News Report 31 August 2008

2008 GP of the Republic of Ireland, Dublin

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att 16
08 / 31 / 2008
Time to be confirmed

Fourth position for Philippaerts in Ireland


Yamaha Monster Motocross Team’s David Philippaerts still leads the 2008 FIM MX1-GP World Championship after finishing in 4th position overall under decent weather conditions at the new Fairyhouse circuit for the Grand Prix of Ireland and the thirteenth round of fifteen.

As the campaign heads towards its penultimate stages next week, Philippaerts was just two points away from his eighth podium of the season in Dublin but keeps hold of the red number plate – for the tenth time in thirteen events – and heads the standings by 5 points over world champion Steve Ramon. Josh Coppins’ was again bitten by ill fortune as the New Zealander was hit at the start of race one and again on the first lap of race two. The second incident forced his retirement.
The brand new circuit within the confines of the Fairyhouse horse racing venue contained a tricky layout with well-constructed jumps but the grass was laden with wood chippings making a soft and slippery course. The event itself was perhaps lucky to go ahead in wake of one of the wettest August months on Irish record. Thankfully the weather stayed dry over the weekend for a 16,000 crowd.

Philippaerts set off from the seventh best pick in the gate while Coppins was tenth after Saturday’s Time Practice. The Italian was quick from the line on both occasions. He circulated adrift of the top four for long stretches of Moto1 but timed an attack on Ramon perfectly entering the last two laps and beat his main rival for the title to 4th spot. The 24 year old was even better placed in Moto2 – in second – but some clutch trouble meant that he had to adjust his riding and lower his speed and he dropped back to 4th once more.
Coppins was also at the forefront of the pack around the first turn of Moto1 but was pushed wide and off the track by a falling Jonathan Barragan. The 31 year old faced another journey through the field from virtually last and reached a creditable 9th by the chequered flag. He was not able to complete a second lap of Moto2 as a rider clattered his YZ450FM on the landing of a table-top and forced him off the course. With the triple clamp bent and the front wheel brake sticking he pitted but was not able to rejoin.

With 100 points left to win and just four motos left to run the destination of the 2008 crown will be decided at the final race. Philippaerts holds a slender margin over Ramon and Ken de Dycker is 27 points adrift in third. Jonathan Barragan is fourth and 52 away, while Coppins is fifth and 59 points from his team-mate. Yamaha front the manufacturer’s standings by 3 points.

The penultimate round of the world championship will take place next weekend at the sandy circuit of Lierop in the Netherlands. The Grand Prix of Citta di Faenza in Italy will close the 2008 competition the following week.
David Philippaerts, Yamaha Monster Motocross Team, 4th:

“I did not have any good lines at the start of the first race and I lost time because of that. I took a while to look at the others and finally find a rhythm that gave me some speed. I was strong at the end and passed Ramon with two laps to go and I was happy. Things were better at the start of the second moto but the track got worse and was quite dangerous with all the soft bumps. We had a small issue with the bike but finishing in the top five was a consistent result. De Dycker came close when I was in third and I did not want him to touch me; I did not want to take any risks. Fourth overall means that it was not a great day but generally I am content because the track was difficult and it was easy to make a mistake that would cost so much. All my plans and work is coming together after a long season. We will see what happens in Lierop now but I want to go there in good form. It has been a very hard year because each GP has been so open and hard to predict, Faenza will be a tough final race!”
Josh Coppins, Yamaha Monster Motocross Team, 16th:

“I am a little bit lost for words. For the last three or four races I feel that people have not really seen the real ‘me’ for a combinations of reasons and today there were some more. I started really well in the first race but Barragan or somebody touched me on the inside and I crashed off the side of the track. I was really going for that holeshot and it was just one of those things. I then rode well and came back from second-to-last to ninth.
The second race was similar. Everyone went really wide and I got squashed out but I was not in a bad position, however when we came to the first table-top a rider was cross-rutted and touched me in the air. He then came up short and bounced into me on the landing and drove me off the track. It damaged the front of the bike. The wheel was locking and the triple clamp was bent so I came in the pits but we could not get it fixed before all the pack had gone past and getting even just a few points would have been hard; there was too much damage. In retrospect my qualifying needed to be better. After the Czech Republic I wanted to come here and have fun. I really want to be in a race with the guys; that is where I belong.”

Mino Raspanti, Yamaha Monster Motocross Team:

“A hard weekend for us. The first moto was not bad for David but terrible luck for Josh and to finish ninth meant that he lost a lot of points for the championship. David did well to pass Steve at the end of the first moto and should have been second in the next race but had a bit of trouble with the clutch and could not keep his lap-times. Josh again had an unbelievable situation and the title is now difficult for him. Lierop will be a big challenge but we will see!”