News Report 20 April 2008

2008 GP of Spain, Bellpuig

View results Track information
1630 m
att 15
04 / 20 / 2008
Time to be confirmed

Guarneri weathers the storm for second GP win


Yamaha Ricci Racing’s Davide Guarneri battled a mountain of odds and a sea of water at Bellpuig to seize his second career victory at the Grand Prix of Spain today. The Italian defied a painful broken ligament in his right shoulder and also some of the wettest and worst conditions seen at a Grand Prix in recent memory to take 3rd and 1st positions in the two flooded motos with his YZ250F. He was joined on the podium in a Yamaha 1-2 by 3C Racing and fellow Italian Manuel Monni, who collected a GP trophy for the second time.
After a warm and sunny day of practice and qualification on Saturday (in which Guarneri took fifth position in his heat race thanks to painkillers) constant rain from the early hours of Sunday turned the track into a bog of deep ruts and slippery mud. Riders fell numerous times and many were forced to retire as the conditions worsened and swallowed machines that veered too far off course. The track was so wet that the lines altered almost every lap. After a fine 3rd spot in Moto1 Guarneri fronted the dispersed pack for much of the second half of Moto2 after team-mate Nico Aubin also took a turn as leader.

Like almost everyone the Italian also fell-foul of the track in the closing stages but due to the quantity of riders stuck on the steep step-ups the race was stopped with one lap to go and thanks to a advantage of almost three minutes Guarneri was declared the winner and overall victor. Monni – Guarneri’s main rival for the Italian MX Championship – was second when the race was red-flagged and with his 6th position in Moto1 was able to celebrate his first taste of podium champagne since the German Grand Prix in 2005.
World Champion Antonio Cairoli ploughed his De Carli YZ250F to 2nd place behind Tyla Rattray in the first outing. The Sicilian had been struggling for several days with a throat infection but was able to qualify well on Saturday and was strong in coming through from an average start. Sustaining clear vision was a problem for many and Cairoli eventually ran into problems during a wetter second race, especially after clipping the rear end of a falling Tommy Searle on the first corner and swimming into the mud. He managed 11th to confirm 4th overall.

Aubin was 9th at the end of the day and only picked up six points in the second moto after crashing twice and needing several laps to rescue his bike from the sticky mud. The Frenchman was however pleased to have come away with points on a day when any reward was seen as a positive gain.

Bad luck befell the UTag team for the second time in two races. Martin Barr crashed on Saturday and broke his collarbone as well as suffering a concussion. Van Beers Yamaha’s Evgeny Bobryshev bravely scored points in both motos for an admirable 10th position in just his second Grand Prix.
Cairoli is currently second in the world championship standings with thirteen of the fifteen rounds remaining. He lies 3 points behind Rattray while Guarneri is third and Monni has risen to sixth.

The third Grand Prix on the calendar will take place at the popular Agueda circuit in Portugal in just one week’s time.
Davide Guarneri, Yamaha Ricci Racing: 1st

“I could not expect this victory after my injury last week. I hit my shoulder on a pole in a silly crash and I have torn a ligament. The doctor said that maybe it was not possible to race here. I tried on Saturday and did OK but I had a lot of pain. I had an injection for Saturday and also Sunday and the shoulder, luckily, was not so bad. The conditions were terrible however and so many riders stopped, but I had a good start and rode within myself. I am so happy with this win because I have had some bad luck with injuries at the start of a few seasons. I just want to run with the leaders at each Grand Prix and look as high as I can in the championship.”

Manuel Monni, 3C Racing: 2nd

“It was a really difficult race. I lost my goggles in the first few laps because the roll-off had finished. It was hard to keep the pace of the other riders just because I could not see. The second moto was easier because I got near the front early and then just had to avoid the riders who had crashed. I could keep my goggles for around 25 minutes which was enough and then just concentrated on staying on two wheels. It has been a long time since my last podium but I really enjoyed the track, even in the state it was, and I thought a good result was possible.”

Antonio Cairoli, Yamaha Red Bull De Carli: 4th

“The weekend was really hard for me. I spent all day in bed on Friday and felt a little better on Saturday; I still had a fever but was a little stronger. I never raced on a track like that and it was really crazy. I think the second race should have been stopped sooner because it was dangerous. Tommy got on the brakes really hard and just slid away at the start and I was too close to him. I was then last and made positions when I passed other people who had crashed but I also made more mistakes. Moto2 was not that good with 11th place but I took some points away from Tyla who was behind me.”

Nicolas Aubin, Yamaha Ricci Racing: 9th

“I had two really bad starts and there was so much water on the start-straight that it was impossible to see anything if you were not right at the front. I crashed twice in the first moto but I picked the bike up and continued as hard as I could; I was pleased to take those points. I was really far back in the second race but I passed so many people on the first lap; I don’t really know how that happened! I was leading for a while but then came off going up the hill. I also got stuck in a boggy corner later on and it took me a really long time to get the bike facing the right way and able to start. A few years ago I would not have bothered carrying on, but again I was pleased to come away from a GP like this – where anything can happen – with some points.”