Temperature Rises in Lierop for Pentultimate Round of 2008
FUNCHAL (PORTUGAL), 3 September 2008 – The pressure is rising for the final two rounds of the MX1 and MX2 Championships as none of the Titles has been taken yet and a handful of riders still have a chance to go for it.
In the MX1 class David Philippaerts kept the red plate after last weekend’s race in Dublin but runner up Steve Ramon chipped away at the gap while Ken de Dycker made up a few points and is now third.
MX2 series leader Tyla Rattray increased his advantage over Tommy Searle as he exploited the latter’s bad qualifying result but the duo is still set to battle again for the lead.
Lierop will also put an end to the Women’s Motocross World Championship where Livia Lancelot is currently leading from Steffi Laier.
David Philippaerts saw Steve Ramon close in after Dublin’s GP.
Tanel Leok’s astonishing victory in Fairyhouse last weekend, his first ever GP win, has taken the eyes off the wrestle for the MX1 title for a moment but when the Kawasaki Racing rider was joined on the podium by Teka Suzuki Factory Team mates Ken de Dycker and Steve Ramon the focus went back to the points standings.
Yamaha Monster Motocross’ David Philippaerts still leads even though Ramon gained two points and is now just five lengths adrift. In last year’s Grand Prix in Lierop Philippaerts took a disappointing 14th overall while Ramon sealed the title with third.
Ramon might receive help from team mate De Dycker who moved up to third in the standings and can steal some points from Philippaerts by placing himself ahead of the Italian.
Steve Ramon won his first ever MX1 title last year at Lierop.
On the other hand other Yamaha Monster Motocross rider Joshua Coppins had a tough Irish GP, going down in heat one and tangling up with another rider in heat two to damage the bike and dnf. The Kiwi dropped to fifth in the standings with a gap of 59 points from the lead.
AXO KTM Silver Action’s Jonathan Barragan is fourth as news about his 2009 season might be announced this weekend in the Netherlands.
Honda factory riders Billy Mackenzie of CAS Honda and Marc de Reuver of Martin Honda also look forward to this penultimate round of the series. The Brit rode strong in Fairyhouse while sand specialist De Reuver has positive memories of Lierop 2007 when he collected his first and only podium of his MX1 debut season courtesy of an incredible final heat – making up ground on Kevin Strijbos and eventually beating him.
Anything can happen in motorcycling and that is what Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tommy Searle said after his back brake problem happening when he was on route for a comfortable qualifying heat win on Saturday at Fairyhouse.
Exploiting his team mate’s 25th place on the gate, Tyla Rattray pulled away as much as he could and won the GP from Searle by seven points as the Brit is now 27 points behind in the Championship.
Tyla Rattray increased his Championship lead over team mate Tommy Searle last weekend.
With the duo having lost Yamaha Red Bull De Carli’s Tony Cairoli in Nelspruit, Yamaha fellow rider Zach Osborne of Utag-Yamaha.com came out on top of the opening moto’s classification before a dnf in heat two hampered his overall result.
Entering the series only at Lommel the young American is now back to another sandy course where he would like to make progress compared to the 14th overall place he took in Belgium last month.
Ricci Racing Yamaha’s Nicolas Aubin is fourth in the Championship with a slight gap of 14 points from injured Cairoli; the Frenchman is not the only one aiming at the third place because KTM UK’s Shaun Simpson and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Rui Goncalves follow from a short distance.
In case one of these two will take third in the Championship the Austrian manufacturer now leading the manufacturers’ standings will take the top three spots in the MX2 Championship and celebrate the achievement along with the first title since the start of the Stefan Everts team management era.
After taking his second career’s podium at Fairyhouse CLS’ Steven Frossard stated that Lierop will be a tough one as sand is not his favourite race ground while Kawasaki fellow rider and last year’s podium finisher Gareth Swanepoel aims at a strong result for what will be his second GP of the season after last weekend’s comeback.
Gareth Swanepoel aims at a consistent result in Lierop.
DE HERSELSE BOSSEN AND LIEROP
After Valkenswaard and Lommel, the De Herselse Bossen track is another sandy venue in the World Motocross calendar. The venue hosted its first Grand Prix back in 1996 (500cc class) and it is more than a classical Dutch sandy course; the start straight is always covered in grass while there is a part of the track going through a forest. The whole layout and the ground are very demanding as a good physical challenge will add to the mounting mental pressure of the final two rounds of the MX1 and MX2 series. Among last year’s winners are Kevin Strijbos (MX1), Antonio Cairoli (MX2) and Katherine Prumm (Women).
The first corner in Lierop 2007.
Lierop is one of four community villages that form the municipality of Someren, a sort of natural paradise with its 1.615 hectares of woods, natural grounds and plantation landscape on which windmills, chapels and several other monuments are part of the beautiful Dutch scenery. Lierop is a quiet town at 20 kilometres from Eindhoven and 150 kilometres North of lively Amsterdam.
THE EVENT’S SCHEDULE
Saturday September 6: Women’s World Championship Free Practice 1 at 9:00 am; MX2 Free Practice at 10:00 am; MX1 Free Practice 1 at 11:00 am; MX2 Pre-Qualifying Practice at 12:00 am; Women’s World Championship Free Practice 2 at 1:15 pm; MX1 Free Practice 2 at 2:00 pm; MX2 Qualifying Race 1 at 3:00 pm; MX2 Qualifying Race 2 at 3:45 pm; MX1 Time Practice at 4:30 pm; MX2 Last Chance Qualifying Practice at 5:15 pm; Women’s World Championship Time Practice at 6:00 pm (local time).
Sunday September 7: Women’s World Championship Warm-up at 9:00 am; MX2 Warm-up at 9:30 am; MX1 Warm-up at 10:00 am; Women’s World Championship Race 1 at 11:10 am; MX2 Grand Prix Race 1 at 12:10 am; MX1 Grand Prix Race 1 at 1:10 pm; Women’s World Championship Race 2 at 2:10 pm; MX2 Grand Prix Race 2 at 3:03 pm; MX1 Grand Prix Race 2 at 4:03 pm (local time).
Information, photos and results are online at www.motocrossMX1.com, the official website of the FIM Motocross World Championships.
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