Mantova's Starcross International - Dirt Rider Magazine

Story and Photos by Stefano SpadavecchiaMantova's Starcross International is considered the event that kicks off the MX Season in Europe and this year the Event reached its 25th edition.
The major teams and the most important riders of the FIM GP world championship are all happily participate in the Starcross. It is a way for them to test how well the bikes have been set up as well as to obtain a valid opinion on the pilots' condition before the very first race of the championship, which will be held in Holland on the 6th of April.With an excellent score of 2 - 1 - 2, the Italian David Philippaerts of the Rinaldi Team won the 2008 Starcross on his dialed-in Yamaha works bike. David's speed singles him out already as one of the favorites to win the MX1 world title (450).On the second step of the podium, with a score of 7 - 4 - 4, was Joshua Coppins, who's the one that theoretically should be the leader on the Yamaha Rinaldi Team. After an injury he had in 2007, which made him lose a title that seemed in the bag, Joshua, after an intense training, seems up for the challenge of another world title try. For the rider from New Zealand this event was a way to get back on the racetrack, even though at times he looked tense. On top of this, a blow to his right shoulder on the Saturday had him riding cautiously.An overall third place did not satisfy the Spanish Jonathan Barragan, of the Silver Action Team, on a KTM works bike. Jonathan won both Moto 1 and 3 but did not get any points in Moto2 as he had engine failure which resulted in a DNF. However, he demonstrated good speed and excellent physical conditioning and should be a threat in the upcoming World Championship.The Dutchman Marc De Reuver had a good debut, scoring the same points as Barragan even though he did not make it onto the podium. After a rocky 2007 with Yamaha, Marc, on his Honda HRC of the Martin Team, now seems to be another person, in very good shape and with excellent speed.Steve Ramon, the actual MX1 (450 cc) world champion, seemed more concentrated on tuning up his bike than on the actual race. He got a 6th place overall.The 250F class raced together with the 450s but got scored separately. The young Englishman Tommy Searle came out as the winner (winning the class in two of the motos) over Gautier Paulin, new rising French star being trained by former world champion Jacky Vimond. KTM factory rider Tyla Rattray was involved in a bad fall during the last moto, which hurt his final results.David Philippaerts:
"This is a good start to the year and I am very happy for the team and everybody. My Yamaha was really good today. It is very fast, maybe too fast for me at the moment! In the Moto1 I had a small problem with the brake and had to stop quickly but my riding was good after that and I had some nice lines. In the Moto2 I was determined to win and passed many riders in the first corners. It was quite easy in the end. Barragan was fast in the Moto3 but because he had a problem earlier he might have been fresher than the rest of us. We still have some time before the first Grand Prix and we are going in the right direction; my condition is getting stronger and the bike feels better each week. I am especially pleased with my starts today."Josh Coppins:
"I am happy it is all over as I don't really like this track and I crashed on Saturday and hurt my shoulder. It was a tough weekend. In the Moto1 I went down on the first lap and did pretty well to come back to 7th from 15th or 20th; something like that. I fought hard and my shoulder was tight afterwards. The second Moto was going OK and I moved past Pourcel for third at the end but unfortunately I got caught up with a lapped rider and that pushed me back. In the last Moto I felt the pace with my shoulder. Overall there were too many mistakes and having two crashes was not good. However, we are on the podium so it was not a waste. We also rode the bike for the first time this week and I am pleased with what we have so far."Jonathan Barragan
"These were two good days for me, but it is still two months before the season starts and it doesn't really show the full potential. I have been training in the USA so I haven't had too much time to ride the new bike yet but I am very happy with my new team and having KTM behind me helps a lot. I wish all the GPs would be like this race!"Moto 1:
1. Jonathan Barragan, 2. David Philippaerts, 3. Max Nagl, 4. Marc de Reuver, 5. Tyla Rattray, 6. Steve Ramon, 7. Josh Coppins, 8. Seb Pourcel, 9. Kevin Strijbos, 10. Bas Verhoeven, 11. Gautier Paulin, 12. Clement DeSalle, 13. Alex Salvini, 14. Joel Roelants, 15. Tommy SearleMoto 2:
1. David Philippaerts, 2. Marc De Reuver, 3. Seb Pourcel, 4. Josh Coppins, 5. Steve Ramon, 6. Kevin Strijbos, 7. Max Nagl, 8. Tanel Leok, 9. Tommy Searle, 10. Manuel Priem, 11. Tyla Rattray, 12. Clement DeSalle, 13. Shaun Simpson, 14. Gautier Paulin, 15. Rui Goncalves.Moto 3:
1. Jonathan Barragan, 2. Tanel Leok, 3. David Philippaerts, 4. Josh Coppins, 5. Tommy Searle, 6. Manuel Priem, 7. Kevin Strijbos, 8. Steve Ramon, 9. Max Nagl, 10. Rui Goncalves, 11. Clement DeSalle, 12. Shaun Simpson, 13. Gautier Paulin, 14. Anthony Boissiere, 15. Marvin Van DaeleOverall MX1:
1. David Philippaerts, 2. Josh Coppins, 3. Jonathan Barragan, 4. Marc De Reuver, 5. Max Nagle, 6. Steve Ramon, 7. Tanel Leok, 8. Kevin Strijbos, 9. Sebastien Pourcel, 10 Clement DeSalleOverall MX2:
1. Tommy Searle, 2. Gautier Paulin, 3. Rui Goncavles, 4. Shaun Simpson, 5. Tyla Rattray, 6. Martin Barr, 7. Anthony Boissiere, 8. Jeremy Tarroux, 9. Manuel Monni, 10. Pascal Leuret