European Champion Cherubini top Yamaha runner


The Belgian 125 Grand Prix proved to be a disappointing race for Yamaha. But it was not entirely unexpected as main contender Luigi Seguy did not start. The likable Frenchman has finally had his long overdue knee operations last week and will be out for the rest of the year. Both his knees received treatment, correcting damage to his meniscus and ligaments. Seguy hopes the operation will insure he can start the 2003 season preparation well in time to be fully fit when the world championship kicks-off.

European Champion Luca Cherubini was the highest placed Yamaha rider in tenth, heading Marvin van Daele in 11th and Billy Mackenzie in 12th positions.

The opening laps proved to be tough for the Yamaha riders and any podium hopes soon ended for the Yamaha riders, as they dropped back through the field. On the first lap the top Yamaha rider was Luca Cherubini in fifth place, while Josef Dobes held 13th place, England’s Billy MacKenzie was back in 19th position. As the race progressed Dobes began to drop off the pace with machine trouble;“I felt okay and was fighting for a good position on the track,” Dobes said. “I had moved into ninth position and kept pushing, then the bike began to give trouble. From then on it was a very difficult race. I came into the pits on several occasion and am very disappointed with my final position of 24th.”

MacKenzie had worked his way into 11th place, although he crashed, dropping back to 17th at half race distance. Cherubini though fought on, passing several riders after an early problem were he dropped back to 10th position on lap four. He continued to drop back, circulating as low as 13th place on lap eight. With riders in front suffering problems though, Cherubini took some better lines and moved into 10th place on lap 12, remaining there for the rest of the race.