The first dry grand prix of the 2009 Motocross World Championship season resulted in victory for Josh Coppins (MX1) and Marvin Musquin (MX2) at Sevlievo, in Bulgaria on Sunday.
MX1 moto one began with a bang when Gareth Swanepoel went somersaulting from his Kawasaki at the first table top, taking several others with him, while up front Max Nagl stole an early lead from Ken de Dycker and Coppins.
de Dycker and Coppins subsequently got the better of the German, with Coppins then shadowing de Dycker's Suzuki for the remainder of the moto, but unable to make a victory pass. Nagl meanwhile fell victim to fellow KTM rider Jonathan Barragan.
Nagl and Coppins then held one-two for much of the second moto, but Barragan rode like a man possessed to hunt down and pass the pair. Coppins collected his second runner-up finish of the day, and with it overall victory, with his team-mate and reigning champion David Philippaerts third. Fellow Italian Antonio Cairoli (seventh in race one) took fourth with Nagl slipping to fifth at the flag.
de Dycker could only manage eighth in moto two, but still takes the 2009 world championship lead by one point from Monster Yamaha rider Coppins. Previous championship leader Tanel Leok was seventh overall and dropped down to third in the early title chase.
“This weekend it came together for me,” explained Coppins, who last won at Teutschenthal 2008. “I have been training really hard and my fitness is good – This has given me the confidence to ride hard. I was not the fastest rider out there today, but my starts were great and I rode very smooth, kept out of trouble, and got the results.”
In the MX2 class, Musquin claimed his and Honda's first MX2 victory since the class was established in 2004. The Frenchman, starting from pole, won race one despite a crash, then settled for third in race two to wrap up the overall.
Championship leader Gautier Paulin of Team Bud Racing Kawasaki PSM rode two smart heats and took two second places that helped him maintain a four point lead over new runner-up Musquin.
An all French podium was completed by Teka Suzuki Europe World MX2's Xavier Boog who had never finished on the rostrum before. Finishing fourth in both races, Boog battled it out with Guarneri in the first heat.
Steven Frossard was on route to take victory in the first heat before a technical problem intervened. The second heat was a different story for the CLS rider, who took his maiden victory.
The inaugural Turkish Grand Prix, round three of the 2009 season, takes place next weekend.