Round nine of the FIM MX World Championships, the GP of France, marked the first double victory for KTM; Ben Townley in the MX1 class and David Philippaerts in the MX2. Temperatures rising to near 90 degrees could not stop the young New Zealander, Ben Townley from taking his third GP victory of the season. He swept both motos for the second time in a row after the Italy GP and is now making a steady advance in the series points lead. Josh Coppins took second place at the GP of France with 3-2 results, and Mickael Pichon rounded out the podium with a 4-2 finish.Things in the MX2 class are heating up as well. Antonio Cairoli stepped into the points lead after winning round eight in Italy, but promptly lost it after being disqualified from the GP of France (round nine). Andrew McFarlane regained the lead after a third place finish in France behind David Philippaerts, who took his first GP win, and Anthony Boissiere who took his first GP podium.MX1****Round 8 - GP of Italy
The fast and rock-hard track of Castiglione del Lago at the GP of Italy made for some good racing. "They did a really great job with the track. It is hard to find such a place where there is traction everywhere and places to pass." said Ben Townley. It was on that track the New Zealander took his first double victory (which he repeated last weekend in France). But Townley had his work cut out for him and had to battle a hard-charging Stefan Everts. On the last lap of Moto2, Everts got hung up in lappers, letting Townley by for the win. Everts followed in second place, taking second for the day, and Joel Smets rounded out the podium with a 4-3 finish.Round 9 - GP of France
Thunderstorms coated the Saint Jean D'Angely track on Saturday night, and the hot sun dried the dirt early the next morning to form very hard and rough terrain. Coupled with the hot, humid weather, the Grand Prix was one of the most-demanding and draining of the season to date. Once again, it was Ben Towlney with a 1-1 victory for the day. No other rider ever mastered such a successful switch to the MX1 class as fast as rookie Ben Townley has.With 3-2 results, Josh Coppins took second place; the CAS Honda rider put in two strong rides as he holeshot both motos. Mickael Pichon collected third overall. This was his last race before having knee surgery. The Honda/Telefonica/Martin rider put in two strong motos with 4-3 results, but without any training in the last two weeks he suffered more than his rivals on the demanding track. It was not a good day for defending champion and series leader Stefan Everts who scored 2-7 at the French GP. The Yamaha/L&M;/Rinaldi rider suffered with the high temperatures, and a crash in Moto2 forced him to fight his way back up from 28th to seventh.MX1 Moto1Josh Coppins took the holeshot, closely followed by Everts, Joel Smets and local hero Pichon. The Frenchman quickly climbed up to second, and a new battle between Pichon and Everts seemed possible. But in the same time Ben Townley was advancing through the field. He moved from sixth to third within three laps and overtook Pichon lap 14. With three laps to go, Townley's calculated pass rattled Everts as he was demoted to second position. Everts tried to come back at the factory KTM rider, but the young New Zealander had got the better of him and left Everts gaping for air.MX1 Moto2Coppins once again got the holeshot, but in the second corner Townley overtook the Honda rider and proceeded to lead the entire Moto. Stefan Everts climbed up to second on the next lap, but the eight-time world champion crashed hard on a table top jump. Everts had to pit with a damaged handlebar, after a quick repair he come back into the race in twenty-eighth. He went on to finish seventh after a very strong charge through the pack. Joshua Coppins came home second, ahead of Pichon.While running in the top five, Joel Smets tried an ambitious pass on KTM's Steve Ramon that sent them both to the ground. Smets' RM-Z450 suffered some damage in the spill which worked the exhaust silencer loose, eventually breaking off with two laps to go. The increased noise led to an infringement of the rules and Joel Smets got a penalty of one minute added to his final race time. He now drops from second to fifth in the points standings and sits 20 points behind Coppins in the current runner-up spot.Ben Townley:
**"This has been a great weekend for KTM as they also won in the road racing and we won both the MX1 and MX2 classes here in St Jean. I'm happy at the moment that my level has improved enough to win. At the moment I'm taking it race by race and it's going really well at the moment. I want to thank team who has been working so hard week in and week out."Joshua Coppins:
"I'm happy for Ben that he won; it's good for New Zealand because it's a small country and they have a lot of young riders so it's something for them to look up to. I'm still going to try and get as many podiums as possible and try to be consistent throughout the season."Mickael Pichon:
"It was a hard race. I used a lot of energy in the first Moto but I was lucky in the second because I came over the table-top and was just able to miss Stefan's bike. I am happy to take third here in France. I did not ride much in the last two weeks and it is encouraging that I can still come here and get results like this. I want to thank the fans, my team and the St Jean club who did a great job. Now I will go to the hospital and then take a break to get healthy. "Stefan Everts:
**"I was completely empty of the end of the first race. When Townley came by I just had to let him go. I was not in my best shape here, but fair play to Townley; he was the fastest and had some good lines. my position was pretty bad, but I never thought about giving up and I just kept going. Seventh is not brilliant but all points are important and my leading position in the championship is still intact."