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14 May 2012
Monster Energy Yamaha’s David Philippaerts blasted back into the spotlight with a fabulous second moto victory on his works YZ450FM. The Italian’s success closed the first quarter of the FIM Motocross World Championship at a hot and busy Nicolas España for the inaugural Grand Prix of Mexico. 25,000 spectators travelled to the venue a short distance from the centre of Guadalajara and under sunny skies and hot temperatures this fourth round of sixteen was played out on a difficult track that left little room for error.
‘DP’ walked the podium for the first time since the Spanish Grand Prix last summer and won a race for the first time since the 2011 trip to Brazil. Importantly it was also the former world champion’s first celebration after a seven month recovery from his injury sustained last year.
The weekend began with the riders concerned over the volume of dust across the dry track during the Saturday practice programme. Philippaerts, Steven Frossard and Shaun Simpson along with all the other world championship regulars elected to sit out the qualification heat and entered the gate on Sunday in their positions obtained in pre-qualifying practice. The terrain had been watered and prepared well for the two motos.
Philippaerts was unlucky to collide with Simpson as both held positions inside the top six going through the waves on the first lap of the opening race. Simpson suffered a briefly dislocated shoulder in the fall and Philippaerts restarted from last position and ten seconds behind the pack to fight his way up to a bright and crucial tenth place. Frossard was pushing for ground in the top ten when he again caught his recently injured knee on a bump and was painfully forced to retire from the race and the Grand Prix.
Philippaerts was the sole entrant for the team for the second moto and his part in a thrilling four-rider scrap for the win was electrifying. Clearly growing in confidence as he worked his way to the front from sixth position, Philippaerts had some inventive and effective lines and gave the YZ450FM a maiden victory in 2012. His haul of points has taken him from ninth to sixth in the MX1 standings.
The fitness and condition of Simpson and Frossard will be assessed in the coming days with a view towards round five. Monster Energy Yamaha will now continue their South American adventure and will fly from Mexico City to Florianopolis this week for the Grand Prix of Brazil at Beto Carrero.
David Philippaerts, 3rd:
“I’m so happy to win that second moto. I’m back! This is important for me because it was a long time since I last won. Mentally it can be difficult to deal with race crashes and results that you know can be better. I’m in great shape and it’s awesome to be back on the podium. I had some bad luck with another crash in the first race. Shaun came across and we clashed together. I had to enter the pits but then restarted last and fought back to tenth. I pushed every lap and it was hard work at this altitude and in this heat but the result was important and it paid off with the podium.”
Steven Frossard, DNF:
“My feeling in my knee was better for this weekend so I tried to ride. At the beginning of the first race I was good. I moved from fifteenth to ninth and had a group of riders in front of me but coming past the pitlane my leg came off the peg and hit the ground and I had a lot of pain in my leg again. It was too much to handle so I had to stop. I think the problem is that I haven’t been able to ride much for several weeks and it is difficult to get back in the rhythm. I don’t know. I feel a bit better now than I did after the first race so I will wait a few days to see if we can try again in Brazil.”