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Two Monster Energy Yamahas on Bulgarian leader-board

Monster Energy Yamaha’s David Philippaerts and Shaun Simpson took their YZ450FM motorcycles to positions inside the top ten of the Grand Prix of Bulgaria at a sunny Sevlievo circuit. 15,000 spectators came to the impressive venue that hosted the second stop of sixteen on the FIM Motocross World Championship schedule. Philippaerts posted results to claim 7th overall while Simpson was 9th at an event in which Steven Frossard was sidelined with a twisted knee.

Light showers and a slick track on Saturday were replaced by sunshine and a faster hard-pack terrain on Sunday. The layout saw many MX1 riders circulating at a similar pace on a course that was quick and didn’t pose too many technical difficulties despite the long uphill climbs and steep downhill descents and some rutty corners.

David Philippaerts rode strongly and consistently in the first moto of 35 minutes and 2 laps to record an encouraging fifth position. It was only the Italian’s third GP outing in eight months. Sadly the former world champion could not reach the same slot at the second time of asking as a crash after hitting a damp and watered area of the track put him at the back of the pack. ‘DP’ charged from last all the way to thirteenth, still an impressive feat and one that further proves Philippaerts is nearing past levels of performance.

Shaun Simpson was again regular with his speed and application in just his second Grand Prix with the YZ450F to record more points and maintain a steady trajectory. The Scot made a decent getaway in the first moto but lost some momentum in the middle of the race. Eleventh position was followed by a slightly better ride in the dusty conditions to ninth later on.

Steven Frossard was forced out of the Grand Prix after twisting his right knee during the qualification heat on Saturday. The Frenchman was found to have damaged his meniscus after scans that same evening and is set for an operation on Monday. The chances of his participation at Fermo for the Grand Prix of Italy – Philippaerts’ home event – and the third round of the series next weekend will then be determined.

David Philippaerts:

“Not much luck. I had a good race in the first and I am very happy. I felt fast on the track, was close to the other guys and was consistent with the lap-times. The track was not easy on my wrists with all the downhills but it was good. At the start of the second I got pushed wide on the first corner but came from twelfth to seventh on the first lap. After the big jump around the back of the circuit I hit a watered park of the track and lost the front. I picked up the bike and then just tried to make each lap a bit better than the one before. I think I was 32nd or something and came back to 13th so not so bad. I am really motivated…just unlucky today! Fermo next and it is two years that I’ve missed a home GP. I’m on the path back to the top after my injury and I’m happy with how it’s going so far.”

Shaun Simpson:

“I came here quite positive because I was fast here last year and the bike is much better now than the one I had so I knew I had some speed. I was looking for a good pace and lap-time and for some reason it didn’t really work out on Saturday. The track was a different story today it was harder, dustier and faster. I got a decent start in the first moto, in about eighth or ninth, and charged on to finish eleventh. It was a similar story to Valkenswaard in that I had a little dip in the middle. When you have guys like Leok and Karro behind you then it becomes tricky to get the flow. I needed to ‘go’ with someone in front of me. It was the same in the second moto and it’s something I need to work on. Overall it has been another solid and reasonably positive day for me. I want to keep up this consistency, as everyone knows you have to finish the motos to be up there at the end of the year so that’d what I am trying to do.”

