McFarlane back to fourth in MX2 title hunt Australian Andrew McFarlane's (Yamaha YZ250F) recent bout of indifference in the 2004 Motocross World Championship continued at the ultra-fast Teutschenthal circuit in Germany on May 1-2 - but again...
McFarlane back to fourth in MX2 title hunt
Australian Andrew McFarlane's (Yamaha YZ250F) recent bout of indifference in the 2004 Motocross World Championship continued at the ultra-fast Teutschenthal circuit in Germany on May 1-2 - but again it wasn't all his own undoing.
After an excellent start in the opening MX2 (125cc two-stroke versus 450cc four-stroke) moto at round five, the 26-year-old Brisbane rider was brought down by Belgian Patrick Caps (Yamaha), and re-entered the fray in 25th position. Despite a front-end slightly worse for wear, McFarlane worked his way back to 13th at the finish -- which could have been a few places higher had the moto not been red-flagged two laps from home after Italian Andrea Bartolini (Yamaha) crashed.
In the second moto, McFarlane -- still a bit tender after yet big crash in Saturday qualifying -- was hampered by a wrong tyre choice, and finished seventh -- 21.399sec behind race winner and new world championship leader Stephen Sword (Kawasaki KX250F).
"In the second moto, the bike was sliding around with about 15 minutes to go and the back-end was all over the place," said McFarlane. "The track conditions must have changed more than I realised, so it was very disappointing.
"I have shown again that I have the speed, but unfortunately crashes on Saturday (in qualifying) have been a problem. I hope that in the next couple of events I can improve and get back in the title chase."
After his angst-ridden weekend, McFarlane (150pts) dropped from third to fourth in the 15-round title chase -- two in arrears of third-placed Tyla Rattray (KTM 250, 152).
As mentioned, Sword (197pts) is the new MX2 pacesetter, displacing New Zealander Ben Townley (KTM 250, 194) from a lead he had held since round one. Townley won the opening moto in Germany by 4.548sec from 2002 world 125cc champion Mickael Maschio (Kawasaki) and Sword, and was on track for a repeat in the second instalment before crashing out.
Meanwhile, Maschio also finished runner-up in race two behind Sword to make it a Kawasaki 1-2, with veteran Italian Claudio Federici (Yamaha) third.
In MX1 (250cc two-stroke versus 450cc four-stroke), Danish rider Brian Jorgensen (Honda) -- hitherto the chameleon of the 2004 title chase -- won not only his maiden grand prix in the opening moto, but doubled up with a superb victory over Stefan Everts (Yamaha) in the second. As a result, Jorgensen, fourth in last year's premier MotocrossGP class, jumped from 12th to ninth in the title chase on 100pts, but still well behind runaway leader, Everts (218).
The latter increased his championship lead from 26 to 30pts over teammate Cedric Melotte in round five, while Steve Ramon (KTM) and Frenchman Michael Pichon (Honda) held onto third and fourth respectively. Pichon, a two-time 250cc champion, crashed heavily in qualifying and was below his best on raceday -- despite starting from pole position.
Finally, Joel Smets, one of nine Belgian riders currently in the championship top 20, was third on Suzuki's prototype RM-Z450 in race two.
Round six of the title will be held at Neeroeteren, Belgium, on May 16.
RESULTS -- ROUND FIVE
Race one: 17 laps
1 Ben Townley KTM
2 Mickael Maschio Kawasaki
3 Stephen Sword Kawasaki
4 Claudio Federici Yamaha
5 Alessio Chiodi Yamaha
6 Patrick Caps Yamaha
7 Jamie Dobb Honda
8 Antonio Cairoli Yamaha
9 Jonathan Barragan KTM
10 Marvin Van Deale Suzuki
13 Andrew McFarlane Yamaha
Race two: 19 laps
5 Tyla Rattray KTM
9 Pascal Leuret KTM
10 Anthony Boissiere Yamaha
Current MX2 standings (after five of 16 rounds): 1 Sword 197; 2 Townley 194; 3 Rattray 152; 4 McFarlane 150; 5 Maschio 124; 6 Marc de Reuver, KTM, 121; 7 Cairoli 114; 8 Dobb 105; 9 Aigar Leok, KTM, 93; 10 Carl Nunn, Hon, 91.
Race one: 19 laps
1 Brian Jorgensen Honda
2 Cedric Melotte Yamaha
3 Stefan Everts Yamaha
4 Steve Ramon KTM
5 Joel Smets Suzuki
6 Josh Coppins Honda
7 Marnicq Bervoets Yamaha
8 Kenneth Gundersen KTM
9 Ken de Dijcker Honda
10 Mickael Pichon Honda
Race two: 19 laps
8 Kevin Strijbos Suzuki
10 Tanel Leok Suzuki
Current MX1 standings (after five of 16 rounds): 1 Everts 218; 2 Melotte 188; 3 Ramon 162; 4 Pichon 150; 5 Coppins 147; 6 Smets 138; 7 Gundersen 133; 8 Strijbos 112; 9 Jorgensen 110; 10 Leok 95.
For full results and standings, visit www.motocrossmx1.com/