Philippaerts Takes First Yamaha Win to Build on Championship Lead

A fantastic Grand Prix of Bulgaria took place today under mixed weather conditions, with sun and rain showers falling throughout the whole day, making the track more slippery for the second heats. The event was attended by 27000 spectators enjoying the show on this incredible venue, which won the best organizer awards in 2006 and 2007.

MX1 Championship leader David Philippaerts kept the red plate by winning this fourth Grand Prix of the season while Tommy Searle won the MX2 overall with team mate Tyla Rattray getting the red plate back. The two mounted on an all KTM podium which was completed by Shaun Simpson.


Championship leader David Philippaerts of Yamaha Monster Motocross took his first victory of 2008 and second career MX1 win today courtesy of two solid moto’s. With Philippaerts winning moto one, AXO KTM Silver Action’s Jonathan Barragan was on route to win the final heat and take the overall; he crashed and ended second on the podium. The eventual second heat winner was GPKR’s Sebastien Pourcel, who was handed victory by Barragan; yesterday’s Lovemytime Pole Position Award winner was third on the podium ahead of Teka Suzuki WMX1’s Steve Ramon and Honda Martin Racing’s Marc de Reuver, who rounded off the top five ahead of Josh Coppins.

Top five overall: 1. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), 47 points; 2. Jonathan Barragan (ESP, KTM), 40 p.; 3. Sebastien Pourcel (FRA, Kawasaki), 38 p.; 4. Steve Ramon (BEL, Suzuki), 36 p.; 5. Marc de Reuver (NED, Honda), 36 p.


Mackenzie took the holeshot and starred in the opening laps before dropping down to an eventual fifteenth because of arm pump. Philippaerts snatched the lead from the Brit in the opening lap to lead the pack for the remaining 19 laps. The Italian took a dominant victory from Barragan, who was one of the quickest in the final laps of heat one. Though the Spaniard stalled the bike when he was chasing De Reuver for second, losing time before making it to the runner up spot. De Reuver eventually let Barragan by to take third, which is his best result of the season so far. Coppins battled it out with Ramon for the fourth place and slammed all the doors the Belgian tried to use to move past. In the final laps Coppins came dramatically close to De Reuver, chipping away at the four second gap to arrive at the flag with a gap of just one and a half second. Ramon rounded off the top five while Pourcel crashed twice and finished eighth.

Top five: 1. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), 40:07.606; ; 2. Jonathan Barragan (ESP, KTM), +0:05.616; 3. Marc de Reuver (NED, Honda), +0:06.650; 4. Joshua Coppins (NZL, Yamaha), +0:08.084; 5. Steve Ramon (BEL, Suzuki), +0:14.351


Barragan dominated the final moto as he took the lead after a brief battle with Philippaerts; once he moved past, Barragan pulled away with the lead showing all his speed on the Bulgarian course, which is one of his favourites. The Spaniard made a mistake with two laps to go, crashing and handing the win to Pourcel who earned his podium spot. Barragan rejoined the race and battled it out for third with Ramon, who eventually kept the third place ahead of his rival. Ramon had worked his way up from seventh, with Pourcel following until he came in third. Pourcel’s last move was on Philippaerts, who made a mistake and lost his position, ending an eventual second. De Reuver rounded off the top five ahead of Honda fellow rider Mackenzie.

Top five: 1. Sebastien Pourcel (FRA, Kawasaki), 39:28.719; ; 2. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), +0:06.913; 3. Steve Ramon (BEL, Suzuki), +0:08.068; 4. Jonathan Barragan (ESP, KTM), +0:21.486; 5. Marc de Reuver (NED, Honda), +0:27.233


Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tommy Searle took his second career win today on the Bulgarian course of Sevlievo. The Brit sealed the overall by winning the final heat after an enthralling battle with KTM UK’s Shaun Simpson, who joined Searle on the podium in third place. Simpson collected the first podium finish of his career while Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tyla Rattray finished second overall to take back the red plate. Suzuki Inotec’s Xavier Boog finished a solid fourth to grasp his best ever career result while French countryman Nicolas Aubin of Ricci Racing Yamaha rounded off the top five. After winning the opening moto, Yamaha Red Bull De Carli’s Tony Cairoli crashed in the final heat to take just two points and end seventh overall.

Top five overall: 1. Tommy Searle (GBR, KTM), 47 points; 2. Tyla Rattray (RSA, KTM), 36 p.; 3. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 32 p.; 4. Xavier Boog (FRA, Suzuki), 32 p.; 5. Nicolas Aubin (FRA, Yamaha), 28 p.


Searle took an early lead but Cairoli kept following like in yesterday’s qualifying heat and eventually made his move past the Brit. The Italian tried to run away with the lead but made a mistake and Searle took the chance to move back on top. Later on Searle made a mistake as well with Cairoli finding himself on his rival’s tail. The Italian moved to first with four laps to go and won the heat from Searle and Rattray, who rode in a solid third for most of the heat. Sword ended fourth after moving ahead of team mate Paulin; the latter completed the top five ahead of last year’s European Championship rival Musquin and Boog. Simpson ended a tough moto in eleventh place.

