News Report 22 April 2012

2012 GP of Bulgaria

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1530 m
att 15
04 / 22 / 2012
Time to be confirmed

Fast debut by Leib in Bulgaria


Monster Energy Yamaha were able to count on the pace and determination of American Michael Leib at Sevlievo for the Grand Prix of Bulgaria and the 20 year old proved his own abilities and the potential of the agile 2012 YZ250F by taking the bike to twelfth overall despite not having ridden the machine until the first practice session.

Leib was drafted into the team last week alongside Mel Pocock and boost the Yamaha entry that is still feeling the injury effects of Zach Osborne, Arnaud Tonus and Christophe Charlier. Poor weather in the UK meant he couldn’t ride the bike until Saturday morning but adapted quickly and even clocked the fastest time in Sunday morning warm-up.

Leib made two reasonable starts and set lap-times that would have given him a comfortable slot higher up the leader-board. Tenth position in the first moto was complimented by an eleventh later in the afternoon as the Yamaha man tired towards the end of the race purely due to his efforts concentrated in shorter supercross main events so far in 2012. Leib will be back in action for round three in Italy next week and will be testing with the team on Thursday.
Mel Pocock was lucky to escape injury in the first moto when he was struck by a falling Jose Butron and dumped on the ground. The MX2 British Championship leader was able to remount and recover from last position to seventeenth. Fifteenth in the second race allowed the same overall ranking in the MX2 classification.

Christophe Charlier is hopeful of being able to ride for the first time in the coming days and since breaking his foot one week before the opening round of the season. The Frenchman could possibly return to competitive action for the Grand Prix of Italy at Fermo next weekend.

Michael Leib:

“It was tougher than I expected. I flew over to England on Wednesday, jumped on a plane again on Friday and didn’t get on the bike until Saturday morning. I started in the wrong gear for the first moto and that was stupid on my part. I got going about ten or fifteen minutes through and rode really well. In the second race I didn’t have anything left in the tank because all I’ve been doing is riding and testing for Supercross. Anyway I got my feet wet and now we’ll head off to Italy. I’m super-stoked that Steve Dixon and Monster Energy Yamaha gave me the chance to come out here and race and hopefully we’ll put on a good show in Fermo.”

Mel Pocock:

“I had a decent start in the first moto but was then properly taken out by someone. They hit me from behind and sent the bike flying out of my hands. I was thirty seconds back and in last place and managed to fight my way back up to seventeenth, which wasn’t too bad. The second race was kind of like a procession. I felt like a hamster running around on a wheel out there! The same lines, same corners, same ruts. I was behind Michael for most of the race but then I made a small mistake which let the group of riders catch me. This isn’t my favourite track on the list but I’m in one piece and ready to go to Italy. My mind is set on these three GPs and the Europeans. I am leading the British Championship, which I am really happy about and will hope to extend my lead in two weeks.”