Second win in a row for Pichon
There was exactly four months that we didn’t have a muddy Grand Prix, and after a nice qualifying day the weather changed in Sweden with heavy rain and thunderstorms Saturday evening who damaged the track. With some more rain Sunday morning for the warm up, the track became worse and didn’t offered to the Scandinavian fans the best races of the year.
The first MX1 race didn’t offer any suspense, as there was mainly one line to follow on this slippery track. Kevin Strijbos got the holeshot and then controlled the entire race on his factory Suzuki, keeping his rivals three to five seconds behind him. Second, third, fourth and fifth were the same riders from the first to the last lap: Jorgensen, Pichon, Everts and Pyrhonen! “Several times I pushed to come back right behind Brian, but every time I took so much sand and earth on my face that at the end I had no more roll-off on my goggles” said Pichon who had to slow down in the last laps. Everts catches him, but then did a small mistake and crashes as he was trying to find another one line…. Strijbos had a spectacular crash at the second start, and was unable to contest the holeshot to Jorgensen and Pichon. Finally the Danish rider got it and led the first four laps; then his team-mate found a spot to pass him for the lead. Everts also catches Jorgensen, and both had a nice battle during a couple of laps. The world champion came second but crashes later in the tenth lap, giving back the second place to Jorgensen; he will got it back later, when Jorgensen did a mistake. The overall win goes to Pichon followed by Jorgensen and Everts. Coming back from last to sixth in this race Strijbos finished fourth, followed by Ramon, Kovalainen and Pyrhonen who offered to TM his best ever GP result with a fifth place in the first moto. Coppins had a disappointing week-end as a rival hit him in the first race; with a damaged clutch level he had to stop in the pits, but came back from last to thirteen. Fastest rider during the warm up Tanel Leok couldn’t confirm in the race his potential; he crashes in the first race and retires later with a steaming engine. He finishes seventh in the following heat.
Italian’s Andrea Bartolini and Alessio Chiodi grabbed both holeshot in the MX2 class, and that helped them a lot to climb on the podium of the day. With two good start and high rhythm Ben Townley was the boss today, coming to the lead in the first lap and winning easily both races. Chiodi finishes twice second, while Bartolini and Stephen Sword shares the third position; with a better result in the other race Bartolini got his first podium of the season, followed by Sword in fourth. Patrick Caps did another consistent GP and finishes fifth, followed by Jeff Dement and Antonio Cairoli. The Italian kid was involved with Tyla Rattray and other riders in a first start crash, while Mickael Maschio retires with an ignition failure in the first race. Sébastien Pourcel didn’t raced the second heat, due to his injured thumb on saturday.
Mickael Pichon. “Yesterday I made a little mistake and had a pretty big crash, I was lucky not to injure again my shoulder. I was not so happy last night to see the rain coming; I knew that it would be a one-line track today. In the first moto my start was not so bad but I was pretty mad, as I couldn’t race my speed, I tried many times to pass Brian…. In the last laps I just secured my podium. I had a better start in the second race, but I brake a little bit too early so Brian and a Swedish rider passed me at the inside. I had a hard time again in the first two laps, Stefan was really pushing behind me. I came closer to Brian, he did some mistakes and I found a spot to pass him. Then I pushed really hard during three or four laps, I knew that Stefan was in second position but I was a little bit faster this time. He made a mistake and from that I just had to do my own race. I’m happy to win a second GP in a row, it’s good for the team who worked really hard since the beginning of the season.”
Brian Jorgensen. “It was important for me to do well here, it’s the closest GP to my home. I had an unlucky period with my damaged shoulder, I missed the overall podium in Belgium and this week-end I rode two pretty strong races to catch it. In the first race I manage to stay not so far from Kevin, my goal was to wait the end of the race; I close the gap from five to three seconds and pushes hard, but it was not possible to catch Strijbos. It was very difficult to pass, it was really important to have good start today and in both races I succeed. In the second moto I push really hard at the beginning of the race but I did two mistakes and nearly crashes. I was lucky, Mickael pass me but the most important was to prove that I can have again two consistent races.”
Stefan Everts. “Today was better than yesterday, I was happy when it was raining tonight but finally the track was really difficult to pass. I tried to pass Mickael in the first race and finally I crashed. In the second one I made again a bad start, I pushed really hard in the first laps but I was not happy with my riding today. For the championship it was not a so bad GP as I lost only five points, I’ve to be happy in that point of view. I got ten podiums in a row so far, that’s one of the things that are important for the title. Even if I never felt tired during the races I’m happy to have a break, it’s now time for Kelly to bring the baby to the world”.
Ben Townley. “The last GP’s I came to the press conference only because I had the red plate, not because I finished on the podium. I’m happy to be back on the podium, as I was very disappointed last week when I stopped in the first lap of the second race. I had a good speed here and rode consistent fast laps, I knew that with the rain the track would be more technical; even if it was one-line I found some places to pass and the conditions today suits me really well. I never think about my bike when I’m racing, I saw in the second moto Alessio, Andrea and Stephen battling together but I concentrate on my riding. My plan was to take as many points as possible, I took fifty and go back with a decent lead. That’s a perfect day for me”.
Alessio Chiodi. “I’m second overall but for me it’s like a win, as Ben is too fast! It’s coming better and better for me, last time in Italy I was third and today I’m second. May be I can expect a win in the future, if Ben has some problems… Today we got with Andrea really good starts on our RZ Yamaha, and then I took two second positions. In the first race I wait until the end of the race, I didn’t want to make an early mistake and found a spot to pass Andrea in the last two laps. In the second one I was quiet in third, but when I saw that Sword had troubles with his gear-box I took the opportunity to pass him”.
Andrea Bartolini. “I’m happy to get my first podium today. It’s my last season of racing but I’m really unlucky this year, I crash in Germany, Italy, also at home on my bicycle… I wanted to get at least one podium this year, and I took it today. I had two good start here, my confidence is now stronger and I think that I can get some other top results in the following races”.