Top five: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, Yamaha), 39:03.953; ; 2. Tommy Searle (GBR, KTM), +0:02.943; 3. Tyla Rattray (RSA, KTM), +0:03.719; 4. Stephen Sword (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:18.419; 5. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:20.386


After a brilliant start, Cairoli took the holeshot but crashed a few metres after the first corner with Rattray, Paulin and Guarneri getting involved in the crash. Then Simpson took the lead and pulled away with Searle following from second. Sword was following in third but ran off the track and did not finish the race. Cairoli tried to work his way up but stalled the bike and lost ground again to finish a bitter 19th. In the meantime leader Simpson and runner up Searle battled tooth and nail for victory, with the latter crashing then moving back to Simpson’s tail; the two passed each other twice before Searle took victory ahead of his English countryman. Aubin finished third ahead of Boog and Rattray ended the top five, as he lost his victory chances in the first corner crash.

Top five: 1. Tommy Searle (GBR, KTM), 39:48.824; ; 2. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), +0:00.430; 3. Nicolas Aubin (FRA, Yamaha), +0:02.811; 4. Xavier Boog (FRA, Suzuki), +0:16.230; 5. Tyla Rattray (RSA, KTM), +0:22.889


Philippaerts continues to lead the points standings from defending Champion Ramon, Coppins, Mackenzie and De Dycker. Barragan and Pourcel both moved up as they are now sixth and seventh respectively, with Nagl dropping down to eighth ahead of De Reuver.

Top five: 1. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), 149 points; 2. Steve Ramon (BEL, Suzuki), 132 p.; 3. Joshua Coppins (NZL, Yamaha), 115 p.; 4. Billy Mackenzie (GBR, Honda), 100 p.; 5. Ken de Dycker (BEL, Suzuki), 98 p.

Rattray is back on the Championship lead after Cairoli snatched his leadership in Portugal. The latter dropped down to second ahead of Searle, with the top three being spread in just eight points. Aubin is now fourth ahead of Goncalves and Sword, with Guarneri dropping down to seventh.

Top five: 1. Tyla Rattray (RSA, KTM), 157 points; 2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, Yamaha), 153 p.; 3. Tommy Searle (GBR, KTM), 149 p.; 4. Nicolas Aubin (FRA, Yamaha), 106 p.; 5. Rui Goncalves (POR, KTM), 106 p.


There is not much time to move from Bulgaria to Mantova, where the Lovemytime Grand Prix of Italy will take place next weekend (May 17-18). The event will also host the second round of the Women World Championship, reaching Italy for its first time.


The Grand Prix was broadcast live on:

  • EUROSPORT 2 (Pan Europe) : MX1 Race 1 at 12:00 CET
  • MOTORS TV (Pan Europe): MX2 Race 1 at 11:00 and Race 2 at 14:00 CET
  • SPORT ITALIA (Italy): MX2 Race 1 at 11:00 CET
  • BNT (Bulgaria): MX1 Race 1 at 12:00 and Race 2 at 15:00 CET
  • GALAXIE SPORT (Czech Republic): MX2 Race 2 at 14:00 CET
  • ART (Pan Middle East): MX1 Race 2 at 15:00 CET
  • SPORT TV (Slovenia): MX2 Race 1 at 11:00 and Race 2 at 14:00 CET
  • EUROSPORT WORLD (Pan Asia): MX1 Race 1 at 10:00 GMT
  • MEDIAZONE (Worldwide): MX2 Race 1 at 11:00 and Race 2 at 14:00; MX1 Race 1 at 12:00 and Race 2 at 15:00 CET
  • TRANS 7 (Indonesia): MX2 Race 1 at 11:00 and Race 2 at 14:00; MX1 Race 1 at 12:00 and Race 2 at 15:00 CET

The Grand Prix will be broadcast delayed on:

  • EUROSPORT 2 (Pan Europe) : Sunday May 11; MX1 Race 2 at 17:45; Monday May 12, MX2 class at 17:00 CET
  • SPORT ITALIA (Italy): Sunday May 11; MX2 Race 2 at 16:30, MX1 Race 1 and Race 2 N/A CET
  • BNT (Bulgaria): Sunday May 11; MX2 Race 1 (summary) at 16:00 and Race 2 (summary) at 16:10, Women World Championship Round 1 (summary) at 16:20 CET
  • VRT (Belgium): Sunday May 11; MX1 Race 1 at 13:00 and Race 2 at 16:15 CET
  • EUROSPORT WORLD (Pan Asia): Sunday May 11; MX1 Race 2 at 18:30; Monday May 12, MX2 class at 17:00 and at 21:00 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