MotoCross > 2007 Round 06: Japan > Race Results
WMXJapanMay 27, 2007
2007 FIM MX1 / MX2 World Motocross Championship Round 06
Grand Prix of Japan – SUGO

Brown takes first CAS Honda podium of the season

The sixth round of the FIM MX1 Motocross World Championship, the Grand Prix of Japan at the Sugo circuit, May 27 saw Billy Mackenzie take the GP win but CAS Honda's Mike Brown clinched victory in the second moto and scored the first podium result of the season for the CRF450R with runner-up position overall.

Mike Brown

Mike Brown

The veteran celebrated his first moto victory since Red Bud 2005 (AMA Nationals) and his first in the World Championship since 2000 and the German Grand Prix at Gaildorf. In front of 24,000 spectators at the rough, hard and technical course close to Sendai city Brown, on his maiden visit to Sugo, placed fifth in the first moto behind a runaway Mackenzie while Jonathan Barragan was second, Josh Coppins third and David Philippaerts fourth. Mackenzie was leading the second race ahead of Brown but an untimely crash let the American, who again started so well in both sprints, through to own the chequered flag.

The 35 year old gave the British CAS team their first silverware since Ken de Dycker's appearance in the top three at the Grand Prix of Northern Ireland last August. De Dycker, who claimed his debut World Championship podium at Sugo twelve months ago, qualified in third position but was unable to capitalise on some early decent speed. An average start left him just outside the top ten and he was able to reach a highest placing of sixth. In the second outing of 35 minutes and 2 laps duration he gave chase to Mackenzie and led his team-mate but some rear brake fade forced his retirement; delivering thirteenth overall.

Reigning Japanese national champion Yoshitaka Atsuta was the next highest placed Honda rider with a very noteworthy sixth position in only his second Grand Prix appearance in two years. Team HRC's Atsuta, who rode for CAS Honda for three seasons in Europe, taking a highest finish of sixth on two occasions in 2004, the first year of MX1, was eighth and fifth in the strung-out battles occurring behind the leaders.

Multitek's James Noble registered yet another top ten finish with seventh - just behind Atsuta - and his results of tenth and eighth assisted towards a 24 point haul. It was a decent day's work for the Briton as he had been suffering with a cold. He almost gained the holeshot in the second race.

The MX2 Grand Prix slipped through the hands of Tony Cairoli for the first time this season as his unbeaten run came to an end due to World Champion Christophe Pourcel's first and second positions for a better total score. The Italian won the second race but his third spot from the first moto meant that he missed out on the top step of the rostrum by just two points. Tommy Searle, only seventeen years old, toasted his third podium of the season with third.

Pascal Leuret was sixth overall in the face of adversity and had to work hard in the second moto especially after crashing on the first corner and having to carve his way through the pack for a decent sixth place finish.

The Frenchman did not start well in the first race but fought through the field setting a bench mark sixth finish to aim at in the second moto. Although a little under-whelmed, the Martin Honda rider is currently fifth in the World Championship standings, two points behind Searle and the manufacturer's best placed rider by far.

In the MX1 World Championship De Dycker forms part of a tight five rider group vying for fourth position and currently stands sixth, eight points away. Brown is eighth and just ahead of Noble.

Martin Honda will have a new MX1 representative in the form of Julien Bill. The Swiss rider finished joint second in the 2005 MX3 World Championship and happily accepted the chance to steer Antoine Meo's CRF450R for the remainder of the season; his first Grand Prix in red colours will be next week in France. Meo has already had another injection into his troublesome left knee and will see a specialist next week. Further examination needs to be made into the extent of the ligament damage but the Frenchman has broken a piece of his meniscus and will certainly have surgery to correct this.

The World Championship fraternity will now head back to Europe take a one week break before contesting the seventh round of fifteen at the track of St Jean d'Angely for the French Grand Prix.

Ken DeDycker

Pascal Leuret

Mike Brown, CAS Honda:
"This feels great. I have been making decent starts all year but then getting arm-pump and going backwards. Today was different. When the temperatures are warm I don't seem to get arm-pump so bad. It is great to win a moto and it feels like a long time since the last one. I was satisfied with the top five in the first race. I worry about my arms every week but this weekend they were fine and I felt like I had energy left for the second moto. I hope I can climb up the championship now. If I keep getting starts like that and riding well then it will happen but I am just looking to do my best each time."

Ken de Dycker, CAS Honda:
"In the first moto I did not get a good start but was then riding quite well and reached sixth which wasn't too bad. In the second moto I came through quickly to second and after maybe ten or fifteen minutes the rear brake started to go and the last lap I did I had no brake at all. It is disappointing because my riding was good but I have had some bad luck and some poor results this year and I was hoping for better."

