Pichon – World Champion!

Paul Carruthers | August 18, 2002

Suzuki’s Mickael Pichon scored his second straight 250cc World Championship with a victory today in the German Grand Prix in Gaildorf. Pichon topped Honda-mounted Pit Beirer and Yamaha’s Frederic Bolley.

With two rounds remaining in the series, Pichon has an unmatchable 238 points after 10 rounds.

“I knew that if I kept up with [Alessio] Chiodi I could take the lead, he would tire or make a mistake and I would get out in front,” said Pichon in a release issued by Honda. “I was a little cautious as the bike was running too lean and I could hear it detonating. I kept my lead and held enough points to take the world title, it’s nice to have the pressure off now and of course to be World Champion. It’s not the same feeling as last year when I won my first title here at this same track, your first title I think leaves you special memories and emotions.”

Kiwi Joshua Coppins rode his CR250 to fourth place.

Belgian Joel Smets rode his KTM to victory in the 500cc GP, besting countryman Stefan Everts. Everts, who now has a 40-point lead in the World 500cc Championship, held the lead for 12 of the 21 laps on the hillside circuit at Gaildorf. Smets was too strong and his determination showed as he went onto open up a nine-second lead over the reigning champion. Smets moves to third position in the points classification with 182 points, now only four points behind second placed Marnicq Bervoets – Everts’ Yamaha teammate. Frenchman Yves Demaria (KTM) joined Smets and Everts on the podium.

“Stefan and I came together off the start line, I bike put too much power down and we touched,” Smets said. “I was almost knocked off the track but Everts managed to hold his bike straight but I was left back in 10 or 12th position, that really motivated me to catch Stefan. I pulled in a second or more per lap and I think I was the stronger rider of the two here, I just wanted to show him that there might only be two rounds remaining but he hasn’t claimed the title yet, I will put in a fight to the last minute of the final race.”

Kawasaki’s Mickael Maschio fought back from fourth position to take the win in the 125cc Grand Prix of Germany, the petite Frenchman now has a single point lead over the Belgian Caps and rode his Kawasaki machine to victory ahead of the three chasing KTM machines of Caps, Ramon and Sword. American Jeff Dement rode his Honda to seventh position and is lying in eighth position in the championship.

Paul Carruthers | Editor

Paul Carruthers took over as the editor of Cycle News in 1993 after serving as associate editor since starting his career at the publication in 1985. Carruthers has covered every facet of the sport in his near-28-year tenure at America's Daily Motorcycle News Source.