America Wins Night One

| November 9, 2002

Team USA dominated the final of the of the first night of action at the 20th running of the Bercy Supercross, held at the Palais Omnisport in the center of Paris on Friday night.

While the night saw some brilliant action in front of a sold-out crowd, the atmosphere lacked a little something. Without the Jeremy McGraths and David Vuillemins of the world, it was up to the young lions of the sport to put on the show and they didn’t let the 14,000 crowd down. As is always the case, 125cc Supercross seems to bring out wild antics and Bercy 2002 was not different.

It was American Chris Gosselaar who took the victory ahead of Rest of World rider Grant Langston, and another American Ivan Tedesco, followed by West Coast 125cc Supercross champion Travis Preston, French rider Steve Boniface, USA’s Josh Hansen, Rodrig Thain from USA, another French hero Stephane Demartis, Andrew Short, and in 10th place Rui Goncalves from Spain.

“This crowd is awesome,” Gosselaar said. “This feels as good as winning an America race. I love this place. We really had some good racing tonight, this format makes for close combat.”

The night also saw some crashes, although most walked away injury free. One of those to go down was Australian Craig Anderson. The Yamaha of Troy rider crashed hard in his heat race, then recovered to finish fourth in the semi-final, just missing a place in the final. Grand Prix rider Jeff Dement, making his debut for the Emberson Yamaha team, also made his debut at the event and he too missed the final.

“Man, I’ve read about this race and watched videos when I was like six-years-old,” Dement said. “This is a great place to race, I just got to get the cobwebs out and got for it tomorrow night.”

The “Frenchies” did the show in the qualifying races, as Eric Sorby, Mickaël Maschio and Steve Boniface led each race. But Maschio lost his leadership when he missed a gear in the tunnel, while Sorby and Boniface easily won their qualifying race, beating Preston and Stéphane Demartis. Broc Sellards finally won the second qualifying race, followed by Gosselaar.

Rodrig Thain got the holeshot in the main event, followed by Gosselaar and Langston while Rodrigues and Short crashed in the first corner. Thain rode a great race, leading the main for six laps, but Gosselaar excecuted a block pass and took the lead. Thain lost time during all of this, and Langston, Sellards and Tedesco also passed him. Sorby (mechanical problem) and Walker (crash) lost their chances for top finishes.

Langston pushed hard behind Gosselaar, but the Honda rider had the race under control and took the win, followed by Langston and Tedesco. Sellards and Walker also crashed in the second part of the race, and Preston finished fourth followed by Boniface and Hansen. For the team classification USA is leading, followed by France and rest of the world.

Results 20th Bercy Supercross:

Race one : 1.Sorby (Fra, Kawasaki) ; 2.Preston (USA, Honda) ; 3.Thain (Fra, HVA) ; 4.Short (USA, Suzuki)

Race two : 1.Sellards (USA, Yamaha) ; 2.Gosselaar (USA, Honda) ; 3.Hansen (USA, Yamaha) ; 4.Leuret (Fra, KTM)

Race three : 1.Boniface (Fra, KTM) ; 2.Demartis (Fra, Yamaha); 3.Laninovich (USA, KTM); 4.Langston (RSA, KTM)

First semi-final: 1.Morais (USA, Suzuki); 2.Guidetty (Fra, Yamaha); 3.Gonçalves (Por, Yamaha)

Second semi-final: 1.Tedesco (USA, Yamaha); 2.Walker (USA, Kawasaki); 3.Rodrigues (Por, KTM)

Final: 1.Gosselaar; 2.Langston; 3.Tedesco; 4.Preston; 5.Boniface; 6.Hansen; 7.Thain; 8.Demartis; 9.Short; 10.Gonçalves; 11.Leuret; 12.Laninovich; 13.Guidetty; 14.Rodrigues; 15.Sellards; 16.Sorby; 17.Walker; 18.Morais.

By Freelance