Pichon and Cairoli Win in the Muddy GP of Wallonie - News - Dirt Rider

Frenchman Mickael Pichon won the muddy GP of Wallonie with a 1-2 finish in the MX1 class and Antonio Cairoli took home the victory in the MX2 class with a 1-1 sweep. The weather has been unstable in Belgium, and this GP was a rainy, muddy one. Part of Saturday's practice and qualifying was cancelled to preserve the track after steady rainfall throughout Friday night. The organizers performed a great maintenance job on the track, but the insistent heavy rain made for very muddy and slippery conditions.MX1 Class

Mickael Pichon made a successful comeback to GP, finishing 1-2 after having missed the last two GPs recovering from knee surgery. But the more incredible thing is what the Honda/Martin rider said after the victory:

"I don't know if I will race next GP or next year. I want to do the MX des Nations (that will be occurring at his local circuit of Ernee, France) but I am not even sure which bike I will race. I might ride the Honda CRF250R."Second overall was New Zelander Josh Coppins (2-3), the Honda/Cas rider was enjoying one of his favorite tracks, and showed his true fighting spirit during the second moto. He crashed off the start, but flew back up through the pack (without goggles) from eighteenth to third—only two seconds behind Pichon. Third place went to Yamaha/Rinaldi rider Stefan Everst with a 5-1 finish. The eight-time world champion remains firmly in control of the series with a 38-point margin over second place Josh Coppins.It was a disappointing GP for Ben Townley; the factory KTM rider has been marred by bad starts and bad luck. In the first moto the twenty-year-old finished seventh after crashing. In the second moto he lost his brake pedal. With no rear brake, Ben went down no less than three times and finished the moto in thirteenth place.Moto1Brian Jorgensen holeshot the first moto, the Yamaha/Rinaldi rider led the first two laps but Pichon quickly passed him to take control of the race on the third lap. Turning some fast laps on a clear track he had a strong advantage—6.5 seconds—but Josh Coppins then got past Jorgensen and the surprising Frenchman privateer Pascal Leuret (who rode a bone stock Honda CRF) in a thrilling duel. Coppins, the winner of the last two Grand Prix, slowly chipped away at Pichon's lead but was riding alone in second place for the most of the race. Stefan Everts crashed off the start, but went on to finish fifth after an impressive comeback from seventeenth.Moto 2Jorgensen holeshot once again followed by Mickael Pichon, who quickly overtook him, but Mickael suffered with some fatigue (this race marking his return to the GP series). Stefan Everst pushed really hard and showcased his skills in the slippery conditions. Mickael was unable to contain Everts' assaults and made a mistake, which was all Stefan needed to overtake Pichon.No lucky for Joshua Coppins that collided at the second start with Pascal Leuret, the Kiwi re-started his Honda and fought hard, coming back from last place to eleventh by the end of the first lap and then proceeded to climb to third before the race's end. Joel Smets collided with Brian Jorgensen on the fourth lap, damaging his silencer. Jorgensen made a pit stop to chance the silencer to continue the race and would finish 21st in the end.Mickael Pichon: "I'm happy and first of all I want to thank the guys in the team as they kept on working really hard on the bike during my absence. I got two good starts today and had the lead. It was so important to start well here! The track was not as physically demanding as I thought, and even if I had some arm pump in the first moto it was not too difficult. I'm happy to come back, I wanted to race here as we are close to the French border and it's almost a home GP for me. Both Stefan and Joshua had some bad luck it was a good opportunity for me to win my second GP of the season."Josh Coppins: "The first ten minutes of the first moto was bad but by the end of the race I was making good lap-times. I did not get a good jump from the gate in the second moto. Pascal Leuret crashed and I went straight into him and ended up being upside down. I started last and began to come back but had to lose my goggles on lap four or five. It cost me a lot of time to pass people because the track is pretty stony and I was trying to protect my eyes as much as I could. I was finally able to make some good speed but I am slightly disappointed that I could not pass Mickael at the end. I was making a few mistakes and I put my heart and soul into this race. I took one more point than Stefan but I was fast enough to take more today. I will keep trying for this title and never give up."Stefan Everts: "I don't even clearly remember what caused my crash at the start of the first race. I hit a small rut and was thrown off. It was difficult to come back because the track allowed only one line. I was not so happy with fifth, and I have been having way too many come-from-behind races lately so it was quite frustrating. I wanted my revenge in the second race and this time I had a good start. I saw Pichon making some mistakes after twenty minutes and my physical condition allowed me to outpace him near the end of the race. It's a pity that I could not offer my home crowd a GP win, and my 85th win takes a bit longer than expected but I'll try again next week."

