MotoCross > Round 07: France > Race Results
WMXFranceJune 15, 2008
2008 FIM MX1 / MX2 World Motocross Championship Round 07
Grand Prix of France – St Jean d'Angely

Julien Bill fastest Honda at French MX1 GP

Julien Bill was Honda’s strongest performer at the seventh round of the FIM MX1 World Motocross Championship held at Saint Jean D’Angely, France. Bill rode his factory CRF450 to 10th and seventh place finishes to score a season best sixth place overall while his Honda Martin team-mate Marc De Reuver had an excellent fourth place finish in moto two.

Julian Bill

Julian Bill

The St Jean D’Angely track offered a very fast and hard-pack surface with precious few bumps or technical sections to help separate the riders. Although the organizers ripped up the rock littered soil surface to help create lines and get some moisture into the dry hillside circuit conditions were soon slick which meant for some very fast and furious action.

In Saturday’s qualifying sessions it was Bill who made his intentions clear by being was Honda’s best qualifier in fifth place as he set a scorching fast time just 0.578 of a second behind pole setter Steve Ramon. Bill’s Honda Martin team-mate Dutchman Marc De Reuver ended the session seventh just over one hundredth of a second behind the Swiss rider.

CAS Honda’s Billy MacKenzie didn’t qualify for Sunday’s races after suffering a huge crash early in the qualifying session. The Scotsman landed heavily injuring his right shoulder and collecting a mild concussion. Meanwhile Billy’s American team-mate Mike Brown safely qualified in 24th position and would be CAS’ sole competitor this weekend.

Bill got a great start in moto one and the Swiss star was obviously in fine form as he moved up through the pack to fourth place before losing a place to Spaniard Jonathan Barragan. While solidly circulating in fifth Julien made the smallest of errors, stalled the bike and slipped back to eighth. Unable to find his pre-stall race rhythm Julien lost a further two places before the checkered flag dropped but still finished inside the top-10.

Julien then started ninth in the second race and moved forward to seventh after passing Max Nagl, which is where he stayed for the remainder of the race. By finishing inside the top 10 twice Julien was able to score a season-best sixth place overall after beating former world championship leader Ken De Dycker on the better second race tie-breaker rule. Today’s bumper points haul also means Julien rises to 15th place in the series standings.

After retiring in race one with a rock-damaged rear brake rotor Marc De Reuver made amends by running a strong fourth throughout the second moto after passing Steve Boniface on lap two. On a track that really didn’t suit his style of riding De Reuver was able to dog Josh Coppins and reigning World Champion Steve Ramon right to the finish and was unlucky not to find a way past.

With MacKenzie being a non-starter, all eyes in the CAS camp were on Mike Brown. After starting in the top five of moto one a recurring dose of arm pump saw the #3 Honda rider slip back through the pack to 12th place at the end. Tenacious as ever, the Tennessean hung tough in moto two to score a solid 10th place for 11th overall. Mike’s efforts place the likeable American in 12th place in the series standings.

As a non-starter due to injury Billy MacKenzie slips to eighth – from fifth – in the series points standings but is still Honda’s highest placed rider. Just one place and three points behind the Scotsman is Dutchman Marc De Reuver.

American female racer Ashley Fiolek acquitted herself well once more in the third round of the FIM Women’s World Championship. After qualifying third on the LS Motorsports Honda less than one second behind the fastest rider in the session – Maria Franke – Ashley battled hard in both motos on Sunday to finish sixth overall on the day and retain her third placed ranking in the series. With a clash of dates between the Women’s World Championship and the American WMA National Series which she currently holds a 15 point lead in Ashley must make the tough decision of whether she’ll be at Teutschental or not.

Round eight of the FIM MX1 Motocross World Championship and round four of the Women’s World Championship will be the Grand Prix of Germany to be held at Teutschental on June 29.

Roger Harvey – Honda Off-Road coordinator
“Starting with the Honda Martin team I personally don’t think Marc should have stopped in the first race but the second race was much better from him. Julien Bill rode much better today and had a really good result – top 10 in both races is what we expect from Julien and it’s good to see him back up there.

