News Report 27 May 2007

2007 GP of Sugo, Japan

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3737 m
05 / 27 / 2007
Time to be confirmed

Cairoli stays on podium after tricky Japanese GP


Yamaha De Carli’s Antonio Cairoli saw his winning streak of five Grand Prix come to an end in Japan but the Sicilian – who announced a new three year agreement with Yamaha the same day – took a second moto win and second position overall behind arch-rival Christophe Pourcel in the sixth meeting of the MX2 campaign.

Sugo was another capable circuit on which Cairoli could show off his speed and skills. The mud was hugely technical by virtue of the holes, dips and bumps that carved very quickly into the surface. The course demanded concentration but also allowed for individual expression thanks to the choice in racing lines and vast jumps.

On a warm but overcast Saturday Cairoli dominated the second qualification heat for his fifth Saturday win of the season and one that he claimed was the easiest so far. His speed ensured selection of second place in the start gate for Sunday.

After an unfamiliar bad start and then a small (and rare) race crash by Cairoli in the first moto, while closing fast on Tyla Rattray for second position, the Italian lost the chance to fight for the win and he had to accept a distant third place. The 21 year old, who had won the last seven motos in succession and whose previous lowest result had been a second position in Spain, re-evaluated his approach for the next race of 35 minutes and 2 laps. He rounded the first corner at the front of the pack and unveiled a more familiar sight that motocross fans are quickly becoming accustomed to in 2007 by setting the pace ahead of Rattray and Pourcel. Both of his pursuers would crash deep into the moto giving the YZ250F pilot a clear run to the finish line for his tenth win from twelve. Pourcel was able to recover to overtake a lagging Tommy Searle for second spot in the final stages and post a better overall score for the win.

Yamaha Team Ricci’s Kenneth Gundersen was again unfortunate to only place eighth overall. The Norwegian was slow out of the gate in each moto and then had to ditch his goggles twice as sand and dirt had entered the eyewear. With the roost kicked up by the rear wheels of the machines ahead he was limited in whatever progress he could make, posting twelfth and ninth by the end of the afternoon.

Nicolas Aubin suffered the effects of a long trip during the week, and was not able to operate at the level normally shown by the French youngster who has arguably been one of the breakthrough performers this season. He was thirteenth and sixteenth for thirteenth overall. His team-mate David Guarneri could not score in Moto1 due to a third lap crash in which he broke his clutch. He was stronger in the second race and took ten points for eleventh in only his third Grand Prix this year.

Bike It Yamaha Dixon Racing’s Carl Nunn was tenth overall. The British Champion simply could not gel with the track in the first race and was disappointingly dragged down to eighteenth. The Briton gave a better account of himself in the second moto and took part in an entertaining tussle with team-mate Martin Barr (who grabbed a career best twelfth) and Guarneri. Nunn eventually moved past Gundersen for eighth place by the end of the distance.

Cairoli conceded two points to Pourcel in the World Championship standings but his margin still rests at a hefty 66. Gundersen and Aubin are seventh and eighth respectively.

The Grand Prix of France at St Jean d’Angely will form the seventh round of the World Championship and will take place in two weeks time.

Antonio Cairoli - Yamaha De Carli:
“I was a bit unlucky at this GP because I felt very good in the second moto. I did not start so well in the first race and Christophe took a lead of many seconds. I lost a lot of time stuck behind a Kawasaki rider and the track was so wet; I did not want to make a mistake. My lines were not great either. After I got through I chased Christophe and Tyla. The gap was around twenty seconds and I got it down to five but I made a small error and crashed. Before the second race I watched the MX1 moto for some lines. When I got the holeshot I found my speed right away and leading the race was easy, especially after the first twenty minutes. Christophe and Tyla made some mistakes and Searle was a long way away. I want to win again in France for sure and start to take more points away from the other guys in the championship. I don’t want to repeat my mistakes from last year so when the win is there I will go for it but otherwise the top three is acceptable.”
Kenneth Gundersen, Yamaha Team Ricci:
“I don’t know why but in both motos I got sand inside my goggles and had to take them off, after that it was very difficult to ride. I had two bad starts but I gave everything I had today and I could not do any better, so in one way I am happy.”

Nicolas Aubin - Yamaha Team Ricci:
“I had a very long journey here and as a result only slept two hours last night. I felt like I was asleep on the bike; I could not react and was making stupid mistakes. My crash in the first moto was like the mistake of a junior. Anyway, I have learned a lot for the future and I have to work hard in the next few GPs now to regain the points that I lost today.”
Carl Nunn - Bike it Dixon Yamaha Racing:
“The first moto was really bad. Things were OK at the beginning but I then just went backwards; I did not even have any rhythm to lose. The bike wasn’t working because I was not riding it correctly. I felt terrible and made everything hard work. I went down and then after that I lost all momentum. The second race was a lot better and had some good battles. I finished eighth and was happy with that because I was able to raise my game significantly. It was the first time all weekend I enjoyed the track and was able to put the bike where I wanted it to go.”