| | MX1 Moto 1 1. M. Pichon 2. J. Coppins 3. P. Leuret 4. B. Jorgensen 5. S. Everts 6. S. Ramon 7. B. Townley 8. J. Smets MX1 Moto 2 1. S. Everts 2. M. Pichon 3. J. Coppins 4. K. De Dijcker 5. M. Priem 6. J. Smets 7. Y. Atsuta 8. S. Ramon Championship After Round 12 of 17 1. Stefan Everts Yamaha BEL 496 2. Joshua Coppins Honda NZL 458 3. Ben Townley KTM NZL 390 4. Joel Smets Suzuki BEL 377 5. Mickael Pichon Honda FRA 346 6. Steve Ramon KTM BEL 332 7. Pascal Leuret Honda FRA 243 8. James Noble Honda GBR 218

MX2 ClassAntonio "young goblin" Cairoli took his fourth Grand Prix victory of the season, with strong 1-1 results, second was Australia's Andrew McFarlane (3-4), while home rider C&eaccute;dric Melotte (6-2) finished third overall. Team Yamaha/DeCarli rider Antonio Cairoli won his tenth moto and second GP (of the last three) with a moto-sweep.Moto 1From Saturday's qualifiers, 19-year-old Cairoli claimed the fastest time. As usual Antonio got the holeshot followed by Nicolas Aubin, Davide Guarnieri, the Yhamaha/Ricci rider Andrew McFarlane and fifth, factory KTM rider David Philippaerts.Cairoli pushed hard and cruised to an uncontested win. During the lap three Aubin crashed relinquishing second place to Guarneri and McFarlane in third. McFarlane and Philippaerts both ended up getting around Guarneri on lap seven and the two battled for second place. Philippaerts made a decisive attack to pass McFarlane and held on to second place behind Cairoli to the finish. It was a bad start for home-rider Cedric Melotte, but the Yamaha/Rinaldi rider turned his mediocre sixteenth on the opening lap to a decent sixth place in the end.Moto 2The second moto was a carbon copy of the first. Cairoli holeshot again, but this time Melotte put the pressure on Cairoli. The two Yamaha riders battled for the lead throughout the entire moto, but in the end Cairoli won.Former world champion Alessio Chiodi defended his third place position against teammate McFarlane for the the full race distance. David Philippaerts was penalized by a bad start, leaving him to finish seventh place and missing the podium by one point! With five rounds left in the series, Cairoli reduced the gap with McFarlane in overall standings to 12 points.Antonio Cairoli: "I had a really good weekend here and the most important thing was of course to take some points from Andrew again. So I'm very happy with this GP. The second race was quite fun. Cedric was really fast on this track and I enjoyed riding against him; to have him between me and Andrew was good for the championship as well. At some points it was pretty intense and when you are jumping together the adrenaline really starts flowing! I'm looking forward to Loket next week. It's absolutely one of my favourite tracks and I have good memories from last year when I got my very first heat win."Andrew McFarlane: "Antonio rode really well today and unfortunately I lost some of my point advantage so it was not a great weekend for me. In the second moto I was chasing Chiodi all the time, but it was hard to find a passing opportunity and I had to settle for fourth. I can live with what happened this weekend and just have to look ahead and get ready for next week. I know the team is working really hard to give me everything I need, the bike is running well and my confidence is good so all the ingredients are there to make it happen."Cedric Melotte: "It's good to be back on the podium again, especially at home in Belgium. It proves that even when times are difficult with my injury, it was the right thing to keep on riding and scoring points. I got closed in at the start of the first moto and I was in the second half of the pack. The track was very slippery and it was difficult to find good passing opportunities. I found a good rhythm after about 15 minutes and managed to get sixth. I was quite satisfied with second in the second race. I was keeping the pressure on Cairoli, but a mistake in the last lap ruined my chances of victory."

| | MX2 Moto 1 1. A. Cairoli 2. D. Philippaerts 3. A. McFarlane 4. C. Pourcel 5. D. Guarneri 6. C. Melotte 7. A. Chiodi 8. M. Nagl MX2 Moto 2 1. A. Cairoli 2. C. Melotte 3. A. Chiodi 4. A. McFarlane 5. P. Caps 6. M. Maschio 7. D. Philippaerts 8. A. LeokChampionship After Round 12 of 17 1. Andrew McFarlane Yamaha AUS 416 2. Antonio Cairoli Yamaha ITA 404 3. Alessio Chiodi Yamaha ITA 378 4. David Philippaerts KTM ITA 341 5. Cedric Melotte Yamaha BEL 321 6. Stephen Sword Kawasaki GBR 262 7. Christophe Pourcel Kawasaki FRA 229 8. Billy MacKenzie Yamaha GBR 228

Stefan Everts finished on the podium, and keeps a strong hold on the series points lead.
Everts leads Pichon during the second moto as the two battle for the lead.
Ben Townley fell back to a disappointing 13th place after losing his rear brake.