Brian and Stephen welcomed to the Gp Winners Club
The fifth round of the MX World Championship, held this weekend in Teutschenthal (Germany), confirmed that both championships are open affairs this season. Brian Jorgensen and Stephen Sword, respectively in the MX1 and MX2 classes, scored the first GP wins of their careers after some exciting racing on the fast German circuit.
The MX2 races were, as usual, frantic slices of action and provided two different winners. Chiodi got the holeshot in the first moto – Pourcel crashed in the first corner and blocked Rattray – and led the first lap, but Federici passed him while McFarlane also fell. Coming back promptly in second position, Townley took the lead in the fourth lap and maintained a safe pace from the pack. Federici, Sword, Maschio and Chiodi were fighting together behind the leader, and after a strong race Maschio took second place from his team-mate Sword.
The second race was exciting too; Chiodi took another holeshot, but once more Federici quickly passed him. After he retired in the first moto (mechanical problems at mid-race while thirteenth) De Reuver crashed early and retired, probably losing all chance of the title. At mid point of the lap, Chiodi fell when Maschio hit him after a jump…. Maschio took the lead on the second lap with Townley at his rear wheel, and after a small mistake in the fourth lap Townley moved through. Giving chase, Maschio and Sword tried to apply some pressure on the leader of the championship who crashed in a fast downhill and retired. Maschio took the lead, but was relegated by Sword later who won the heat and the Grand Prix while Federici pushed hard to finish third right behind Maschio.
Jorgensen got the holeshot in the first MX1 race, followed by Strijbos, Pichon and Everts. With an injection in both shoulders Pichon decided to race the GP after his heavy crash during the qualifying session but was unable to keep the same rhythm as his rivals. His team-mate Jorgensen coming back to the GP’s after an operation to his hand (he missed Valkenswaard) led the entire race, but had to push hard in the last minutes as Melotte was coming back strongly. Sixth at the start Melotte passed Everts early in the race and took second spot when Strijbos crashed in the fourteenth lap. As with Chiodi in MX2, Jorgensen grabbed another holeshot in the second moto, leading Gundersen, Pichon, Everts and Smets. While Jorgensen once more established a firm pace, Gundersen, Everts and Smets had a great battle for second place; Everts finally passed Gundersen at the mid-way stage, and so did Smets two laps later. Gundersen did not finish the race as he crashed in the seventeenth lap, granting Coppins and Melotte (who had a bad start) fourth and fifth positions. Once more Pichon finished in the top ten and saved precious points, showing courage and determination.
Brian Jorgensen: “I prepared really well for the winter practice, and before the first GP my goal was to race for the title. Unfortunately I start getting problems with my hand at the first GP and finally after a disappointing GP in Portugal I had an operation. I missed Valkenswaard, came here with a top five goal and it’s incredible to win my first GP with two heat wins. I made good starts, just put my head down and did the job. I had some pain in my arm at the end of the second race, but I wanted to keep the lead and that gave me some extra motivation. I want to thank my wife, my family and my team who always supported me strongly.”
Stefan Everts: “Everybody here was going really fast, I gave the maximum and I’m very happy with this result. In the first race I had some difficulties and in the second one it was really hard to pass Gundersen. Then when I overtook him Brian had made the gap, I pushed really hard but was missing just one lap. Congratulations to Brian for this GP win, he confirmed that the championship is really open and that’s good for the sport.”
Cedric Melotte: “The track was really fast today and it was a lot of work to come back to the front, including a lot of risks. In the first moto I came close to Brian but he was making a strong race and I was also thinking to the second race. I had a bad start but came back fifth in the second moto and I’m happy with these results as I’m on the podium today. For sure I’d like to be on the highest step for my son Mattéo who born last Sunday, we’ll see later this season.”
Stephen Sword: “This GP win is what I’ve been working for with the team and it’s good to take it today. When Ben crashed in the second race I knew that Mickael was leading, I changed some lines and got some good lap times. I was able to pass him and knew I had the overall, but I didn’t know that I would be leading the championship tonight. There’s still a long way to go, I must be concentrated on my goal and reach a top three every weekend to keep the championship open.”
Mickael Maschio: “I’m happy with my first podium of the season, it has been difficult for me so far. I had some technical problems earlier this year, it’s the first time we are working on a four stroke and it takes time to find the right set-up. I proved today that my motivation is always good and I think that I could have won the GP without a small problem in the second moto.”
Claudio Federici: “I had a great feeling with this track, it looks like Italy here. It’s great to be back on the podium. This winter I had a knee operation and for example I was unable to do the second race last week in Valkenswaard. In the first heat I made a wrong choice of tyre, and in the second one I was afraid not to have enough condition to finish the race. Finally after twenty minutes my shape was good and I was able to push, but I made two mistakes in the last laps and Maschio kept the second place.”
Info MediaCross, photo Mx2k (archive)