MotoCross > 2005 Round 4: Belgium > Race Results
WMXBelgiumMay 8, 2005
2005 FIM Motocross World Championship Round 4
Grand Prix of Belgium – Namur, Belgium

Pichon content with fourth at slippery Namur

Martin Honda rider Mickael Pichon scored fourth position despite difficult track conditions at Namur today for the L&M Grand Prix of Belgium, the fourth stop of seventeen in the 2005 FIM MX1 Motocross World Championship.

Mickael Pichon

Josh Coppins

The Frenchman captured two fourth places in the motos of 35 minutes and 2 laps duration in front of 26,000 spectators and tied for the bottom step of the overall podium, only losing the standing due to Ben Townley’s superior second moto result.

Heavy showers throughout the day on Saturday created a wet and very bumpy test out of the famous Namur terrain, sweeping enduro-fashion, through the park located around the Citadelle near the city centre. Pichon clocked a lap that gave him his fourteenth consecutive pole position and was superbly backed up by an impressive James Noble from the RWJ Honda squad in second. Race day saw brighter conditions with cooler temperatures but the showers persisted making the dirt boggy and slippery mere inches from the dry racing line. Overtaking was difficult and the motos were decided within the first few corners.

Pichon was unable to lead either sprint and had to guide the CR450F through the fast, rutty kinks of the layout in a quest for maximum points. The former double World Champion was not able to dial-in the suspension to suit the surface that mixed high speed with careful ‘trial-esque’ control on the very steep down-hills. He forged his way from seventh to fourth in moto1 after recovering from a brief fall and made a lot of ground in the second event where he was able to challenge Suzuki’s Joel Smets for third; a prize he wasn’t finally able to obtain.

James Noble had one of the best motos of his career when he held second place for two thirds of the first race. The Brit suffered a small crash on the flat Esplanade section after being plagued with arm pump that sadly dropped him down the order to eighth. In race two he was not able to repeat the same start and was fighting further down the field, eventually taking thirteenth.

It was not an enjoyable day for the British CAS outfit. Josh Coppins had been suffering from a cold coming into the event and needed acupuncture to try and relieve the symptoms. The New Zealander started poorly in both motos and the lack of passing opportunities meant he was left to feed from scraps left by the leading groups. His first moto was the better of the two when he managed to plough back to fifth from an opening lap position of tenth.

Coppins’ team-mate Jussi Vehvilainen endured more bad luck with injury as the Finn caught his foot nearing the end of the first moto and suffered a badly twisted ankle that could also mean damaged ligaments. He was unable to take to the line for the second outing and will need medical advice on Monday.

Pichon is currently second in the MX1 World Championship standing, twenty-seven points behind Everts. Coppins is fourth, one point behind Smets in third.

Stefan Everts won his seventh meeting at Namur and continued a ‘love affair’ with the venue that began in 1998. The Yamaha rider won the second moto while his team-mate Brian Jorgensen owned the first.

Pichon’s team-mate Javier Garcia Vico was unable to ride due to an inflamed neck. The condition had been affecting the Spaniard’s co-ordination and balance since the start of the season. Now that the problem has been recognized and treated the former 650cc Championship runner-up is hopeful of being back in action at Teutschenthal.

RWJ Honda’s Erik Eggens tried to make a comeback from the dislocated shoulder he sustained two weeks ago in Portugal but was only able to complete four laps in the first MX2 free practice session before deciding that the daunting Namur inclines were too much for his weak upper limb. Honda’s top rider was SRS representative Patrick Caps in an event that was another Yamaha benefit with Andrew McFarlane taking his first win of the season and Antonio Cairoli romping away with Moto1.

The next round of the World Championship occurs in just seven days as the series moves east to Teutschenthal for the Grand Prix of Germany.

James Jnoble

Jussi Vehvilaïnen

Mickael Pichon:
“I did not have so much fun out there today. We struggled all weekend with the setting of the bike and the suspension, which becomes even worse on this kind of track! I pushed the best I could but I was not comfortable on the bike or the surface. My start was pretty decent in the first moto but I went down on the first lap and then just had to try to race. Today I could not run at my own pace. Namur is a good thing for motocross but now it is becoming dangerous because the bikes are becoming faster and, today with the rain, it was terrible. Coming down the big hill on the bike was unbelievable, ruts and tree roots everywhere.”

“The starts were the key. I was tenth in the second moto and came to fourth which was not so bad. Except from Stefan in the first heat there was nobody else who could come back from a bad start. I just wanted to get points and be safe today; I tried to get the feeling out of my head that it wasn’t really possible to win here.”

Josh Coppins:
“I did not ride very well today and my starts were awful. I got tired in the second heat and this may have been down to the cold. I did the best I could and the track was really tricky so it was hard to concentrate. It could have been worse but overall I had a bad day and have to hope for better next week in Germany.”

Neil Prince, CAS Team Manager:
“With four laps to go Jussi caught his toe in a long rut which ripped his foot backwards and has led to a badly dislocated foot. He could not go out for the second race and we will go to the doctors tomorrow for an opinion and hopefully it is only a case of a little bit of rest and it should get better. We will have to wait and see about next week.”

2005 FIM Motocross World Championship Round 4
Grand Prix of Belgium – Namur, Belgium

MX1 - Race 1 Result
1 JORGENSEN Brian (Yamaha)
2 EVERTS Stefan (Yamaha)
3 VAN DAELE Marvin (Honda)
4 PICHON Mickael (Honda)
5 SMETS Joël (Suzuki)
6 COPPINS Joshua (Honda)
8 NOBLE James (Honda)
9 RAMON Steve (KTM)
10 LEOK Tanel (Kawasaki)
11 VEHVILAÏNEN Jussi (Honda)
12 COOPER Paul (Honda)
13 PYRHONEN Antti (TM)
14 NEMETH Kornel (Suzuki)
15 DE DYCKER Ken (Honda)
MX1 - Race 2 Result
1 EVERTS Stefan (Yamaha)
3 SMETS Joël (Suzuki)
4 PICHON Mickael (Honda)
5 JORGENSEN Brian (Yamaha)
6 COPPINS Joshua (Honda)
8 RAMON Steve (KTM)
9 LEOK Tanel (Kawasaki)
10 VAN DAELE Marvin (Honda)
11 DE DYCKER Ken (Honda)
12 THEYBERS Danny (Suzuki)
13 NOBLE James (Honda)
14 LEURET Pascal (Honda)
15 ATSUTA Yoshitaka (Suzuki)

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