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Jul 14, 2014 - 04:16 PM
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2014 MXGP - Grand Prix of Finland
Posted by: newsla on Jul 14, 2014 - 04:08 PM
2014 MXGP - Grand Prix of Finland

Van Horebeek recovers to fourth overall in Finland
Jeremy Van Horebeek only just missed out on extending his remarkable run of podium results in the 2014 FIM Motocross World Championship as the Belgian finished fourth overall at Hyvinkää for the Grand Prix of Finland. JVH made a very rare mistake that dropped him from second place to almost outside the top twenty during the second moto at the short, compact and largely flat venue close to Helsinki but rallied hard to rise to tenth position in a good ‘salvage operation’.


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17,000 spectators surrounded the difficult sand where decent summer temperatures and good racing conditions made for a positive thirteenth round of seventeen in the FIM series and the MXGP premier class. Hyvinkää was tough due to the many short bumps and hard base of the sand. Some sections could be attacked in typical ‘sandy style’ others required a more cautious approach.

Van Horebeek rode to second position on Saturday and for the qualification heat to ensure the same pick in the gate for Sunday’s two thirty minute and two lap motos. The Grand Prix transformed into a duel between the principal title rivals as JVH faced up to reigning champion and points leader Tony Cairoli.

The first race was owned by Cairoli. Van Horebeek remained close in the opening stages but was then mindful of the exceeding his limit negotiating a track that he described as “heavy”. Neither Max Nagl nor Steven Frossard could come close from third position and the Belgian posted his ninth runner-up moto result from the twenty-five run so far. He was trailing Cairoli again in the second moto when a mistake caused a crash, a headache and a damaged motorcycle. He pitted to fix a bent radiator shroud and then started a recovery trawl from eighteenth position all the way up to tenth place and only just missed out on a twelfth consecutive podium celebration by just one point.

David Philippaerts took his DP19 Racing Yamaha YZ450F to eighth position overall and was the second of three Yamaha riders in the final top ten. The Italian was part of the Motocross of Nations Team Italia presentation on Saturday where he is set to take his new truck and set-up to Kegums in Latvia for the historic annual racing bonanza at the end of September. Back on the Finnish sand however the former world champion was trying to deal with the tough and sketchy nature of the track. He barrelled his way to ninth place in Moto1 and won a fiercely contested skirmish with Matiss Karro. During Moto2 he was again with the Estonian and should have scored eighth place but was relegated one slot to ninth by Ken De Dycker on the last lap.

Bike it Yamaha Cosworth’s Rui Gonçalves posted his best qualification finish of the season so far with fourth place on Saturday. The Portuguese had almost recovered from his virus suffered the previous weekend in Sweden and being a competent sand rider was relishing the prospect of attacking Hyvinkää; almost a shorter and shallower warm-up for ‘real’ sand to be found at Lommel for the Belgian Grand Prix next month. In Finland Rui rode the YZ450F to ninth in the GP classification and his excellent sixth place in the second moto represented his best of the season and since joining the British Yamaha crew.

With thirteen rounds full on the championship sheet for MXGP the table currently shows Van Horebeek 62 points behind Cairoli with Philippaerts in eighth and Gonçalves in eleventh. The Grand Prix of Czech Republic at the stony and windy venue of Loket on July 27th means a trip to a favoured course for Van Horebeek and also Philippaerts and will be the penultimate meeting in Europe this year.

Jeremy Van Horebeek
“I felt good all day. I had a good start in the first moto and was with Tony all the time. I kept my speed. Second moto: good start, second again and Tony pulled away so I was settling for second again. I don't know what happened next. I was not riding over my limit and was riding smoothly. I don't know how I crashed. I was up pretty quickly but I hit my head and the radiator was stopping me turning to the left. I lost a lot of positions to come into the pits. I needed a couple of laps to get myself together but I told myself I could do it even thought the handlebars were bent and the bike was damaged. Finishing tenth is OK. It has been a bad GP. Just two more positions in that second moto and I would have been on the podium again. I lost too much time getting to the pits. I’m not injured and that’s important.”

David Philippaerts
“I feel good. To finish eighth overall and keep top ten in the championship on this difficult track is positive. I thought the sand was better yesterday because today it was almost dangerous and I couldn’t find a solution for it. I stayed quiet in the first moto because I knew it would be a long day. I was ninth, which was OK. Somebody caught my front brake at the start of the second moto so I didn't get away well but I stayed on the inside of the first corner and came out well. I battled with Karro again and it was a good race. When Strijbos caught us I made a big mistake on the downhill; I had to shut off for three laps because my heart went through the roof. I really did not want to crash because we still have some races left this year. Anyway it is good to stay around the position we were today.”

