News Report 15 June 2008

2008 GP of France, Saint Jean d'Angely

View results Track information
Saint Jean d'Angely
1750 m
att 30
06 / 15 / 2008
Time to be confirmed

Cairoli 10th after eventful day in France


MX2-GP World Champion Antonio Cairoli could only finish tenth overall at a cloudy but warm St Jean d’Angely for the Grand Prix of France and the seventh round of fifteen in the 2008 FIM series. 30,000 spectators saw Tommy Searle take victory and the stylish Italian only able to score third place in the second moto on his YZ250F.

After sealing his fifth consecutive pole position on Saturday, Cairoli seemed to have a firm hold on the track he dislikes, even if many stones were coming through the hard dirt made the terrain slippery and perilous. The 21 year old did not get the chance to show his speed in the first Grand Prix moto as a collision with Tyla Rattray on the opening corner left the Sicilian with a punctured fuel tank and he had to pull into the pitlane a lap later. Although Cairoli rejoined the fray, he was almost two laps behind and could not score any points.
In the second race – keen to regain some ground to Searle, who had moved to the top of the standings – he survived a small spill in the opening stages while in second place to close to the back of his championship rival and take the lead on lap 8 of 21. Moments later he lost traction with his Red Bull Yamaha and hit the deck. Remounting in a solitary third position Cairoli would spend the rest of the race marking similar lap-times to the leader but unable to reduce the distance to the front.
Yamaha Ricci Racing’s Nicolas Aubin came into his home Grand Prix with a lot of expectation and a large proportion of the French crowd’s noisy support. He was on the pace Saturday but would only register 5th and 10th in the two motos after a pair of bad starts cast him outside of the leading group. Aubin took part in tight scrap with three of his countrymen for second place in first race but crossed the finish line at the back of the French gaggle. A second corner crash in Moto2 meant that he had to ride hard to come through the field from 27th.

Cairoli’s team-mate in the Yamaha Red Bull De Carli team, Matteo Bonini, was lucky to escape serious injury in the first moto when he was landed upon by another rider on the first lap of Moto1. The Italian was initially feared to have broken his wrist but his ailments were nothing more than severe bruising to his hand, fingers and also his neck.
Yamaha Van Beers Racing’s Evgeny Bobryshev was making his first appearance in three Grand Prix after visa problems. The Russian took his second best result of the season with 18th overall.

Ricci Racing’s Davide Guarneri was expected to start riding the same weekend as the French Grand Prix. The Italian will attempt to win the MX2 title at Gazzane di Preseglie for the final round of the Italian championship next week and depending on his progress could make a GP return in two weeks.

The standings show Cairoli now in third position and 20 points behind Searle. Aubin is fourth and 78 points adrift.

Round nine of the world championship will take place at Teutschenthal for the Grand Prix of Germany.
Antonio Cairoli, Yamaha Red Bull De Carli, 10th:

“This is not my favourite track! Last year it was much better, much softer but this time there were so many stones that I was actually quite afraid sometimes. On Saturday it was OK because the pace in the qualification heat was slower and I could be more cautious. The first heat was just bad luck and this type of incident can happen any time but I made two stupid mistakes in the second moto and this lost me any chance of a victory. I caught Tommy after crashing the first time and then had the lead when I went down again. I tried so hard to close the gap when I was third but the distance was too big and this track is not technical enough to be able to make big differences with the lap-times. I am 20 points behind now but the championship is long and we have many races ahead.”

Nicolas Aubin, Yamaha Ricci Racing, 7th:

“I am disappointed because I know the result could have been much better. I took a bad start in the first heat and was far back. I rode well but it was ruined by the first moments because I was too distant from the leaders. The second moto was the same. I went down on the second corner and came from last to tenth. It was a good race but not what I wanted. I cannot understand what happened and I am tired of these bad GPs. There is not much more I can say; the bike is good, my physical condition is OK I just need a decent start.”

Matteo Bonini, Yamaha Red Bull De Carli, DNF:

“I got out of the gate badly and was around fifteenth. We came up to the jump and many riders in front of me did not do it, so neither did I but then someone landed on my back and sent me to the floor. It was a big crash but I think I am lucky because my injuries could have been worse. I hope I can ride in Germany.”