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2014 MXGP - Grand Prix of Italy
Posted by: newsla on Jun 16, 2014 - 07:02 AM
2014 MXGP - Grand Prix of Italy

Van Horebeek unstoppable with ninth podium finish
The Grand Prix of Italy brought yet more spoils for Jeremy Van Horebeek and for Yamaha Factory Racing as the Belgian raced to second position overall on the works YZ450FM and celebrated his ninth consecutive podium appearance at this tenth round of the FIM Motocross World Championship. 35,000 spectators turned the Maggiora circuit into a noisy and atmospheric MXGP fixture and a decent part of the applause was for DP19 Yamaha’s David Philippaerts, who with fifth position overall placed two Yamahas in the final top five in Italy.


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The historic and recently renovated location was dry and fast on Saturday but rainfall through the evening meant a slick, rutted and softer prospect for the vast hills and jumps of the course on raceday. Van Horebeek set out his intentions for the weekend from the very first practice session. Proudly baring the YZM400F dedicatory livery, JVH set the fastest lap in each timed period and then sealed his very first pole position in the premier class to cap a perfect ‘set’ on Saturday.

Sunday dawned grey and initially wet but grew hotter and drier as the day wore on. Van Horebeek made a promising start in the first moto but an error dropped him from third to fourth and from there he had to work hard to catch Steven Frossard and eventually rise up to second place to Antonio Cairoli. For the second outing Jeremy slotted behind Cairoli and applied pressure in the opening laps but could do little about the world champion’s speed on home soil. He eased his way to a 2-2 scorecard and closed to within three points of Clement Desalle and second place in the MXGP championship standings.

Philippaerts was competing at a circuit only kilometres from his home. Yamaha’s last world champion enjoyed veracious support from the crowd and only just lost out in a race long battle with Shaun Simpson for eighth position in the first moto. During the second he again engaged with Simpson, but this time for fifth place and for the same ranking in the overall classification. The battle went down to the last lap and the 2008 MXGP/MX1 World Champion held firm for his best finish of the season.

Bike it Yamaha Cosworth’s Rui Gonçalves was competing a week after a heavy fall in Portugal that left him with a painful back and neck. The veteran was in too much pain to complete the first moto but some more effective medicine for the second allowed him to score some points with eleventh spot. The former MX2 championship runner-up was fifteenth overall in MXGP.

Teutschenthal comes back to the Grand Prix calendar after hosting the 2013 Motocross of Nations at the end of last summer. The popular venue close to the city of Halle will again be the focal point for German fans this coming weekend and round eleven of the campaign, as well as the final race meeting in June.

Jeremy Van Horebeek

“I tried to win today because I felt really good all weekend long. I wasn’t just racing Tony but all those fans as well! It was not easy at all. I was flying but he was just better in the second moto. Once he was gone I just kept smooth and safe. Again I am really happy to be on the podium and I am getting closer: soon I want to win! For every weekend that I don't get that victory then I am working harder and harder. I’m feeling really fit and it's a good sign. I want to say a big thanks to the team manager, my boss – Michele Rinaldi – and the whole crew for making those vintage colours. It was really nice and didn't add any pressure at all.”
Jeremy van Horebeek

David Philippaerts
“I’m so happy. I stayed a bit calm on Saturday because I had a big crash here last year and I know it is a difficult track. It was a busy day! I had many sponsors and fans coming to the team. I relaxed more on Sunday and I started the motos very well: in fourth and second places. I kept ninth in the first race and I was happy because I could see the lap-times were good. In the second moto I was right at the front and could keep the pace. Simpson pushed me so hard for fifth but today I was stronger than him. I didn’t finish this race last year so this is a big improvement. It was a great day for the team.”

