Bel-Ray Weekend Racing Wrap Up - July 16, 2012
Racing action continued last weekend for Bel-Ray's teams and professional racers. Racing took place in Italy, Latvia and the United States in both on and off road competition.
MotoGP, Moto2, Moto3
The MotoGP tour continued their series last weekend in Italy for the Gran Premio d' Italia TIM. Held at the famous Mugello circuit in the beautiful Tuscany countryside, north east of Florence, Mugello is a challenging circuit for the racers and is known as one of the most modern and scenic stops on the tour.
The Bel-Ray backed Power Electronics Aspar team was once again the top CRT this past weekend at Mugello. During the 2012 season, the two man team of Randy De Puniet and Aleix Espargaro has been swapping back and forth as the top CRT racer. In Mugello, the nod for the top spot went to the Frenchman De Puniet. Espargaro was in 13th position, just one spot behind De Puniet in 12th. De Puniet spoke fondly of the day's events following Sunday's race. “I am very happy. This is the third time in a row that we have reached our target of being the top CRT. I am very satisfied and I think that my team did a sensational job. It is very rewarding to take results like today’s and I hope to do the same at the next GP. We have a good base and I think that at Laguna Seca we can get another great result.” Espargaro was also happy with the day despite an early error that saw him go off track in the early stages of the race. “Today I started very well and on the first corner. I was able to pass two official bikes on the outside. The opening two laps were really fun. Then, with the tank still full, I was unable to get a good pace going and I noticed that the bike wasn’t cornering well. I wasn’t comfortable, lost concentration and ran off track when I locked up the front. I recovered as quickly as I could and focused fully, trying to do my best to recover positions. I went fast and was able to cross the line as the second best CRT, behind my teammate Randy. I am happy, because I kept up a good pace despite the run-off, but our aim is to be the best CRT, so we will have to work hard and try again at Laguna Seca.”
Mapfre Aspar racer Nico Terol performed well and scored his best result of the 2012 season. His 13th place finish was a positive showing for the team. Toni Elias and the team have parted ways for the remainder of the season and he wanted to go out with a positive result to thank the team for their hard work and support. An unfortunate crash and DNF were not how he hoped to conclude his time with the team. He spoke about the day and thanked the team for their support following the race. “I am very happy, despite the crash. The team did a good job with the setup for the race. I gave my all and had some problems, but at least I can take the positives from having made that comeback through the field. Fortunately, I was uninjured in the crash. Today was my last race for the Mapfre Aspar Team and I want to thank every member of the team. Above all, thanks to Jorge, because he has treated me fantastically and has shown what a great person he is. In the end, we have made an amicable split. Our paths continue and I wish the Mapfre Aspar Team all the best.” Terol was very pleased with his results and takes those positive thoughts into the break in Moto2 class action. “This has been my best weekend of the year. I am very happy to have found a good feeling with a bike again. I am starting to go fast with the Moto2, faster every time, and this is very positive. We took a big step forward in qualifying and today’s warm-up was excellent. The opening laps of the race were spectacular and it has been a while since I was up with the leaders. At mid-race, we had some battles with other riders which made me lose a little concentration. I think a top eight finish would have been on the cards were it not for that. The entire weekend has been positive, so I go into the break feeling very optimistic. I am happy with our work and with our race pace. We are closer to the leading riders every time and just need to keep focused for the second half of the races.”
The Bel-Ray backed Mapfre Aspar duo of Hector Faubel and Alberto Moncayo experienced mixed results in Mugello. Faubel scored points with a 10th place finish while teammate Moncayo experienced a DNF following a crash with another racer. Faubel was positive with the results from the weekend. “The start was a difficult one for me, but fortunately, my braking on the opening turn allowed me to regain the places that I had lost. I tried to stick with the front group. There were riders who got ahead of themselves and crashed out right in front of me. The second crash, that of Oliveira, came right as the group was making a push. The bike was in the middle of the track and I lost a lot of time avoiding it. I tried to keep up by giving my all. The weekend had been going well, and the only thing that we didn’t have was luck in the race. We saw today that we are capable of leading, but we need to improve our acceleration with long gears that will give us that little bit extra that we need to start thinking about podiums.” Moncayo spoke about his race and the disappointing finish. "I knew that I could do well today. We did a good job this morning and that made me comfortable in the opening three sectors. The engine has also improved a lot from race to race, and I was able to take a tow from the riders ahead of me and even pass them on the slipstream. I was very competitive today and wanted a good finish to the race, but (Luis) Salom put himself in so tightly up the inside that he clipped my front brake and ran me off at turn three. I crashed and it was shame to end the weekend this way.”