2012 MX1-GP Bulgaria

Sevlievo 22/04/2012 20 Laps

race I
1 Christophe Pourcel Kawasaki FRA 39’09.159
2 Gautier Paulin Kawasaki FRA 0’05.667
3 Clement Desalle Suzuki BEL 0’07.718
4 Antonio Cairoli KTM ITA 0’08.467
5 David Philippaerts Yamaha ITA 0’20.631
6 Xavier Boog Kawasaki FRA 0’21.770
7 Ken De Dycker KTM BEL 0’36.027
8 Evgeny Bobryshev Honda RUS 0’44.249
9 Rui Goncalves Honda POR 0’44.410
10 Gregory Aranda Yamaha FRA 0’57.539
11 Shaun Simpson Yamaha GBR 1’01.820
12 Kevin Strijbos KTM BEL 1’04.228
13 Cedric Soubeyras Honda FRA 1’06.710
14 Tanel Leok Suzuki EST 1’07.600
15 Sébastien Pourcel Kawasaki FRA 1’22.297
race II
1 Gautier Paulin Kawasaki FRA 39’17.879
2 Christophe Pourcel Kawasaki FRA 0’02.247
3 Antonio Cairoli KTM ITA 0’23.189
4 Ken De Dycker KTM BEL 0’26.379
5 Evgeny Bobryshev Honda RUS 0’29.251
6 Sébastien Pourcel Kawasaki FRA 0’29.975
7 Xavier Boog Kawasaki FRA 0’31.978
8 Tanel Leok Suzuki EST 1’05.762
9 Shaun Simpson Yamaha GBR 1’07.483
10 Kevin Strijbos KTM BEL 1’08.192
11 Davide Guarneri KTM ITA 1’11.770
12 Jonathan Barragan Honda ESP 1’27.322
13 David Philippaerts Yamaha ITA 1’35.970
14 Cedric Soubeyras Honda FRA 1’46.591
15 Dean Ferris Kawasaki AUS 1’50.364
20 Herjan Brakke Yamaha NED -1Laps

MX1-GP World Standing

Rider Standings After Race 2 of 16

1. Antonio Cairoli KTM ITA 88
2. Gautier Paulin Kawasaki FRA 79
3. Clement Desalle Suzuki BEL 67
4. Ken De Dycker KTM BEL 63
5. Christophe Pourcel Kawasaki FRA 59
6. Kevin Strijbos KTM BEL 51
7. Xavier Boog Kawasaki FRA 49
8. Shaun Simpson Yamaha GBR 45
9. David Philippaerts Yamaha ITA 44
10. Tanel Leok Suzuki EST 42
11. Rui Goncalves Honda POR 41
12. Steven Frossard Yamaha FRA 40
13. Evgeny Bobryshev Honda RUS 38
14. Jonathan Barragan Honda ESP 26
15. Sébastien Pourcel Kawasaki FRA 24
16. Davide Guarneri KTM ITA 22
21. Gregory Aranda Yamaha FRA 11
24. Herjan Brakke Yamaha NED 6

Circuit Length:

15, 000


Last Years Winner:
Clement Desalle

Manufacturer Standings


1 KTM 88
2 Kawasaki 82
3 Suzuki 77
4 Yamaha 68
5 Honda 58
6 TM 1

Fast debut by Leib in Bulgaria

Monster Energy Yamaha were able to count on the pace and determination of American Michael Leib at Sevlievo for the Grand Prix of Bulgaria and the 20 year old proved his own abilities and the potential of the agile 2012 YZ250F by taking the bike to twelfth overall despite not having ridden the machine until the first practice session.

Leib was drafted into the team last week alongside Mel Pocock and boost the Yamaha entry that is still feeling the injury effects of Zach Osborne, Arnaud Tonus and Christophe Charlier. Poor weather in the UK meant he couldn’t ride the bike until Saturday morning but adapted quickly and even clocked the fastest time in Sunday morning warm-up.

Leib made two reasonable starts and set lap-times that would have given him a comfortable slot higher up the leader-board. Tenth position in the first moto was complimented by an eleventh later in the afternoon as the Yamaha man tired towards the end of the race purely due to his efforts concentrated in shorter supercross main events so far in 2012. Leib will be back in action for round three in Italy next week and will be testing with the team on Thursday.

Mel Pocock was lucky to escape injury in the first moto when he was struck by a falling Jose Butron and dumped on the ground. The MX2 British Championship leader was able to remount and recover from last position to seventeenth. Fifteenth in the second race allowed the same overall ranking in the MX2 classification.

Christophe Charlier is hopeful of being able to ride for the first time in the coming days and since breaking his foot one week before the opening round of the season. The Frenchman could possibly return to competitive action for the Grand Prix of Italy at Fermo next weekend.

Michael Leib:

“It was tougher than I expected. I flew over to England on Wednesday, jumped on a plane again on Friday and didn’t get on the bike until Saturday morning. I started in the wrong gear for the first moto and that was stupid on my part. I got going about ten or fifteen minutes through and rode really well. In the second race I didn’t have anything left in the tank because all I’ve been doing is riding and testing for Supercross. Anyway I got my feet wet and now we’ll head off to Italy. I’m super-stoked that Steve Dixon and Monster Energy Yamaha gave me the chance to come out here and race and hopefully we’ll put on a good show in Fermo.”

