News Report 10 June 2007

2007 GP of St Jean d’Angély, France

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Saint Jean d'Angely
1750 m
att 28000
06 / 10 / 2007
Time to be confirmed

Cairoli keeps Pourcel from home victory


De Carli Yamaha’s Antonio Cairoli dominated both MX2 motos from start to finish ahead of Frenchman Christophe Pourcel and Tyla Rattray in the seventh round of the FIM MX2 World Championship at St Jean d’Angely for the Grand Prix of France. 28,000 fans enjoyed cloudy but later on bright and very warm temperatures.
The hard, fast and flat layout in western France near the coastline did not lend itself to great racing with many MX2 riders circulating at the same speed and only slight mistakes allowing any significant position changes. This meant that both Grand Prix motos of 35 minutes and 2 laps duration were tough mental tests for the elite and the heat and humidity added a harsh physical edge.

Cairoli enacted a familiar formula to viewers of the 2007 MX2 championship so far. The Sicilian is in red hot form and led both races from the first corner until the last. Moto1 was an uncomplicated affair for the 21 year old, who won the ’06 edition of the French meeting at Ernee last September. He had a twenty second lead over Pourcel before the first third of the distance had passed. In the second sprint Pourcel – willed on by his many fans in the crowd – got close to the Yamaha ace but was never in a position to draw level or think about an overtaking move. Cairoli simply increased his pace and then stretched his lead over a period of four crucial laps that sapped the resolve of his French rival.

Cairoli’s sixth win from seven was also his fifth double moto display of supremacy this season. His 64 point advantage in the world championship prior to the French celebration has now climbed to 70 over current world champ Pourcel.
Team Ricci Yamaha’s Kenneth Gundersen was forced to enter the Last Chance qualification period on Saturday after a fall together with Shaun Simpson left him far behind the top twelve bracket in the first session. The Norwegian, who was suffering from stomach cramps, was at a disadvantage, starting from 25th place in the gate and could only ride to 16th both times in his weakened state for 17th overall.

His team-mate Nicolas Aubin was keen to put on a good show in front his home fans and growing legion of supporters. He had won all three motos at a French national race the weekend prior and had trained hard for St Jean. The youngster was the next highest placed Yamaha rider after Cairoli with fifth overall. He was sixth and fifth after two average exits from the gate.

The third member of the team, Davide Guarneri, was also restricted by a fall in the qualifying race on Saturday that left him behind Gundersen in the nether regions of the start line. The Italian rode reasonably well however and apart from a faulty gate and small crash in the second moto gained several positions in both outings to place tenth overall. He charged to fourteenth in Moto2 and kept overtaking his peers right up until the flag.

Cairoli’s team-mate Matteo Bonini got away well in both motos and briefly ran as high as second in Moto1 but ended with twelfth overall and a best result of eleventh.
Yamaha’s MX2 representatives will not have to wait long for the eighth Grand Prix of the year with the Bulgarian round taking place at the excellent Sevlievo circuit next weekend.

Antonio Cairoli, Yamaha De Carli Team:
“It was really important to win here and I really enjoyed it. It was a positive day for the championship and I cannot have any complaints. The second moto was great because I wanted to battle with Christophe and the first race had been quite boring. I had to push hard the second time because he was very fast and I enjoyed the challenge to make a gap. It is looking good for the championship now but I still want to win more GPs.”

Kenneth Gundersen, Yamaha Ricci Team:
“If I was riding well then I think the top ten might have been possible today but I had such bad stomach cramps. I’ve been throwing up and needing the toilet a lot. I could ride two laps OK but then I was fighting to just finish so it has not been a very good weekend to say the least.”
Nicolas Aubin, Yamaha Team Ricci:
“Yesterday I had a good lap time in free practice but could not place high in the race because I struggled with starts. I got away alright in the first moto but I got pushed to the outside and then I had to come back. I didn’t have the best rhythm. I really tried but could not pass Searle at the end. In the second race the gate moved before the start and some riders touched it. It threw my concentration and I was at the back in first corner but had a good first lap and then found some decent lines and passed riders everywhere. It was a lot of fun! After a disappointing Japanese GP we worked a lot and now I am back to a decent level.”

Davide Guarneri, Yamaha Team Ricci:
“The gate did not drop in the second moto and I started last. I tried to push in the beginning but I had a small crash. I lost my rhythm and tried to take a few points but it was not a great result. In the first moto I started quite well but Saturday qualifying, being down in 26th, did not help me today. I pushed and my speed was good and I reached eighth. I think with the pace I had then the top five would have been possible if I had got away well. I am still getting over the ankle injury so to finish every moto and every GP as high as I can in the points is OK for now.”