MX GP Round 3, Agueda Portugal

18000 spectators turned out in sunny sweltering conditions at the third round of the FIM MX World championships in Agueda, Portugal. THOR’s head European protagonist, Josh Coppins of the factory Yamaha Rinaldi team, rode through the pain barrier to tie on points with Belgium’s Kevin Strijbos. Coppins won the first moto convincingly with a suspected broken toe but settled for second place in the second and deciding race. The New Zealander still has a healthy lead and holds the red plate with a 19 point advantage over his archrival, Strijbos. Team-mate Marc de Reuver lost important ground in the championship after a second heat DNF saw the Dutchman fall of the screens with an ankle injury.

THOR’s MX2 representative, Gareth Swanepoel, was back on form and narrowly missed out on his second podium of the year. The South African looked set to step on the box after his first moto 4th , however a crash in the second moto had the 22-year-old fight through the pack only to finish three points short for 5th overall.

The MX GP teams get to take a week’s break to recover from the long haul from Portugal and will head to Mantova in Italy for the 4th round of 15, on the 6th of May at the stadium style circuit a few hours South of Milan.

Josh Coppins: “I had some problems this weekend and couldn’t really ride how I wanted. I tried not to think of the pain and did the best I could under the circumstances. I haven’t lost any points in the championship but it still would have better to keep the winning streak going. We have a bit of time before Mantova to heal so I’ll keep working hard and look forward to defending the red plate.

Gareth Swanepoel: “I enjoyed the first moto and managed to close Searle down from a way back but I just couldn’t find a way past. I threw away a podium chance in the second moto when I went down in a turn but I was pleased with how well I was able to come back through the pack. I have gained some places in the championship and there are still some areas I need to work on. Starts are so important in the MX2 class but I am confident that if I can get those sorted I can run up front with the guys

Marc de Reuver: “In the first heat I had a good start but the first few corners didn’t go so well and a few guys passed me. I came back quite strong to eighth but then I just seemed to hit a wall and went backwards. I got away good in the second heat but it was tight in the first corner and I had to change my line. I got behind Philippaerts and was feeling very strong. I was faster than him and attacked. I did not make it and then tried again but I put my foot down and twisted my ankle. That was it. It is very painful but luckily it is not broken

Race results:

MX2 Race 1

1 Cairoli, Antonio ITA Yamaha

2 Pourcel, Christophe FRA Kawasaki

3 Searle, Tommy GBR KTM

4 Swanepoel, Gareth RSA Kawasaki (THOR)

5 Rattray, Tyla RSA KTM

6 Bonini, Matteo ITA Yamaha

7 Leuret, Pascal FRA Honda

8 Boissiere, Anthony FRA Kawasaki

9 Seistola, Matti FIN Honda

10 Monni, Manuel ITA Yamaha

11 Frossard, Steven FRA Kawasaki

12 Gundersen, Kenneth NOR Yamaha

13 Nunn, Carl GBR Yamaha

14 Boog, Xavier FRA Yamaha

15 Church, Tom GBR Kawasaki

MX2 Race 2

1 Cairoli, Antonio ITA Yamaha

2 Aubin, Nicolas FRA Yamaha

3 Leuret, Pascal FRA Honda

4 Boissiere, Anthony FRA Kawasaki

5 Gundersen, Kenneth NOR Yamaha

6 Searle, Tommy GBR KTM

7 Simpson, Shaun GBR Kawasaki

8 Swanepoel, Gareth RSA Kawasaki (THOR)

9 Frossard, Steven FRA Kawasaki

10 Bonini, Matteo ITA Yamaha

11 Seistola, Matti FIN Honda

12 Boog, Xavier FRA Yamaha

13 Church, Tom GBR Kawasaki

14 Nunn, Carl GBR Yamaha

15 Avis, Wyatt RSA KTM

MX2 Championship standings:

1 Cairoli, A. ITA 147

2 Pourcel, C. FRA 103

3 Rattray, Tyla RSA 98

4 Leuret, Pascal FRA 87

5 Searle, Tommy GBR 79

6 Gundersen, K. NOR 75

7 Swanepoel, G. RSA 72 (THOR)

8 Aubin, Nicolas FRA 69

9 Seistola, M. FIN 61

10 Boissiere, A. FRA 57

11 Eggens, Erik NED 54

12 Schiffer, M. GER 48

13 Frossard, S. FRA 47

14 Monni, Manuel ITA 45

15 Boog, Xavier FRA 41

MX1 Race 1

1 Coppins, Joshua NZL Yamaha (THOR)

2 Strijbos, Kevin BEL Suzuki

3 Philippaerts, David ITA KTM

4 Leok, Tanel EST Kawasaki

5 Noble, James GBR Honda

6 Priem, Manuel BEL TM

7 de Dycker, Ken BEL Honda

8 Nemeth, Kornel HUN Suzuki

9 Brown, Mike USA Honda

10 Pourcel, Sebastien FRA Kawasaki

11 Ramon, Steve BEL Suzuki

12 van Daele, Marvin BEL Honda

13 Barragan, Jonathan ESP KTM

14 de Reuver, Marc NED Yamaha (THOR)

15 Desalle, Clement BEL Suzuki

MX1 Race 2

1 Strijbos, Kevin BEL Suzuki

2 Coppins, Joshua NZL Yamaha (THOR)

3 Pourcel, Sebastien FRA Kawasaki

4 Priem, Manuel BEL TM

5 Philippaerts, David ITA KTM

6 Allier, Thomas FRA Kawasaki

7 Brown, Mike USA Honda

8 Ramon, Steve BEL Suzuki

9 Mackenzie, Billy GBR Kawasaki

10 Nemeth, Kornel HUN Suzuki

11 van Daele, Marvin BEL Honda

12 de Dycker, Ken BEL Honda

13 Leok, Aigar EST Yamaha

14 Barragan, Jonathan ESP KTM

15 Renet, Pierre A. FRA Honda

24 de Reuver, M NED Yamaha (THOR)

MX1 World championship standings:

1 Coppins, J. NZL 144

2 Strijbos, K. BEL 125

3 Barragan, J. ESP 89

4 Ramon, Steve BEL 86

5 de Dycker, Ken BEL 84

6 Pourcel, S. FRA 67

7 Nagl, M. GER 63

8 Philippaerts, D. ITA 62

9 Brown, Mike USA 62

10 Priem, Manuel BEL 61

11 Leok, Tanel EST 61

12 Noble, James GBR 61

13 de Reuver, M. NED 60 (THOR)

14 Nemeth, Kornel HUN 51

15 Mackenzie, B. GBR 46

18 Leok, A EST 29