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Van Horebeek Begins 2014 MXGP With Sturdy 5th In Qatar
Posted by: newsla on Mar 02, 2014 - 06:00 AM
Van Horebeek Begins 2014 MXGP With Sturdy 5th In Qatar

Jeremy Van Horebeek captured a steady pair of fifth positions for the same ranking overall on his debut riding the works YZ450FM at the challenging Losail circuit and under the Doha desert night sky for the opening round of the FIM Motocross World Championship. The Belgian marked some effective speed across a fast and difficult track at the Grand Prix of Qatar, one week before the series heads to Thailand for round two of eighteen.


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Unsettling lumps and sharp kickers littered the Losail hard-pack only a stone’s throw from the MotoGP asphalt ribbon. It was a harsh opening test for the riders of the MXGP class, most of whom steering factory 450cc machinery.

Van Horebeek was present with the 2014 YZ450FM for the first time and although he could not count on a set of decent starts he was able to make some swift overtaking moves in the two 30 minute and 2 lap motos to work his way near the top five. With the leaders all marking a similar severe pace in the 1min51s, 52s there was little chance to forge much of a difference at the top of the leader-board. The fetching-in-blue YZ was an apt foil for the Belgian to round-out a consistent pair of motos and start the campaign on a promising foot. DP19 Racing Yamaha’s David Philippaerts threw his leg over a YZ450F for the first time since 2012 and from within the confines of his self-run new team. The Italian, starting his ninth season in the premier class, had a few teething troubles with his suspension set-up and could not really gel with the idiosyncrasies of the Losail terrain. The former world champ was twelfth by the end of a long evening. Rui Goncalves piloted the YZ450F for the Bike it Yamaha Cosworth squad but was suffering from Flu. The Portuguese grabbed eight points for eighteenth overall.

The FIM Motocross World Championship heads onwards to Thailand this week with round two happening at Si Racha.
2014 YZ450F

Jeremy Van Horebeek
“Really solid today and I’m happy with the Grand Prix. I missed the starts this weekend. I had almost the same speed as the four guys in front of me but to go faster on this track was almost impossible. The bike is really awesome with how we set it up and it’s great for the rest of the season. The first one is done and I know where I am, which is near the front. Just a little bit more work to do on the starts and the podium is not far away.”

David Philippaerts

2014 YZ450F
“It was difficult. Very hard. The track was strange. Some parts were very slippery and others had a lot of traction and in the second moto there were a lot of small bumps. I was not riding that well tonight. I need to work more with the suspension because we did not have the best set-up. We pushed hard to be here and the result didn’t come but we have seventeen more rounds ahead and to get near the front.”

Anstie denied first GP win by cruel luck
Bike it Yamaha Cosworth’s Max Anstie should have been celebrating his first Grand Prix success at the end of the evening at Losail in Qatar for the very first round of the MX2 FIM Motocross World Championship. The Brit was leading both 30 minute and 2 lap motos until a mechanical problem and a stall prevented a superb finale to a maiden outing in Blue.

Anstie was irrepressible on the YZ250F and made good on various claims that he was fitter than ever and in confident form after a positive winter of preparation. He passed Jose Butron and Dylan Ferrandis to lead the first race until the closing stages and was also deep into the second affair until bad luck struck again and he dropped down the order to seventeenth. From disappointment comes encouragement and Anstie already sent a warning shot to the rest of the MX2 field that Yamaha is again ready to front the pack.

In the event standings Christophe Charlier claimed tenth place overall. The Corsican was also at the wrong scale of fortune and was undone by some mediocre starts and barging on the opening laps of the motos. He rode to 12th in the first race after recovering from an early crash and did well in the second for 9th despite a stone breaking his goggles and causing a bloody (and painful) nose.

Petar Petrov was on the pace and the Bulgarian set impressive lap-times in the opening dash despite being forced to the ground by another rider who had fallen in front of him. The Bulgarian had to restart from last place and buried his YZ250F back to 16th. Moto2 saw Petar fighting to pass Glenn Coldenhoff but the rippling bumps and squared-edge holes of the hard-pack limited his overtaking possibilities. He was 11th for 13th overall.

Australian Champion Luke Styke was unable to compete due to the debilitating effects of a viral infection. Si Racha will host the Grand Prix of Thailand next weekend for the second year in a row.

Christophe Charlier
“A hard night. It was so hard to pass on that track and I didn’t give myself much chance with the starts today. Also luck was not with me. In the second moto a rock smashed me in the face and I started bleeding. It took me a while to recover from that. Anyway, the series is very long and for sure we will have many better days.”

Luke Styke
“I’ve been struggling with a viral infection so I knew I was up against it. I did what I could but after ten minutes I was so weak and couldn’t see properly. It wasn’t safe to continue. I’ve seen the doctor and it is one of those things that will take a bit of time to recover from.”

Petar Petrov
“I’m not happy with the result but I managed to show the speed is there. I rode the fourth best lap-time in the first race, so that’s good. In the second race passing was so hard. It took me so long to get by Coldenhoff but by then the race was over. This really shows how the start is important. I hope next week in Thailand the track will be rougher, which will suit me better then these all-out fast races.”

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