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MX-GP: Frossard makes Dutch MX1 podium and Fontanesi wins

After their impressive team presentation in front of international media and guests on Saturday evening Monster Energy Yamaha picked up their first silverware of the FIM Motocross World Championship at a grey, rainy and cold Valkenswaard for the Grand Prix of the Netherlands. Steven Frossard finished third overall on his YZ450FM and battled with Antonio Cairoli and Clement Desalle in both motos as the trio led the world through the slippery and rough Dutch sand.

Frossard jostled for pole position with reigning champion Cairoli on Sunday under bright skies but the weather took a turn for the worse on race day. Starting from third and fourth positions in the gates on their YZ450FMs Frossard, David Philippaerts and debutant Shaun Simpson, in thirteenth, got their Grand Prix campaigns underway watched by 23,000 spectators who braved the elements.

The 2011 MX1 vice champion set the pace in the first moto but couldn’t get comfortable with his rhythm and several mistakes allowed Cairoli through. Frossard swapped track space with Desalle in the second race and a better performance despite driving rain saw the Frenchman circulate in a smart and steady third position for a strong start to the six month competition.

Shaun Simpson rode well and confidently on his first Grand Prix outing as a Yamaha rider and on the YZ450FM. The Scot started badly in the opening sprint but cut a path through to eleventh place. A better launch in the second race positioned the former British Champion in the second half of the top ten and he was just pipped to seventh on the last lap. The 24 year old was eighth overall for an encouraging day.

Philippaerts, on his first Grand Prix since last July, was pushing hard in the first moto and grabbed a decent seventh spot for his efforts. A crash through the busy set of turns at the beginning of the second race meant the Italian had to find space and time from the rear of the forty-strong entry. ‘DP’ made it to fifteenth for eleventh position for the Dutch curtain-raiser.

The fledgling standings reflect the final Grand Prix standings and with another two Grands Prix scheduled in April a better picture of the early MX1-GP story will be evident by the end of the month. Monster Energy Yamaha will have a free weekend before back-to-back events in Bulgaria and Italy.

Steven Frossard, 3rd:

“I didn’t ride well in the first moto. I had a few good laps at the beginning but then I had some arm-pump and then pushed a bit too much. I don’t know how many mistakes I made! I went outside the track twice. I was very disappointed because I rode like I did a few years ago in MX2 by pushing too much. I turned the day around and I was happier after the second moto because I rode quite close to how I do in training. The track was strange. In the first moto some parts were very bad but then they were graded too much for the second.”

Shaun Simpson, 7th:

“Coming into this weekend my goal was a top ten finish. I took eleventh in the first one and, unluckily, Paulin passed me on the last corner of the second otherwise I would have had seventh. Eleventh and eighth and seventh in the championship is not a bad way to start the championship. I think my starts could have been better and I showed in the second race that with a decent getaway I can hang ‘up there’. I’m strong at the beginning of the race and also at the end so now I need to work on that middle section a little bit. I’m looking forward to the hardpack in Bulgaria and Italy now. The team have done good work and I feel good on the Yamaha. In the last three weeks we have made a lot of great little changes and it has made the difference. The team atmosphere is good and I find myself wanting to get back to the truck and wanting to talk to people so I’m all smiles at the moment.”

David Philippaerts, 11th:

“I didn’t feel good today and I’m not 100% physically. Those two bad starts did not help me. I broke the clutch in the second race crash. It has not been a perfect day but this is the first race of the season and the first GP for a long time for me. I think Bulgaria will be different both for the track and the condition. We will see what will happen. I’m not so happy with today but we will keep on working. The bike was really good here but the track was bumpy and is a bit special with its demands. The next couple of tracks are good for me so I will hope for better.”

