MotoCross > 2008 Round 05: Italy > Race Results
WMXItalyMay 18, 2008
2008 FIM MX1 / MX2 World Motocross Championship Round 05
Grand Prix of Italy – MANTOVA, Italy

Marc De Reuver and Martin Honda CRF450 victorious in Italian MX1 GP

Honda Martin’s Dutch rider Marc De Reuver gave Honda and the factory CRF450 their first overall win of the 2008 season with a super-consistent display in the Grand Prix of Italy – round five of the 15 round FIM MX1 Motocross World Championship – held at Mantova. By finishing third in both races De Reuver was able to edge out Frenchman Sebastien Pourcel and home rider, Italian David Philippaerts for the overall win while Honda’s second best performer – CAS Honda’s Billy MacKenzie – finished seventh overall.

Mark DeRuever

Billy MacKenzie

De Reuver fired a warning shot to all the competition by being fastest in each and every one of Saturday’s practice sessions as well as the all-important timed qualifying session which meant the tall Dutchman took pole and had first pick of the start gate for Sunday’s points paying races.

Torrential overnight rain made the Mantova circuit difficult and slippery for the two 35-minute plus two lap motos but that didn’t stop De Reuver and MacKenzie from charging to the front of the pack in moto one. Running third and fourth until MacKenzie crashed on lap 14, De Reuver secured Honda’s third moto podium finish of the year by hanging tough – after crashing no less than twice – for third. MacKenzie meanwhile remounted for ninth place.

Honda Martin’s Julien Bill and CAS Honda’s Mike Brown both got involved in a turn-two pile-up. Although both riders battled hard from there on Brown could finish no better than 18th while Bill pushed to a 24th place finish after riding with bent handlebars.

Moments before moto two started the rain that had been threatening to fall all day finally arrived which meant the conditions were even worse for the second encounter. This time all four factory Honda riders started inside the top 10 with Bill leading the way ahead of De Reuver, MacKenzie and Brown. While both De Reuver and MacKenzie were able to push forward through the pack on the slippery jump-filled circuit, Bill and Brown slipped back down the standings as both riders hit trouble.

When Spanish rider Jonathan Barragan crashed out of third place on lap six the overall win was as good as in the bag for De Reuver and the Dutchman was easily able to collect his second third place of the day to collect a confidence boosting overall win for the Honda Martin team. MacKenzie had a much more consistent ride in moto two to finally finish fourth which was good enough to put the British rider in seventh place overall.

While Brown bounced back from a mid-race crash to a 15th place finish for 17th overall, Bill was forced to retire with goggle problems and had to settle for a no score on the day.

American female race Ashley Fiolek acquitted herself well on the LS Motorsport Honda CRF250 to finish fifth overall in the second round of the Women’s World Championship. Finishing with a 5-4 scorecard Ashley elevated herself to third place in the championship standings behind Livia Lancelot and reigning champion Katherine Prumm.

The FIM Motocross World Championship will now take a one week break before continuing with the Grand Prix of Great Britain on June 1 at a brand-new venue for motocross – Mallory Park.

Billy MacKenzie

Mike Brown

Roger Harvey – Honda Off-Road coordinator
“When Honda decided to come back into motocross more seriously again the target was to reach the top step of the podium this year and that’s exactly what we’ve achieved with Marc De Reuver this weekend. He was fastest all day yesterday and although he didn’t win a race today he kept it together for the overall and it was great to see him on the top step of the podium and more importantly it was great to see Honda in first place which is where they should be – let’s hope it’s just the start of it.”

“Billy Mackenzie was pushing hard today and in race one he made a mistake after hitting a rut he hadn’t seen because he was so close to De Dycker and he crashed but remounted for ninth. In the second race he was good and rode strong and consistent, it’s just a shame he lost a few places in the first race.

“Julien Bill struggled a bit again today. He rode okay in the first one after crashing in the start but had to pull out of the second race with goggle problems due to the rain.

“Mike Brown was reasonably consistent all day but he didn’t get the results either he or Honda would like to see.

“All the riders seem to be settling in well with the bike. We’re obviously working very closely with Honda and there’s a lot of information being passed from Europe back to Japan and vice-versa. Everything seems to be gelling nicely now and Marc’s results today proved that improvements are being made and that will help increase confidence throughout the team.

“Our female racer Ashley Fiolek was again consistent even though the conditions aren’t helping her and things would be easier for her if the weather was kinder. She was fifth overall today and now sits in third place in the championship so we’re obviously very pleased with her performance too.”

Marc De Reuver – Martin Honda
“In all of Saturday’s practices I was first and so I was very confident for today. But then in warm-up this morning all the lines had changed and the track wasn’t flowing as well for me and all of a sudden I didn’t feel quite as confident. I have been feeling sick for the past few days and I am losing my voice plus with the rain overnight I wasn’t really looking forward to today’s races to be honest. In the first heat I got the holeshot but Pourcel passed me, then I made some mistakes and I crashed riding over a hay bail and getting the bike stuck for a moment, then I crashed again but I still managed to finish third - quite easily really.

