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Apr 21, 2014 - 06:14 AM
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2014 MXGP - Grand Prix of Bulgaria
Posted by: newsla on Apr 21, 2014 - 06:13 AM
Tidbits
2014 MXGP - Grand Prix of Bulgaria


The premier MXGP class of the FIM Motocross World Championship continues to be a happy hunting ground for Yamaha Factory Racing and Jeremy Van Horebeek. The combination of the Belgian and the YZ450FM linked together positively at Sevlievo today to gain third position in the overall standings. The result meant a fourth rostrum appearance in the five rounds of eighteen in the 2014 term so far and brings JVH joint second in the MXGP standings.

 

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Sevlievo was battered - and actually benefitted - from heavy rain in the lead-up to the Grand Prix. The weather helped to create a soft, rough and immensely rutted racing terrain with a plethora of grip. The hard-pack was mostly transformed into a technical and difficult layout and with modifications for 2014 (two new sections of turns) the course was slower compared to previous years and more of a challenge. The steep downhills and uphill drags still placed hard emphasis on engine and suspension performance but the possibility for riders to try different lines and make up time on their rivals was an important factor. On Sunday afternoon - midway through raceday - the rain started again and the second moto was run in muddy and slippery conditions.

Van Horebeek rolled into the start gate with second position after an effective outing in the qualification heat on Saturday (a day that saw the timetable amended to help the state of the track). A largely static first moto in the sunshine saw the Yamaha circulating in third place and Van Horebeek was frustrated to finally cross the line in fourth after a small crash (through a problem with his goggles and also a backmarker) allowed Kevin Strijbos to demote him by one slot. With the weather reversal for the second race JVH played a percentage game and rode smoothly and smartly to secure second and register his tenth consecutive top five finish for a final scorecard of 4-2 and the bottom step of the podium. Jeremy now guards second position in the MXGP championship table with Clement Desalle and is 28 points behind leader Tony Cairoli.

DP19 Yamaha Racing’s David Philippaerts was competing at the venue where he took his first victory for Yamaha back in 2008. The former World Champion didn’t enjoy the best of starts but produced two solid races on the fringes of the top ten to bag some valuable points. The Italian rode to 11th and 12th for 11th overall.

Bike it Yamaha Cosworth’s Rui Goncalves had a difficult day on the bumps. The Portuguese veteran had twinged his back in the first session on Saturday and had to complete the first day with painkillers. Rui came through the motos in discomfort but was able to dig out some effective results in the circumstances with a 13-9 delivering a top ten overall placing for the day.

The Grand Prix of the Netherlands will occur at the staple venue of Valkenswaard, near Eindhoven, in two weeks time.

Jeremy Van Horebeek

"This is not my favourite track and I have never been on the podium here before so I’m pretty stoked about this result. I struggled all weekend and was not feeling comfortable but together with the team we have made a great bike - which made things easier - so I’m really happy for that. We still need to work on the starts, and these have to get better if I want to win races. In the second moto it was not that muddy actually, more slick, and we were sliding a lot because the track was so hard. I rode like an enduro rider! Trying to be smooth and standing on the pegs a lot; this helped. Four podiums in four rounds now and Valkenswaard is close to my place. I love sand riding and I have worked a lot on this in the winter because I felt I was having difficulty with the MX1 bike. Now I feel good and I’m looking forward to going there." Jeremy Van Horebeek

David Philippaerts

"Today things were a little bit better and I’m happy to have two solid motos. In the first one I was riding well, and finished eleventh. The speed was good, even if my start wasn’t from the thirteenth gate. In the second moto it was really difficult in that rain and especially when coming through the pack. I had some problems with the handlebar grip but anyway it was a consistent day. The bike was good, my form OK and the team is working well. Now we will push for Valkenswaard."

