Australian Andrew McFarlane wins round four of the Motocross World Championship Australian Andrew McFarlane (Yamaha) re-ignited his 2005 world motocross campaign with a superb overall victory in round four at Namur, Belgium, on May 8. The...
Australian Andrew McFarlane wins round four of the Motocross World Championship
Australian Andrew McFarlane (Yamaha) re-ignited his 2005 world motocross campaign with a superb overall victory in round four at Namur, Belgium, on May 8.
The 27-year-old Belgian-based Queenslander completed the two 14-lap MX2 races in third and second positions respectively, finishing the day with a 42pt haul, one more than Kawasaki-backed British rider Stephen Sword.
It was McFarlane's second overall victory in a five-year world motocross career, with the first coming in round nine of the 2004 title in Italy -- the day he scored his maiden race win.
"Things just went really well for me today, and with so many GPs to go, and everybody very even in the standings, this actually feels like a fresh start," said McFarlane. "I just felt very comfortable this weekend, and my two good starts were a big help.
"Because the conditions were tricky, I knew how important it was to stay out of trouble, and that's exactly what I did.
"It was my goal to move things forward here, because finally I'm completely healthy. And since I have lived in Belgium for some time now, the win has a really nice touch to it as well."
After heavy rain in the preceding 24 hours, the iconic 2.477km Namur terrain presented a stern test for the MX2 combatants on raceday, with Italian Antonio Cairoli (Yamaha) leading from go-to-whoa in the opener, although third-placed McFarlane only finished 3.621sec behind. In between, reigning world No. 19 David Philippaerts (KTM) was a stunning second, making it an Italian quinella.
Furthermore, it was Cairoli's fourth win in five races, although the world number three failed to finish race two -- his first DNF for the year.
With holeshot specialist, Cairoli, not a factor, McFarlane made a flying start in race two, before Sword eventually moved into the lead -- a position he would not surrender for the balance of the outing. The pair plundered the opposition, with third-placed Cedric Melotte (Yamaha) finishing a whopping 51.843sec behind McFarlane, who in turn was just 3.085 behind Sword at the chequered flag.
Sword became the fourth winner in 2005, behind South African Tyla Rattray (KTM), Cairoli and Billy Mackenzie (Yamaha).
Melotte, who was sixth in the 2004 MX1 title, still provided the main entertainment in race two after a spirited charge from a lowly 18th, which helped him to finish third overall on 38pts, ahead of Alessio Chiodi (Yamaha, 32) and Belgian Patrick Caps (Honda, 29).
Melotte moved up a world championship position at Namur, and is now in fourth on 114pts, behind Cairoli (147), Chiodi (135) and Sword (114). McFarlane is in fifth on 110pts after his overall win -- a jump of two spots.
Moreover, McFarlane is now only 37pts from the championship lead -- an improvement of 17 from round three.
Meanwhile, current No. 2 Rattray was the round's biggest casualty after twisting his knee in his qualification race on Saturday. With a visit to the specialist now in the pipeline, Rattray was forced to sit out the main races, and dropped from third to sixth in the standings on 90pts.
In MX1, Yamaha duo Brian Jorgensen and Stefan Everts were the race winners, with the latter extending his championship from 16 to 27pts.
With lap times over 10 seconds slower than those recorded by polesitter Mickael Pichon (Honda), the opening 14-lapper saw Jorgensen prevail from Everts and another local, Marvin Van Deale (Honda). Pichon was fourth from Joel Smets (Suzuki) and the New Zealand connection: Josh Coppins (Honda) and Ben Townley (KTM).
Townley lifted his work rate markedly in race two, at a circuit where he won an MX2 race in 2004. He finished just 2.010sec behind Everts, with Smets third from Pichon, Jorgensen and Coppins.
Everts is now on 172pts as he chases world title No. 8, with Pichon (145) still his main pursuer. Smets moved past Coppins (131) into third, with Townley (121) and Belgian Steve Ramon (KTM, 100) the only other riders on three figures.
Round five will be held at Teutschenthal, Germany, this weekend.
For full results and standings from the 2005 Motocross World Championship, visit www.motocrossmx1.com/