Three Monster Energy Yamaha riders filled positions in the top seven of the FIM Motocross World Championship Grand Prix of Portugal at Agueda today and Australian Dean Ferris was able to take his pacey YZ250F to third place overall for what was the sixth round of seventeen in the series.
Hot sunshine bathed the 15,000 attendance at the impressive and popular venue south of Porto and the decent weather – combined with excessive watering from the circuit organisers – formed a bumpy, rough and difficult hard-pack. The physical demands of the surface meant it was one of the hardest circuits this season.
Ferris picked up his second trophy of 2013 after posting results of 6th and 2nd in the two motos. ‘111’ could have even made a valid plight for the second step of the box had it not been for a slow speed crash in the first race that caused him to drop from a fairly comfortable runner-up slot. After impressing on his Monster Energy Yamaha debut at Qatar Ferris is now at full fitness in the distant wake of his collarbone break prior to round three and looking to expand his collection of silverware from sixth in the MX2 table.
Christophe Charlier is still waiting for that first champagne shower. The Corsican was fifth overall and just one point away from the rostrum as he continued his consistent but oh-so-near trail of results. The former European champion was fourth after a bad start in the first moto and then rode mostly alone to fifth place in the second outing for another sufficient points haul. ‘23’ is currently fifth in the standings on the prototype YZ250FM and just 12 points from the top three.
Mel Pocock was seventh overall for one of his best classifications of the season so far. The reigning European champion was satisfied with two bright starts from a gate spot of 23rd (courtesy of a fall in the Saturday qualification race) and rode to 8th and 9th in the motos. His bullish charge into the top ten in the second sprint was eye-catching and reversed a trend from recent GPs where the Brit has struggled in the closing stages. Maxime Desprey’s 14th and 12th positions represented his second highest points haul of his maiden grand prix term.
The Grand Prix of Brazil at Beto Carrero (for the second year in succession) will constitute round seven of the championship and take place in two weeks time.
“This actually feels better than the first podium in Qatar because I was really sick there and couldn’t really soak up what it meant. This one is a bit more special. I’ve been coming back from injury and battling forward for the past six weeks and I’m pretty much fully fit now. I was in a tough battle throughout that whole second moto and that is probably the fittest I have ever felt in a Grand Prix. I actually messed up my start in the first moto and somehow ‘made it happen’ through the first two turns to end up second behind Jeffrey. I had broken away from third and had a few seconds over them when I had a silly tip-off in the turn before the step-up. It took me a while to get the bike up because the clutch lever was stuck in the ground. I was trying to keep it running. After that I couldn’t really get forward any more because there were about seven riders all going the same speed. I was pretty tough on myself afterwards because I had thrown away a lot of points and could have been a comfortable second but moto two was much better. The start helped and I tried to push hard to break away but must have made a big mistake somewhere because Tixier got very close for around fifteen to twenty minutes and it was very cat-and-mouse. Near the end he started being a bit defensive because Coldhenhoff was right with him and that gave me a bit of a gap. I was chasing my lap-times and watching the pit-board but I didn’t even know I was on the podium until I finished so it was a nice surprise with a 6-2. In the off-season I knew I could be a podium guy and hopefully now with some confidence I can establish myself as a regular.”
“In the first race my start wasn’t good and I paid for this because it was hard to overtake away from the main line, which was the fastest. In the second moto I was away better and I was fifth and on my own for most of the time. I’m one point away from the podium; so close again. I’m getting impatient now and I want a trophy. The track was difficult today; very bumpy and extremely hard to overtake. Anyway another top five and I’ll keep looking at the overall picture of the championship positions.”
“To be honest I feel like I have made a big step. In the last few GPs I feel like I have been dropping off a little bit in the last ten-fifteen minutes. I said in Bulgaria that I would go away and work hard and I’ve been pounding out the forty minute motos. I believe I have made an improvement. I made it tough for myself yesterday by crashing in the qualifying heat and having a 23rd gate pick, which wasn’t what I needed, but I still managed two good starts. I worked my way through the pack and I’m happy with 7th overall because I do believe it is a step forward.”
“The first race was difficult because of my bad start. I pushed to gain some positions and it was hard work. The second race start was better and I’m happy with my riding because it was a tough and very physical track. Overall I’m pleased with the day and it was good training!”