Philippaerts third in MX1 Grand Prix of France
KTM Red Bull Racing Team’s David Philippaerts performed well in MX1 at the Grand Prix of France on Sunday, registering a 2-5 result in the two heats for a confidence building overall third place for the Italian rider.
The result also places Philippaerts in third place in the season’s world championship standings, a significant improvement on earlier performances.
Team-mate Jonathan Barragan, still nursing a shoulder injury from a crash in Japan came in at sixth place and is also sixth in the standings.
Riders were faced with extremely hot conditions for the race, which took its toll on available energy racing in Saint-jean d’Angely in the South of France.
‘I am very happy with the first heat but not quite so content with the second when I lost contact with the front runners and couldn’t manage more than fifth,’ Philippaerts said. The Italian nevertheless has a soft spot for this venue where he won his first ever Grand Prix in MX2 in 2005. ‘I like this track a lot but this is my first year in MX1 and it is a very different matter than riding in MX2,’ Philippaerts concluded.
Barragan said he was still feeling the effects of his shoulder injury after the crash in Japan, which in fact re-enflamed the bang he had given the shoulder at the beginning of the season. ‘Today I didn’t seem to find my rhythm in both heats,’ the Spaniard said. ‘I am still quite nervous about my shoulder injury and it was very hot and uncomfortable riding with a protective brace. For sure I am only feeling at 80% but I hope that by next week I will be back at 100%.
Both Philippaerts and Barragan are looking forward to the next GP in Bulgaria, a track they both like. ‘It was in Bulgaria that started my winning cycle last season,’ Philippaerts said. ‘I hope it’s the same for me this year.’
It was an unlucky weekend for the third KTM factory rider, Max Nagl. The German was ninth in the first heat but then crashed in the second. X-Rays reveled he had re-broken his collarbone, fractured earlier in the season.
Team boss Stefan Everts also expressed satisfaction with Philippaerts result. ‘David is doing well now. Even though he did not have a good start in the second race, he is always improving and is riding in a clever way. Our goal was to make podiums with MX1 and today’s result was positive for us.’
1. Josh Coppins, New Zealand, Yamaha
2. Steve Ramon, Belgium, Suzuki
3. David Philippaerts, Italy, KTM
4. Billy Mackenzie, Britain, Kawasaki
5. Tanel Leok, Estonia, Kawasaki
6. Jonathan Barragan, Spain, KTM
14. Max Nagl, Germany, KTM
Overall third for Philippaerts in France
High flying Barragan
Rattray overall third in France in MX2
South African Tyla Rattray scored a third overall in MX2 for the KTM Red Bull Racing Team on Sunday in the Grand Prix of France but declared his intention to go after victories against the two dominant riders in the class.
‘It’s not easy to beat them but now I want to start winning,’ Rattray declared speaking of Antonio Cairoli of Italy and Frenchman Christophe Pourcel. ‘These two guys are very fast but I am very positive and in a strong mental condition and I am going to work hard on trying to win races.’
Tyla was third in both races on Sunday at Saint-Jean d’Angely on a blisteringly hot race day in the South of France. He is third in the world championships standings and is within range of catching Pourcel, who is 14 points in front of him. Cairoli continues to dominate the MX2 championships, adding another maximum 50 points this weekend.
Rattray’s young teammate, British teenager Tommy Searle admitted that he struggled to find his rhythm in both races. He nevertheless finished with a creditable 5-6 result for overall sixth place and is now fifth in the championship standings.
KTM Offroad Director Pit Beirer said overall he was quite happy with both the MX1 and MX2 teams. ‘We have new team members and they are working well together. We basically started from scratch this season and our target was to win races. We know we have very competitive riders and we are riding at a high level,’ Beirer said. ‘It makes me happy when we are on the podium and what we hope for is to have all our riders up there.’
1. Antonio Cairoli, Italy, Yamaha
2. Christophe Pourcel, France, Kawasaki
3. Tyla Rattray, South Africa, KTM
4. Pascal Leuret, France, Honda
5. Nicolas Aubin, France, Yamaha
6. Tommy Searle, Britain, KTM
Rattray prepares for action
Searle takes on the opposition
KTM celebrates triple podium in Erzberg Red Bull Hare Scramble
KTM scooped all podium places at Erzberg on Sunday in what is considered to be one of the most extreme tests for man and machine, the Red Bull Hare Scramble for single cylinder machines held on Austria’s Iron Mountain.
Polish rider Tadeuz Blazusiak set himself up for a good race when the Austrian manufacturer offered him a KTM 250 EXC to ride in Saturday night’s Enduro Cross show race. His good result in that event gave him a wild card for a front row start in Sunday’s Hare Scramble and the 24-year-old professional Enduro rider capitalized on the opportunity in the best possible way. He won the race with style and finesse, with a comfortable lead of around six minutes.
Tom Sager of Britain was second on his KTM 250 EXC and runaway championship leader in the 2007 Enduro E1 class world championship Finland’s Juha Salminen was third. Salminen was onboard the brand new 2008 KTM 300 EXC-E machine, the first time it has been ridden.
‘This is unbelievable for me,’ Blazusiak said after the race, which he completed in one hour 29 minutes and 48 seconds. ‘This is my first time at Erzberg and right from the first very rocky section it all went without any problems.’
The character of the race and the enormously difficult terrain, cut out of the former open cut iron ore mine on the side of this Austrian mountain makes it very rare for a rider to have such a smooth run. The result is therefore a particular tribute to the skills of the Polish rider who dominated the race once he had secured the lead.
KTM rally factory rider Cyril Despres was less fortunate. He was in third place when a damaged tyre forced his retirement.
Young 18-year-old American rider Kyle Redmond finished in ninth place on his KTM 250 EXC in his first ever Erzberg competition, coming in just behind KTM Enduro E3 factory rider, Marko Tarkkala of Finland. German privateer Ralf Scheidhauer also put in a good race in the big field of starters and finished in tenth place on his KTM 250 EXC.
Riders had to contend with hot, dusty and very tough conditions for the race, with the skies opening in a major thunder storm after the leading riders were safely home.
All in all, KTM riders took six of the top 10 places in this gruelling race to wrap up a near perfect weekend. On Thursday KTM riders took four of the top five places in the 2-cylinder event on the Iron Mountain.
Results Hare Scramble
1. Tadeuz Blazusiak, Poland, KTM, 1 hour 29 minutes 48 seconds
2. Tom Sager, Britain, KTM, 1:35.36
3. Juha Salminen, Finland, KTM, 1:42.45
4. Wayne Braybrook, Britain, GasGas, 1:47.10
5. Paul Edmondson, Britain, Suzuki, 1:47.54
6. Gerhard Forster, Germany, Beta, 1:48.47
7. Paul Bolton, Britain, Honda,1:57.05
8. Marko Tarkkala, Finland, KTM 2:03.50
9. Kyle Redmond, USA, KTM, 2:09.49
10. Ralf Scheidhauer, Germany, KTM, 2:11.20