Moto Media
James Stewart

First appearance of GP riders last weekend in Mantova and Valence

Mantova and Valence were the sceneries chosen by most of the 2011 Grand Prix riders to show for the first time this year their new machines and official gears. Although the weather tried to overshadow riders’ performance with lots of rain, the fans who were present in the Italian and French track could enjoy a superb weekend of racing, which was clearly dominated by Monster Energy Yamaha with David Philippaerts and Gautier Paulin winning the MX1 and MX2 respectively in Mantova and Steven Frossard obtaining the Superfinal victory in Valence.

In Italy Monster Energy Yamaha’s Philippaerts finished first in the three races of the Starcross of Mantova, being always closely followed by TM Racing Factory Team’s Tanel Leok, who was second overall in the MX1 category and proved he is 100% adapted to his new machine. Third was Anthony Boissiere with a 5-4-5 result. Strijbos, who was fourth overall in the MX1 class, won the Airoh Cup 1 against 1.

Other Monster Energy Yamaha rider Paulin was at the top of the MX2 classification in Mantova and he also showed his extraordinary qualities finishing fourth in the first race and third in the last two motos, placing his 250cc Yamaha on the top of the standings riding against the 450cc. Second and third were KTM Silver Action’s Butrón and Monster Energy Yamaha’s Kullas respectively, who are both very young talents to take into account for this 2011 MX2 World Championship.

Meanwhile, in the South of France, Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1’s Desalle, who was the runner-up of the 2010 MX1 World Championship, won the two MX1 races but could only be third in the Superfinal, behind winner Frossard and home rider Pourcel, who were second and third respectively in the overall MX1 classification. For Monster Energy Yamaha’s Frossard was his first ride on the Yamaha and he showed his potential to conquer more GP’s in this 2011 season. On the other hand, Kawasaki Racing Team’s Pourcel proved that his third overall result in Fermo during the last GP of the 2010 World Championship was not a coincidence, and raced at the front during all the heats in Valence and he even fought for the lead against Desalle in the second moto. Unfortunately, Pourcel’s teammate, Xavier Boog, got injured during the first race and will be away of the tracks for several weeks due to a crack in his left tibia.

Bike-it Cosworth Wild Wolf Yamaha’s Tonus was one of the protagonists of the International Motocross of Valence being first in the MX2 overall classification and finishing fourth in the Superfinal behind the three 450cc machines of Frossard, Pourcel and Desalle. KTM HDI MX Team’s Aubin won the second race of MX2 and obtained an overall second position in the MX2 class, showing that he is fully fit again after his injury suffered in the last 2010 GP in Fermo. The third step of the MX2 podium was for MVR-D Honda’s Karro, who was followed by the 2010 UEM EMX 125 European Champion Tixier, who will be one of the riders to follow in the upcoming 2011 MX2 World Championship.

Now it is a training period where all the officially approved teams of the Motocross World Championship have time to make their last modifications in the settings of their bikes. However, in six weeks time, all these teams and their riders will have to face their first real challenge in the Bulgarian track of Sevlievo, where it will be hosted the first Grand Prix of the 2011 Motocross World Championship.

   Philippaerts during his performance in the Starcross of Mantova, Italy.  Courtesy of Youthstream.