Mel Pocock:

“I had a decent start in the first moto but was then properly taken out by someone. They hit me from behind and sent the bike flying out of my hands. I was thirty seconds back and in last place and managed to fight my way back up to seventeenth, which wasn’t too bad. The second race was kind of like a procession. I felt like a hamster running around on a wheel out there! The same lines, same corners, same ruts. I was behind Michael for most of the race but then I made a small mistake which let the group of riders catch me. This isn’t my favourite track on the list but I’m in one piece and ready to go to Italy. My mind is set on these three GPs and the Europeans. I am leading the British Championship, which I am really happy about and will hope to extend my lead in two weeks.”

2012 MX2-GP Bulgaria

Sevlievo 22/04/2012 20 Laps

race I
1 Joel Roelants Kawasaki BEL 39’43.795
2 Jeffrey Herlings KTM NED 0’09.286
3 Tommy Searle Kawasaki GBR 0’17.680
4 Jeremy Van Horebeek KTM BEL 0’24.904
5 Harri Kullas Suzuki FIN 0’39.615
6 Max Anstie Honda GBR 0’44.290
7 Jake Nicholls KTM GBR 0’50.642
8 Dylan Ferrandis Kawasaki FRA 0’53.251
9 Jordi Tixier KTM FRA 0’54.123
10 Michael Leib Yamaha USA 1’09.346
11 Aleksandr Tonkov Honda RUS 1’14.335
12 Petar Petrov Suzuki BGR 1’16.367
13 Jose Antonio Butron KTM ESP 1’20.415
14 Alessandro Lupino Husqvarna ITA 1’30.363
15 Nikolai Larsen Suzuki DNK 1’53.499
17 Mel Pocock Yamaha GBR -1Laps
18 Kevin Fors Yamaha BEL -1Laps
race II
1 Tommy Searle Kawasaki GBR 39’24.388
2 Jeffrey Herlings KTM NED 0’02.231
3 Jeremy Van Horebeek KTM BEL 0’43.372
4 Joel Roelants Kawasaki BEL 0’52.201
5 Max Anstie Honda GBR 0’59.616
6 Alessandro Lupino Husqvarna ITA 1’18.428
7 Jose Antonio Butron KTM ESP 1’23.833
8 Aleksandr Tonkov Honda RUS 1’26.744
9 Harri Kullas Suzuki FIN 1’29.499
10 Dylan Ferrandis Kawasaki FRA 1’29.660
11 Michael Leib Yamaha USA 1’37.411
12 Jake Nicholls KTM GBR 1’41.665
13 Petar Petrov Suzuki BGR 1’44.471
14 Jordi Tixier KTM FRA 1’46.104
15 Mel Pocock Yamaha GBR 1’58.062

MX2-GP World Standing

Rider Standings After Race 2 of 16

1. Jeffrey Herlings KTM NED 94
2. Tommy Searle Kawasaki GBR 87
3. Joel Roelants Kawasaki BEL 85
4. Jeremy Van Horebeek KTM BEL 74
5. Max Anstie Honda GBR 57
6. Jake Nicholls KTM GBR 51
7. Dylan Ferrandis Kawasaki FRA 48
8. Jordi Tixier KTM FRA 48
9. Harri Kullas Suzuki FIN 43
10. Alessandro Lupino Husqvarna ITA 38
11. Mel Pocock Yamaha GBR 32
12. Petar Petrov Suzuki BGR 24
13. Aleksandr Tonkov Honda RUS 24
14. Valentin Teillet Kawasaki FRA 23
15. Jose Antonio Butron KTM ESP 22
16. Michael Leib Yamaha USA 21
23. Kevin Fors Yamaha BEL 6

Circuit Length:



Last Years Winner:
Ken Roczen

Manufacturer Standings


1 Kawasaki 94
2 KTM 94
3 Honda 57
4 Suzuki 52
5 Yamaha 43
6 Husqvarna 38

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