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2014 MXGP - Grand Prix of France
Posted by: newsla on Jun 02, 2014 - 03:41 PM
2014 MXGP - Grand Prix of France

Van Horebeek streak rolls to eight MXGP podiums
St Jean D’Angely was an unforgiving hard-pack racetrack and test for the best of the FIM Motocross World Championship today, and the ninth round of seventeen in the 2014 series saw Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jeremy Van Horebeek ‘on the box’ once more. The resilient Belgian continues to form a permanent part of the leading elite of the premier MXGP class and his fast and consistent efforts on this difficult French surface meant second place overall and an eighth podium visit in a row.


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A boisterous, vibrant and atmospheric event at the former Motocross of Nations venue was created by 32,000 fans, fine weather and a sense of expectation with a healthy quota of French riders aiming for lofty positions in the MXGP and MX2 divisions. It would be a Belgian though who would grasp more spoils. Van Horebeek quickly got down to business around a racetrack that he enjoys by cruising to third position in the qualification heat. The 24 year old had a decent pick in the gate for the long start-straight drag race to the first corner.

JVH was a lonely third place in Moto1 to Clement Desalle and Tony Cairoli after a mediocre getaway but was part of a front-running quartet in the second race. At stages Van Horebeek had to deflect the threat of Steven Frossard behind but in others was able to get close to the rear wheel of Desalle. When leader Cairoli crashed with two laps remaining Van Horebeek was in a prime position to capitalise and his runner-up slot to Desalle meant the second step of the rostrum. The Yamaha ace keeps third place in the championship standings but is just 15 points from Desalle and 35 from Cairoli and the red plate.

Former World Champion David Philippaerts has had good days and bad at St Jean. The French track was the site of his first GP win almost ten years ago but has also delivered misfortune. 2014 was the turn of some ill luck. An average start in Moto1 meant a tough fight in mid-pack to arrive to 15th. The Italian crashed out of the second moto when a fall round the new section at the top of the track led to a broken throttle and dislocated pinkie finger on his right hand.

Bike it Yamaha Cosworth’s Rui Gonçalves had a thorough outing in France. The Portuguese felt OK with his ankle twisted in the UK last week but was not spared the effect of a rock to the face on Saturday! Rui lost some positions in the first moto with a crash that dropped from the top eight down to twelfth but his rhythm was effective in the second race to seventh and his joint-best result so far this season. The veteran racer was 8th overall.

Yamaha’s MXGP crew will have a week to re-group and consider more testing and training for hard-pack dirt. Grands Prix in Italy (Maggiora) and Germany (Teutschenthal) constitute their international duties for June with the mythical circuit north of Milan ready for round ten on June 15th.

Jeremy Van Horebeek
“I had a bad start in the first moto and Tony and Clement had already gone so I settled in third place and kept smooth, saving energy for the next race. I started better for the second moto and we got away together. I said to myself ‘keep on two wheels’ because this track was one line and difficult to pass; the same old St Jean. If you put pressure on people then it is easier for them to make mistakes and this is what I tried to do. I felt really good out on a difficult track and I believe this was one of my best races in the MXGP class.”
Jeremy van Horebeek

David Philippaerts
“I have many good memories here in St Jean…but the more I think then also some big crashes! It is a very difficult track. It was well watered and very stony. I started badly in the first moto and was outside the top twenty, so to come back to fifteenth was OK. I started better in the second moto but when I jumped through the new section I had a crash together with Strijbos and broke the throttle. It wasn’t possible to open the gas any more so I had to stop. I am happy because I know I am fast and the bike is working well and I can stay in the second group of MXGP; it is important to be there because it means positions 5-10. We will plan for the home Grand Prix now and then a long part of the calendar with Germany, Sweden and Finland coming up.”

Anstie back on the pace, Fontanesi back on the podium and YZ125 wins again
The ninth Grand Prix of the 2014 FIM Motocross World Championship at a packed St Jean D’Angely circuit in western France saw Yamaha proactive in various classes with 2014 YZ250F and YZ125 two-stroke machinery. Max Anstie grabbed a moto finish of seventh position and almost sealed the holeshot in the first MX2 outing, MXW Women’s World Champion Kiara Fontanesi was second overall in this fourth fixture of six for the ladies while David Herbreteau claimed a second victory of 2014 in the European EMX125 championship.

