Australian Andrew McFarlane wins his fourth world motocross race! McFarlane maintains the rage Andrew McFarlane's resurgent world motocross form continued unabated at Teutschenthal in Germany on May 15, as the Australian motored to his fourth...
Australian Andrew McFarlane wins his fourth world motocross race!
McFarlane maintains the rage
Andrew McFarlane's resurgent world motocross form continued unabated at Teutschenthal in Germany on May 15, as the Australian motored to his fourth GP victory -- and second overall win in succession.
Finally free from debilitating injury, McFarlane (Team Ricci Yamaha YZ250F) was all brawn on the predominantly single-line circuit in central Germany, with his 45pt round five haul helping him climb two spots on the MX2 (125cc 2T versus 250 4T) ladder -- from fifth to third place.
McFarlane, who has finished on the podium in the last four MX2, is now on 155pts, just 19 behind Italian Antonio Cairoli (YZ250F, 174), with the Aussie's Italian teammate Alessio Chiodi (YZ250F, 173) in second place.
"I felt really strong in the first moto... although it was difficult to pass on the track," said McFarlane. "I took some risks to overtake lapped riders -- in one lap I lost four seconds, which was a bit frustrating.
"In the second moto I tried different things; Guarneri was riding really smart and Chicco (Chiodi) was pushing. I didn't want to let him pass, but in the final laps I made a mistake and he got through.
"I wanted to win both races here, but I'm happy with my second consecutive overall win. I feel really good now, the bike is awesome, and I'm happy for our team boss after the three riders got on the podium."
With conditions 'sticky' and rough after relentless rain on Saturday, it was no surprise that five different riders finished on the MX2 podium at Teutschenthal. Of the quintet, McFarlane was the only rider to double up, defeating Cairoli by a scant 0.411sec in the opening 17-lapper, before a third place in race two behind the third member of Team Ricci, Davide Guarneri, and Chiodi.
It was Guarneri's first GP win, after a couple of fifth places had previously highlighted his season. The young Italian moved up to 10th on 87pts after becoming the sixth separate MX2 winner in 2005, while the other big mover was Frenchman Mickael Maschio (YZ250F), whose moderate 22pt haul still saw him leapfrog four world title places -- from 10th to sixth. Maschio won the 2002 125cc title.
Meanwhile, South African Tyla Rattray (KTM 250SXF), who kickstarted the 2005 MX2 campaign with a perfect pointscore in Belgium, remains in eighth position, despite a season-ending knee injury sustained in practice for round four.
In MX1 (250cc 2T versus 450cc 4T), French maestro Mickael Pichon (Honda CRF450R) was the destroyer with two start-to-finish victories -- the first by 15.707sec over Joel Smets (Suzuki RM-Z450), and the second by an even more emphatic 19.476sec in advance of another Belgian, Stefan Everts (Yamaha YZ450F).
"I have been waiting for this victory," said Pichon. "I trained really hard over the winter and, like all of us, I want to win the championship.
"This is the best I have felt since the beginning of the year. I was able to pull away easily, and I was cutting through the backmarkers quickly and controlling the races."
Amazingly, it was only Pichon's second double victory in the last 15 grands prix, despite starting from pole position in all of them.
The 'blame' for Pichon's recent difficulty in translating superior qualifying speed into a glut of race wins can be attributed to defending world champion Everts, who only finished fourth overall in round five -- behind New Zealander Josh Coppins (CRF450R, 36pts) and Smets (35) -- after a crash in race one saw him only finish 11th.
However, this year may be shaping up as Pichon's, with the Frenchman having now supplanted Everts as the rider with the best winning record - four victories from 10 races, as opposed to his arch-rival's three. Smets (two) and Everts' teammate Brian Jorgensen (one) have been the other winners so far in 2005.
Meanwhile, KTM riders Ben Townley (KTM 450SXF), race one, and Steve Ramon (450SXF), race two, finished third in the two Teutschenthal journeys, and still remain fifth and sixth in the championship. Out front, Pichon took 18pts out of Everts' lead, with the score now reading 204 to 195. Smets and Coppins are in equal third on 167pts, followed by Townley (148) and Ramon (120).
Round five of the championship will be held at Sugo in Japan on May 29 -- the day before McFarlane turns 28. For full results and standings visit, www.motocrossmx1.com/reslists.aspx?ct=1&c=6