2012 MX1-GP Netherlands

Valkenswaard 09/04/2012 19 Laps

race I
1 Antonio Cairoli KTM ITA 40’34.863
2 Clement Desalle Suzuki BEL 0’18.926
3 Steven Frossard Yamaha FRA 0’19.932
4 Gautier Paulin Kawasaki FRA 0’31.610
5 Ken De Dycker KTM BEL 0’35.025
6 Kevin Strijbos KTM BEL 0’39.092
7 David Philippaerts Yamaha ITA 0’52.810
8 Xavier Boog Kawasaki FRA 0’59.049
9 Tanel Leok Suzuki EST 1’01.702
10 Rui Goncalves Honda POR 1’09.215
11 Shaun Simpson Yamaha GBR 1’47.508
12 Marcus Schiffer Suzuki GER 1’50.472
13 Davide Guarneri KTM ITA -1Laps
14 Matteo Bonini KTM ITA -1Laps
15 Matiss Karro KTM LVA -1Laps
16 Herjan Brakke Yamaha NED -1Laps
race II
1 Antonio Cairoli KTM ITA 41’14.597
2 Clement Desalle Suzuki BEL 0’13.554
3 Steven Frossard Yamaha FRA 0’20.857
4 Rui Goncalves Honda POR 0’32.973
5 Kevin Strijbos KTM BEL 0’59.751
6 Ken De Dycker KTM BEL 1’04.839
7 Gautier Paulin Kawasaki FRA 1’10.455
8 Shaun Simpson Yamaha GBR 1’12.160
9 Christophe Pourcel Kawasaki FRA 1’16.549
10 Matiss Karro KTM LVA 1’17.996
11 Tanel Leok Suzuki EST 1’25.294
12 Evgeny Bobryshev Honda RUS 1’41.193
13 Jonathan Barragan Honda ESP 1’51.100
14 Xavier Boog Kawasaki FRA 1’56.015
15 David Philippaerts Yamaha ITA 2’09.897

MX1-GP World Standing

Rider Standings After Race 1 of 16

1. Antonio Cairoli KTM ITA 50
2. Clement Desalle Suzuki BEL 44
3. Steven Frossard Yamaha FRA 40
4. Gautier Paulin Kawasaki FRA 32
5. Ken De Dycker KTM BEL 31
6. Kevin Strijbos KTM BEL 31
7. Rui Goncalves Honda POR 29
8. Shaun Simpson Yamaha GBR 23
9. Tanel Leok Suzuki EST 22
10. David Philippaerts Yamaha ITA 20
11. Xavier Boog Kawasaki FRA 20
12. Matiss Karro KTM LVA 17
13. Marcus Schiffer Suzuki GER 14
14. Christophe Pourcel Kawasaki FRA 12
15. Jonathan Barragan Honda ESP 12
16. Davide Guarneri KTM ITA 12
19. Herjan Brakke Yamaha NED 5

Circuit Length:
1750

Crowd:
23,000

Weather:
Rain

Last Years Winner:
Maximilian Nagl

Manufacturer Standings

09/04/2012

1 KTM 50
2 Suzuki 44
3 Yamaha 40
4 Kawasaki 32
5 Honda 29
6 TM 1

Fontanesi wins Women’s class as Pocock shines in MX2-GP

The Grand Prix of the Netherlands saw a fantastic achievement by Chiara Fontanesi as the Italian won both motos to claim a dominant victory in the first round of the FIM Women’s World Championship. A dark and rainy Valkenswaard circuit saw Monster Energy Yamaha missing the on-track presence of Christophe Charlier, Zach Osborne and Arnaud Tonus, however current MX2 British Championship leader Mel Pocock was able to take his YZ250F to a personal best GP finish of 10th overall.

The opening foray of the FIM Motocross World Championship took place in front of 23,000 spectators and under a cold and wet climate but Fontanesi was unstoppable on her 2012 YZ250F and bounced across the Dutch sand to comfortably control both motos from start to finish. It was her second success in a row after having owned the final event of the 2011 calendar and installs her as a firm title candidate in the eight round series.

Pocock was drafted into the Monster Energy Yamaha world championship frame to bolster the Yamaha ranks in the category and get the factory machinery on the GP stage. The 20 year old was set for competition on the British and European scenes but demonstrated recent progressions with his riding and fitness by racing to a superb set of 8th and 12th place finishes; his best results at this level.

Hopefully Christophe Charlier will be given a green light towards the end of this week to try riding his YZ250FM for the first time since breaking a small bone in his right foot. The Frenchman could well be ready for a debut as a works rider in two weeks for the Grand Prix of Bulgaria. Fontanesi’s next appointment will be round two of the Women’s contest in France next weekend.

