The following release is from Honda...
Tiscali Honda rider Mickael Pichon gave the CRF450R Honda machine its first MX1 Grand Prix win today at Agueda, Portugal for round three of FIM series.
The most successful French motocrosser in the history of the sport and former multi world title winner scored a second place along with a moto victory to triumph overall. Pichon equalled the results of Yamaha’s Stefan Everts, but climbed the podium for the first time in 11 months by virtue of winning the second race.
In significantly better and drier conditions than the clouds and rain that had blighted the build-up to the weekend, soaking the circuit, the racing got underway on a dry, fast and rough Agueda track. Sunshine and warm temperatures helped bolster a reasonably decent attendance with over 17,000 people entering the woodland setting to watch the stars of the MX1 and MX2 series.
Pichon was a minute away from taking his third pole position in timed practice yesterday before being pipped by KTM’s Steve Ramon. He did however retain second choice in the gate and made two excellent starts, trailing Everts in the opening race and passing Joel Smets for the lead early on in the second moto, going on to dominate the 35 minute and 2 lap race distance.
CAS Honda rider Josh Coppins, who has taken podium trophies in the last two Grand Prix, looked fast all weekend but his quest for a third spray of champagne was wrecked on the first lap of the opening moto when he collided with Kenneth Gundersen and was sent crashing to the ground. The Kiwi was hit by Steve Ramon and then another bike clattered his stagnant 450 four-stroke. The 27 year old remounted and fought his way from dead last back to tenth only to despairingly run out of fuel with two laps to run after the original spill had caused a small leak. In the second race Coppins was running at a more familiar position and collected a firm if somewhat isolated third place. The DNF meant that he could only place 9th overall.
Coppins’ teammate Yoshitaka Atsuta had his best weekend of the season finishing seventh overall (12th place and 7th) and a remaining a constant presence in the top ten during both races.
Round four of the World Championships occurs in three weeks time at Valkenswaard for the Grand Prix of the Netherlands.
Mickael Pichon: “It has been eleven months since my last win and this is a very good feeling to be up here. It seems like I have been through a very long and bad period but I never gave up and was always thinking about the time I could come back to be on top of the podium. I pushed hard today and I am so happy to win. I have to thank the doctors for getting me back on my feet so quickly and my team who have worked so hard and kept believing in me when our start to the season was not so good. It is great to be with Honda and the bike is awesome. In the first moto I pushed hard to catch Stefan but the gap stayed the same. We then came to the lapped riders and I got closer but made some mistakes going past them. At that time I was happy with second and to get some serious points after last week’s disappointment. In the second race I tried really hard to get a lead and when it was up to 18 seconds I eased off and really enjoyed the last two laps.”
MX1 - Race 1 Result
1/EVERTS Stefan/BEL /YAMAHA /39:46.242/22 Laps
2/PICHON Mickael/FRA/HONDA /39:47.932/00:01.690
3/GUNDERSEN Kenneth /NOR /KTM/40:16.766/00:30.524
4/RAMON Steve/BEL /KTM/40:24.965/00:38.723
5/MELOTTE Cedric/BEL /YAMAHA /40:32.139/00:45.897
6/STRIJBOS Kevin/BEL /SUZUKI/40:33.252/00:47.010
7/COOPER Paul /GBR /HONDA /40:44.096/00:57.854
8/BURNHAM Christian/GBR /KTM/40:46.884/01:00.642
9/GARCIA VICA Javier/SPA/HONDA /40:50.501/01:04.259
10/JORGENSEN Brian/DEN/HONDA /40:54.361/01:08.119
MX1 - Race 2 Result
1/PICHON Mickael/FRA/HONDA /40:05.299/22 Laps
2/EVERTS Stefan/BEL /YAMAHA /40:26.003/00:20.704
3/COPPINS Joshua/NZL /HONDA /40:30.874/00:25.575
4/MELOTTE Cedric/BEL /YAMAHA /40:51.352/00:46.053
5/DE DIJCKER Ken/BEL /HONDA /40:56.306/00:51.007
6/RAMON Steve/BEL /KTM/40:58.725/00:53.426
7/ATSUTA Yoshitaka /JPN /HONDA /40:59.475/00:54.176
8/STRIJBOS Kevin/BEL /SUZUKI/41:00.619/00:55.320
9/GUNDERSEN Kenneth /NOR /KTM/41:16.278/01:10.979
10/GARCIA VICA Javier/SPA/HONDA /41:19.232/01:13.933
MX1 World Motocross Championship Points Standings
1/EVERTS Stefan/BEL /YAMAHA /129
2/MELOTTE Cedric/BEL /YAMAHA /103
3/RAMON Steve/BEL /KTM/102
4/COPPINS Joshua/NZL /HONDA /98
5/GUNDERSEN Kenneth /NOR /KTM/93
6/PICHON Mickael/FRA/HONDA /91
7/STRIJBOS Kevin/BEL /SUZUKI/68
8/GARCIA VICA Javier/SPA/HONDA /65
9/SMETS Joel/BEL /SUZUKI/62
10/JORGENSEN Brian/DEN/HONDA /60
MX2 - Race 1 Result
1/TOWNLEY Ben/NZL /KTM/40:21.155/22 Laps
2/DE REUVER Marc/NED/KTM/40:30.853/00:09.698
3/SWORD Stephen /GBR/Kawasaki/40:39.077/00:17.922
MX2 - Race 2 Result
1/SWORD Stephen /GBR/Kawasaki/40:11.316/22 Laps
2/TOWNLEY Ben/NZL /KTM/40:25.849/00:14.533
3/DE REUVER Marc/NED/KTM/40:59.102/00:47.786
9/VAN DAELE Marvin/BEL/Suzuki/41:14.150/01:02.834
MX2 World Motocross Championship Points Standings
1/TOWNLEY Ben/NZL /KTM/119
2/SWORD Stephen /GBR/Kawasaki/119 4/MCFARLANE Andrew/AUS/Yamaha/98