Monster Energy Yamaha roared back to the front of the FIM Motocross World Championship as Dean Ferris and Christophe Charlier both played roles as protagonists in Italy today for the Grand Prix of Trentino and the fourth round of seventeen in the 2013 series.
Arco di Trento entered the GP spotlight for the first time in many years and for the first time this century. The tight and undulating course was mainly hard-pack but with a shallow layer of loose top soil meaning varying levels of grip and sizes of ruts and braking bumps through the sections. 23,000 spectators came to the second European-based event of the season and enjoyed sunshine and high temperatures.
Christophe Charlier missed out on his first podium appearance of 2013 by just one point. The Corsican was third just behind Jordi Tixier in the first MX2 moto and a better start in the second dash of 35 minutes and 2 laps might have led ‘23’ to pass the Frenchman at the second time of asking which would have put him on the rostrum. Ultimately he passed the chequered flag with fifth. The pace and confidence of the former European Champion on the prototype YZ250FM was excellent to see and his fourth position overall still represented a good points haul for the championship in which he holds fifth place in the standings.
Dean Ferris was back on form after recovering further from collarbone surgery. The Australian grabbed a decent third in the qualification heat on Saturday and headed all four Monster Energy Yamaha riders in the top eight. He was unlucky to crash on the first corner of the opening moto on Sunday. The incident put him far behind the pack and after persevering to gain positions in the first phases of the race instead chose to retire and conserve energy for a full tilt in the second outing. Ferris complied in style with his goal and yet more lightning speed from his YZ250F along the start straight helped him slot into the top three of the running order. The Qatar GP podiumee chased Jose Butron for long periods but couldn’t demote the Spaniard and settled for a pleasing third place.
Mel Pocock struggled to get to grips with the terrain despite the bright launches from the gate that saw him alongside Ferris at the commencement of both races. An error with tyre choice in the second moto meant that he couldn’t better his previous result of tenth and crossed the line in thirteenth. Maxime Desprey was also lively off the line and ran as high as sixth in the second moto before edging back to eleventh; still his best GP result to-date in a rookie term. The French teenager crossed the threshold in fifteenth in the first race and ended the day with a final absolute ranking of thirteenth.
Round five of the FIM Motocross World Championship will take place next weekend at the award-winning Sevlievo circuit for the Grand Prix of Bulgaria.
“It was a shame about the first race because there might have been a chance of sticking the bike on the box but I’m happy about how strong I am after the injury and it’s good to be back and scoring points like that. It is less than four weeks since I had surgery, so I’m pumped. We changed the bike a bit for the second moto and that’s the most comfortable I’ve felt all year and I could flow on what wasn’t an easy track. We made a couple of clicks on the suspension and used a different tyre; it worked. There were a couple of spots where I could have possibly passed Butron for second but then also a few places that let me down and he was a bit quicker. I paced myself at the start because I didn’t know how fit I’d be. I haven’t practiced on the bike during the week since I left Australia because of the flyaways and then the injury. I thought I’d try to pounce on him [Butron] at the end and that he might tire but he stayed strong. I did everything I could. Hopefully from now on I can start the ball rolling again and start to get some podiums for the team.”
“I’m happy with today. I felt great on the bike and the team and Yamaha have worked a lot to make it very good. I made two excellent starts and pushed to grab as many points as I could. The podium was close….next time! The track was easy to handle but it was very hard to pass people. There were not many lines or space in the corners. I’m happy with the weekend.”
“I was happy with my qualification race yesterday and that gave me some confidence for the motos. The first start was OK but I couldn’t run the pace of the leaders and found a flow that I could manage because it was really easy to get out of shape on this track. I went to a hard-pack tyre compound in the second moto and that was a mistake. I should have stayed with the softer one because it made the bike feel very nervous in the corners and I was fighting for grip. I feel like I should have done better today but I struggle on these hard, fast square-edge bumpy tracks. Just need to keep going…it’s a tough sport!”
“In the first moto my start was really bad. I was twenty-fifth on the first lap! So to come back to fifteenth was OK. In the second I was right up there until a small crash but I rode well and I’m happy. I’m getting better and I feel like I am making progress. These races offer many challenges and that’s the best way to learn.”