News Report 18 May 2008

2008 GP of Italy, Mantova

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Mantova, Italy
1660 m
att 29
05 / 18 / 2008
Time to be confirmed

Cairoli lights-up Mantova with second 2008 victory


MX2-GP World Champion Antonio Cairoli bounced back from his mishap in Bulgaria, defied two injured ribs and also recovered from a second corner crash – similar to countryman David Philippaerts in MX1-GP - to win his second Grand Prix of the season at Mantova. The fifth round of fifteen in the 2008 series was again cursed by rain; bad weather has now affected four of the five events run so far. 29,000 people still braved the damp conditions to watch the Yamaha Red Bull De Carli rider take his second success in a row after victory in 2007 at the Italian Grand Prix.
Despite the grey clouds and rain overnight the MX2-GP motos were thankfully devoid of showers. Cairoli started the weekend positively with a strong performance in his Heat race to earn his third consecutive pole position. The Sicilian needed a pain-killing injection for both days of action but even the rutted and rough Mantova sand did not seem to put him off his stride.
The first race started dramatically as the reigning number one – using special colours on his kit and helmet – was felled by Erik Eggens in the second corner. Retrieving his YZ250F Cairoli began one of his ‘comeback specials’ and over the course of the next 35 minutes and 1 lap passed more than 20 riders to reach an incredible fourth place.

The only chance of triumph in front of his many fans lay in his capabilities to own the second moto and the double world champion duly obliged. He set a distance from the pack almost immediately and clinched his fourth race win of the year, and fourth from the last six.
Yamaha Ricci Racing’s Nico Aubin was unfortunate not to take his first podium finish of the season after he rode brilliantly to celebrate his first chequered flag by beating Tommy Searle in Moto1. The Frenchman led the opening stages of the race before the Briton took control. Aubin was able to keep in his rival’s wheel tracks and on lap 14 of 18 regained the advantage. The next sprint was a different affair as Aubin could not find sufficient speed to enter the top five and ended up sixth, for fourth place overall. The top four were separated by only three points in the closest GP ranking of the season.

Team-mate Davide Guarneri was disappointed to have to withdraw from the Grand Prix. The Italian suffered a slow but awkward crash on Saturday and immediately feared he has broken a ligament in his right knee. Although the extent of the damage will not be known for a few days and when the Spanish GP winner has a scan, Guarneri – who has already suffered a similar type of injury – was understandably feeling low after this latest set-back.

The rest of the De Carli team made the qualification cut. Matteo Bonini, still finding his way back to full speed after recovering from a dislocated shoulder, endured a hard day of work. He was out of the points in Moto1 but rallied to take fifteenth for six points in Moto2. Alessandro Lupino finished in the points on both occasions for the first time in 2008. The teenager was twentieth in each moto.

The MX2-GP stars, like their MX1-GP counterparts, will be in action again in two weeks time when the British Grand Prix, at a new track within the Mallory Park motorsports venue, hosts the sixth stop in the 2008 FIM competition.
Antonio Cairoli, Yamaha Red Bull De Carli, 1st:
“For sure I wanted to win both races but the second corner was a big problem. Out of the gate I started well but then I had some contact with Tommy. I tried for a good line in the second corner but Eggens was on the inside of me and decided to come across to the outside and hit my front wheel.
I lost time taking and restarting the bike but then I pushed hard. I thought that it might still be possible to win the GP so I gave it everything I had. I put my head down and concentrated on good lap-times and catching the next rider. We have had a lot of wet races now and these are not my favourite conditions; although the track was not as slippery as Bulgaria!”

Nico Aubin, Yamaha Ricci Racing, 4th:
“I was very happy with that first moto. When Tommy passed me he was very fast but he was attacking so much and I could still follow him. I knew he would not be able to do that the whole race so I kept close and picked the right moment. I don’t know what happened in that second moto. I did not get the start I wanted but it was not that bad. I just could not find the same speed as the first heat. I tried some new lines but it wouldn’t come. It was positive to get that win but my goal right now is to make good results in both races.”

Matteo Bonini, Yamaha Red Bull De Carli, 21st:
“During the week I could not train well because I was very tired after Bulgaria, which was my first GP of the year. I did not get a good start in the first moto and there were a lot of problems in the second corner that held me up. I tried hard to push and regain positions but I felt short of breath and had to lower my rhythm. Things were better in the second moto, including my start but after 20 minutes I felt tired and then just looked to getting as many points as I could. I took one more position on the last lap which was good but overall I still frustrated because I worked very hard in the winter and because of the injury it is like I am starting at zero. At least it can only get better.”