Thor Race Report: MX GP Round 7 – St Jean d’Angely, France

A partisan crowd of 28.000, has seen the FIM motocross championship reach the halfway point at a sweltering St Jean d’Angely in France. Factory Yamaha and THOR racer, Josh Coppins, is now the runaway leader in the MX1 with an astounding 90 point lead and the new Zealander added another GP victory to his name by posting an impressive 1-2 at round 7 at the hilly French circuit close to Bordeaux.

Coppins grabbed the perfect hole-shot in moto 1 questioning Mike Brown’s reputation as being the hole-shot king. The New Zealander never put a foot wrong and worked with his YZ450FM to build a steady lead, flowing with the hilly and hard pack circuit. Coppins cruised to victory while championship rival Kevin Strijbos failed to score points due to an ongoing knee injury. The Belgian would not come out for the second moto. Dutchman, Mark de Reuver experienced a huge crash while moving through the field and was luckily unscathed but shaken up.

It was once again poetry in motion as Coppins ousted American Mike Brown out of the hole-shot. Scotsman Billy MacKenzie managed to sneak by a few turns later but Coppins regained his composure and took over the lead with Steve Ramon following suit. Ramon would eventually get the better of Coppins to take the moto win but the overall victory and championship lead extension was for the Kiwi’s taking.

Antonio Cairoli continued his onslaught in the MX2 class with a perfect score and was unchallenged by crowd favourite Christophe Pourcel. THOR racer Gareth Swanepoel, was fending off a Pourcel challenge in moto1 when he went down in the infamous sand section. The South African quickly got going again to fight back and salvage 9th. A second moto 7th guaranteed 7th overall for the GP.

MX GP teams and riders will have little recuperating time before the long haul to Sevlievo, Bulgaria for the 8th round, next weekend.

Josh Coppins: “I feel sorry for Kevin Strijbos. I have also had my fair share of knee problems in the past so I know how he feels. He is a very good rider and I’m sure he will come back strong. It is a shame for the championship as people would like it to be much closer but at the same time I am happy with the lead. My choice of lines let me down in the second moto and I used too much energy on them. I finally found some good lines after Steve passed me but he was riding well and deserved the win . The championship is looking good for me and I just want to try and win some more GP’s. Of course it would have been great to win both heats but it’s winning the GP that counts.

Marc de Reuver: “The first heat did not start that badly, but I shut off too early and everyone passed me on the first turn. After four laps I was into a rhythm and was fast. I came up to eighth place but then I made a mistake. I got into the corner before the pits too hard and could not brake anymore. I went over the berm and off the track and crashed pretty hard. In the second heat I don’t know what happened; I just did not have the confidence.”

Gareth Swanepoel: “I ripped the start in the first moto but then threw it away when I went down in the sand section. I put together some fast laps and got back to 9th. The second moto I got through the pack really fast after a bad jump and was running a good speed until we hit the 25 minute mark. I couldn’t keep the pace going which I’m not happy about. St Jean is not my favourite track although I should have come away with a few more points. I was really pleased with how the KX250F worked today. The suspension was also awesome which makes me feel confident for the Bulgarian GP, next weekend.

Race results:

