Monster Energy Yamaha’s David Philippaerts survived a wet and muddy Grand Prix of Brazil and the fifth round of the FIM Motocross World Championship to post his second podium finish in a row and claim runner-up position overall in South America.
After travelling from Mexico during the week Monster Energy Yamaha found a first-class facility in Beto Carrero. The standard and presentation of the circuit set a new level in the series with the ‘stadium’ setting of the track housing full grandstands on three sides of the compact layout. 42,000 spectators (weekend figure) helped create a buzzing atmosphere. The ground was tacky and rough in the corners for a technical test during Saturday but a deluge of rainfall created far muddier terrain on Sunday and turned the motos into a lottery.
Philippaerts was determined and primed with confidence after finishing third in Guadalajara and his decent form and vibrant approach to the tricky track was responsible for yet more success on the YZ450FM. In the first race he moved up from sixth to hold secure second position behind Christophe Pourcel. The Italian pumped the air when he crossed the finish line; fully aware of the decent result in some of the most treacherous conditions of the season to-date. The rain stopped and the mud dried for the second race but the ruts were extremely deep and the surface was slippery. ‘DP’ hit the ground early in the moto but was able to work from tenth up to sixth to earn his second trophy on the spin. It also continues Philippaerts’ positive record in Brazil with 2nd, 1st and 2nd overall recorded in the last three visits.
Riding with heavy strapping after his left shoulder dislocation in Mexico, Shaun Simpson was holding sixth position in the qualification heat until a small slip caused him to lose positions and therefore take fifteenth in the gate for Sunday. The Scot went on to obtain seventh and twelfth. The second moto in particular was a tough outing for the reigning Belgian Champion with his weakened upper limb. Simpson classified tenth for the Grand Prix and equalled his best points accumulation of 2012 so far.
Steven Frossard travelled to Brazil hoping for some better feeling in his weak right knee and to see if the Beto Carrero circuit might have been a forgiving. Unfortunately the Frenchman could not find any confidence around the tight turns and big jumps on Saturday and decided to not take any risks. The 2011 MX1 runner-up now plans to return to France, convalesce and prepare fully for his home Grand Prix on June 3rd. If Frossard still feels unable to compete in his current condition with an anterior cruciate ligament missing in his right leg then he could opt for an operation.
After moving up three positions in the championship standings in Mexico Philippaerts is still sixth but now just 12 points from the top five. Simpson was able to make some points after his non-score in Mexico and lies twelfth. Monster Energy Yamaha now head back to Europe and St Jean D’Angely in two weeks time.
“I’m very happy, especially for the team who have worked a lot to get the bikes ready for the mud. Yesterday I was riding well and then in the first moto today I made a decent start that put me sixth or seventh and I pushed from there. In the second race I tried not to make any mistakes because the track was difficult. I knew it was important to get into a position where I could make sure of the podium. I feel good and I’m not really looking at the championship standings; I just want to try and get near the front in each race. It is important that I get as much race time as I can, feel good on the bike and avoid any crashes. I like coming to Brazil! It is hard staying outside of Europe for a long time but this is the world championship and it’s great to come to places like this.”
“Coming into this weekend it was like ‘Can I ride? Will I ride? Should I ride?’ Fortunately I was able to race and today was pretty tough. The speed was quite high but I managed to get through it. Today was all about the starts and both were shocking; I don’t really know what happened. I recovered from outside the top twenty to be sixth or seventh at one stage and that was mega until I crashed on a table top and let a few guys past. I had a good battle with Cairoli and not many people can say they passed him twice in the same day! After the race my shoulder was really tired. I haven’t used the muscles all week and they were a little bit in ‘hibernation mode’. In the second moto I started to feel fatigued after about twenty minutes and lost a couple of places. Anyway I’ve equalled my best points tally so far and I feel pretty pumped about that. Now I just need to heal up a little bit and start building back to condition for the next three GPs.”
“It is too early. I see now that I wasn’t ready in time for these two races. I had pain in Mexico but now I’m just worried about catching the leg and I don’t have any strength to put it out in the turns if I need to. I will think towards St Jean and see if I can be ready in the two weeks until that race. I will make a decision on the rest of the season there.”