sure of the podium. I feel good and I'm not really looking at the championship standings; I just want to try and get near the front in each race. It is important that I get as much race time as I can, feel good on the bike and avoid any crashes. I like coming to Brazil! It is hard staying outside of Europe for a long time but this is the world championship and it's great to come to places like this."

MX1 Race 1 top ten: 1. Christophe Pourcel (FRA, Kawasaki), 44:47.275; 2. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), +1:29.145; 3. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), +1:43.349; 4. Rui Goncalves (POR, Honda), +1:47.125; 5. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, KTM), +1:49.116; 6. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), +2:26.285; 7. Shaun Simpson (GBR, Yamaha), +2:43.169; 8. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +2:59.506; 9. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), -1 lap(s); 10. Matiss Karro (LAT, KTM), -1 lap(s);

MX1 Race 2 top ten: 1. Xavier Boog (FRA, Kawasaki), 42:09.534; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), +0:02.155; 3. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, KTM), +0:07.681; 4. Christophe Pourcel (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:32.074; 5. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:43.134; 6. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), +0:53.271; 7. Tanel Leok (EST, Suzuki), +1:02.910; 8. Rui Goncalves (POR, Honda), +1:03.333; 9. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +1:05.447; 10. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +1:26.338;

MX1 Overall top ten: 1. Christophe Pourcel (FRA, Kawasaki), 43 points; 2. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), 37 p.; 3. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, KTM), 36 p.; 4. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), 36 p.; 5. Rui Goncalves (POR, Honda), 31 p.; 6. Xavier Boog (FRA, Kawasaki), 30 p.; 7. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), 30 p.; 8. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 25 p.; 9. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), 23 p.; 10. Shaun Simpson (GBR, Yamaha), 23 p.;

MX1 Championship top ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 203 points; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), 179 p.; 3. Christophe Pourcel (FRA, Kawasaki), 172 p.; 4. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), 170 p.; 5. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), 154 p.; 6. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), 142 p.; 7. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, KTM), 139 p.; 8. Xavier Boog (FRA, Kawasaki), 129 p.; 9. Rui Goncalves (POR, Honda), 110 p.; 10. Tanel Leok (EST, Suzuki), 107 p.;

MX2

Team Floride Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit’s Searle obtained his second Grand Prix victory of the season, he regained the second position of the championship and he is now 20 points behind Herlings. Searle had really good starts in both motos and he managed to take the lead and open a considerate gap with his pursuers. In the first race the British rider had to enter the pit lane because he crashed and lost his gloves, and when he was back in the track he was riding second, but he could easily catch Charlier and dominated the heat until the chequered flag.

Monster Energy Yamaha’s Charlier obtained his maiden MX2 podium this weekend in Beto Carrero and it was confirmed that his injury on his foot is completely healed. In the first turn of the first moto Charlier had to take out his goggles and block of mud hit his left eye, but the French young rider succeeded in finishing second. In the second heat, he had another good start, but he then made a mistake and went from second to seventh. In the end Charlier crossed the finish line fifth and obtained the second overall position.

It was also a very special day for KTM Diga Racing’s Butrón, as he completed the top three of the Honda Grand Prix of Brazil. Butrón was visibly moved to be on the podium and he actually admitted that it was like a dream come true; in fact, it was the first time that a Spanish rider was on an MX2 podium. In the first moto, the KTM Diga Racing rider finished eighth, but in the second one he took the holeshot and managed to lead the first two laps. Searle overtook the Spanish rider, but Butrón managed to keep the second position until the end.

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Van Horebeek was fourth overall this weekend being tight in 35 points with Butrón. The Belgian rider is still a bit sick, but he managed to finish third in the first tough moto. In the second one, he did not have such a great start and when he recuperated some positions, he made a mistake and he was down to the tenth place. Van Horebeek did all his best and he was able to cross the finish line sixth.

Team Floride Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit’s Roelants completed the top five after finishing fifth and fourth in today’s races. The Belgian rider had a tough first race, moving from fifteenth up to fifth, but in the second one he rode a solid moto keeping the initial fourth position until the end.

Anstie had a really good start in the first race and crossed the finish line fourth, but in the second one he was only able to be seventh and he obtained an overall sixth position.

Herlings was just seventh this weekend after finishing 12th in the first heat and third in the second one. The leader of the MX2 series did not have really good starts in none of the motos and a crash in the first heat made him lose already many points.

Nicholls finished eighth, followed by Lupino and Kullas completed the top ten.

Tommy Searle: "I'm not the best mud rider, but I knew I needed good starts and to ride smart. I took the lead quickly in both races and concentrated on not making mistakes and keeping my goggles free of mud when I came up behind lappers. I slipped off once in the first race and my gloves were covered in mud but it was easy to retake the lead after I stopped for fresh gloves. The result today means I have halved the points gap to the series leader and makes up for my bad luck in Italy."

Christophe Charlier: "This is my first grand prix podium and the first time I've been able to have some champagne since 2009 and winning the European Championship, so it feels really good. My foot is fine and it feels good to be fit and getting faster. It was pretty hard out there today. I had to get rid of my goggles early in the motos and a piece of mud hit me directly in the left eye. It was painful but I could keep going. Even though I come from the deepest south of France I'm used to riding on all sorts of tracks and in the mud even from my days on an 85. I also have long legs which helps a lot!"

Michael Leib: "I heard it was going to be raining here from the forecast during the week but I was struggling with my hand all weekend anyway. I had a bit of a get-off on Saturday and was super-sore. I lost the handlebars four or five times in that second race. If I go to France then I should be OK for that. A lot of things went the wrong way for me this weekend."

MX2 Race 1 top ten: 1. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), 44:31.410; ; 2. Christophe Charlier (FRA, Yamaha), +0:23.896; 3. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, KTM), +0:46.131; 4. Max Anstie (GBR, Honda), +2:16.278; 5. Joel Roelants (BEL, Kawasaki), +2:22.232; 6. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +2:29.302; 7. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), +2:34.943; 8. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), +2:47.345; 9. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), +2:53.896; 10. Harri Kullas (FIN, Suzuki), +3:24.769;

MX2 Race 2 top ten: 1. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), 43:42.838; 2. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), +0:11.095; 3. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +0:36.276; 4. Joel Roelants (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:39.879; 5. Christophe Charlier (FRA, Yamaha), +1:15.554; 6. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, KTM), +1:21.010; 7. Max Anstie (GBR, Honda), +1:23.875; 8. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Husqvarna), +1:28.353; 9. Harri Kullas (FIN, Suzuki), +1:39.850; 10. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), +1:53.530;

MX2 Overall top ten: 1. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), 50 points; 2. Christophe Charlier (FRA, Yamaha), 38 p.; 3. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), 35 p.; 4. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, KTM), 35 p.; 5. Joel Roelants (BEL, Kawasaki), 34 p.; 6. Max Anstie (GBR, Honda), 32 p.; 7. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 29 p.; 8. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), 25 p.; 9. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Husqvarna), 23 p.; 10. Harri Kullas (FIN, Suzuki), 23 p.;

MX2 Championship top ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 223 points; 2. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), 203 p.; 3. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, KTM), 189 p.; 4. Joel Roelants (BEL, Kawasaki), 152 p.; 5. Max Anstie (GBR, Honda), 137 p.; 6. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), 128 p.; 7. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), 120 p.; 8. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), 107 p.; 9. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Husqvarna), 103 p.; 10. Harri Kullas (FIN, Suzuki), 99 p.;