News Report 3 June 2012
France

2012 GP of France

View results Track information
St. Jean d'Angely
1620 m
att 31
06 / 03 / 2012
Time to be confirmed

Bright comeback for Tonus and wins for Pocock and Fontanesi

Race

The Grand Prix of France at a packed St Jean D’Angely circuit saw some bright news for Monster Energy Yamaha as Arnaud Tonus made a positive first FIM Motocross World Championship outing of the season and showed some promising speed and Mel Pocock dominated both races in the opening round of the European EMX250 series on his YZ250F.
A stuffy and humid event (round six of sixteen) on the west coast of France took place around a fast and stony track that saw close lap-times and a fierce pace being set around the St Jean hill sections. Pocock opened the weekend in fine fashion for the team in the first round of seven in the competitive feeder championship to the MX2-GP class. Effectively dealing with main threat Maxime Desprey, the nineteen year old’s confident and aggressive run to a 1-1 scorecard was a powerful signal of intent for his rivals and designs on the crown.

Arnaud Tonus was back in Grand Prix action for the first time in 2012. The Swiss made two excellent starts on the factory YZ250F and scored decent points with seventh position in the first moto. In the second he hit the front of the pack for two laps before conceding the lead to the faster figure of Tommy Searle. A battle with Jeffrey Herlings came to an abrupt halt when the Dutchman made a controversial move on the Yamaha rider, causing the British Champion to crash. Fortunately Tonus was only bruised and scraped and picked up his Yamaha to complete the race in seventeenth.

Christophe Charlier was hesitant in overtaking Jordi Tixier for sixth place in the first moto and eventually crossed the finish line in eighth. The Frenchman couldn’t reach the chequered flag in the second sprint. He hit a crumbled rut and crashed, hurting his right shoulder. Although he was able to remount the former European Champion actually dislocated the joint descending the fastest and longest downhill jump on the track. The shoulder was re-placed straightaway and a positive prognosis was given as Charlier felt little pain post-event. He will have a scan this week although his progress in Portugal next weekend remains doubtful. Michael Leib was ruled out of action after the American was barely able to make the finish of the qualification heat on Saturday through exhaustion due to a virus. The Italian GP podiumee will get more information on his status in the coming days.

The YZ250F was again the perfect foil for another racer this weekend as talented Italian Chiara Fontanesi won both motos in Croatia for the fourth round of eight in the FIM Women’s World Championship. ‘Fonta’ has won six from the eight motos run so far and the double on Sunday was her third from four events. Her dominance means a commanding championship lead of 60 points at the halfway stage and with trips to Slovenia, Slovakia, Britain and Germany left to run.

Monster Energy Yamaha will be on-track again this coming weekend at Agueda for the Grand Prix of Portugal and the second of three consecutive events in the FIM Motocross World Championship.

Arnaud Tonus:

“Overall I’m happy because only one week ago I still couldn’t really ride like I wanted. I was still sore and I made my decision to be here on Wednesday because I couldn’t wait any longer to race. My fitness is alright, maybe not 100%, but it felt better every session I was on the track. The second moto was great and I had a pretty good rhythm. I was struggling a bit the whole weekend with arm-pump and for that I missed a couple of positions in the first moto. The second race was going better until Jeffrey did that stupid thing and I crashed and lost everything. It took me almost one lap to get started again. I fell on my shoulder again so I don’t know how that will feel tomorrow. Hopefully everything will be OK.”

Christophe Charlier:

“I think it was Tixier who went through the rut wall and hit the side part so it crumbled into the line. When I hit the mound with my front wheel it caused me to lose control and crash. I felt a bang to my shoulder but when I came down the big jump it popped out. We will have to see what the scans reveal but I don’t have any pain and I was told if I had sensation and good feeling in my hand then this normally means there is not much ligament damage. I hope this is true! It has been a disappointing day and an injury is the last thing that I wanted but fingers crossed we can get back from this fast.”

Michael Leib:

“I need to have a few more tests because something is not right. I felt utterly exhausted on Saturday and without any energy. It is frustrating because I have the speed to get the results and I have already shown that. I hope to have some more answers in the next couple of days and we’ll find a way back to normal from here.”

Mel Pocock:

“This has to be almost a career highlight so far. I’m so pumped I don’t know what to say. I was the fastest all weekend even though the other boys did give me a run for my money in the races. It was awesome to be out front and leading a race. It was a different feeling. The bike Steve has built me is amazing. It is the quickest I’ve ever ridden so a big thanks to the team and everyone who has helped me. A ten point lead in the championship after the first round…well happy!”