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WMXItalyJune 12, 2005
2005 FIM Motocross World Championship Round 8
Grand Prix of Italy Gallarate

Coppins takes 7th in a bad race for the Championship

CAS rider Josh Coppins took seventh place as Martin Honda representative Mickael Pichon was unable to finish either race today in front of 20,000 fans at Castiglione del Lago for the Italian Grand Prix and round eight of seventeen in the 2005 MX1 Motocross World Championships.

Joshua Coppins

Joshua Coppins

One of the few deep ruts on the course caught out Pichon in the first moto after he had worked his way into seventh place following a poor start (he stole twelve positions in twelve laps). The Martin Honda rider was pushing Stefan Everts but slipped off and lost eight positions before retiring on the same lap. It quickly emerged that he had damaged his wrist and hurt his leg in the incident and wasn’t keen to take to the line for the second race. It was a bitter blow for the Martin team at their home GP as Pichon had resumed his qualification supremacy on Saturday by taking his seventeenth pole position in two seasons (his consecutive run of sixteen was broken last week by KTM’s Ben Townley). The Frenchman was feeling happier with his physical condition after some light training during the week and with the less demanding nature of the Italian layout.

The track was hard and worn but not so bumpy, allowing some close racing. The terrain was also watered in the morning to contain the dust in the summer breeze and this created a grippy dirt that facilitated high speeds.

After Pichon’s exit in race one Coppins was next to challenge the World Champion but was unsuccessful despite three laps of heavy pressure running up to the checkered flag. The story of a great first moto of racing, involving four riders battling for the lead and another five gunning for fourth place, was privateer Honda man Pascal Leuret who achieved his best ever GP result when he rode to third position, earning his maiden top three after Joel Smets slipped down with two laps to go. Leuret would go on to claim fifth overall in a slightly lower key and lonely seventh place in moto2 but his efforts were excellent on stock machinery and little budget. Coppins was disappointed with his riding and although he managed to eventually pass Brian Jorgensen, who took second place in the first sprint, he rolled over the line fifth and some time adrift from the leaders. RWJ Honda’s James Noble had another quiet Grand Prix and lurked around the fringes of the top ten finally resting on the edge of the leader-board.

Pichon’s DNF and DNS have serious implications for the World Championship. His chief rival Stefan Everts was beaten into second position on the last lap of Moto2 by Ben Townley but still collected 38 points for his podium ranking. Pichon has dropped from second to fourth and lies 78 points away from Everts; over three whole motos. The former double World Champion now has almost two weeks to recover before his home GP. Coppins has jumped to third and is 2 points behind Suzuki’s Joel Smets.

In MX2 Honda were best represented by Patrick Caps who was eighth overall. The Belgian took moto finishes of sixth and tenth and is ninth in the World Championship. Antonio Cairoli won for Yamaha from Kawasaki’s Stephen Sword and KTM’s David Philippaerts.

The first ever female Grand Prix entrant Stefy Bau failed to qualify for the MX2 motos after finishing 20th in the first heat race and then 20th in the Last Chance session. The American was riding a 250F and will now hope for better at Uddevalla for the FIM Women’s Cup next month.

After a three week run of consecutive Grand Prix taking in Japan, Great Britain and now Italy, the World Championships pause for thirteen days before resuming on the last weekend of June at St Jean d’Angely for round eight in France.

Pascal Leuret

James Noble

Josh Coppins:
“A crap day. I could not get the starts and then rode badly on the first laps and by the time I got a rhythm it was too late. I struggled and made hard work of it all day. I couldn’t get comfortable and basically wasn’t in the race; overtaking was very hard. The bike was OK it just wasn’t my day and I had to do the best I could.”

Paolo Martin, Team manager Martin Honda
“Mickael had a fall in the first race and he had pain in both his wrist and his leg and felt like he couldn’t do the second moto; it is a real shame because he was riding so well to come back from the bad start. It is a difficult situation for the Championship but we will see what his condition is like after two or three days.”

Pascal Leuret:
“I had a great start also in Spain but I had arm-pump at the first few races and this has been getting better every week, so much so that it does not bother me that much now. The track here today wasn’t so rough and this meant that I could make a strong rhythm. I knew a good result was possible but I never expected a top three. I am so happy for my family and my sponsors.”

Stefy Bau:
“This weekend was a wonderful chance to experience a Grand Prix and although I didn’t qualify it was great to be here in the paddock and go up against the top guys. I learnt a lot and will now look forward to coming back in Sweden. I want to thank everybody who helped me get here.”

2005 FIM Motocross World Championship Round 8
Grand Prix of Italy Gallarate

MX1 - Race 1 Result
2 JORGENSEN Brian (Yamaha)
3 LEURET Pascal (Honda)
4 SMETS Joël (Suzuki)
5 RAMON Steve (KTM)
6 COPPINS Joshua (Honda)
7 BARRAGAN Jonathan (KTM)
8 SEGUY Luigi (Yamaha)
9 RAMON Steve (KTM)
10 FEDERICI Claudio (Yamaha)
11 PYRHONEN Antti (TM)
12 ATSUTA Yoshitaka (Suzuki)
13 NOBLE James (Honda)
14 STRIJBOS Kevin (Suzuki)
15 PYRHONEN Antti (TM)
MX1 - Race 2 Result
2 EVERTS Stefan (Yamaha)
3 SMETS Joël (Suzuki)
4 BARRAGAN Jonathan (KTM)
5 COPPINS Joshua (Honda)
6 JORGENSEN Brian (Yamaha)
7 LEURET Pascal (Honda)
8 SEGUY Luigi (Yamaha)
9 LEOK Tanel (Kawasaki)
10 NOBLE James (Honda)
11 NEMETH Kornel (Suzuki)
12 PYRHONEN Antti (TM)
13 RAMON Steve (KTM)
14 ATSUTA Yoshitaka (Suzuki)
15 THEYBERS Danny (Suzuki)

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