The Portuguese Grand Prix got underway today in front of 18000 fans who saw two Italians David Philippaerts (MX1) and Antonio Cairoli (MX2) clinch the World Championship lead at the end of an eventful weekend.

The MX1 Grand Prix was won by Sebastien Pourcel, to close a perfect weekend as he clocked also the pole yesterday. Philippaerts was second overall while countryman Cairoli won the MX2 Grand Prix from KTM fellow riders Tyla Rattray and Tommy Searle.


Tony Cairoli collected his first win of the season today in Portugal


A superb GPKR’s Sebastien Pourcel won an eventful Portuguese Grand Prix, dominating from day one as the Frenchman took yesterday’s pole and free practice sessions. Yamaha Monster Motocross’ David Philippaerts took his second consecutive podium to move up to the series lead; collecting his first career red plate, Philippaerts saw team mate Josh Coppins rounding off the rostrum. This was the Kiwi’s first podium and it came after the unexpected overtaking of Teka Suzuki WMX1’s Steve Ramon. After Coppins moved past him, the reigning Champion dropped down to fifth overall behind AXO KTM Silver Action’s Jonathan Barragan. CAS Honda’s Billy Mackenzie ended sixth overall, after leading in both moto’s but eventually crashing. Teka Suzuki WMX1’s De Dycker ended 19th as he rode with a throttle hand injury and crashed in several occasions.

Top five overall: 1. Sebastien Pourcel (FRA, Kawasaki), 47 points; 2. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), 47 p.; 3. Joshua Coppins (NZL, Yamaha), 36 p.; 4. Jonathan Barragan (ESP, KTM), 34 p.; 5. Steve Ramon (BEL, Suzuki), 33 p.;


MX1 moto one: here we go


Philippaerts won a hard fought opening moto which started with Barragan on the lead; the Spaniard progressively dropped down to see first Mackenzie then Philippaerts take the lead. The latter eventually moved up to first with a strong overtaking manoeuvre over Mackenzie, dropping down to fourth while the Italian flew to the chequered flag. Though Pourcel tried to disturb the eventual winner with a late charge, resulting in a mistake and paying the Frenchman off with a second place. Barragan moved past Mackenzie for third, with the Scot ending fourth ahead of Coppins. The Kiwi cruised in fifth for the entire race, struggling to get into the front runners’ rhythm.

Top five: 1. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), 38:56.063; ; 2. Sebastien Pourcel (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:04.287; 3. Jonathan Barragan (ESP, KTM), +0:12.368; 4. Billy Mackenzie (GBR, Honda), +0:16.139; 5. Joshua Coppins (NZL, Yamaha), +0:17.169


David Philippaerts ended level in points with Pourcel but he is now holding the red plate


Ramon stormed out of the gate, taking the lead of the group in front of a hungry Mackenzie, who moved past in the following lap. Though Ramon did not let Billy go on his own and kept chasing him together with Pourcel, following the leading duo from third. Pourcel made his move on Ramon to clinch the runner up position and eventually found himself at the head of the pack when Mackenzie made a mistake and crashed. Ramon was also overtaken by a fast Philippaerts, who could not reach Pourcel and got away with the second position. Ramon made a mistake in the last lap, giving Coppins a chance to move past. Coppins was quick in finding an open door in the Belgian’s defence to bring home the third place and step on his first podium of 2008. With Ramon finishing fourth, Mike Brown ended the top five ahead of Mackenzie and Barragan, with the latter crashing when he was third.

Top five: 1. Sebastien Pourcel (FRA, Kawasaki), 39:42.975; ; 2. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), +0:08.473; 3. Joshua Coppins (NZL, Yamaha), +0:11.360; 4. Steve Ramon (BEL, Suzuki), +0:11.774; 5. Mike Brown (USA, Honda), +0:16.237


Seb Pourcel was unstoppable this weekend and eventually won


Yamaha Red Bull De Carli’s Tony Cairoli moved back up to where he was at the end of 2007 courtesy of two stunning moto victories at this Portuguese Grand Prix. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team mates rounded off the podium with Tyla Rattray second and Tommy Searle third. The latter came back to the podium at the venue of his first 2007 podium but was snatched the second place overall by Rattray’s overtaking in the final heat. A solid Stephen Sword from Molson Kawasaki Racing ended fourth overall ahead of Ricci Racing Yamaha’s Nicolas Aubin rounding off the top five. Home rider Rui Goncalves ended a positive sixth.

Top five overall: . Antonio Cairoli (ITA, Yamaha), 50 points; 2. Tyla Rattray (RSA, KTM), 42 p.; 3. Tommy Searle (GBR, KTM), 42 p.; 4. Stephen Sword (GBR, Kawasaki), 34 p.; 5. Nicolas Aubin (FRA, Yamaha), 31 p.


Tony Cairoli celebrated the victory with his usual Nac Nac


Searle was the quickest to get out of the gate and enter the first corner but Cairoli followed him from very close, attacking the British in several different spots of the circuit. Cairoli eventually passed at the sixth lap when Searle went a little wide. Once Tony was in first he pulled away with the lead while his KTM rival took some time to rest; once he was back to his pace Searle could not close the gap from Cairoli but just thought of keeping team mate Rattray distant. The South African ended in third but he did not feel comfortable throughout the 22 lap moto. Sword was fifth after Aubin passed him but ended an eventual fourth as the Frenchman crashed. Davide Guarneri rounded off the top five ahead of Goncalves.