“In the second heat I didn’t have such a good a start but I worked my way up to third and I was closing the gap with Philippaerts until I stalled the bike. I restarted it quite easily again and got going with no problems and from there I concentrated hard on finishing without crashing. I didn’t know I had won the overall until after I crossed the line and my team were going crazy. It’s the team’s home GP of course and so I’m very happy I could win it for them and for Honda – it made me feel really good. From here I want to podium at every race and I know that I can do that. I also want to win a moto as well as more GPs.”

Julien Bill – Martin Honda
“In the first moto I got a good start but in the second corner a couple of guys hit me pretty hard from behind and all our bikes were tangled together with mine on the bottom and I had to move their bikes before I could get to mine and I lost a lot of time there. When I got going again I discovered my handlebars were bent and I had a problem with the brakes. I tried hard but I was unable to get back into the points and I felt very disappointed.

“In the second moto I got another great start and I was going well but in the rhythm section I landed very short and I stalled the bike. It took me a long time to restart and after that I also had a problem with my goggles – that’s the way it goes sometimes but still I am very disappointed.”

Billy MacKenzie – CAS Honda
“In the first race I was sitting in third and I felt very comfortable there. I could see Ken in front of me must have being having problems because he’d slow down and then speed up. The boys were telling me to pass him but I wasn’t sure if I should do it straight away or wait a while and I just got myself muddled up. I went for it and crashed, sliding off and stalling the bike. I ended up ninth.

“In the second race I got a terrible start but managed to battle through quite well by concentrating on riding my own race, the rain was pouring down and I wanted to protect my goggles. I passed Pourcel who was all over the place and then I passed Coppins too and I was in fourth. From there I just took it easy and brought it home because it started to rain more heavily and the track was getting even slippier.”

Mike Brown – CAS Honda
“I got pushed to the outside of turn one in the opening moto and then after that I got caught up in the crash in turn two. From there on I didn’t really get anywhere and I finished in the same position that I set off in – it was probably one of the worst races I’ve ever ridden and everything I tried just wasn’t working.

“We changed the set-up of the bike for the second moto and that helped a lot. I got a much better start and I was in third I think. Conditions were slippery and I was all over the track, I slipped back to seventh and got a little tight and then I had a pretty big crash. I had problems with vision in the second race also because of the rain. Overall it was not a good day.”

2008 FIM MX1 / MX2 World Motocross Championship
Round 05 Grand Prix of Italy – MANTOVA, Italy

MX1 Race 1
1 Pourcel, Sebastien (Kawasaki)
2 de Dycker, Ken (Suzuki)
3 de Reuver, Marc (Honda)
4 Coppins, Joshua (Yamaha)
5 Philippaerts, David (Yamaha)
6 Ramon, Steve (Suzuki)
7 Leok, Tanel (Kawasaki)
8 Leok, Aigar (Yamaha)
9 Mackenzie, Billy (Honda)
10 Barragan, Jonathan (KTM)
11 Schiffer, Marcus (KTM)
12 Nagl, Maximilian (KTM)
13 Desalle, Clement (Suzuki)
14 Nemeth, Kornel (KTM)
15 Noble, James (KTM)

Mark DeRuever
MX1 Race 2
1 Nagl, Maximilian (KTM)
2 Philippaerts, David (Yamaha)
3 de Reuver, Marc (Honda)
4 Mackenzie, Billy (Honda)
5 Coppins, Joshua (Yamaha)
6 de Dycker, Ken (Suzuki)
7 Pourcel, Sebastien (Kawasaki)
8 Leok, Tanel (Kawasaki)
9 Ramon, Steve (Suzuki)
10 Priem, Manuel (Kawasaki)
11 Desalle, Clement (Suzuki)
12 Schiffer, Marcus (KTM)
13 Church, Tom (Kawasaki)
14 Anderson, Bradley (Suzuki)
15 Brown, Mike (Honda)
MX2 Race 1
1 Aubin, Nicolas (Yamaha)
2 Searle, Tommy (KTM)
3 Rattray, Tyla (KTM)
4 Cairoli, Antonio (Yamaha)
5 Goncalves, Rui (KTM)
6 Sword, Stephen (Kawasaki)
7 Simpson, Shaun (KTM)
8 van Horebeek, Jeremy (KTM)
9 Boog, Xavier (Suzuki)
10 Frossard, Steven (Kawasaki)
11 Paulin, Gautier (Kawasaki)
12 Monni, Manuel (Yamaha)
13 Musquin, Marvin (Honda)
14 Aranda, Gregory (Kawasaki)
15 Tarroux, Jeremy (KTM)
MX2 Race 2
1 Cairoli, Antonio (Yamaha)
2 Rattray, Tyla (KTM)
3 Searle, Tommy (KTM)
4 Simpson, Shaun (KTM)
5 Frossard, Steven (Kawasaki)
6 Aubin, Nicolas (Yamaha)
7 van Horebeek, Jeremy (KTM)
8 Eggens, Erik (Suzuki)
9 Paulin, Gautier (Kawasaki)
10 Nunn, Carl (Suzuki)
11 Goncalves, Rui (KTM)
12 Monni, Manuel (Yamaha)
13 Boissiere, Anthony (KTM)
14 Seistola, Matti (Honda)
15 Bonini, Matteo (Yamaha)

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