“Obviously I’m devastated for Billy MacKenzie who paid a big price for making a small mistake. Hopefully he’s not broken the shoulder and it’s just bruised which is still obviously not good for him and will still take some time to heal. The sooner he’s back on the track the better really. Mike Brown did what he could today and just kept plugging away.

“Generally speaking the second race today was much better for our Honda MX1 riders with Marc De Reuver, Julien Bill and Mike Brown all riding much better which gives us hope for the remaining races of the championship. Obviously after today we’ve got Teutschental and with the form they’re showing we should be looking at getting back on the podium, which is what we want.

“In the MX2 class Marvin Musquin rode a brilliant qualifying heat to finish in second place in front of his home crowd. Then in the warm-up this morning he had a huge crash – in the same place as Billy – and bruised all his side. Considering he was under a lot of pressure to do well from his home crowd and he was in a lot of pain he rode very well.

“Ashley Fiolek had a tough day today but still sits in third place in the championship. She’s quite a long way back now but as she gains confidence and experience through the season I expect she’ll claw back the leading pair of riders and win a moto or two.

Mike Brown

Mark DeRuever

Julien Bill – Martin Honda
“I’m very happy this weekend especially with my lap times as the track was very fast and maybe even a little dangerous with all the rocks and stuff. I was fastest in one of the free practice sessions on Saturday, fifth in the qualifying session and also fastest in warm-up this morning.

“I got a great start in moto one and for 15 minutes I was riding well and pushing hard then I made a small mistake in the corner before the whoops section and stalled the bike so I ended up losing a lot of time and a lot of places. When I restarted I found I’d lost my rhythm a little bit and so I could only finish 10th but still that was not so bad.

“In the second race the start was not so good but I was riding well and pushing hard. I caught and passed Nagl and Noble and some guys crashed and I finished seventh which was good for sixth overall. I hope next time I will have a little bit more luck and then I can get a podium.”

Marc De Reuver – Martin Honda
“I got a really bad start in moto one but came through well to sixth place and I was pushing for fifth until I jumped really far down the big hill. When I landed I hit a big rock and that damaged my rear brake rotor. From there my brake wasn’t working properly and it was too dangerous to continue. I was very disappointed because I missed out on some good points there but that’s life I suppose.

“In the second heat I had a good start and stayed in fourth place behind Coppins, Ramon and Pourcel. I was riding well and they weren’t any faster than me and for half the race we were all close together. Then Pourcel upped the pace a little bit and it was just Ramon, Coppins and I. I was trying hard but we were all on the same pace and I couldn’t see a way to pass before the race finished.

“Overall today has been good for my confidence because the way this track is could not be any worse for me and I was able to run the same pace as the leaders in the championship. The next round is at Teutschental in Germany and I have won there before and I almost won there last year and so I know I can do well there again this year.”

Billy MacKenzie – CAS Honda
“The first two free practices went really well for me and my times always placed me near the front and so I was pretty confident going into the qualifying session. On my first fast lap I got a little bit cross-rutted on a step-down and I landed a little bit short and a little bit sideways. From there I can’t really remember much except feeling myself high side down the hill and then I must have banged my head really hard. I crawled off the track and then checked myself to see if I was all right, my shoulder was very sore and I was a bit out of sorts but I felt okay. I returned to the pits what felt like me to be straight away but the team later told me it was about 12 minutes so I don’t know what I’d been doing there. I must have banged my head harder than I thought because for the rest of the session I felt like I was going flat out but the team could see I was just cruising like I was on a sighting lap. I kept trying and trying and I felt like I was going quick enough but I couldn’t do any better than 35th at the end.

“Everything since the crash has felt like it’s been in fast forward and I’m not able to remember much detail since the accident. I went to the hospital and had my shoulder checked out. Nothing is broken although it feels very sore and they assume I have ligament and muscle damage. I’ll fly home to Scotland and see my doctor there for a full diagnosis.”

