The Spanish Grand Prix yesterday was one of the toughest races ever seen by the Motocross circus; it started to rain in the middle of the night and it carried on during the entire day, making the competition even tougher than it would have been.
On a very wet and muddy Bellpuig course, Steve Ramon took his first career MX1 class victory, while Davide Guarneri sealed his second MX2 GP win of his career. A strong Toine van Dijk won the opening round of the FIM Veterans Motocross World Cup.
Defending MX1 World Champion, Ramon, of Teka Suzuki WMX1, took his maiden MX1 overall win at the end of an extremely hard first moto; the second moto was cancelled after the Event Management’s decision due to the weather conditions. Yamaha Monster Motocross’ David Philippaerts was second on the podium, stepping on the rostrum for the first time since he mounted on the factory Yamaha machine. The podium was completed by current series leader Ken de Dycker of Teka Suzuki WMX1, while Yamaha Motocross’ Josh Coppins and Kawasaki Racing’s Tanel Leok completed the top five.
Ricci Racing Yamaha’s Davide Guarneri proved an incredibly strong competitor by winning his second Grand Prix despite a broken ligament in his right collarbone. The Italian was followed by countryman and Yamaha fellow rider Manuel Monni of 3C Racing, with the latter collecting his second career podium after his first appearance in Gaildorf 2005. Molson Kawasaki Racing’s Stephen Sword was another rider coming back to the podium in third after he spent most of the 2006 and 2007 seasons off racing due to injuries. Reigning MX2 Champion Tony Cairoli of Yamaha Red Bull De Carli and current series leader Tyla Rattray of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing completed the top five.
In the MX1 class, Ken de Dycker still holds the red (series-leading) plate with teammate Ramon following in second, just seven points behind. David Philippaerts has moved up to third ahead of teammate Josh Coppins. Billy Mackenzie dropped down to fifth.
In the MX2 class, Tyla Rattray keeps the leadership, but Cairoli has shortened up the gap, which is now three points. Guarneri jumped up to third courtesy of his victory, while teammates Tommy Searle and Rui Goncalves round off the top five.
Courtesy of his win in the second heat, Dutchman Toine van Dijk took the overall victory of this first round of the 2008 FIM Veterans Motocross World Cup. Ending a disappointing 10th in heat one, Van Dijk went out for revenge in the second moto, leaving 2007 World Cup winner Dave Thorpe behind in second. Second on the podium was British Scott Eastwood, who ended second in heat one and sixth in heat two, to collect his first podium finish in the series.
2006 World Cup winner Thierry Godfroid made a stunning comeback to racing after he injured himself at Donington Park last year. After several months off the bike, the Belgian came back to action ending the moto’s in sixth and fourth.
Poleman Peter Iven ended fourth overall, while first-moto winner and sole CCM rider Greg Hanson ended right behind in fifth, as his second moto was compromised when another rider hit him.
Dave Thorpe was ninth after a difficult opening moto; he was second behind Iven when the latter crashed and Thorpe could not avoid him.
Ending 20th, former GP winner Chuck Sun had a tough debut on a difficult track where he never rode before, while 2007 World Cup winner Cooksley ended 25th. At the end of this second of 15 rounds of the FIM Motocross World Championship, FIM/CMS President Dr. Wolfgang Srb, said of having to cancel the second MX1 moto, “The situation was very difficult, everyone tried their utmost to run this event but what we finally learned is that the nature is always stronger, there is nothing we can do against it. We have done all we could, everyone has worked extremely hard to make it happen, but the nature was stronger than all our efforts. The decision taken by the event management was good, the riders’ safety always comes first.”
Youthstream President Mr. Giuseppe Luongo, said, “This was a wise decision; we have all the experts on the race track, such as the track designer, the race director, the clerk of the course and so on. It was very difficult out there and it was right to take this decision.”