Monster Energy Yamaha’s Steven Frossard claimed the ‘Internazionali d’Italia’ Italian Motocross Championship after a tense title decider on Sunday at Galaello for the final round of four. The Frenchman beat his team-mate on the works YZ450FM, David Philippaerts, as well as MX1-GP World Champion Antonio Cairoli to claim overall spoils on the day and become the first holder of the Italian title for the team this century. In a double-bonus Gautier Paulin missed the meeting but his superior points lead was enough to confirm the MX2 contest.
Frossard, new to the factory squad for 2011, gained his first spurs for Yamaha in fine style by conquering a decent track in fine weather to post 2nd and 1st positions in the motos. Both Philippaerts and Cairoli could also have left the venue with the championship but Frossard pulled a three-four second gap on his rivals in a crucial second race and was able to drop his worst scores to toast success. Philippaerts was runner-up on the day and completed a 1-2 for the team.
“For sure I’m happy and I was motivated to do well because I was up against some good riders throughout the series,” said Frossard who had finished on the podium at all four events. “This is a good start to the season and to take an honour for the team like this is a positive thing just two weeks before the start of the world championship.”
Paulin travelled to Pernes Les Fontaines in France to tackle fellow grand prix peers and had a stellar day in very wet and difficult conditions to go 2-1 against 250cc and 450cc machines to earn overall victory and complete a very decent weekend for Monster Energy Yamaha. The Frenchman pulled off the line to find out he had earned the MX2 Italian crown.
“It was a very good day for me, and to win in that kind of mud, against the 450s was a result we can take something from,” he said. “As soon as I finished I wanted to know what had happened in Italy and when I saw the results had gone for me then I was really pleased. To win any title is a nice thing to celebrate and remember.”
Monster Energy Yamaha’s Christophe Charlier was second overall in the MX2 competition. The first round of the FIM MX-GP World Championship takes place at Sevlievo for the Grand Prix of Bulgaria on April 10th.