Pourcel, Cairoli Top Portugese GP

Kit Palmer | April 28, 2008

The Portuguese Grand Prix saw two Italians, David Philippaerts (MX1) and Antonio Cairoli (MX2), clinch the World Championship lead at the end of an eventful weekend.

The MX1 Grand Prix was won by Sebastien Pourcel to close a perfect weekend, as he clocked also the pole on Saturday. Philippaerts was second overall, while countryman Cairoli won the MX2 Grand Prix from KTM fellow riders Tyla Rattray and Tommy Searle

MX1 GPKR’s Sebastien Pourcel dominated from day one, as the Frenchman took Saturday’s pole and free practice sessions. Yamaha Monster Motocross’ David Philippaerts took his second consecutive podium to move up to the series lead, collecting his first career red plate. Philippaerts saw teammate Josh Coppins rounding off the rostrum.

This was Coppins’ first podium and it came after the unexpected overtaking of Teka Suzuki WMX1’s Steve Ramon. After Coppins moved past him, the reigning Champion dropped down to fifth overall behind AXO KTM Silver Action’s Jonathan Barragan. CAS Honda’s Billy Mackenzie ended sixth overall, after leading in both motos but eventually crashing. Teka Suzuki WMX1’s De Dycker ended 19th, as he rode with a throttle hand injury and crashed in several occasions.

Top five overall:

1. Sebastien Pourcel (FRA, Kawasaki), 47 points; 2. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), 47 p.; 3. Joshua Coppins (NZL, Yamaha), 36 p.; 4. Jonathan Barragan (ESP, KTM), 34 p.; 5. Steve Ramon (BEL, Suzuki), 33 p.

MX2 Yamaha Red Bull De Carli’s Tony Cairoli moved back up to where he was at the end of 2007 courtesy of two stunning moto victories at the Portuguese Grand Prix. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing teammates rounded off the podium with Tyla Rattray second and Tommy Searle third. The latter came back to the podium at the venue of his first 2007 podium but was snatched the second place overall by Rattray’s overtaking in the final heat. A solid Stephen Sword from Molson Kawasaki Racing ended fourth overall ahead of Ricci Racing Yamaha’s Nicolas Aubin who roundied out the top five. Home rider Rui Goncalves ended a positive sixth.

Top five overall: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, Yamaha), 50 points; 2. Tyla Rattray (RSA, KTM), 42 p.; 3. Tommy Searle (GBR, KTM), 42 p.; 4. Stephen Sword (GBR, Kawasaki), 34 p.; 5. Nicolas Aubin (FRA, Yamaha), 31 p.

David Philippaerts has now moved up to first in the MX1 points standings, being the first Italian to ever lead the category. Ramon keeps the runner up spot with Coppins coming up in third. Mackenzie moved up one position to sit on the fourth spot ahead of De Dycker, fifth. Nagl is sixth with Barragan moving from 12th to seventh and Pourcel from 26th to eighth.

Top five MX1: 1. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), 102 points; 2. Steve Ramon (BEL, Suzuki), 96 p.; 3. Joshua Coppins (NZL, Yamaha), 83 p.; 4. Billy Mackenzie (GBR, Honda), 79 p.; 5. Ken de Dycker (BEL, Suzuki), 77 p.

Tony Cairoli leads the MX2 point standings with a five point advantage over former leader and current runner up Rattray. Searle moved up to third with Guarneri slipping in fourth ahead of fifth placed Goncalves. Sword moved from ninth to sixth courtesy of another positive result.

Top five MX2: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, Yamaha), 126 points; 2. Tyla Rattray (RSA, KTM), 121 p.; 3. Tommy Searle (GBR, KTM), 102 p.; 4. Davide Guarneri (ITA, Yamaha), 86 p.; 5. Rui Goncalves (POR, KTM), 81 p.

Kit Palmer | Off-Road Editor

Kit Palmer started his career at Cycle News in 1984 and he’s been testing dirt and streetbikes every since – plus covering any event that uses some form of a knobby tire. He’s also our resident motorcycle mileage man with a commute of 120 miles a day.