Round 10 of the 16 round 2012 World Grand Prix Motocross Championship Series continued in the Latvian city of Kegum this weekend. The Bel-Ray sponsored riders competing experienced mixed results.
Despite an injury he experienced during Saturday's qualifying races, Christophe Pourcel of the Bel-Ray backed Team CP377 Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit battled his way through the weekend to score a respectable finish and keep his World Championship title hopes alive. An eventual 11th place overall finish keeps him in 3rd place in the overall series’ standings. He spoke about the weekend following the second moto on Sunday. "The crash at the start of the qualifying race ruined my weekend. I had pain in my stomach and had to stop at the pits; after a short rest I was able to race at the same pace as the leaders, but the laps I lost in the pits meant that I only had the twenty-fifth choice of gate. From the outside of the gate, it's impossible to have a good start here, and twice I was in the pack; because of the rain there were not so many lines, so it was very difficult to pass and I didn't want to take too much risks." Teammate Sebastein Pourcel also suffered from a crash in qualifying and a blow to the stomach in moto 2 that hampered his finishing position. Sebastein's 11-17 moto results placed him in 15th overall for the event. He had this to saw following the race. "I had twelfth choice of gate despite the crash at the start of the qualifying race, but today my starts were not very good. I finished fourteenth in the first race, but I had troubles to control the bike, with a huge blister in my hand. At the second start, I got the handlebars in my stomach; it was painful and I was last, but I was quickly to seventeenth before I crashed and had to spend the rest of the race recovering the places I had lost."
Bel-Ray's racers in the MX2 class experienced completely different results in Sunday's competition. Joel Roelants scored his first ever FIM World MX2 Motocross Championship overall victory, while teammate Tommy Searle suffered from 2 DNF's and zero points for the day. Roelants won the first moto in confident fashion eventually taking the checkered flag by more than 10 seconds over his nearest competitor. The second moto saw the young Belgian racer stop for fresh goggles due to the awful conditions, but still gain enough positions to finish second place in the moto and take the overall victory. Roelants spoke after the second moto about the day and his impressive victory. "I'm so happy to win my first GP today after six seasons of racing in the World Championship. We worked hard this winter and the season started well, but it has taken me some time to recover from my big crash at round three in Italy. In Sweden, I had a good feeling again, and I was confident here as rain has never affected my riding. In the first moto, I waited patiently for a few laps and then passed both Butron and Nicholls in the same corner. My goggles got filled in already at the start of the second moto because of all of the water on the track and I had to stop for fresh goggles, but I had good speed all day and was able to recover to second in the moto and that was enough to secure my first-ever GP win.” Teammate Tommy Searle suffered horrible luck in Latvia as he experienced a DNF in both motos due to no fault of his own or the team. An errant rock damaged the oil pipe in the first moto, while a defect in a tire forced him out of the second moto. Despite scoring no points for the day, Searle is still second in the overall series’ point's standings. Despite the misfortune, Searle was optimistic about the remainder of the season. “I started third in the first race and was confident of another victory as I moved up on the leaders, but I soon realized I wasn’t going to see the checkered flag. I could see the oil coming out and it seized on the third lap because of the damage from a rock. I was determined to fight back in race two, but bad luck stopped me even sooner as the rear tire came off the rim. I am absolutely devastated; I just lost all of my gains of recent weeks through no fault of my own or the team. But there are still six more GPs and I will not give up chasing the title; it could be the turn of my rivals to have bad luck next weekend.”
AMA National Motocross
Spring Creek Motocross Park in Millville, Minnesota was the site of this weekend's round of the 2012 AMA National Motocross series. Bel-Ray's professional teams and Elite racers competed in both the 250 and 450 classes. In 450 class racing, Andrew Short finished 5th overall, followed by Derek Anderson in 16th, Ronnie Stewart in 18th and Dakota Kessler in 30th. In the 250 class, Blake Wharton was 5th, Jason Anderson 9th, AJ Catanzaro 17th, Lowell Spangler 26th, Hunter Hewitt 34th and Steve Roman 39th. The second moto also marked a career best finish for Elite racer Ronnie Stewart. He finished 11th place in the moto, right behind fellow Elite racer Derek Anderson in 10th. The series continues this weekend in Washougal, Washington.
Unadilla Valley Sports Center in New Berlin, New York was the site of this weekend's ATV MX Championship series event. Bel-Ray backed Baldwin Motorsports rider Josh Upperman retained his fourth place overall series position with a consistent fifth place in the first moto followed up with a seventh place in moto 2. His seventh place was the first time this season that Upperman has been out of the top 5 this season. He will regroup and look for a podium finish when the series continues in Michigan on July 28th.
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