News Report 29 July 2007
Czech Republic

2007 GP Loket, Czech Republic

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1586 m
att 24000
07 / 29 / 2007
Time to be confirmed

Young Nicolas Aubin scores maiden victory in Loket


A cloudy and occasionally wet MX2 Grand Prix of Czech Republic at the fast and sweeping Loket circuit has fallen into the hands of Yamaha Team Ricci’s Nicolas Aubin; the French teenager celebrating his maiden GP success ahead of Antonio Cairoli. The eleventh round of fifteen in the world championship was an exciting affair with ownership of the overall result disputed in the last three laps of the second moto.
The slick and bumpy course several kilometres outside the Spa town of Karlovy Vary was not especially demanding physically, but riders had to remain focussed as the high speed and slippery corners punished the slightest of errors.
Yamaha De Carli’s Antonio Cairoli won the first heat on Saturday for his tenth qualification victory of the season (only missing out once, in Spain, for round two) despite some discomfort from a left index finger he smashed on a fence post while practicing in Belgium last week.
Despite feeling pain while operating the clutch Cairoli started well and escaped from the pack except for Aubin in the first moto, who stayed within five seconds of the championship leader. The Italian claimed that he enjoyed the quick track from the outset. The 21 year old enjoyed his first ever moto success here in 2004 and has since added 43 to his tally, 17 this year alone (from a possible 22) with the latest arriving this afternoon.

The second affair was again disputed between the two YZ250F pilots. Aubin this time managed to make the break and enjoyed a seven second gap over Cairoli – who slipped off briefly - for most of the 35 minutes and 2 lap distance. Entering the final minutes however and as the rain started to fall the margin between the pair shrank as Cairoli hunted his rival. The duel had the 24,000 spectators enraptured so much so that they missed an equally intense scrap between Aubin’s team-mate Davide Guarneri and Tommy Searle for third place. Cairoli hassled his brand-mate all the way to the flag but Aubin did not make a mistake, despite needing to deal with backmarkers and without any goggles.

Not only was the GP victory a first for Aubin, it also represented his debut moto win, and the first for Yamaha Team Ricci since 2005 (British GP). Aubin is the second winning rider for Yamaha in 2007 and only the third different victor in MX2 during the 2007 campaign.
Cairoli was frustrated for the second Grand Prix in a row despite tying on points with the winner again. He nevertheless increased his lead in the series over Christophe Pourcel who could only take fifth.
Davide Guarneri demonstrated the treacherous nature of the terrain on Saturday when he lost the front end and slipped back from second position behind Cairoli to third. The Italian was luckless in the first moto as a mechanical problem halted his participation on the second lap. He was a proactive force in the second however and despite all of his brave attempts to relegate Searle had to be satisfied with fourth; which is still his highest classification of the season.
Third member of the Ricci squad Kenneth Gundersen crashed in his heat race on Saturday and had to enter via the Last Chance session. The Norwegian managed a lap to capture the third best time but in warm-up on Sunday struggled with the injury to his right shoulder. He could not set a time within five seconds of the fastest rider and sadly decided he would not be in a condition to be competitive. He withdrew from the Grand Prix but expects to be fit for Namur.

Bike it Yamaha Dixon Racing’s Carl Nunn was unable to contest the Grand Prix after chipping a bone in his ankle while running during the week. The Briton is expected to be back in action for the following week.
With just four races and 200 points left to win Cairoli has taken a step closer to winning the MX2 crown for the second time. The Sicilian has an advantage of 122 over main rival Christophe Pourcel and 162 over Tyla Rattray in third place.
The Grand Prix of Belgium at the emblematic circuit of Namur will constitute round twelve of the MX2 championship and will take place in seven days time.

Nicolas Aubin, Yamaha Team Ricci:
“Winning this Grand Prix is really important and I have to say thanks to some people, Mickael Pichon, Yamaha Motor France, my team, my parents and everybody who has helped me this year. In the first moto it was really difficult to get close to Cairoli because he was very fast. Towards the end I backed off because second place was safe and I knew I would not get near to Antonio. I was hopeful for the second moto though and looking forward to it. I started better and found myself with a small gap so I pushed hard to increase the advantage. The last laps were really difficult! Cairoli was right on top of me and I felt the pressure. I had to lose my goggles but fortunately could still win the Grand Prix. Everything came together today and I’m excited to see what else we can do this season."
Antonio Cairoli, De Carli Yamaha:
“I would like to congratulate Nicolas because he made a very good race. I pushed very hard in that second moto to catch him but he was really good on that last lap. I did not win but this was a good GP for the championship as my finger and hand were both not 100%. I had a small crash in the second moto and the track was rougher. We go to Namur now and I like that track. I won last year and hope to do so again.”

Davide Guarneri, Yamaha Team Ricci:
“I had a bad start in the top fifteen during the first moto but quickly came back to ninth because I am really fast at this track! I think it was possible to reach the top four or five but the bike had a problem and I had to stop. In the second moto I had a good reaction to the gate drop but I got closed-off in the first corner and was more or less in the top ten. I made a good rhythm again and passed quite a lot of riders. I pushed Searle hard and took a lot of risks for third place. I tried so many times to pass him but it was impossible! Fourth was OK and I keep on getting better, but it was a shame about the first moto.”

Kenneth Gundersen, Yamaha Team Ricci:
“The crash on Saturday was pretty hard and the whole right side of my torso and shoulder ached. I tried the Last Chance and could do one fast lap but I was far from the pace in the warm-up today and knew I would not be able to do anything in the races. It is another disappointment but I hope to be OK for Belgium.”