The hard and stony terrain on the west coast of France mixed fast and steep hilly sections with rutty corners. It meant technical zones of the track had to be carefully judged and there were not too many options away from a principal racing line.

Bike it Yamaha Cosworth’s Anstie had a dramatic weekend. A small electrical problem interrupted the team’s work on Saturday and meant the Englishman had to enter the gate in last position for the 30 minute and 2 lap motos on Sunday. Anstie almost seized the holeshot with a fantastic launch in the first race. The lack of fast track time so far in the weekend counted against the youngster as he slowly dropped out of contention for the top three and finished in seventh place. Sadly he could not repeat the blast away from the line in the second moto and rode to thirteenth for tenth overall.

Yamaha Factory Racing’s Christophe Charlier missed the Grand Prix due to a meniscus problem in his left knee and is due to undergo surgery on Monday with a view to a return at round ten in Italy.

Kemea Yamaha’s Petar Petrov bounced back from a disappointing British Grand Prix last week with a solid set of top ten results. The Bulgarian regained some confidence by tussling on the fringes of the top half of the leaderboard and made it to tenth place in Moto1 and eighth in Moto2; the latter finish representing his second best of the year. While Petar ended the day with ninth in the MX2 class team-mate Luke Styke was not able to start after an incident landing a jump too short on Saturday meant an injured chest with a bone fracture in the sternum. The Australian will now use the next two weeks to heal but could be a doubt for the Italian Grand Prix.

Kiara Fontanesi sprayed champagne for the fourth round of six in the MXW – FIM Women’s World Championship – at St Jean. The Italian recorded her third straight podium finish on the YRRD-kitted YZ250F and was able to increase her lead in the series by two points. The title chase is going to go all the way to the last moto. ‘Fonta’ heads Australian Meghan Rutledge by just four points and Grands Prix in Germany and Czech Republic to run. Kiara picked up race finishes of second and third on the difficult French dirt and continues to hold the red plate in pursuit of her third straight championship. In the fourth round of seven in the European EMX125 Championship Yamaha’s David Herbreteau was a deserved winner of the second race on his YZ125 two-stroke after a bright start in front of a massive, supportive home crowd. Fellow YZ-runner Alvin Ostlund was fourth overall and holds third spot in the contest as trips to Germany, Czech Republic and Belgium remain.

The FIM Motocross World Championship reconvenes in two weeks time in the idyllic setting of Maggiora for the Grand Prix of Italy.

Max Anstie
“We only got about five laps on Saturday and then I had to come in. We were playing catch-up from that point. I had no laps at all and couldn't believe it when I almost holeshotted from the outside! I was thinking ‘now this is what we have been talking about!’ but around the first lap I was all over the place; I didn't really know where I was going or landing. I made so many mistakes and rode a bit tight, which I guess was expected. Somebody took my gate for the next moto and I got tagged on the first few laps. Someone stalled and I ran into the back of him. It was chaos. We lost the time on Saturday and it counted against us but we are getting there and we need to keep going. We have a couple of weeks now to get some good riding and work done.”

Petar Petrov
“Overall I’m happy with the weekend. I got two top ten results and that was what I needed to build up my confidence again. In both races I got a good jump out of the gate but the start straight was too long for my weight and I got closed in. In the first race I came back from 17th to 10th and in the second from 13th to 8th, so that’s not too bad on a track where it’s hard to pass. After the difficult race last week it was good to see again that I have the speed. We have a weekend off now, which is great to let some injuries heal and to be ready for the next GP in Maggiora. I’m really motivated to have a strong second half of the season and with this result we can start building up again.”

Kiara Fontanesi
“I was feeling good about the weekend because the track was nice, the bike was good and I had the fastest lap in timed practice. My starts were not the best and ultimately I couldn’t find the rhythm in the races. It got to a point where I just looked at the championship. I wanted to win but second place was good for the big picture. The series is almost ending and I need to get better to make the gap bigger.”

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