MOTOCROSS: World: Czech round 13 summary

McFarlane's untimely Czech bounce, but recovers to finish third Australian Andrew McFarlane (Yamaha YZ250F) has shrugged off a big crash in practice to finish third overall in round 13 of the Motocross World Championship at Loket in the Czech...

McFarlane's untimely Czech bounce, but recovers to finish third

Australian Andrew McFarlane (Yamaha YZ250F) has shrugged off a big crash in practice to finish third overall in round 13 of the Motocross World Championship at Loket in the Czech Republic on August 6-7.

On a slippery surface which afforded riders precious few places to overtake, the Brisbane rider finished fourth and third in the two 40-minute motos to maintain his lead in the MX2 (125cc 2T-250cc 4T) class -- albeit by a solitary point. The races were won by Italian Antonio Cairoli (YZ250F) and brilliant 16-year-old Christophe Pourcel (Kawasaki KX250F).

"Yesterday was pretty tough for me, and I was struggling today," said McFarlane. "However, I got two good starts and found some good lines, which allowed me to get onto the podium again.

"It was a decent result, because I did not have such a good feeling with the surface, but the points were important for the championship. Antonio (Cairoli) has come a lot closer, but there are four more GPs and a lot of points to be won."

With four rounds remaining, it's now self-evident that McFarlane (452pts) and Cairoli (451) will jostle it out to become world MX2 champion in 2005, as third-placed Alessio Chiodi (YZ250F, 402) is too far out of reach to mount a sustained challenge.

In a processional opening MX2 moto, Cairoli was without peer, leading all the way from Dutchman Marc de Reuver (KTM 250SXF), Britain's Carl Nunn (250SXF) and McFarlane. Under cloudy skies, race two was also quite a staid affair, although Pourcel's breakthrough win was a major centre of attention. Cairoli finished second in that one, ahead of Italian David Philippaerts (YX250F) and McFarlane.

In MX1 (250cc 2T-450cc 4T), it was also a day for firsts, with young Belgian Kevin Strijbos pushing hard to give Suzuki its maiden overall victory with the two-year-old RM-Z450.

After a season spent mostly on the sidelines, Strijbos defeated New Zealander Josh Coppins (Honda CRF450R) by 4.786sec in race two to go alongside his fourth from the opening stoush.

He finished the day with 43pts -- equal with defending champion Stefan Everts (Yamaha YZ450F), but the overall winner courtesy of his higher placing in race two.

Coppins was third on 42pts after his 3-2 finishes, and is now 39pts (539 to 500) behind Everts in the MX1 title. Third is another New Zealander, Ben Townley (KTM 450SXF, 426pts), from Joel Smets (RM-Z450, 385) and Mickael Pichon (CRF450F), who started from pole position at Loket for the 10th time this year.

That helped Pichon - who has announced that he'll compete for one more year before considering retiring - to a second place behind Everts in race one, before he was caught up (alongside Everts, Smets, Steve Ramon et al) in a Turn One melee in race two. He eventually retired with six laps to run, while Everts mounted the best recovery mission to finish fourth.

After a two-week recess, the world motocross paddock re-convenes in Germany on August 20-21, which will mark the start of three consecutive weekends of action. The championship will conclude in Ireland on September 17.


MX1 race one 1 Stefan Everts Belgium Yamaha 2 Mickael Pichon France Honda 3 Josh Coppins New Zealand Honda 4 Kevin Strijbos Belgium Suzuki 5 Ben Townley New Zealand KTM 6 Ken de Dycker Belgium Honda 7 Pascal Leuret France Honda 8 Tanel Leok Estonia Kawasaki 9 Brian Jorgensen Denmark Yamaha 10 Mark Hucklebridge Great Britain Honda

MX1 race two 1 Strijbos 2 Coppins 3 Townley 4 Everts 5 de Dycker 6 Luigi Seguy France Yamaha 7 Leok 8 Hucklebridge 9 James Noble Great Britain Honda 10 Danny Theybers Belgium Suzuki

Current MX1 standings (after 13 of 17 rounds): 1 Everts 539 2 Coppins 500 3 Townley 426 4 Smets 385 5 Pichon 368 6 Steve Ramon 342 7 Leuret 267 8 de Dycker 245 9 Noble 230 10 Jorgensen 224

MX2 race one 1 Antonio Cairoli Italy Yamaha 2 Marc de Reuver Holland KTM 3 Carl Nunn Great Britain KTM 4 Andrew McFarlane Australia yamaha 5 Christophe Pourcel France Kawasaki 6 Cedric Melotte Belgium Yamaha 7 Sebastien Pourcel France Kawasaki 8 Billy Mackenzie Great Britain Yamaha 9 Alessio Chiodi Italy Yamaha 10 Nicolas Aubin France Yamaha

MX2 race two 1 Christophe Pourcel 2 Cairoli 3 David Philippaerts Italy KTM 4 McFarlane 5 Melotte 6 Mackenzie 7 Nunn 8 Stephen Sword Great Britain Kawasaki 9 Chiodi 10 Aigar Leok Estonia KTM

Current MX2 standings (after 13 of 17 rounds): 1 McFarlane 452 2 Cairoli 451 3 Chiodi 402 4 Philippaerts 368 5 Melotte 352 6 Sword 285 7 Christophe Pourcel 270 8 Mackenzie 256 9 Nunn 251

-Motorcycling Australia

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Series General
Drivers Andrew McFarlane , Mickael Pichon , Christophe Pourcel , Kevin Strijbos , Joel Smets , Stefan Everts