News Report 6 April 2008

2008 GP of Netherlands, Valkenswaard

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1870 m
att 26
04 / 06 / 2008
Time to be confirmed

Cairoli launches title defence with runner-up position


Yamaha Red Bull De Carli’s Antonio Cairoli, the defending MX2-GP World Champion, took the second step of the podium at the Grand Prix of the Netherlands on his YZ250F at a sunny but cold and breezy Eurocircuit in Valkenswaard, a short distance from Eindhoven.

Watched by 26,000 spectators Cairoli duelled with title rivals Tommy Searle and eventual winner today Tyla Rattray in both motos after going to the gate in third position. The dark Dutch sand was considerably rough and penalised small mistakes. It provided a harsh physical and mental test for many riders both excited and nervous at the first round of fifteen on the six month calendar.

Cairoli had to be content with two second positions today as Rattray proved to be a worthy opponent. The lead changed frequently in the early stages and the first half of the opening moto was particularly riveting as six riders tussled for control. The Sicilian was encouraged by a strong late charge in the second race as he hunted the rear wheel of Rattray on the last two laps; with just one more circulation he might have seized the lead and the GP win.
Yamaha Ricci Racing’s Nicolas Aubin was one of the protagonists but the Frenchman crashed in the first race when he lost control of the front-end descending one of the heavily rutted hills. He was edged off-line by Searle and fell again in the second race but results of ninth and sixth helped him to seventh overall and the second highest Yamaha representative.

Team-mate Davide Guarneri had a tough time through the rutted sand and a first lap crash meant he could do no better than fifteenth in Moto1. He improved this to eleventh in the second sprint and was content to leave Holland with points as he has faced injury problems for the last two seasons.

UTag were unlucky on Saturday. Both Martin Barr and Carlos Campano crashed in their heat races and were not able to make the qualification cut negotiating a wetter and boggier terrain.
The 2008 Grand Prix of the Netherlands was a small landmark for new Yamaha Van Beers racer Evgeny Bobryshev as the Russian scored his very first world championship point with a hard-fought twentieth place in Moto2.

The next round on the 2008 schedule will take place at Bellpuig for the Grand Prix of Spain in two weeks time.

Antonio Cairoli, Yamaha Red Bull De Carli, 2nd:
“I am happy with this result because we have been making a lot of tests and effort towards MX1 during the pre-season. I still need a bit more time on my 250, particularly in the sand. At the beginning of the first moto I was not so sharp and Tyla got away. He is really fast on this kind of track I just tried to be as fast as I could without making mistakes. Overall I am feeling good with the bike though and I know much better is to come, especially because I like the next few tracks in Spain, Portugal, Bulgaria and Mantova.”

Nicolas Aubin, Yamaha Ricci Racing, 7th:
“I did not race at my real level today. The bike is good and I am very happy with the engine because I took two very good starts but I could not find a good feeling on the sand. I took some good points for the championship. Tommy went past me and I did not close the gas, I touched his rear wheel and went down but it was one of those things. I like Bellpuig and I am hoping for the podium there.”

Davide Guarneri, Yamaha Ricci Racing, 11th:
“It is not a great day but I really do not like the sand so it is not a disaster. There were so many ruts out there and I found it hard to go quickly. I tried to get good starts but my gate position was not great I took some points in the first moto after the crash. I fell again in the second race but could recover for more points. I know that on more ‘normal’ tracks I can do much better.”