Rui Gonçalves
“A tough weekend. I had a big crash last weekend in the Portuguese Championship and I am just happy that I am on my feet. It was a hard week and my back and neck is not so fresh. I was in bed until mid-week but despite being sore I did not want to miss the GP. It was a matter of working with the painkillers. In the first moto I could not stand it. I was riding tight and it was not safe. For the second moto we tried some different medication and it worked a bit better. In these kinds of conditions you need to be loose and flowing, so it was not the best scenario. It feels like every time we get better we suffer a setback but I wont give up and I’m looking forward to Germany and recovering even more. I cannot thank the team enough for staying behind me and through the difficult moments. We will try for a better result in Germany.”

Petrov breaches the top ten in Italy
Round ten of the FIM Motocross World Championship took place in the confines and banking of the Maggiora circuit where 35,000 fans braved showery conditions and a damp setting to see Kemea Yamaha Racing’s Petar Petrov lead a determined charge to ninth overall in the MX2 class at the Grand Prix of Italy and round ten of seventeen in the 2014 campaign.

Maggiora was the familiar collection of steep drops and climbs, sheer jumps and a flowing, narrow trajectory. Overtaking was tricky and with the wet surface harder to judge. Kemea Yamaha Racing were able to count on Petrov to deliver a best result of ninth thanks to supreme efforts to ninth and eleventh positions in the two motos. The Bulgarian was circulating in the top five for much of the first outing until slipping to the ground under pressure from Tim Gajser. In the second race Petar misjudged the gate drop and set off totally last. The mistake instigated a fantastic trawl through the pack – finding lines and gaps that barely existed on occasions – to reach eleventh and exercise decent damage limitation. Petrov was riding ‘solo’ after team-mate Luke Style missed the Grand Prix due to the chest injury he sustained in France two weeks ago.

Bike it Yamaha Cosworth’s Max Anstie was able to finish the first moto in eighth position; a positive achievement after some adversity on Saturday that meant the last gate pick but the Briton’s chances of a solid overall result were dashed after a problem with the rear shock ended his second race. Max was able to ride around the track and into the pits; the suspension unit unable to cope with the big jumps, hills and landing on this occasion.

Christophe Charlier lost his race against time to be fit for the team’s home Grand Prix after recent minor knee surgery. The Corsican was on hand to show the 2015 YZ250F to European press and fans for the first time and will now embark on an intensive training programme in Italy to get back into shape and possibly out on the track for the German Grand Prix next week. Charlier will then continue working to arrive back to his pre-season level of promise.

Only a few days breathing space for Yamaha’s MX2 crew lie in store with round eleven following quickly upon the meeting in Italy. The Grand Prix at Teutschenthal, south of Berlin and close to the cities of Halle and Leipzig, will take place on June 21-22.

Petar Petrov
“Today was alright but could have been better. I’m very happy about my riding but not about the results. In the first moto I had a good jump and managed to avoid several crashes. I got into sixth after the first lap and felt really good. I moved to fifth and was actually faster then Febvre and Tixier at that stage. I should have made a move but stayed in fifth, so that was a first mistake. After that I was battling with Gasjer, I wanted to keep my place and made another mistake. Luckily I got up fast and still managed to finish ninth. In the second race I hit the gate and this shouldn’t have happened… After that I charged as hard as I could and ended up eleventh not too far behind tenth place. I had a good feeling about my riding and I feel like things are going in the right direction again. My confidence is building up again and I look forward going to Germany next week.”

Max Anstie
“We worked really hard on the race bike during the break and I was much happier coming here compared to previous races because we had put in some decent development time and mileage. I felt good and the set-up was good. We had a few hitches on Saturday and it was frustrating but just part of working through. It was another Saturday that we shouldn't really have had. Full credit to the team because they worked all night and Paul my mechanic didn't get any sleep. The bike was perfect for the motos and it was nice just to be racing, even if I did start from way on the outside of the gate. We had a bit of a problem with ten minutes to go but it was still a good race. I got pushed out at the start of the second and was a long way back. I made a few passes when I landed quite heavy from one jump and a load of smoke came up. The shock had blown and I was going around like I was on a pogo stick. It sums up what is happening at the moment but we’ll go to Germany and hope for more.”

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