Alessandro Tomassoni won the third round of the BMW Motorrad BoxerCup this weekend in Le Mans, on the eve of the French Motorcycle Grand Prix. Starting from the third row of the grid on a wet track, the Dream Car Team rider completed lap one in...
Alessandro Tomassoni won the third round of the BMW Motorrad BoxerCup this weekend in Le Mans, on the eve of the French Motorcycle Grand Prix. Starting from the third row of the grid on a wet track, the Dream Car Team rider completed lap one in 12th position and moved up to 4th by lap 5 as heavy rain resumed, causing numerous crashes, among which race leader Fernando Cristobal. On lap ten Tomassoni passed both Dirk Buylincks and Andy Hofmann to secure a fine win, despite appallingly tricky and slippery track conditions. Series leader and teammate Roberto Panichi crashed like many others but remounted his machine to finish eleventh. He still leads the provisional standings, but now with only five points over Andy Hofmann.
"I want to dedicate this victory to my father, who is now watching me from the skies," said the Italian rider, who lost his papa only a few months ago. With this fine and truly unexpected win, the 2000 European Supertwins champion now lies third in the provisional standings of the BMW Motorrad BoxerCup 2003, only ten points behind his teammate Panichi, and five behind Andy Hofmann. With the next round of the series to be held on June 7th in Mugello at the Italian Grand Prix, the Dream Car Team could not hope of a better scenario.
Some of the BoxerCup's faster riders all crashed at one point or another in the race - France's Laurry Frémy in the sighting lap, and later at the "Garage Vert" corner on lap four, immediately followed by pole setter Markus Barth, Austria's Thomas Hinterreiter, Roberto Panichi and front row starter Guillaume Dietrich, most probably on some oil.
"The track was already very slippery from the start, and that's why I decided to ride safely in the early stages of the race, but after this episode things got really out of hand," admits Roberto Panichi. A majority of riders indeed reported that the racing lines were smothered with oil from machines having resumed the track after crashing, and thus causing further race incidents (early race leader Matt Layt, USA's Jason Perez, Eric Lejeune).
But Spain's Fernando Cristobal was probably the most disappointed of them all. The Busquets team rider took the lead on lap three and started pulling away from the pack to open a fine 8,8 seconds lead by lap nine, only to crash out of the race at the "Garage Bleu" corner, again probably on some oil.
With Tomassoni firmly in the lead, 2001 Belgian BoxerCup winner Dirk Buylincks and Hofmann were left to dice for second position while in the closing laps a five-man battle was taking place for fourth. Guillaume Dietrich entered the last lap leading Barry Burrell, teammate Richard Cooper, Belgium's Sébastien Legrelle and promising BoxerCup newcomer Oriol Fernandez. Cooper tried a last lap move but failed, taking Burrell and Dietrich off the track with him, and Legrelle benefited from the incident to claim fourth position.