Paris-Bercy Supercross 2012

Photos Courtesy of Paris-Bercy Supercross 

Inside the Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy

With a 30-year history and list of attendees that features almost every great racer in the history of the sport, the Paris-Bercy Supercross has become one of the most famous motocross races in the world. Winners of the three-night event are crowned the "King of Bercy" and join the likes of David Bailey, Johnny O'Mara, Jean-Michel Bayle, and Jeremy McGrath in history. This year, Justin Brayton, Eli Tomac, Jake Weimer, Kyle Chisholm, and Wil Hahn continued the tradition of US superstars dueling with the Europe best indoor racers.

A novel could be written about the legacy of the Bercy Supercross. The opening ceremonies of light, pyrotechnics, cheerleaders, and rider introductions are what essentially brought the showmanship elements into modern Supercross. Appearance bonus money helped draw Americans to France in November, and to the delight of the craved fans, they came in droves. David Bailey would win the inaugural race, which took place in March of 1984, before the race was moved to a more inviting slot in the heart of the off-season. For Europeans, the Bercy race became an annual pilgrimage, the chance to see the best Supercross racers in their element live rather than in magazines or delayed television broadcasts. Many current and former French racers say the race drew them to racing professionally, as they saw their national hero Jean-Michel Bayle take the 1990 and 1991 titles. The presence of Jeremy McGrath in the 90s gave Bercy even more prestige and photos from the decade sum up the sport quite well.

This year, five Americans headed to the Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy for the three-night race, with Jake Weimer emerging the winner on Sunday night. His main event wins on Friday and Saturday put him in control to take the win on Sunday night, which he managed to do despite a small crash. Weimer fended off an extremely fast Eli Tomac, who finished second to Weimer both times before taking a win of his own, and a consistent Justin Brayton. Wil Hahn would take fifth in his first trip to Bercy, while Kyle Chisholm was unable to defend his 2011 King of Bercy title.

450 Class

Friday Night

The amount of racing that happens at Bercy is exhausting. In addition to the standard heat races and 15-lap main events, competitors also take part in Superpole timed laps and Elimination dashes. While the latter two do not affect the overall finish, they allow a racer to come away with a couple of extra Euros.

Heat Races

The US riders wasted no time establishing dominance, as Brayton, Weimer, and Tomac claimed all three heat race wins. While they all took easy wins, it was not due to a lack of competition. Christophe Pourcel, Cedric Soubeyras, and Fabien Izoird are familiar names to some American fans, and they made the racing close and competitive.

Heat One

1. Justin Brayton

2. Cedric Souberyras

3. Fabien Izoird

4. Jason Clermont

Heat Two

1. Jake Weimer

2. Wil Hahn

3. Cyrille Coulon

4. Christophe Martin

Heat Three

1. Eli Tomac

2. Christophe Pourcel

3. Kyle Chisholm

4. Loic Rombault

 

Elimination Race

14 racers lined up behind the gate to start the three-race elimination portion of Friday night. Six were knocked out after the first go, and then another two, which set the field of Jake Weimer, Justin Brayton, Cedric Soubeyras, and Eli Tomac for the final sprint. Weimer launched out to an early lead and withstood a charging Tomac, whose aggressive riding caused him to go down near the end, to take the win.

1. Jake Weimer

2. Justin Brayton

3. Cedric Soubeyras

4. Eli Tomac

 

Superpole

Another twist in the Bercy format is the Superpole timed sprint. Race are cut lose on the track alone to turn in their fastest possible time, with the winner taking 1000 Euro bonus. This idea has been used to varying degrees of success in the States, but has not become a staple in the format. The lack of familiarity did not bother Tomac or Weimer, as they were the only two of the field to break the 43-second barrier, with Tomac going a touch faster to take the win.

1. Eli Tomac 42.319

2. Jake Weimer 42.343

3. Justin Brayton 43.333

4. Greg Aranda 43.439

5. Christophe Pourcel 43.546

450 Class Podium

450 Main

Like their prior meeting in the elimination race, it was Weimer and Tomac dicing for the main event win. Weimer was in control from the start, but Tomac began to reel him with faster lap times. The battle came to a head on the final lap, were Tomac faltered in a corner and allowed Weimer to pull away. At the line, it was Weimer with Tomac .573 seconds back. The duo gapped third place Justin Brayton by over 17-seconds.

1. Jake Weimer

2. Eli Tomac

3. Justin Brayton

4. Kyle Chisholm

5. Cedric Soubeyras

6. Wil Hahn

7. Cyrille Coulon

8. Charles Lefrancois

9. Christophe Pourcel

10. Fabien Izoird

Josse Sallefranque

250 Class

In addition to the Open 450 class, Bercy hosts a 250 class for younger racers who vie for "Prince of Bercy" status. The lone American in the field, Tyler Villopoto, held his own against a contingent of French racers with 2-4 finishes on night one. Valentin Teillet would win the first of two main events on Friday night, but a crash midway through the second would ruin his chances for the overall. Josse Sallefranque claimed the second win, and paired with his third place in main one, Friday's overall.

1. Josse Sallefranque

2. Tyler Villopoto

3. Mike Valade

4. Romain Berthome

5. Yannis Irsuti

SATURDAY 

Heat Races

Brayton and Weimer claimed the first two heat race wins before a new challenger emerged in Christophe Pourcel. Pourcel, the two-time East Coast Lites Supercross champion, took the final heat race win over Soubeyras and Tomac and showed that he still has the prowess needed for SX.

