Italian’s lead – Cairoli and Philippaerts

Motocross in Italy is growing fast. Thanks to the very popular Antonio Cairoli and now with another Italian coming to the forfront of the sport. Two Italian riders stand tall as leaders in both the MX1 and MX2 championships at this moment. David Philippaerts of the Monster Yamaha team leads the MX1 series points and Red Bull Yamaha rider Cairoli leads the MX2 series points.

For Philippaerts it hasn’t been a brilliant month, although what he has shown is that he is a level above all his rivals at this moment. Not through winning Grands Prix, but by making his bad days good days. In Mallory Park last weekend he crashed after another rider rode into him. Getting up with pain to his body and in last position he began a charge that will be remembered for years to come.

“My goal in the winter was to finish each GP in the top five and I’m happy because since Valkenswaard and round one I have been on the podium each time,” Philippaerts told. “I was 14th in Timed Practice but Saturday was a different day to Sunday! In the warm-up I changed the bike a little bit and it was great for the races. It was a little bit like Mantova for me! I crashed in the first corners and then pushed so hard to come back. The crash was stupid and ruined any chance of a top three, maybe even the win but I was pleased with the top five after being so far back. I just hit some water with my back wheel after the jump and it put me off the bike. I was happy with my riding though. The track was more difficult for me on Saturday than today and I could see from my pit-board that my times were fast.

“I had some pain from my ribcage in the second race and took things a little easier. I got faster with each lap although I only passed two riders, Mackenzie and Ramon. I really like the next track in France, it was where I took my first Grand Prix win and I hope we continue with the good results.”

As for Cairili, he knows that winning is what will keep him at the top of the MX2 championship points. Last weekend in Mallory Park he did just that, but it didn’t come easily and he knows heading to France in a weeks time he will have to be on his game, otherwise KTM riders Tyla Rattray and Tommy Searle will be ready to put him down.

“It was a good weekend for me, I just had a bit of trouble at the start and this is something I will work on. I was lucky in the first moto because I found a hole in the pack in the first corner and then could get back to fourth from seventh place. When Shaun crashed I pushed hard to pass Tommy and then again to catch Tyla, but he rode really well and I had a problem with a lapped rider. I saw the door was open when I overtook Tommy. He did not slow when I went through, we touched and he went down. For sure it was not my intention to hit him. The second race was really good and I take confidence from a good start like that. We are very close together in the championship now and it will be a hard season ahead but I am enjoying it.”

Author: Geoff Meyer