MX2 Race 1

1 Cairoli, Antonio ITA Yamaha

2 Pourcel, Christophe FRA Kawasaki

3 Rattray, Tyla RSA KTM

4 Leuret, Pascal FRA Honda

5 Searle, Tommy GBR KTM

6 Aubin, Nicolas FRA Yamaha

7 Dougan, Jason GBR Suzuki

8 Guarneri, Davide ITA Yamaha

9 Swanepoel, Gareth RSA Kawasaki (THOR)

10 Church, Tom GBR Kawasaki

11 Bonini, Matteo ITA Yamaha

12 Goncalves, Rui POR KTM

13 Nunn, Carl GBR Yamaha

14 Boog, Xavier FRA Yamaha

15 Seistola, Matti FIN Honda

MX2 Race 2

1 Cairoli, Antonio ITA Yamaha

2 Pourcel, Christophe FRA Kawasaki

3 Rattray, Tyla RSA KTM

4 Leuret, Pascal FRA Honda

5 Aubin, Nicolas FRA Yamaha

6 Searle, Tommy GBR KTM

7 Swanepoel, Gareth RSA Kawasaki (THOR)

8 Boissiere, Anthony FRA Kawasaki

9 Nunn, Carl GBR Yamaha

10 Church, Tom GBR Kawasaki

11 Boog, Xavier FRA Yamaha

12 Goncalves, Rui POR KTM

13 Bonini, Matteo ITA Yamaha

14 Guarneri, Davide ITA Yamaha

15 Tarroux, Jeremy FRA Yamaha

MX2 Championship standings:

1 Cairoli, A. ITA 342

2 Pourcel, C. FRA 272

3 Rattray, Tyla RSA 258

4 Leuret, Pascal FRA 209

5 Searle, Tommy GBR 206

6 Swanepoel, G. RSA 173 (THOR)

7 Aubin, Nicolas FRA 165

8 Gundersen, K. NOR 149

9 Seistola, M. FIN 125

10 Boissiere, A. FRA 111

11 Schiffer, M. GER 90

12 Nunn, Carl GBR 89

13 Church, Tom GBR 87

14 Guarneri, D. ITA 70

15 Boog, Xavier FRA 63

MX1 Race 1

1 Coppins, Joshua NZL Yamaha (THOR)

2 Philippaerts, David ITA KTM

3 Ramon, Steve BEL Suzuki

4 Pourcel, Sebastien FRA Kawasaki

5 Mackenzie, Billy GBR Kawasaki

6 Barragan, Jonathan ESP KTM

7 Brown, Mike USA Honda

8 Leok, Tanel EST Kawasaki

9 Nagl, Maximilian GER KTM

10 Noble, James GBR Honda

11 Nemeth, Kornel HUN Suzuki

12 Priem, Manuel BEL TM

13 Crockard, Gordon IRL Honda

14 Leok, Aigar EST Yamaha

15 Bill, Julien SUI Honda

MX1 Race 2

1 Ramon, Steve BEL Suzuki

2 Coppins, Joshua NZL Yamaha (THOR)

3 Leok, Tanel EST Kawasaki

4 Mackenzie, Billy GBR Kawasaki

5 Philippaerts, David ITA KTM

6 Barragan, Jonathan ESP KTM

7 Brown, Mike USA Honda

8 Priem, Manuel BEL TM

9 Pourcel, Sebastien FRA Kawasaki

10 van Daele, Marvin BEL Honda

11 Bill, Julien SUI Honda

12 Nemeth, Kornel HUN Suzuki

13 Renet, Pierre A. FRA Honda

14 Leok, Aigar EST Yamaha

15 Desalle, Clement BEL Suzuki

MX1 Championship standings:

1 Coppins, J. NZL 321 (THOR)

2 Ramon, Steve BEL 231

3 Strijbos, K. BEL 211

4 Philippaerts, D. ITA 186

5 Pourcel, S. FRA 184

6 Barragan, J. ESP 173

7 Brown, Mike USA 169

8 Leok, Tanel EST 159

9 Mackenzie, B. GBR 154

10 de Dycker, Ken BEL 150

11 Noble, James GBR 139

12 Priem, Manuel BEL 125

13 de Reuver, M. NED 115 (THOR)

14 Nagl, M. GER 107

15 Nemeth, Kornel HUN 99

Philippaerts, D. ITA 186

5 Pourcel, S. FRA 184

6 Barragan, J. ESP 173

7 Brown, Mike USA 169

8 Leok, Tanel EST 159

9 Mackenzie, B. GBR 154

10 de Dycker, Ken BEL 150

11 Noble, James GBR 139

12 Priem, Manuel BEL 125

13 de Reuver, M. NED 115 (THOR)

14 Nagl, M. GER 107

15 Nemeth, Kornel HUN 99