Heat One

1. Justin Brayton

2. Greg Aranda

3. Cyrille Coulon

4. Eric Sorby

Heat Two

1. Jake Weimer

2. Kyle Chisholm

3. Wil Hahn

4. Charles Lefrancois

Heat Three

1. Christophe Pourcel

2. Cedric Soubeyras

3. Eli Tomac

4. Fabien Izoird

Eli Tomac

Elimination

Weimer once again took the Elimination round win, this time over the US only field of Chisholm, Brayton, and Tomac.

1. Jake Weimer

2. Kyle Chisholm

3. Justin Brayton

4. Eli Tomac

 

Superpole

The repetition from the night before continued in Superpole, as Tomac again clocked the fastest time. A mistake by Weimer in the final turn sent him off the track and into the surrounding airbags, where he was then thrown from the bike. He would come away unscathed, but his lap was voided.

1. Eli Tomac 41.786

2. Justin Brayton 42.683

3. Christophe Pourcel 42.965

4. Fabien Izoird 43.259

5. Kyle Chisholm 43.429

Jake Weimer

450 Main

Unfazed by his Superpole crash, Weimer led the pack to the first turn and motored away with Tomac again in tow. Saturday's main would not be as close as Friday, as Weimer again deflected Tomac's bids for the spot. A podium finish by Brayton would keep the order of the top-three identical heading into the final night. The main event was not without issue, as Pourcel mistimed the whoop section and was ejected from his bike, resulting in an overnight hospital stay.

1. Jake Weimer

2. Eli Tomac

3. Justin Brayton

4. Kyle Chisholm

5. Cedric Soubeyras

6. Cyrille Coulon

7. Wil Hahn

8. Fabien Izoird

9. Charles Lefrancois

10. Christophe Martin

Valentin Teillet

250 Main

Sallefranque and Teillet would swap main event victories again on Saturday night, with Sallefranque again taking the overall. After a much closer second place finish, it seemed that Tyler Villopoto was starting to find a rhythm, but a crash in the second moto of the night would end his night and weekend. Early word stated that a broken kneecap was the injury.

1. Josse Sallefranque

2. Valentin Teillet

3. Adrien Lopes

4. Romain Berthome

5. Jean-Baptiste Marrone

SUNDAY

450 Class Podium

Heat Races

Cedric Soubeyras claimed the first heat win of Sunday night over Chisholm and Hahn, Weimer continued his streak of heat wins, and Tomac finished ahead of Brayton in the final heat of the weekend.

Heat One

1. Cedric Soubeyras

2. Kyle Chisholm

3. Wil Hahn

4. Cyrille Coulon

Heat Two

1. Jake Weimer

2. Greg Aranda

3. Christophe Martin

4. Charles Lefrancois

Heat Three

1. Eli Tomac

2. Justin Brayton

3. Fabien Izoird

4. Loci Rombault

Jake Weimer

Elimination

Weimer's streak of wins was not limited to just the heat races, as he bested every rider in the Elimination battles. Sunday's race would have two Frenchmen, Soubeyras and Aranda, separating Weimer and Tomac in the results.

1. Jake Weimer

2. Cedric Soubeyras

3. Greg Aranda

4. Eli Tomac

Superpole

Tomac had a perfect weekend of his own, as he clocked the fastest laps of all three Superpole events. Tomac dropped into the 41 second range both Saturday and Sunday night, a mark no other rider could match, and left France 3000 Euros richer for it.

1. Eli Tomac 41.977

2. Jake Weimer 42.615

3. Greg Aranda 43.078

4. Cedric Soubeyras 43.662

5. Justin Brayton 43.763

Inside the Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy

450 Main

The final race of the night was Jake Weimer's to win, but it nearly was thrown away by a crash in the slick whoops. With Weimer out of the lead, Tomac blasted away and took his lone main event win of the weekend. The crash knocked Weimer back to third, and with Tomac in the lead, it looked like there would be a shift in the final standings. With laps to go, Weimer moved past Brayton for the spot and became the King of Bercy at the final flag.

1. Eli Tomac

2. Jake Weimer

3. Justin Brayton

4. Cedric Soubeyras

5. Fabien Izoird

6. Wil Hahn

7. Cyrille Coulon

8. Christophe Martin

9. Charles Lefrancois

10. Jason Clermont

Overall

1. Jake Weimer 1-1-2

2. Eli Tomac 2-2-1

3. Justin Brayton 3-3-3

4. Cedric Soubeyras 5-5-4

5. Wil Hahn 6-7-6

6. Cyrille Coulon 7-6-7

7. Kyle Chisholm 4-4-14

8. Fabien Izoird 10-8-5

9. Charles Lefrancois 8-9-9

10. Christophe Martin 15-10-8

Valentin Teillet

250

Teillet swept the 250 class on Sunday, but his finishes would not be enough to overcome the consistency of Josse Sallefranque. Sallefranque was a tick off Teillet's race winning pace throughout the weekend, but was much more consistent than his competitor in all six motos.

1. Vallentin Teillet

2. Romain Berthome

3. Josse Sallefranque

4. Mike Valade

5. Ludovic Macler

Overall

1. Josse Sallefranque

2. Vallentin Teillet

3. Romain Berthome

4. Mike Valade

5. Ludovic Macler