Suzuki's Mickael Pichon maintained his perfect 2003 record with a victory in today's Grand Prix of Europe in Teutschenthal, Germany.
The World Champion topped Brit Gordon Crockard by some three seconds with KTM's Joel Smets finishing third, the Belgian well clear of countryman Stefan Everts - the Yamaha man finishing fourth after qualifying on pole position yesterday.
“That was one hell of a tough race," Pichon said after winning his 12th race in a row and his third on the season. "I had to ride the inside line all the time because this circuit, with its long straights, was perfect for a four-stroke. We had made one or two changes to the engine after qualifying yesterday and I made a great start, from that point that it would be easy. After about 10 to 15 minutes I was pushing too hard and started to feel my arms getting tired. Gordon caught me and started to make some pressure so I relaxed a little bit and wanted to keep some energy for the end of the race. I was surprised not to see Stefan or Joel. I did not expect Gordon to be in contention at this GP so he rode a very good race. I did not want to let him by at any time because for a while I was almost struggling to keep on setting the pace. I knew that if I just took my time and tried to relax a little bit, have a breather, then I could make a strong finish.
"The track made life very difficult because it was very slippery from the watering and wasn’t cutting up rough at all. The 450s were much faster through the straights. I am really happy to win here because the odds were against me and I would have been happy just to have been on the podium.”
Pichon, with a perfect score of 75 points from the first three rounds, now leads the standings by 11 points over Smets.
Motocross Grand Prix Results
1. Mickael Pichon (Suzuki)
2. Gordon Crokard (Honda)
3. Joel Smets (KTM)
4. Stefan Everts (Yamaha)
5. Marnicq Bervoets (Yamaha)
6. Brian Jorgensen (Honda)
7. Claudio Federici (Yamaha)
8. Kenneth Gundersen (Kawasaki)
9. Paul Cooper (Honda)
10. Marc Ristori (Honda)