Sébastien Pourcel collected his first top ten result of the season in Turkey and confirmed that he
is slowly coming back to his former level, while David Vuillemin scored an eleventh position.
Even if GP motocross has never set foot on Turkish ground, thirty thousand spectators attended the first
ever Motocross Grand prix ever organized in this country, home to Formula One and MotoGP events in
the recent past. Coming straight from Bulgaria for this third GP in a row, riders, mechanics and media
representatives enjoyed the new organization on a brand new circuit built within the Hezarfen airport near
Istanbul, which added another flavour to the World Championship.
Built within a month near the sea, the track was rough and technical when the MX1 riders took positions in
the gate. While Italian’s Cairoli and Philippaerts grabbed the holeshot of the qualifying race, Gregory
Aranda, Sébastien Pourcel, David Vuillemin and Gareth Swanepoel were all in the top twenty. It was
Gregory who obtained the best result – twelfth – just two positions ahead of Sébastien and five over
Gareth, while David twisted his ankle in a rut.
A cold and strong wind was the special guest on Sunday but none of the GP riders complained about the
weather two weeks after the heavy rain and mud of the season-opening Italian round. Sébastien was the
best Kawasaki representative for most of the first race and was cruising in eighth position for two thirds of
the race before he crashed in a corner. David and Gareth had similar races, coming from 14th/15th to
10th / 11th while Greg retired with a warped front brake disk.
Eleventh at the start of the second race, Sébastien battled for the first time since his comeback with some
other top riders to secure ninth position, right behind Clement Desalle. He tried several attacks for further
promotion but failed, losing time and one place to score a tenth position just ahead of a consistent
Aranda. David and Gareth both started far behind the pack and respectively crossed the finish line in
fourteenth and sixteenth positions.
The next round of the series is scheduled for two weeks time in Valkenswaard (Netherlands)
Sébastien Pourcel: ‘Unfortunately I crashed during the opening race and without this mistake I would have
been twice in the top ten. The second heat was better, I couldn’t pass Desalle – he was pretty aggressive,
and I’m not strong enough at the moment to battle – otherwise I would have finished seventh. But I’m
happy with this weekend, for the first time this season I was able to race with the top riders and that’s
important. I think that in Portugal I will be able to ride for the win, I made huge progress between Bulgaria
and Turkey and we’ll continue to work hard in the following weeks.’
Gareth Swanepoel: ‘Coming from the back of the pack is just so hard, all the riders in the top 20 positions
are so equally matched that it is almost impossible to get a great result with the kind of starts I’m getting
this year. In Heat 2 I just got too excited and dropped the clutch too quick making it even worse. This
week I am going to do some testing on the starts to get them better, hopefully I show the boys in
David Vuillemin: ‘On Saturday I was fourteenth when I twisted my ankle during the qualifying race, I had
to give up and qualified only in twenty third position. I had no pain today, but with my position on the grid I
couldn’t expect a good start. The first one was not too bad, in fact much better than the next one! Tenth in
the first race was OK, then during the second heat I battled with Nagl and Strijbos who rode strong today.
I finished fourteenth, not so far behind a group of riders going for the top ten. I will say that this weekend
was pretty difficult again but each race we learn and improve the whole package.’
Gregory Aranda: ‘It was a good weekend, even if I struggled with the track at the first practice session. It
was an unusual circuit for me, but I improved my results at each session and qualified in twelfth position. I
had a good start in the first race, but when I was fighting with Coppins I jumped on his bike and destroyed
my front brake disk, it was impossible to continue. I was thirteenth at the start of the second moto and
kept with the rhythm of Desalle and Pourcel to score an eleventh place, my best result so far this
Thierry Chizzat Suzoni (owner team KRT): ‘We’re happy with the progress of Sébastien, who just started
practicing a few weeks ago. The doctors asked him to rest but he wanted to be back on his bike and each
weekend he feels better. Today he did well, even if he didn’t finished the first race due to a minor mistake.
He has two more weeks to prepare for Valkenswaard, and then two others to be ready for Portugal. He
proved again today that his speed is back, we just need to be patient. Concerning Gareth he was unlucky
at the second start but we’re satisfied with his results; he needs now to work on his starts and be faster;
it’s not so easy to move in the MX1 class and join a factory team such as KRT, but at the moment he is