News Report 7 September 2008

2008 GP of Benelux (Ned), Lierop

View results Track information
1875 m
att 35
09 / 07 / 2008
Time to be confirmed

Fantastic Philippaerts keeps series lead with one round to go


Yamaha Monster Motocross Team’s David Philippaerts produced another stellar performance in a strong 2008 FIM MX1-GP season to-date to secure 4th position in the sand of Lierop for the Grand Prix of Benelux and extend his lead in the series from 5 to 14 points with just one round remaining. Team-mate Josh Coppins was extremely close to winning the second moto and ended up with 5th place.

Lierop, near the city of Eindhoven, represented the third time the riders encountered the physical and technical demands of sandy terrain. The surface became rougher and bumpier throughout practice and provided a stage on which the Benelux riders – groomed from an early age in the sand – could excel. Under occasional showers and through strong winds, watched by a crowd of 35,000 spectators the team worked diligently to enjoy a sturdy set of results and edge closer to the title.
Philippaerts surprised many after two reasonably decent starts to attack at the front and take part in a complicated pair of motos that saw many position changes and varying pace from the leaders. The team provided the 24 year old with a fettled YZ450FM on Saturday and the effort behind-the-scenes paid off. With main title rival Steve Ramon struggling, the Italian moved forwards and battled for first place in both sprints. He gained 3rd in Moto1 and obtained 5th in Moto2 to stretch his run as leader of the world championship to 11 Grand Prix (from 14) and importantly gain a bit more breathing space over Ramon and Ken De Dycker.
Josh Coppins had one of his better qualification sessions of the year to take 6th spot on Saturday. The Kiwi felt in good form and although he started quite slowly from the depths of the top ten in both races his speed in the final third of the motos was excellent. After a positive 4th place earlier in the day his rhythm was knocked in the second outing when he got a tear-off visor caught in his mouth. Once unhindered, he began setting a rapid pace that pulled him to second position with two laps to go. The 31 year old did not realise he was so high up the ranking because the field was so dispersed, and a small miscalculation proved costly when he ran wide and hit the fence causing a crash on the penultimate circulation. He remounted to take 6th and 5th place overall.
50 points are all that remain in the 2008 MX1-GP World Championship. Philippaerts holds a gap of 14 over Ramon and 25 over De Dycker. Coppins is 5th and needs more than 37 points to make the top three. Yamaha are tied on points at the top of the Manufacturer’s standings.

The Grand Prix Citta di Faenza, at Faenza, will culminate a tense, exciting and very entertaining 2008 world championship for the team in just seven days time.

David Philippaerts, Yamaha Monster Motocross Team, 4th:

“This was a big result today. I wanted to go out there and try to win the title, not the race. I finished third in the first moto and for an Italian at Lierop I did not think that was bad at all! In the second moto I looked for the victory but pushed a bit too hard because I felt tired at the finish. I had some close moments out there and I tried my best, aware that anything can happen. The team worked really hard all weekend and the bike was great for the races; I am really happy with this GP. We go to Faenza next and I think two top five positions will be good enough for the championship. I will go home and remain focussed this week. I just want to train and do my normal routine and see what next weekend brings.”
Josh Coppins, Yamaha Monster Motocross Team, 5th:

“The same old story for me really, two crashes and something little and annoying like a tear-off in my mouth. In the first race I took it a bit easy at the start because I was mindful of my energy for the second moto. After crashing with Marc in the second I just put all my anger and frustration at this season in the rest of those laps and it brought me to the front. It was nice to race with the guys again after so many incidents at the starts of motos recently. I honestly did not know I was second. I did not see anything on the pit-board and I guess positions were changing quite fast. If I knew Ken was the leader then I would have backed off slightly in order to line him up. I can’t seem to get a Grand Prix right, but I will give my best in Faenza to try and get something from this season.”

Mino Raspanti, Racing Manager:

“Apart from the last two laps for Josh it was a really good weekend for us. A moto win would have been possible and it would have been positive for him because he has had bad luck recently. He was riding well after the first moments of the races and it would have been nice to see him on the podium.
I am really happy for David. He surprised many people with his speed and approach. He looked a bit tired in the last twenty minutes of the second moto and then decided to play it safe. The team worked really hard to get the bikes ready and I was surprised at how much progress we made in such a short time so a big thank you to everyone. There will be many people and many supporters for David in Faenza and for sure it will be a different Grand Prix compared to normal but we will try our best to treat it as another race and hope for the right result!”