16 June 2008
Pourcel for France, MX2 lead change.
Sebastien Pourcel delighted his home fans by winning Sunday's MX1 Grand Prix of France, while Tommy Searle took both the MX2 victory and world championship lead.
Pourcel took his second grand prix victory of the season with two perfect moto wins, despite having qualified just ninth fastest. The GPKR rider beat a rejuvenated Josh Coppins by just under two seconds in both races, while the final place on the overall podium went to Jonathan Barragan, courtesy of his 3-6 race finishes.
Pole sitter and world champion, Steve Ramon, crashed out of the lead in race one - and eventually crossed the line in eleventh - before claiming third place in moto two.
World championship leader David Philippaerts endured two tough races, crossing the line just 13th in race one then failing to finish race two after falling and breaking a footpeg.
The Monster Yamaha rider is now just six points clear of Ramon at the top of the standings, with pre-season favourite Coppins almost within striking distance in third.
A dramatic start to the first MX2 race saw title contenders Antonio Cairoli and Tyla Rattray fall at the first turn - leaving them a distant last. When reigning world champion Cairoli tried to restart his bike, he realised the fuel tank had been damaged and could only throw his arms in the air in despair before retiring.
Meanwhile, Sean Simpson took the early race lead ahead of countryman and factory KTM rider Searle. Searle caught and passed the Scotsman on his way to an emphatic victory, while Simpson later threw away a safe second when he tumbled in the 'whoops'.
Home star Jeremy Tarroux thus inherited the runner-up spot, ahead of countrymen Anthony Boissiere and Xavier Boog. Rattray recovered to a commendable sixth position.
Race two saw Searle and Cairoli fighting for the early lead, with Cairoli losing the front of his Yamaha moments after taking the advantage. That mistake also allowed Rattray through and the South African pressured team-mate Searle right to the flag, but was left just out of reach. Cairoli settled for a third, but was just tenth overall due to his race one DNF.
Having taken his first ever 1-1, Searle was joined on the podium by Rattray and Boissiere (sixth in race two).
In the world championship standings, Searle now leads Rattray by one point with Cairoli 16 points further back in third, heading into the Grand Prix of Germany on June 29.
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