News Report 11 May 2008

2008 GP of Bulgaria, Sevlievo

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1530 m
att 27
05 / 11 / 2008
Time to be confirmed

Philippaerts takes first win with Yamaha


In changeable weather conditions and across a tricky Sevlievo circuit, Yamaha Monster Motocross Team’s David Philippaerts scored his first success on the YZ450FM with first and second positions in the two motos at the Grand Prix of Bulgaria. After four rounds of fifteen in the 2008 FIM MX1-GP World Championship the Italian has extended his lead in the series to 17 points and also placed Yamaha first in the manufacturer’s standings. Josh Coppins was sixth overall and currently lies third.

The hard and fast layout situated deep in the Bulgarian countryside offered two different tests to the riders of the MX1-GP category as the first moto of 35 minutes and 2 laps took place in sunshine but a grey sky and rainfall created a slick and greasy terrain for the second outing.
Philippaerts made the most of two decent starts to obtain his prize. The 24 year old escaped the attentions of Billy Mackenzie and Marc de Reuver to lead the first sprint from start to finish. In the second wetter race he fought with Jonathan Barragan and was ultimately unable to match the Spaniard’s pace. Entering the last lap Philippaerts was resigned to his second consecutive runner-up position until the leader crashed and allowed Sebastien Pourcel and the Yamaha representative to pull through. Second spot in the moto was enough to secure the overall and his second career MX1-GP success.
Josh Coppins ended the day disappointed with sixth position but a set of average starts and some hesitancy on the first lap of Moto1 meant that a better placing was not possible. The Kiwi qualified quite well, (Philippaerts was eighth after being baulked on his two flying lap attempts) with the sixth best lap-time on a dry track that saw the protagonists of the class separated by very little. However he was, by his own admission, ‘too slow’ in the opening stages of Moto1 and although he pulled through the pack well and was all over the back wheels of Marc de Reuver and Barragan contesting second place, he crossed the finish line in fourth. The second moto was even tougher as he touched with his team-mate along the start straight and had to be determined to cut through from a mid-pack position on the first lap.

The course was not easy for overtaking, making Coppins’ job even harder; he took 14 points for seventh at the flag. The 31 year old is still well in touch with the title chase.

Yamaha Van Beers’ Aigar Leok was 17th, one place ahead of UTag’s Carlos Campano.
The world championship table still shows both Yamaha Monster Motocross team members within the top three. Philippaerts holds a bigger margin over world champion Ramon and Coppins is 34 points away. Yamaha head the manufacturer’s standings by 5 points. The squad are well-placed for round five and their home Grand Prix at Mantova in Italy next week.
David Philippaerts, Yamaha Monster Motocross Team, 1st:

“This is a really good result for me. I tried to win both races but Barragan was very fast in that second moto and I had some luck when I saw him crash. I was pretty tired by that point and I could not stop Pourcel taking the lead. The track was very different in the afternoon. The rain had made it very slippery and some more lines appeared. The mud went softer and got bumpier. The bike is really good and the team are working hard. I’m happy for this; a good day!”

Josh Coppins, Yamaha Monster Motocross Team, 6th:

“I thought that things would turnaround for me this weekend but I am really disappointed with how the motos went. My starts were not good, which is unusual for me, and I was too slow at the beginning of the first moto. I wanted to do better for the second moto but David cut across me coming out of the gate; that’s OK though because I would have done the same if I also had the holeshot. I was stuck in the middle of the pack and by the time I passed riders there was too big a gap to rise any further. This is not what I wanted ahead of Mantova, which is perhaps the hardest track of the year for me and I am losing my patience; it has been a hard start to this championship.”

Mino Raspanti, Racing Manager:

“A very good weekend. David won the GP with some luck, thanks to Barragan’s crash. He was already looking quick and motivated through the practice sessions and playing with the bike but found two slower riders in the Timed Practice that ruined his laps. Anyway, he still got the starts from eighth in the gate. Josh was fourth in the first race which wasn’t so bad and his speed in the last ten minutes was very good. His start was a handicap and he could not find his pace like before. The bikes performed well and the riders felt good; we just need to understand why Josh couldn’t get going in that second moto.”