Everts and Cairoli survive the German mud
There are some events that riders, mechanics, photographers or spectators keep in mind for a long time and Gaildorf 2005 will be one of them, as well as Foxhill 1999! The rain completely ruined the track Saturday night and when some of the riders went for the warm-up they realized that it would be a “survivors affair” for this final Grand Prix in Gaildorf.
The start was the key point of the races with many keen to avoid a crash on a slippery, rutty and muddy surface. Once more Antonio Cairoli was the fastest in both MX2 starts and the Italian rider confirmed his ability on all terrain. Leading both races from the first to the last lap Antonio was the strongest rider in the conditions and after his sixth GP win of the season he is the new leader of the MX2 series. Andrew McFarlane produced a strong performance in the first race and secured second place but crashed in the second heat. Moving back from eighth to fifteenth, he finally ended the race thirteenth and lost the leadership of the class. Carl Nunn (third and fourth) and the surprising Manuel Monni (fourth and seventh) on a 125 KTM finished on the GP podium alongside Cairoli.
Stefan Everts didn’t earn the holeshot in the MX1 class but he was faster than anyone in the opening laps of both races. It was almost a perfect weekend for the Belgian who got stuck in a muddy corner during the second outing and briefly lost his lead. Pichon passed him but had similar troubles and Stefan managed to save his first double win since Great Britain to collect his 85th GP victory. Steve Ramon confirmed in both races the speed of his pole position in qualifications; in the first race he was right behind Everts when both came on lapped riders in a chicane; Stefan found immediately the spot to pass, while Steve lost twenty seconds and all his chances to win the race by running off line. He registered anyway his best result of the season with a second position overall in the GP, followed by Joshua Coppins. Josh made a wrong choice of tyre and had a difficult first heat but finished the following race in third position behind Tanel Leok. One week after his first success in the Dutch series, the Estonian rider gave the 450 Kawasaki its first ever podium in the World Championship.
Stefan Everts: “That’s not the first time in my career that I had to wait such a long time to win a GP, hopefully I can continue to win a few more in the following weeks. That would be really nice and I’m happy with this victory today. I’ve been fighting hard in the last GP’s and missed the win in South Africa but that’s also part of racing. In the second moto I was a little bit worried when I got stuck three laps from the end. I tried to keep the bike up and running, there were really deep ruts in this part of the track, but finally the engine stopped and I crashed. Then I was lucky to restart with two kicks and I managed to take again the lead from Pichon. It took me half a lap to find my rhythm again. I did my fastest lap on the seventeenth circulation and pushed to keep Leok behind me. The first race was really tough, the second was much better as it started to dry out and there were some better lines. In the second race it was the kind of conditions that I like, I was feeling really well and rode consistent. Next event is Isle of Wight, last year was a tough event for me but I’ve good confidence for this time and I will go there hoping for a top three result.”
Antonio Cairoli: “I’m really happy to win here in the mud, and I proved this season that I can win in all conditions, hard, soft, sand or mud… I’ve been training really hard this winter in Belgium, that’s the place you have to go if you want to become World Champion as all the top riders are there and you can practice with them in all conditions. The track was really difficult today but with two good starts it was easier for me as I had good vision and could choose my lines. Today it was important to avoid any mistake and ride with the brain. I got back the red plate today and want to keep it for the rest of the season. I’m in really good shape at the moment and my goal is to win the next three races. Last year I didn’t qualify in Isle of Wight after many problems during the qualifications with my friend Philippaerts, but I really like this track and I will go there confident.”
Next event: Grand Prix of England (Arreton, Isle of Wight), August 27th-28th