McFarlane leads Motocross World Championship! The MX2 Motocross World Championship has a new leader -- Australia's Andrew McFarlane (Team Ricci Yamaha YZ250F) -- after an eventful round seven at Matchams Park in England on June 5. In...
McFarlane leads Motocross World Championship!
The MX2 Motocross World Championship has a new leader -- Australia's Andrew McFarlane (Team Ricci Yamaha YZ250F) -- after an eventful round seven at Matchams Park in England on June 5.
In cold and wet conditions, the pugnacious 27-year-old Queenslander was at the top of his game, claiming overall honours for the third time this year -- a second and first in the two 40-minute races.
In contrast, three of McFarlane's rivals, fellow Yamaha YZ250F punters Antonio Cairoli, Alessio Chiodo and Billy Mackenzie, failed to score points in one of the contests, resulting in an extensive re-modelling of the championship table.
McFarlane leapt three spots at Matchams Park, and is now leading the way on 232pts, ahead of Cairoli (225), Chiodi (221), Kawasaki's Stephen Sword (KX250F, 219) and Belgian Cedric Melotte (YZ250F, 185).
"Today everything went really well - the bike settings, the choice of tyres - and for the first time in my career I am leading a world championship," said McFarlane. "The track was really difficult, but I made two good starts and it helped me to get my third GP win of the season.
"I'm leading the championship but the season is really long, there are many races to go and I want to take one race at a time, as everyone knows, and we saw it again today, that everything can happen in motocross racing."
With 27,000 hearty spectators braving the elements, reigning world No. 8 Carl Nunn (KTM 240 SXF) broke through for his first win in five years in the opening MX2 race, finishing 1.404sec ahead of McFarlane. Italian David Philippaerts (250SXF) was a lonely third, a position that he would also make his own in race two.
While Nunn became the seventh MX2 winner in 2005 in race one, Cairoli failed to score points for the first time in this year's campaign, with his angst compounded by a damaged scaphoid. It was not enough to leave him out of the mix in race two, but he was only good enough for a 13th position in that one -- for a measly day's return of 8pts.
Mackenzie, twice a winner so far in 2005, also crashed out of the opener, and tweaked his knee in the process.
With conditions deteriorating at a rapid rate, McFarlane claimed ownership of race two, motoring to his fifth GP win with over Frenchman Christophe Pourcel (KX250F), who returned to the podium for the first time since round one. Mackenzie followed Philippaerts home in fourth, while Nunn (14th) couldn't continue his earlier heroics. Chiodo crashed out three laps from home, while Melotte earnt himself a DNF moniker before the halfway mark.
The fastest lap in race two (Pourcel's 2:05.667) was a whopping 10.018sec slower than Mackenzie's race one benchmark -- the founding record at the new Matchams Park layout.
In the MX1 championship, world champion Stefan Everts (Yamaha YZ450F) was at his pernicious best, winning both races by a touch over 30 seconds.
It was the eight-time world champion's first whitewash in 2005, and saw him move to a commanding 50pt (301 to 261) lead over Mickael Pichon (Honda CRF450R) in the 17-round title, with the latter only scoring one top 10 finish in a below par display.
While Everts was an indomitable presence out front, the racing at Matchams Park still provided some theatrics -- starting off with a Turn One collision in the opener between Pichon, New Zealander Ben Townley (KTM 450SXF) and Joel Smets (Suzuki RM-Z450). Townley, who started from pole position after breaking Pichon's amazing 16-round streak, recovered beautifully to finish third behind the Belgian quinella of Everts and Steve Ramon (450SXF), while Smets was seventh. Pichon had managed to sneak back into the top 10 before a crash in a fast section of the circuit evaporated any claims of a good result. He finished 13th.
Race two was dejà vu for Everts, while world No. 3 Josh Coppins (CRF450R) was a strong second from Smets, Jonathan Barragan (450SXF) and Townley.
Coppins finished second overall on 40pts, which was enough to sneak him past Smets in the world championship battle. Coppins is now on 243pts, 18 behind Pichon, and five in advance of Smets.
Round eight of the Motocross World Championship will be held in Italy this weekend.
<pre> MX2 standings (after seven of 17 rounds): 1 Andrew McFarlane Australia Yamaha 232 2 Antonio Cairoli Italy Yamaha 225 3 Alessio Chiodi Italy Yamaha 221 4 Stephen Sword Great Britain Kawasaki 219 5 Cedric Melotte Belgium Yamaha 185 6 Billy Mackenzie Great Britain Yamaha 162 7 David Philippaerts Italy KTM 135 8 Mickael Maschio France Yamaha 134 9 Rui Goncalves Portugal Yamaha 130 10 Patrick Caps Belgium Honda 127
MX1 standings (after seven of 17 rounds): 1 Stefan Everts Belgium Yamaha 301 2 Mickael Pichon France Honda 261 3 Josh Coppins New Zealand Honda 243 4 Joel Smets Belgium Suzuki 238 5 Ben Townley New Zealand KTM 204 6 Steve Ramon Belgium KTM 183 7 James Noble Great Britain Honda 141 8 Ken de Dycker Belgium Honda 138 9 Brian Jorgensen Denmark Yamaha 121 10 Danny Theybers Belgium Suzuki 113