A warm weekend in Agueda, Portugal marked round three of the FIM World Motocross Championships. Once again, New Zealander Josh Coppins was a dominant factor in the premier class, taking the first MX1 win, but the overall victory wasn't to be his. Dealing with an injured toe and groin, Coppins wasn't quite strong enough to wrestle the second moto away from Suzuki's Kevin Strijbos, who went 2-1 for the overall - his first of the season.
Above: Series leader Josh Coppins (6) battles with Kevin Strijbos (2) off the start.
"This feels good, for sure," Strijbos said. "The first moto was hard; Josh (Coppins) was faster and I couldn't follow. But in the last race, I had good speed and put my head down. I really wanted that win. It was important that I passed Josh back in the same lap. I was happy with that."
Series points leader Coppins matched Strijbos in points, so although he took second overall, didn't lose any points to the Belgian.
"I had some problems this weekend and couldn't really ride how I wanted," Coppins said. "I tried not to think of the pain and did the best I could under the circumstances. I haven't lost any points in the championship, but it still would have been better to keep the winning streak going."
In the MX2 class, Cairoli pretty much walked away with another victory with a 1-1 score. But at one point in the second moto, it looked like the overall might go to Kawasaki's Christophe Pourcel. Cairoli went down, leaving Pourcel way out front. But the rough track took its toll on even the smoothest of riders, as evidenced by Pourcel's crash. Cairoli went on to finish the race first, while Pourcel took a DNF for 11th overall.
"I am happy to win this race," Cairoli said. "I have a big points lead now."
"Pourcel was a long way ahead," Cairoli said of the second moto. "But I believed that I could still catch him until I crashed. And then I was just looking at second. The bike had some damage and the handlebar was a little bit bent. But when I saw Pourcel crash, I pushed again for the win and got rewarded."
"I had the race under control when I crashed on a jump," Pourcel lamented. "That's racing. Today I crashed and Tyla (Rattray, who also DNF the second moto) broke his bike, and tomorrow will be different. It wasn't a good day, even though I was lucky as I didn't get injured in this crash."
Results: GP of Portugal
MX1 Moto1: 1. Joshua Coppins (Hon); 2. Kevin Strijbos (Suz); 3. Davide Philippaerts (KTM); 4. Tanel Leok (Kaw); 5. James Noble (Hon); 6. Manuel Priem (TM); 7. Ken De Dycker (Hon); 8. Kornel Nemeth (Suz); 9. Mike Brown (Hon); 10. Sebastien Pourcel (Kaw); 11. Steve Ramon (Suz); 12. Marvin Van Daele (Hon); 13. Jonatahan Barragan (KTM); 14. Marc De Reuver (Yam); 15. Clement Desalle (Suz).
MX1 Moto2: 1. Kevin Strijbos (Suz); 2. Joshua Coppins (Yam); 3. Sebastien Pourcel (Kaw); 4. Manuel Priem (TM); 5. Davide Philippaerts (KTM); 6. Thomas Allier (Yam); 7. Mike Brown (Hon); 8. Steve Ramon (Suz); 9. Billy MacKenzie (Kaw); 10. Kornel Nemeth (Suz); 11. Marvin Van Daele (Hon); 12. Ken De Dycker (Hon); 13. Aigar Leo (Yam); 14. Jonathan Barragan (KTM); 15. Pierre Renet (Hon).
MX1 O/A: 1. Kevin Strijbos (47); 2. Joshua Coppins (47); 3. Davide Philippaerts (36); 4. Manuel Priem (33); 5. Sebastien Pourcel (31); 6. Mike Brown (26); 7. Kornel Nemeth (24); 8. Steve Ramon (23); 9. Ken De Dycker (23); 10. James Noble (21).
FIM WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP MX1 SERIES POINTS STANDINGS (After 3 of 15 rounds): 1. Joshua Coppins (144/2 wins); 2. Kevin Strijbos (125/1 win); 3. Jonathan Barragan (89); 4. Steve Ramon (86); 5. Ken De Dycker (84); 6. Sebastien Pourcel (67); 7. Max Nagl (63); 8. Davide Philippaerts (62); 9. Mike Brown (62); 10. Manuel Priem (61).
MX2 Moto 1: 1. Antonio Cairoli (Yam); 2. Christophe Pourcel (Kaw); 3. Tommy Searle (KTM); 4. Gareth Swaenepoel (Kaw); 5. Tyla Rattray (KTM); 6. Matteo Bonini (Yam); 7. Pascal Leuret (Hon); 8. Anthony Bossiere (Kaw); 9. Matti Seistola (Hon); 10. Manuel Monni (Yam); 11. Steven Frossard (Kaw); 12. Kenneth Gundersen (Yam); 13. Carl Nunn (Yam); 14. Xavier Boog (Hon).
MX2 Moto 2: 1. Antonio Cairoli (Yam); 2. Nicolas Aubin (Yam); 3. Pascal Leuret (Hon); 4. Antony Boissiere (Kaw); 5. Kenneth Gundersen (Yam); 6. Tommy Searle (KTM); 7. Shaun Simpson (Kaw); 8. Gareth Swaenepoel (Kaw); 9. Steven Frossard (Kaw); 10. Matteo Bonini (Yam); 11. Matti Seistola (Hon); 12. Xavier Boog (Yam); 13. Tom Church (Kaw); 14. Carl Nunn (Yam); 15. Wyatt Avis (KTM).
MX2 O/A: 1. Antonio Cairoli (50); 2. Tommy Searle (35); 3. Pascal Leuret (34); 4. Anthony Boissiere (31); 5. Gareth Swanepoel (31); 6. Matteo Bonini (26); 7. Nicolas Aubin (25); 8. Kenneth Gundersen (25); 9. Steven Frossard (22); 10. Matti Seistola (22).
FIM WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP MX2 SERIES STANDINGS (After 3 of 15 rounds): 1. Antonio Cairoli (147/3 wins); 2. Christophe Pourcel (103); 3. Tyla Rattray (98); 4. Pascal Leuret (87); 5. Tommy Searle (79); 6. Keneth Gundersen (75); 7. Garreth Swaenepoel (72); 8. Nicolas Aubin (69); 9. Matti Seistola (61); 10. Anthony Boissiere (57).