Chiara Fontanesi, 1st Women’s World Championship:

“I wanted to get that red plate because last year I tried but couldn’t do it. The track was really nice and I love the sand, especially when it is like that. I have only been riding for a month now because I had a wrist injury but I am a bit more experienced. I am learning all the time and I am trying to be a bit more aggressive with my riding.”

Mel Pocock, 10th:

“I think that was the best day of racing I have ever had. I almost holeshot the first race! I rode out of my comfort zone but I didn’t feel out of control. I made some good laps and went on for as long as I could to finish eighth. It was a mega ride and everyone was happy. The bike was unreal. I didn’t have such a good start in the second race but pushed up to seventh, Jake Nicholls passed me, so I rode the rest of the race out from there. Considering I haven’t been training forty minute motos because I didn’t think I would be doing the Grands Prix this early, I think I rode out of my skin and I’ve upped my game in practically every way.”

2012 MX2-GP Netherlands

Valkenswaard 09/04/2012 19 Laps

race I

1 Jeffrey Herlings KTM NED 39’38.886
2 Tommy Searle Kawasaki GBR 0’54.797
3 Joel Roelants KTM BEL 0’59.601
4 Jeremy Van Horebeek KTM BEL 1’49.941
5 Jake Nicholls KTM GBR 1’55.350
6 Jordi Tixier KTM FRA 2’06.414
7 Aleksandr Tonkov Suzuki RUS -1Laps
8 Mel Pocock Yamaha GBR -1Laps
9 Valentin Teillet Kawasaki FRA -1Laps
10 Dylan Ferrandis Kawasaki FRA -1Laps
11 Max Anstie Honda GBR -1Laps
12 Nikolai Larsen Suzuki DNK -1Laps
13 Alessandro Lupino Husqvarna ITA -1Laps
14 Petar Petrov Suzuki BGR -1Laps
15 Glenn Coldenhoff KTM NED -1Laps

race II
1 Jeffrey Herlings KTM NED 39’23.774
2 Joel Roelants Kawasaki BEL 0’36.741
3 Tommy Searle Kawasaki GBR 0’55.418
4 Jeremy Van Horebeek KTM BEL 2’09.242
5 Max Anstie Honda GBR 2’29.886
6 Glenn Coldenhoff KTM NED -1Laps
7 Jordi Tixier KTM FRA -1Laps
8 Dylan Ferrandis Kawasaki FRA -1Laps
9 Jake Nicholls KTM GBR -1Laps
10 Valentin Teillet Kawasaki FRA -1Laps
11 Harri Kullas Suzuki FIN -1Laps
12 Mel Pocock Yamaha GBR -1Laps
13 Alessandro Lupino Husqvarna ITA -1Laps
14 Pascal Rauchenecker KTM AUT -1Laps
15 Romain Febvre KTM FRA -1Laps
18 Kevin Fors Yamaha BEL -1Laps

MX2-GP World Standing

Rider Standings After Race 1 of 16

1. Jeffrey Herlings KTM NED 50
2. Tommy Searle Kawasaki GBR 42
3. Jeremy Van Horebeek KTM BEL 36
4. Jordi Tixier KTM FRA 29
5. Jake Nicholls KTM GBR 28
6. Max Anstie Honda GBR 26
7. Dylan Ferrandis Kawasaki FRA 24
8. Valentin Teillet Kawasaki FRA 23
9. Joel Roelants Kawasaki BEL 22
10. Mel Pocock Yamaha GBR 22
11. Glenn Coldenhoff KTM NED 21
12. Joel Roelants KTM BEL 20
13. Alessandro Lupino Husqvarna ITA 16
14. Harri Kullas Suzuki FIN 15
15. Aleksandr Tonkov Suzuki RUS 14
16. Nikolai Larsen Suzuki DNK 9
23. Kevin Fors Yamaha BEL 3

Circuit Length:
1750

Crowd:
23,000

Weather:
Rain

Last Years Winner:
Jeffrey Herlings

Manufacturer Standings

09/04/2012

1 KTM 50
2 Kawasaki 44
3 Honda 26
4 Suzuki 24
5 Yamaha 22
6 Husqvarna 16