Pichon launches 2005 season with pole position

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Organized two weeks later than usual, Zolder initiated the Motocross World Championship under perfect conditions today, with sun and warm temperatures (23°C). Built within two weeks, the track was challenging and most of the riders enjoyed it.


Mickael Pichon as normal dominated the MX1 qualifying session. The Honda rider made only seven laps during the thirty minutes session but secured a really fast time in his second attempt. Most of his rivals registered ten to thirteen circulations, but couldn’t catch the Frenchman who started the season as he ended the last. “This track is pretty difficult and it’s really easy to do a mistake. You have to be focused when you do a fast lap and when I ended my pole time I knew that I had made a couple of mistakes but I also knew that it was a good lap. I did it pretty early in the session and I didn’t need to do another one as nobody beat me,” said Pichon who sustained a small knee injury in a start practice incident. “I hurt a bump and had terrible pain in my knee during a few seconds, and I was really afraid. Hopefully it’s not a serious injury,” added the most successful French rider in history of GP racing later. Second and third, Steve Ramon and Ben Townley obtained good results and confirmed their great form, while the surprising Ken De Dycker (4th) and Marvin Van Daele (6th) got their best ever qualifying standings. “I’m not as surprised as other people,” said five times World Champion Joel Smets. “I have known them for a long time and they are good riders, I even think that Van Daele could be the revelation of the season,” added the Suzuki representative, fifth in this session. Only ninth aboard his factory Yamaha, Stefan Everts never found a good rhythm during the session. “The free practice were good but I was trying too hard in the qualifying session. I tried and tried, went for a last lap but I missed a bump and couldn’t improve my time. It’s not so good but I’m not really disappointed, the position is OK if you’re in the top ten and tomorrow the race will be forty minutes, not one lap,” confirmed the World Champion.


Tyla Rattray was impressive in the first MX2 qualifying race, coming back to the lead and winning easily. American Mike Brown fronted the pack on the opening laps but had ignition problems and finished fifth; Andrew McFarlane, Cedric Melotte and Stephen Sword battled during most of the race for the following places. In the second qualifying heat Christophe Pourcel started well but finally Antonio Cairoli and Alessio Chiodi passed him to secure an Italian 1-2.


Sunday the MX2 races are scheduled at 12.05 and 3.02, while the MX1 races will start at 1.05 and 4.05.


Information and results on www.motocrossmx1.com, the official website of the Motocross World Championships.


Info Mediapress – Pascal Haudiquert, photo Mx2k.com

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