News Report 5 August 2007

2007 GP of Namur, Belgium

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2477 m
att 31000
08 / 05 / 2007
Time to be confirmed

Guarneri's maiden victory gives Yamaha Team Ricci second consecutive success


The twelfth round of fifteen in the 2007 MX2 World Championship has been another memorable meeting for Team Yamaha Ricci as Davide Guarneri won his first ever Grand Prix at Namur for the Belgian round of the calendar. The Italian’s triumph, with results of fourth and third, comes one week after Nicolas Aubin’s victory in the Czech Republic. World Championship leader Antonio Cairoli finished eighth and off the podium for the first time this season after a first moto start crash
The circuit around the lofty Citadelle setting – a former military fortress – offered its usual array of fast, technical and sometimes dangerous elements. The tree-lined course was narrow with hard and bumpy terrain. The layout is nearly double the normal length of a Grand Prix track and loops around the hillside in the centre of the town with tree roots, dark shade, very steep drops and hardly any overtaking possibilities forming part of its features.

Guarneri was fast from the beginning of the weekend and took second place in his qualification heat behind Christophe Pourcel. He rode superbly in the first Grand Prix moto of 35 minutes and 2 laps duration coming back from eighteenth place and an unwilling member of a first corner pile-up to pass fourteen riders and engage in an entertaining scrap for third, in which he finally took fourth. In the next moto he moved his performance up a level and with a better exit from the gate was one of only several riders this year to break the double-act of Pourcel and Cairoli at the front of the field. He only led for a lap but was a constant threat and only slowed down in the final two circulations with fatigue but safe in the knowledge that the overall win was safe.

Cairoli won his first Grand Prix here in 2004 but there was to be no repeat of his partying three years later. The Italian was left limping on Saturday after a slower rider moved across his line and resulted in a nasty-looking collision. Cairoli hurt his right leg but was able to ride without any major problem and won his eleventh qualification heat of the season.
The 21 year old was hit by Christophe Pourcel coming out of the gate and then collided again with the fallen Frenchman on the first corner of race one. Cairoli had to drop the bike and rip out the green fencing that had caught in his rear wheel meaning that he was at least half of a long lap behind once he restarted. The 2005 world champion kept pushing and reached sixteenth position by the flag for five points. It was still more than Pourcel, who crashed heavily on lap 12. The race was won by Tommy Searle.
The Sicilian resumed normal service in the second outing although Pourcel was very quick and Guarneri also complicated matters. A near-accident aggravated his already weak left index finger and he briefly slipped back to third. The nine-times GP winner gritted his teeth and hassled Pourcel for the lead until the very end of a physically intense sprint and lost out by less than a second, taking the runner-up spot.

Grand Prix of Czech Republic winner Nicolas Aubin had a tough day. The Frenchman made mistakes with both of his starts and actually caught the gate in the first moto. At the back of the field he was never going to trouble the riders fighting for podium positions but found some places to overtake and come back to eleventh. In the second race he slipped off the Yamaha and bruised his hip; the pain meant that he could not continue.
Kenneth Gundersen had to come through the Last Chance session on Saturday after a freak problem saw his carburettor become dislodged. The Norwegian was badly placed in the outside of the gate and at a disadvantage for the start. The Yamaha Team Ricci rider contested third place for the second half of the opening race along with Guarneri and Marcus Schiffer before finally sealing fifth. He could not finish the second moto after a small crash caused more pain in the shoulder he had injured at Loket seven days previously.
Frenchman Xavier Boog took his best ever Grand Prix classification with seventh position overall on the PSM Yamaha machine.
Three Yamaha riders have now used the YZ250F to win ten of the twelve Grand Prix run this season. Only six of the twenty-four motos have not been owned by the YZ.
With 150 points left to win in the 2007 season Antonio Cairoli is now within touching distance of his second world championship. He has a lead of 124 points. Aubin is seventh, Gundersen ninth and Guarneri has moved up to eleventh after his good form of recent weeks and having missed the first two months of the year due to an injury with his left ankle.

Consecutive Grand Prixs in Northern Ireland, Great Britain and The Netherlands will close the season and the trek across northern Europe begins in two weeks time with the meeting at Moneyglass.
Davide Guarneri, Yamaha Team Ricci:
“I saw in Loket that I had the speed and I thought that a podium might be possible soon but I honestly did not expect a win! The track was very difficult and bumpy. To come back to fourth from that bad start and crash was very good. In the second race I tried to fight as much as possible with Cairoli and Pourcel and got through to the lead for a lap but it was too quick for me there and I started to feel tired. I had some problems at the beginning of the season with my ankle and knee and of course I am happy to come back to this level. I am so pleased for me and also the team that we can win for the second time.”

Antonio Cairoli, De Carli Yamaha:
“It was a really difficult race for me; I did not like the track and I think it is really dangerous. I had two big crashes, one yesterday and another this morning, so I was a bit cautious. Christophe fell in front of me in the first moto so I went to ride over his bike but caught the green fence in my rear wheel. I lost a least a minute trying to sort this out and restarted far behind. I could come back to sixteenth and this was made slightly better by the fact that Pourcel did not finish.
I led the second race for quite a while but strained my injured finger on a heavy landing from a jump. I had a lot of pain and could not hold the bars for at least 500m. I could not do that jump on the next laps so Christophe and Guarneri came close and had better lap-times at that moment. Towards the end I pushed hard again because I wanted to win the heat but Christophe was really fast and I did not want to take a big risk."
Nicolas Aubin, Yamaha Team Ricci:
“I made mistakes with both of my starts today. I went too early and hit the gate in the first moto. I was last and came back to eleventh which I was quite pleased with given the circumstances. The track is not the best for me but I was enjoying myself on the bike and had a good feeling. Again I made a mess of the second moto and had a crash after six laps that left me with a painful hip. I could not continue at a good speed and retired. It is a disappointing weekend but I feel fast and happy on the bike so I know I will again be back at the front.”

Kenneth Gundersen, Yamaha Team Ricci:
“The whole weekend was quite good. On Friday I did not know if I could ride with my shoulder but I was quick through most of the sessions and had some bad luck in the qualifying race. I picked up the corner of a banner in one corner and it ended up popping off the carburettor and it gave me a bad start position for today. In the first moto it was great to be back near the front, even if I did not have as much strength as normal. I started badly in the second race and came back to fourteenth but fell off in a corner and put my hand out when I went down. I had some more pain and did not want to try and tackle Namur with a bad arm. Now I have two weeks to get better. I am really happy for the team and also Davide; I hope it will be my turn next!”