Mike Brown – CAS Honda
“I got a pretty good start in the first race and I was up to fifth at one point then I got behind Bill and I got a little bit of arm pump and I struggled from there on out, riding a little bit tight and I got passed by a couple of guys.

“In the second race I got another good start, a few guys got past me and then I just hung in there and rode my own race. Overall it wasn’t a bad day for me and certainly it was much better than I’ve been doing in the past few weeks so it’s good that I’m improving. I also felt a lot better on the bike and my confidence is really coming back.”

Ashley Fiolek – LS Honda
“The first moto was pretty good, I got a decent start and I was top three but on the second lap I crashed and then struggled to start the bike. I went a lap down and from there I just made the best of it to come back to 11th which isn’t the result I wanted but it’s what I got. The second moto I got a good start again and I was enjoying battling in the top five – we were all going for it. In the sand section Livia and I got together and we went down. Prumm got by us both and we got going again and started battling some more. Then I got stuck behind some lappers and the best I could do was finish third which I’m happy with considering the level of competition is so high over here.”

2008 FIM MX1 / MX2 World Motocross Championship
Round 07 Grand Prix of France – St Jean d'Angely

MX1 Race 1
1 Pourcel, Sebastien (Kawasaki)
2 Coppins, Joshua (Yamaha)
3 Barragan, Jonathan (KTM)
4 Leok, Tanel (Kawasaki)
5 Nagl, Maximilian (KTM)
6 de Dycker, Ken (Suzuki)
7 Desalle, Clement (Suzuki)
8 Nemeth, Kornel (KTM)
9 Priem, Manuel (Kawasaki)
10 Bill, Julien (Honda)
11 Ramon, Steve (Suzuki)
12 Brown, Mike (Honda)
13 Philippaerts, David (Yamaha)
14 Vanni, Julien (KTM)
15 Boniface, Steve (Yamaha)
MX1 Race 2
1 Pourcel, Sebastien (Kawasaki)
2 Coppins, Joshua (Yamaha)
3 Coppins, Joshua (Yamaha)
4 de Reuver, Marc (Honda)
5 Boniface, Steve (Yamaha)
6 Barragan, Jonathan (KTM)
7 Bill, Julien (Honda)
8 Nagl, Maximilian (KTM)
9 Noble, James (KTM)
10 Brown, Mike (Honda)
11 de Dycker, Ken (Suzuki)
12 Priem, Manuel (Kawasaki)
13 Coulon, Cyrille (Yamaha)
14 Anderson, Bradley (Suzuki)
15 Desalle, Clement (Suzuki)
MX2 Race 1
1 Searle, Tommy (KTM)
2 Tarroux, Jeremy (KTM)
3 Boissiere, Anthony (KTM)
4 Boog, Xavier (Suzuki)
5 Aubin, Nicolas (Yamaha)
6 Rattray, Tyla (KTM)
7 Aranda, Gregory (Kawasaki)
8 Musquin, Marvin (Honda)
9 Monni, Manuel (Yamaha)
10 van Horebeek, Jeremy (KTM)
11 Dougan, Jason (Suzuki)
12 Larrieu, Loic (Kawasaki)
13 Rombaut, Loic (Kawasaki)
14 Sword, Stephen (Kawasaki)
15 Seguy, Luigi (Kawasaki)
MX2 Race 2
1 Searle, Tommy (KTM)
2 Searle, Tommy (KTM)
3 Cairoli, Antonio (Yamaha)
4 Simpson, Shaun (KTM)
5 Frossard, Steven (Kawasaki)
6 Boissiere, Anthony (KTM)
7 Boog, Xavier (Suzuki)
8 Aranda, Gregory (Kawasaki)
9 Musquin, Marvin (Honda)
10 Aubin, Nicolas (Yamaha)
11 Goncalves, Rui (KTM)
12 Larrieu, Loic (Kawasaki)
13 Tarroux, Jeremy (KTM)
14 Seguy, Luigi (Kawasaki)
15 Avis, Wyatt (Honda)

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