News Report 6 July 2008

2008 GP of Sweden, Uddevalla

View results Track information
1530 m
att 25
07 / 06 / 2008
Time to be confirmed

Philippaerts takes sixth podium in Sweden


25,000 spectators scaled the rocky hill beside the Uddevalla circuit to watch Yamaha Monster Motocross Team’s David Philippaerts take third position and extend his lead in the series at the Grand Prix of Sweden and the ninth round of fifteen in the 2008 FIM Motocross World Championship. Frequent light rain covered the venue and the slippery conditions did not prevent the Italian registering his sixth podium finish from a possible nine on his works YZ450FM. Team-mate Josh Coppins, winner of the last round in Germany, did not enjoy good starts but rode well to claim 10th overall.
The climbing undulations of the Scandinavian track provided a small headache for teams and riders across the weekend as the fast curves – newly mixed with sand and a softer soil – was a hard and slippery test on Saturday but with arrival of rain during the night and dark skies on Sunday provided a more technical and slick prospect for the races.

24 year old Philippaerts started poorly in the first moto and was lucky not to crash on the straight as he was clipped when the pack narrowed down to the opening turn. The one-line layout made overtaking very difficult but the red-plate holder slowly worked his way up from 12th place to capture 4th behind Steve Ramon. Winner of the Grand Prix, Jonathan Barragan, sealed his second victory of the year with the runner-up position in the second moto and Philippaerts rode a smart race to take another 4th and the bottom step of the podium behind the Spaniard and Ramon.
Josh Coppins was luckless in Moto1 as a bad launch become worse when he could not avoid a fallen Loic Leonce and crashed on the first lap. The New Zealander then had to find and maximise the few overtaking places on the track to grab as many points as possible. He rode to 13th by the end of the 35 minutes and 2 laps and was satisfied with his efforts. Sadly his getaway from the gate could not be improved in Moto2 and another slip relegated him to near the bottom of the top twenty. He then provided one of the highlights of the race as he charged from mid-pack obscurity to pass Billy Mackenzie on the last lap for 5th.

Philippaerts now has more podium finishes than any other rider and his total score so far has helped Yamaha to a 19 point lead in the Manufacturer’s standings. He has fronted the rider’s table since round three and stretched out his margin of 4 points last week to 12, over Ramon. Coppins is third and 16 adrift.

UTag’s Kenneth Gundsersen was in attendance at his ‘semi-home’ Grand Prix and confirmed that he has started exercising as part of his rehabilitation after a knee reconstruction and expects to begin riding again mid-September.

After back-to-back events the World Championship now stops for one week before the series moves continents and to the new circuit of Nelspruit next to Kruger Park for the Grand Prix of South Africa.
David Philippaerts, Yamaha Monster Motocross Team, 3rd:

“I am very happy to be back on the podium. Physically I have had some problems, with my hand and my rib, but I am getting better and chose to ride a smart race today. The ground behind the gate was very soft and I lost time with my starts; I had to close the gas at the start of the first moto because I did not want to crash but afterwards I could make some good laps. I tried in both races to pass Steve but there was only really one line. It was a good GP for the championship and now I hope I can start training normally again because it has been a hard couple of weeks since the GP of France.”
Josh Coppins, Yamaha Monster Motocross Team, 10th:

“I was around 11th in the first race when Leonce made a mistake in front of me and I went into the back of him. I restarted more or less last and came back to 13th. It was a tough race, really hard to pass and very tricky with just one single fast line. In the second moto I made a better start but I went a little wide and into the soft mud where they had scraped the mud across the holes. I went down on the fourth corner trying to make a pass and get to the front too fast. I made my way to fifth purely on determination. I am pretty disappointed overall because my riding was good enough to be at the front end of the field. I knew the starts would be difficult with the soft gravel behind the gate; you need a little bit of luck and just have to drop the clutch and go for it, there is no real technique. I lost some points today and need to keep focussing on my riding not the championship; today I was thinking too much about winning instead of trying to have a good GP.”

Mino Raspanti, Racing Manager:

“David is back on the podium after two GPs and a few little mistakes. He was looking good today and he is learning when to push and when to concentrate on not making a mistake; this is the system for a good season. He now has a lead of 12 points although we have seen how easy it is to lose any advantage! Josh was set-back by his starts and small crashes. He did not make a fantastic result but his speed looked very good in both races and he was unfortunate in that it was so hard to pass here. We tried another new pipe with David, there was no big difference but we made a test; overall the bikes were very good this weekend.”