News Report 27 April 2008

2008 GP of Portugal, Agueda

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1630 m
att 18
04 / 27 / 2008
Time to be confirmed

Sensational Cairoli sweeps Portuguese GP


MX2-GP World Champion Antonio Cairoli stormed the Grand Prix of Portugal at a sun-soaked Agueda circuit in front of 18,000 spectators to win both motos and claim his first victory of the season and also take the lead in the 2008 standings after three rounds of fifteen.

Despite still suffering from the last affects of a throat infection – he only stopped taking antibiotics on Friday – Cairoli was back to his stylish and ruthless best; the sort of form and spectacular flamboyance that won 13 from 14 Grand Prix in 2007. The Sicilian of the Yamaha Red Bull De Carli team defeated main title rivals Tyla Rattray and Tommy Searle with two dominant displays on his YZ250F.
Across the dry, stony and technical terrain the reigning number one shone as brightly as the blue sky overhead. A fantastic duel with Searle in the first laps of Moto1 was decided when Cairoli attempted and succeeded with an audacious overtaking move that saw him gain the lead and brake away from the Briton. The second moto was over from the second corner, when number ‘222’ was in no mood for further games.
Yamaha Ricci Racing’s Nico Aubin, who celebrated his 20th birthday yesterday with a pit-board salutation from his team in the first session Saturday morning and also received a pie in the face from his French peers in the evening, was 5th overall with results of 8th and 4th. The Frenchman suffered from a crash in the first moto that caused him to lose positions but was more consistent in the second after sprinting away from Stephen Sword.
Team-mate and Grand Prix of Spain victor Davide Guarneri admitted that the heat of the scorching Saturday timetable left him fighting for breath during the qualification race in which he captured third. The Italian rode to a decent 5th after vying for fourth during one stage of the moto but had to pull up to avoid his fallen team-mate which kept him outside the top four. In the second race a poor start meant a lot of work but he came through the pack before being hit to the ground by local hope Rui Goncalves. From that point 12th was all he could salvage to take 7th.

Cairoli’s triumph means that he now holds an advantage of 5 points from Rattray. Guarneri is fourth and Aubin in seventh.

Alessandro Lupino qualified for his second Grand Prix of the season and just the third of his career. The teenager scored two points with 19th position in Moto1.

Some good news for the De Carli crew is that Matteo Bonini has recovered from his dislocated shoulder and subsequent operation and will begin to ride this week. The Italian could be in action as early as the Grand Prix of Bulgaria in a fortnight but will almost certainly bring the team back to full strength for their home round at Mantova on May 18th.

The fourth round of the FIM World Championship will take place at the Sevlievo circuit in two weeks time. The Grand Prix will also witness the start of the inaugural Women’s World Championship.
Antonio Cairoli, Yamaha Red Bull De Carli: 1st

“I am starting to get a much better feeling with my bike because in the winter we tested and practiced a lot with the 450. It was nice to have a ‘normal’ race because with the sand and then the mud last week I did not get a chance to have a look at my condition. I am really happy with the race today though.
We had some fun in that first moto and Tommy had some good lines. His style is similar to mine; we both play a lot with the bikes on the jumps. We fought for three or four laps but then I had some more speed through one section and decided to make the break once the move worked. I only stopped taking antibiotics for my throat infection on Friday, so physically it was a hard day and now I can look after my body with the free weekend we have. Taking the lead in the championship is important but there is a long journey ahead still.”

Nicolas Aubin, Yamaha Ricci Racing: 5th

“The result is not so good and I could not take two top four positions, which I was capable of. I need better starts in the next GP. I’m pleased with my speed and physical condition I just need to get nearer the front right at the beginning. The level in MX2-GP this year is very close so getting those good starts is more important than ever.”

Davide Guarneri, Yamaha Ricci Racing: 7th

“It was so hot and hard today. In the first moto I made a good start, around the top seven. When I was in sixth I tried to pass Sword but in one corner I found Aubin had crashed and was right there in the middle of the line and I lost some time there, fifth was OK though. In the next moto I was quite far back at the start and after two laps I pushed hard and passed many riders. I was in the top seven and tried Goncalves for sixth but in one corner he went straight on and took me out. I was a bit tired when I restarted and took twelfth.”