Top five: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, Yamaha), 40:22.503; ; 2. Tommy Searle (GBR, KTM), +0:06.909; 3. Tyla Rattray (RSA, KTM), +0:10.391; 4. Stephen Sword (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:43.783; 5. Davide Guarneri (ITA, Yamaha), +0:46.371


Cairoli battled it out for the holeshot against an incredible Carl Nunn, who lapped with the front runners in the early stages of the final moto to end a solid seventh. Cairoli raced on his own for another dominating victory despite Searle’s effort to catch up. The Brit was eventually passed by team mate Rattray, who recovered after a difficult start to finish second. Searle dropped down to third, the same place where team mate and home rider Goncalves had the pleasure to sit until he ran off the track, finishing sixth. Aubin worked his way up from the bottom of the top ten to fourth, moving past Sword who ended at the bottom of the top five.

Top five: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, Yamaha), 39:45.757; ; 2. Tyla Rattray (RSA, KTM), +0:12.867; 3. Tommy Searle (GBR, KTM), +0:17.992; 4. Nicolas Aubin (FRA, Yamaha), +0:33.529; 5. Stephen Sword (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:44.135


David Philippaerts has now moved up to first in the MX1 points standings, being the first Italian to ever lead the category. Ramon keeps the runner up spot with Coppins coming up in third. Mackenzie moved up one position to sit on the fourth spot ahead of De Dycker, fifth. Nagl is sixth with Barragan moving from 12th to seventh and Pourcel from 26th to eighth.

Top five: 1. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), 102 points; 2. Steve Ramon (BEL, Suzuki), 96 p.; 3. Joshua Coppins (NZL, Yamaha), 83 p.; 4. Billy Mackenzie (GBR, Honda), 79 p.; 5. Ken de Dycker (BEL, Suzuki), 77 p.

Tony Cairoli leads the MX2 point standings with a five point advantage over former leader and current runner up Rattray. Searle moved up to third with Guarneri slipping in fourth ahead of fifth placed Goncalves. Sword moved from ninth to sixth courtesy of another positive result.

Top five: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, Yamaha), 126 points; 2. Tyla Rattray (RSA, KTM), 121 p.; 3. Tommy Searle (GBR, KTM), 102 p.; 4. Davide Guarneri (ITA, Yamaha), 86 p.; 5. Rui Goncalves (POR, KTM), 81 p.


The FIM Motocross World series will take a weekend off before the Bulgarian Grand Prix in Sevlievo on May 11th. Bulgaria will also play host to the opening round of the FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship with Yamaha mounted Kiwi Katherine Prumm entering round one as the defending Champion.

The next start will be in Bulgaria on May 11


The Grand Prix and the qualifying sessions (the latter only on RTP2) were broadcast live on:

  • EUROSPORT 2 (Pan Europe) : MX1 Race 1 at 14:00 CET
  • MOTORS TV (Pan Europe): MX2 Race 2 at 16:00 CET
  • SPORT ITALIA (Italy): MX2 Race 1 at 13:00 and Race 2 at 16:00 CET
  • VRT (Belgium): MX1 Race 2 at 17:00 CET
  • GALAXIE SPORT (Czech Republic): MX2 Race 2 at 16:00 CET
  • ART (Pan Middle East): MX1 Race 2 at 17:00 CET
  • SPORT TV (Slovenia): MX2 Race 1 at 13:00 and Race 2 at 16:00 CET
  • EUROSPORT WORLD (Pan Asia): MX1 Race 1 at 12:00 GMT
  • MEDIAZONE (Worldwide): MX2 Race 1 at 13:00 and Race 2 at 16:00; MX1 Race 1 at 14:00 and Race 2 at 17:00 CET
  • TRANS 7 (Indonesia): MX2 Race 1 at 13:00 and Race 2 at 16:00; MX1 Race 1 at 14:00 and Race 2 at 17:00 CET
  • RTP2 (Portugal): on Saturday April 26, MX2 Qualifying Race 1 at 16:00 and Race 2 at 16:45, MX1 Time Practice at 17:30; on Sunday April 27, MX2 Race 2 at 16:00, MX1 Race 2 at 17:00 CET

The Grand Prix will be broadcast delayed on:

  • EUROSPORT 2 (Pan Europe) : Sunday April 27; MX1 Race 2 at 20:30 CET
  • MOTORS TV (Pan Europe): Sunday April 27; MX2 Race 1 at 15:00 CET
  • SPORT ITALIA (Italy): Sunday April 27; MX1 Race 1 at 00:00 and Race 2 at 01:00 CET
  • VRT (Belgium): Sunday April 27; MX1 Race 1 at 18:00 CET
  • EUROSPORT WORLD (Pan Asia): Sunday April 27; MX1 Race 1 at 20:45 and Race 2 at 21:30. Monday April 28; MX1 Race 2 at 16:15, MX2 class at 17:00. Tuesday April 29; MX1 Race 2 at 9:15, MX2 Class at 10:00 GMT.
  • AMERICA ONE SPORTS (USA): Second Tuesday after the GP; MX2 Race 2 at 21:00; MX1 Race 2 at 22:00 USA Eastern Time
  • GAORA (Japan): MX2 Race 1 and Race 2; MX1 Race 1 and Race 2; N/A CET

SPORT TV (Portugal): Sunday April 27; MX2 Race 1 at 17:00 and Race 2 at 18:00 CET