Rui Goncalves
“Yesterday was a good one and I had a good gate pick for today. I was hoping for the same start like Saturday and while they were not bad they were not the same! I had a small problem with the clutch setting in the first moto and I needed to keep adjusting in the first moto. I dropped back with some arm-pump and it was a bit frustrating because I knew I had the speed to be nearer the front. I talked with my mechanic about a strategy for the second moto and we went a bit more cautious in the beginning and I tried to focus more on my riding style and to get more speed through the corners so I would have more energy for the end and that’s what happened. I still feel the effects of the illness but I’m much happier with that second moto. I cannot thank the team enough for all the help and we’ll move onto the Czech Republic now hoping for more good results.”

Charlier breaches the top five at difficult Hyvinkää
Warm temperatures and sunshine coated the 17,000 attendance and the shallow bumpy sand of Hyvinkää where Christophe Charlier took Yamaha’s best finish today with fifth place for the Grand Prix of Finland and the thirteenth round of the FIM Motocross World Championship. The second Grand Prix of Finland at Hyvinkää (the small venue hosted FIM MXGP for the first time last summer) brought the teams and riders to the hard and rippling sand one week after a slippery set of motos at Uddevalla in Sweden. Temperatures touched twenty-five degrees and although the short layout was not too demanding – and even very quick in places – the sand soon became a mess of short lumps and holes. This was particularly tough for the riders in the second motos. Charlier didn't start particularly well but his aggression in the opening laps of both motos helped push him into top ten positions. The Corsican was lacking decent training time in the sand but this did not dent his determination and his fourth spot in the first moto came after he tracked Tim Gajser to sixth place. After the penalisation of Jose Butron and Dylan Ferrandis for overtaking on yellow flags the Yamaha man was bumped up to fourth. In the second outing Charlier fought some late race fatigue to take tenth place on the YZ250FM. The Grand Prix was notable for his best moto finish of 2014 and his highest overall classification.

Kemea Yamaha’s Petar Petrov was twelfth but the Bulgarian could have been much further forward in the Finnish ranking. He was part of a multi-rider crash on the first corner of the opening moto and needed to ride hard from last place and a big distance adrift of the pack to arrive to twelfth. His potential was shown in the second moto where a drama-free start meant he was set to pick his way past rivals and arrive to sixth position to equal his loftiest result of the season. Team-mate Luke Styke crashed on the first corner of the first moto and was struck from behind by Viacheslav Golovkin. The section of the track was under yellow flags for two laps while the Australian was treated. Eventually he was taken away and an initial diagnosis at the track indicated a stretched shoulder joint.

Bike it Yamaha Cosworth’s Max Anstie was not present on the scoreboard this weekend. The Brit made a decent start in the first moto and was fighting Jordi Tixier for a slot on the fringe of the top five when he crashed and knocked his head. Anstie was OK but the right side of his face was swollen and bloody and he was having difficulty seeing after the area around his eye socket started to swell.

Hyvinkää was also the scene of the penultimate round in the European EMX250 series. Nick Kouwenberg rode his YZ250F to a fine third position on Saturday and then in the second sprint on Sunday grabbed a sixth place to walk the podium for the second weekend in succession with third overall.

Petrov is still the highest placed Yamaha rider in the MX2 points table with 11th position. Anstie is close with 13th. Successive races for the FIM Motocross World Championship in Sweden and Finland now means a small break in the calendar and a free weekend before the final meeting in July at Loket for the Grand Prix of Czech Republic.

Christophe Charlier
“I’m quite happy because I haven’t ridden in the sand much and when I wanted to the weather was not good in Belgium. I didn’t get good starts today but I could pass quite a lot of riders in the first laps and I’m happy for that. My feeling was not great on this type of track but I was able to push hard and I’m glad. My physical condition was a bit weak for the final parts of the races. I know if I was 100% then I could have been top five all through the motos. I like Loket, which is up next, especially for the downhill start where my 83 kilos should not matter so much!”

Petar Petrov
“The weekend started well with the fourth place on Saturday. I was confident for the races but unfortunately I got involved in a crash at the first corner in the first moto. I had to start again at the back of the field and noticed my shifter was bent. I had to stop two times to fix it a little and only managed to come back to 15th. In the second race my start wasn’t good once again but this time I managed to pass some riders in the first laps. By the time I got to sixth the gap was too big to do any better but I was feeling really good on the bike. The speed is right there but it’s just up to me to get better results.”

Nick Kouwenberg
“It’s good to be on the box again but I’m not too happy with my performance. Saturday I wasn’t feeling too fit and I couldn’t follow the leaders but I knew I could do better on Sunday. In the second moto I had a bad start and tried to come forward as soon as possible. I couldn’t get in the rhythm though. I was struggling in the corners, hit the berms wrong and my timing was bad. That cost so much energy and I had nothing left. In the end I’m happy with the podium but it’s a bit bitter. Getting beaten straight up by two countrymen does hurt a little but Lommel is next and I will be ready to step it up there.”

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