Rui Goncalves

"I wasn’t happy on Saturday because I hurt my back and my right leg in the first practice. I got cross-rutted on one of the jumps and although I saved the crash I landed quite hard. I pulled a muscle. I could not ride at my best today I was tight and trying to protect my back. I knew it would be a tough one and wanted to survive it with as many points as I could. In the first moto I didn’t ride well but still made it up to thirteenth. In the second I was dead-last but rode smooth and kept on two wheels. I made positions and got up to ninth; that I was happy with. I’ll take this result and sort myself out in the next days. I hope to do some good training and we go to Valkenswaard next. I like the sand and I want to get steady and consistent in the top ten before we can reach forward."

Petrov shines in front of home crowd at Bulgarian MXGP

Kemea Yamaha Racing’s Petar Petrov was the standout performer for Yamaha in the MX2 division of the FIM Motocross World Championship as he rode to sixth position at a rutty and difficult-to-judge Sevlievo circuit for the Grand Prix of Bulgaria.

Sevlievo was under grey clouds and incessant rain during the days before the MXGP paddock rolled into town but the watering helped to soften the hard-pack. The effect on the track made the fast and hilly layout more technical and tacky but also extremely rough. 20,000 spectators took advantage of the Easter holiday weekend to take-up a vantage point on the Sevlievo slopes and were cheering on Petrov - locally born - as the only Grand Prix regular from Bulgaria on the international MXGP stage.

‘152’ gave the fans plenty to shout about. A first lap crash saw him restart from last position in the first moto but his speed and determination was inspiring. The nineteen year old fought all the way back to an excellent eighth place. In the second moto a more beneficial start meant he could concentrate on a higher slot. Rainfall descended midway through the afternoon and this changed the track conditions but Petrov was unstoppable and reached sixth spot for the same ranking overall for the day.

Team-mate Luke Styke was seventeenth as he continues a hard adaptation process to grand prix in his first international season and Bike it Yamaha Cosworth’s Max Anstie also had a tough day. The Briton is in the midst of a development programme with the team’s technology and was thirteenth overall with a 13-15 score.

In other news factory rider Christophe Charlier is taking positive steps in his recovery from a broken leg suffered at the Grand Prix of Thailand and will soon be able to concrete a firm return date to the GP track. Sevlievo saw the second round of the EMX125 championship (the second stop of eight) and steering the YZ125 was David Herbreteau who gunned the YRRD-kitted machine to his very first win at this level and was one of five YZ125 two-strokes in the top fifteen. Bulgaria also witnessed the launch of the EMX250 series - the final rung on the European ladder into MX2 GP racing - and Arnaud Aubin was the highest placed with tenth.

The shallow sand of Valkenswaard will be the next setting for the FIM Motocross World Championship and its support classes as the Grand Prix of the Netherlands will constitute round six of the calendar and the first of three meetings in May.

Petar Petrov

"Finally a good weekend, and it feels so much better doing it at my home race. Usually I ride bad over here but this year was really good! The track was so much different than other years. In the past it was fast and wide-open all the time but now there were deep ruts and you could make a difference. In the first moto I crashed after a couple of corners and was in last position. I put my head down and attacked as hard as I could. My speed was good and I enjoyed the race. The public was fantastic! They were cheering so hard and it literally gave me an extra boost. I finished 8th and was one of the fastest on the track, so that was good. In the second race my start was better. The track was tricky with the rain and I didn’t take too many risks. I finished 6th and had a good battle with Coldenhoff. I’m relieved I managed to finish two good races and this gives confidence for Valkenswaard, which suits me well." Petar Petrov

Max Anstie

"We not quite there yet and we need to work a bit more. The start of the season went well and we cannot afford to give away points like we did this weekend. We’ve got a couple of weeks now and we’ll see what we can do. I hope we’ll go to Valkenswaard with an open mind. The track was alright and quite cool. It was difficult, rutty and technical. I felt good about there and that’s the frustrating thing."

Luke Styke

"Saturday went good for me. I had a good feeling on the track and finished 12th. On Sunday it was more difficult. The first moto I was in 15th for pretty much the whole race. On a jump I hurt my wrist a little and after that I rode tight and cautious so as to not to hit the wrist again. In the second race I was riding tight once more to finish 16th. Back to Belgium now and we will continue to work hard for the next race."

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