Grand Prix Of Italy - Dirt Rider Magazine

_MANTOVA, 6 May 2007_- It was a really hot day for the enormous Italian crowd at Circuito Internazionale Citta di Mantova, playing host to a breathtaking Motocross Grand Prix.The 51st edition of the FIM Motocross Grand Prix of Italy was won by New Zealander Joshua Coppins in the MX1 class, as Italian Motocross idol Antonio Cairoli made the home fans crazy by dominating both MX2 heats.MX1
Joshua Coppins won the Grand Prix thanks to two wise heats, that he both won by pacing himself, and staying out of early fights. Kawasaki Racing Europe's Tanel Leok was back to the podium after his last top three finish at Ernee 2006, and earned a well deserved second place ahead of Kawasaki fellow rider Sebastien Pourcel, of the GPKR team. Suzuki factory team mates Kevin Strijbos and Steve Ramon completed the top five overall.MX1 GRAND PRIX RACE 1
Mike Brown grabbed the holeshot, as Jonathan Barragan crashed, but a gutsy David Philippaerts felt a friendly home crowd, and worked his way up the lead before the end of lap one. Kevin Strijbos followed the Italian for a couple of laps, then Marc De Reuver passed him and gave chase to Philippaerts. With De Reuver tangling up with Philippaerts, the leading duo crashed, and Ken de Dycker grabbed the lead. Joshua Coppins begun to make up ground from half race distance, and successfully passed De Dycker for the lead. With Ken stopped by a technical problem, Tanel Leok worked his way up to second and left Kevin Strijbos behind in third. Sebastien Pourcel paced himself to finish fourth after a good start, and James Noble completed the top five. Early leader Philippaerts entered the top ten in ninth.MX1 GRAND PRIX RACE 2
Mike Brown lead the pack into turn one, and also lead the first three laps under massive pressure from Joshua Coppins. The Kiwi passed at lap four, but he had to face Ken De Dycker for the heat win. Ken and Josh passed each other several times during a breathtaking duel, before De Dycker tried to pull away with the lead. Coppins let the rival go for four laps, then moved back to first and won the heat in front of De Dycker. Marc De Reuver made up for moto one with a solid final heat, to finish third after moving past Mike Brown, who ended ninth, because of a crash. Sebastien Pourcel was once again consistent, and finished fourth ahead of experienced Steve Ramon. Tanel Leok made some mistakes at the start, and hit neutral twice, but worked his way up to sixth. David Philippaerts crashed once again, as Kevin Strijbos tangled up with him at lap three.MX2
Yamaha De Carli's Antonio Cairoli had no rivals on his home ground today. He raced and won both heats with an impressive pace, as Tyla Rattray of KTM Red Bull Racing was consistent enough to comeback to the podium with second place. Team mate Tommy Searle completed the top three, ahead of Gareth Swanepoel and defending Champion Christophe Pourcel.MX2 GRAND PRIX RACE 1
Erik Eggens had a storming start, but "Tony" Cairoli flew up to the lead before the end of the first lap. The Italian was a freight train, and pulled away with the lead to win the first heat. Tyla Rattray conquered a well deserved second place, after he made to pass tough rivals such as Eggens -who crashed and dnf'd- Kenneth Gundersen and Tommy Searle. The latter had to defend third place from a very fast Christophe Pourcel, who had a bad start, but put pressure on Searle for the last three laps. With the Frenchman ending fourth, Kenneth Gundersen dropped down to fifth, ahead of Gareth Swanepoel.MX2 GRAND PRIX RACE 2
Antonio Cairoli finally made a great start, and was his incredibly fast self for the rest of the moto, to win with a 16 second gap over runner up Tyla Rattray. Also Christophe Pourcel put in a good start, and put pressure on Cairoli for the first couple of laps; then the Frenchman was passed by Rattray, and crashed. On the other hand Rattray rode to a safe second place, and Swanepoel received third place from Pourcel, to keep it until the chequered flag. Tommy Searle was fourth at the end of the moto, but had to work hard to keep Nicolas Aubin behind. Aubin tried to pass, but crashed, and Pourcel was coming closer to Searle, but finished fifth. IN THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS STANDINGS
Kiwi Josh Coppins increases his leadership to a 36 point advantage over MX1 runner up Kevin Strijbos. Steve Ramon passed Jonathan Barragan for third, as the Spaniard dropped down to sixth. Ken De Dycker is now fourth, ahead of MX1 debutant Sebastien Pourcel. Estonian Tanel Leok improved his Championship standings, and is now seventh. In the MX2 class, Antonio Cairoli is opening up a significant gap over current runner up Tyla Rattray, who moved past Christophe Pourcel, third at the moment. Tommy Searle moved forward into the top five and is now fourth, ahead of Pascal Leuret. WHAT'S NEXT
No more pauses for the FIM Motocross World Championship, that will continue next weekend in Germany, Teutschenthal. The FIM Motocross Grand Prix of Germany will also host the opening round of the FIM Women's Motocross World Cup.