Yoshitaka Atsuta, Team HRC:
"It was very exciting to be here because I have a good bike and an excellent team. The second moto was better for me because I had a nice start and I could race inside the top five; I enjoyed that one. It was a great feeling to make a decent race for the fans here. I could push hard in the first few laps and then settled into a comfortable rhythm. I have not been doing too badly in the Japanese Championship this year but the tracks are quite small and I have been struggling to win; I hope it gets better. I hope I can ride some more GPs in the future, maybe next year."

James Noble, Multitek Honda:
"I am relatively happy considering that I have had a bit of a cold this weekend and was struggling yesterday. I was aching a lot today and it was a matter of just getting out there and seeing how well I could do. I was pleased that I could go the distance through the motos. I had an awful start in the first race but picked up some places early on and then settled into a rhythm to take tenth. In the second moto I got a mega start but nearly hit the gate because Gordon Crockard next to me went too early. The tow helped though and I hopped over the gate as it was falling. I came out in second and then had a bit of a moment half a lap into the race and a few people passed me. I was following Philippaerts and couldn't find a clean way through when Leok nipped past and smashed my helmet peak with his roost. It was flapping around and annoying me and I more or less ran out of steam by that stage and was happy to settle for eighth."

Pascal Leuret, Martin Honda:
"Not a bad day today. My start in the first race was horrible and I pushed hard to come back and passed maybe around ten riders to finish sixth and in the second moto I started really well but on the first corner I lost the front wheel and crashed. One guy ran over my elbow and I had no feeling in my hand and arm for at least half a lap. I started to ride strong after that and again overtook a lot of people. I restarted 29th and finished 6th, which wasn't so bad but without the crash at the start it might have been better."

2007 FIM MX1 / MX2 World Motocross Championship Round 06
Grand Prix of Japan – SUGO

MX1 - Race 1 Result
1 MACKENZIE Billy (Kawasaki)
2 BARRAGAN Jonathan (KTM)
3 COPPINS Joshua (Yamaha)
5 BROWN Mike (Honda)
6 DE DYCKER Ken (Honda)
7 POURCEL Sebastien (Kawasaki)
8 ATSUTA Yoshitaka (Honda)
9 RAMON Steve (Suzuki)
10 NOBLE James (Honda)
11 PRIEM Manuel (TM)
12 STRIJBOS Kevin (Suzuki)
13 MASUDA Kazumasa (Honda)
14 NEMETH Kornel (Suzuki)
15 NAGL Maximilian (KTM)
MX1 - Race 2 Result
1 BROWN Mike (Honda)
2 MACKENZIE Billy (Kawasaki)
3 COPPINS Joshua (Yamaha)
4 RAMON Steve (Suzuki)
5 ATSUTA Yoshitaka (Honda)
7 LEOK Tanel (Kawasaki)
8 NOBLE James (Honda)
9 PRIEM Manuel (TM)
10 STRIJBOS Kevin (Suzuki)
11 POURCEL Sebastien (Kawasaki)
12 NAGL Maximilian (KTM)
13 THEYBERS Danny (Suzuki)
14 NEMETH Kornel (Suzuki)
15 TODA Kuraudo (Suzuki)

Mike Brown
MX2 - Race 1 Result
1 POURCEL Christophe (Kawasaki)
3 CAIROLI Antonio (Yamaha)
4 SEARLE Tommy (KTM)
5 SWANEPOEL Gareth (Kawasaki)
6 LEURET Pascal (Honda)
7 BOISSIERE Anthony (Kawasaki)
8 HAMBLIN Sean (Suzuki)
9 CHURCH Tom (Kawasaki)
10 SEISTOLA Matti (Honda)
11 DOUGAN Jason (Suzuki)
12 GUNDERSEN K. (Yamaha)
13 AUBIN Nicolas (Yamaha)
14 VERBRUGGEN Dennis (Yamaha)
15 KOJIMA Youhei (Suzuki)
MX2 - Race 2 Result
1 CAIROLI Antonio (Yamaha)
2 POURCEL Christophe (Kawasaki)
3 SEARLE Tommy (KTM)
4 SWANEPOEL Gareth (Kawasaki)
6 LEURET Pascal (Honda)
7 BOISSIERE Anthony (Kawasaki)
8 NUNN Carl (Yamaha)
9 GUNDERSEN K. (Yamaha)
10 KOJIMA Youhei (Suzuki)
11 GUARNERI Davide (Yamaha)
12 BARR Martin (Yamaha)
13 VERBRUGGEN Dennis (Yamaha)
14 SIMPSON Shaun (Kawasaki)
15 DOUGAN Jason (Suzuki)

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