The Grand Prix of Europe was a scorcher at the hard-pack and swirling track of Faenza in Italy but it was Monster Energy Yamaha’s Mel Pocock who was really on fire. The Brit ended up acing six wins from a possible seven in the competitive European MX2 championship (the Grand Prix feeder series and showcase for future talent) and wrapped up the title to kick off celebrations. Watched by 24,000 sunburnt fans, including Monster Energy Tech3 MotoGP starAndrea Dovizioso, the penultimate round of the FIM Motocross World Championship also saw CP377 Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Christophe Pourcel in delightful form and running second in both motos for the second step of the MX1 box.
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Faenza was rutty, bumpy and hard-pack. Rough and tough. Typically Italian. The rhythm section of jumps on the long straight down to the pit-lane saw riders demonstrate some fantastic technique on the 250 and 450cc bikes. Overall it was a day of fast and relentless action across a punishing and often slick terrain.
Pocock lifted his gold number plate to become the first racer from the UK to become Euro No.1 on Saturday. Fittingly he rode almost the whole race at the front despite losing the use of his rear brake after a stone smashed the cable free from the mechanism. It was the first technical glitch all year for the twenty year old but he brought the Yamaha home in fourth to pop the champagne corks. He then resumed normal service with the chequered flag Sunday morning.
“I’m speechless to be honest,” he said afterwards. “Coming down some of those fast hills the last thing I needed was not have a rear brake but I did my best and finishing fourth was enough. Coming into this season I didn’t really know the strength of the other guys in the class and set a realistic goal of a top six finish by the end of the championship but when I was fastest in the very first session in France in June I thought ‘let’s see what we can really do here’. It has been an amazing season so far and we’re not done yet. A big thanks to Nick, Steve, Ash, my family and everyone who helped put the package together.”
While Pocock can now look towards finishing the MX2 British Championship that he also currently leads at Little Silver (Exeter) on October 7th the Grand Prix itself saw Monster Energy motocross crew toasting a eighth podium finish in the premier class for Pourcel who was majestic on some of the trickiest parts of the track. Kawasaki Racing Team’s Gautier Paulin was also feisty to seal third spot in the second moto.
A major shout out to Floride Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Tommy Searle who followed home Jeffrey Herlings in both MX2 motos to confirm his status as runner-up in the championship and arguably one of themost exciting rookies for the 2013 MX1 series.
Meanwhile over in the USA 2012 FIM Women’s World Champion Kiara Fontanesi defeated the best the AMA could offer and rounded-off an immense season of racing by taking her Yamaha to a double victory at Lake Elsinore in California. The Italian went 1-1 and can place a shiny new trophy next to the many she has collected on the Euro scene this year.
The Grand Prix stars, teams and circus can sit back and chill out for a weekend now before the last meeting of the year takes place at Teutschenthal in Germany and then the 66th Motocross of Nations a week later in the fearsome sand of Lommel, Belgium.