2004 GP of The Netherlands - Back in Time
News Friday 14th September 2012 By Geoff Meyer
Antonio Cairoli really made a name for himself at this race, taking two classic holeshots and showing that he might be a rider to watch in the future.
It was also a race where Steve Ramon made his MX1 debut, scoring two top ten results and 27 points. He did lead the opening race of the MX1 class, but had to give in to the power of Stefan Everts, Joel Smets and Mickael Pichon.
In brilliant sunshine and in front of around 15,000 spectators it was Townley who went 1-1 for the win in the MX2 class, he finished ahead of fellow CHAMP KTM rider Tyla Rattray and three time World 125cc Motocross champion Alessio Chiodi. Cairoli went 3-10 for 31pts and moved to sixth in the MX2 championship points with 86pts. He had previously scored just 55pts in the first three rounds of the series.
"It was a tough week for me, as I twisted my ankle earlier and had some problems to prepare this GP, I'd like to thanks all the people who helped me. We had a lot of fun in the second race during our battle with Marc, unfortunately he was unlucky today. It's for sure the best day of my racing career."
The opening race was the MX2 class, and once more young Italian Cairoli grabbed the holeshot on his Yamaha de Carli followed by De Reuver and Chiodi. Surprisingly Cairoli was always in the lead at the end of the opening lap, with Townley, De Reuver, Rattray, Chiodi and Sword right behind him. Townley passed him in the second lap but was unable to make a break with his rivals and even crashed in the fifth lap, loosing three positions.
Cairoli was back in the lead and confirmed his talent as he controlled De Reuver untill the engine of the Dutch star failed in the ninth lap.. Townley came second and finally took definitively the lead in the tenth lap; Rattray also passed Cairoli who secured his first heat podium, followed by Sword, McFarlane and Federici while Maschio came back from twenty seventh to eight.
The second MX2 race was amazing, with a great battle between De Reuver and Townley; Cairoli got another holeshot, but Townley and De Reuver were leading the race before the end of the first lap. De Reuver took the lead in the second lap, was passed by Ben in the sixth one and then started one of the nicest battle since the beginning of the season. Fighting during ten laps, changing their lines in each corner, the KTM boys offered a great show to the crowd.
Finally Marc took the lead again in the sixteen lap, but had to immediately slow down with a damaged shift level. He finished fourth behind Townley, Rattray and Chiodi.
In the first MX1 race Ramon got the holeshot followed by Melotte, Strijbos, local Verhoeven, Garcia Vico, Smets and Pichon.
Melotte made a move in the opening lap and started to put a couple of lap records while Strijbos, Smets, Everts and Pichon were battling behind him. The gap between the leader and his rivals increased to thirteen seconds, and nobody was able to join Melotte who got his second heat win of the season.
Behind him the racing was great, but either Ramon (in the fifth lap) or Pichon (in the tenth lap) couldn't avoid a crash; finally Everts took the second spot to Smets in the sixteenth lap, and Pichon passed back Strijbos for fourth in nineteenth lap. With Strijbos, surprising De Dijcker and Ramon in fifth, sixth and seventh, Belgium placed six riders in the top seven! Pichon got the holeshot in the second heat, but had Everts, Smets, Melotte, Coppins and Gundersen in his rear wheel.
Everts tried to push in the first laps, but Melotte was stronger and passed him in the sixth lap; one lap later he took the lead, and two laps later Everts also passed Pichon.
The Yamaha boys were dominating the race, and finally Everts found some energy in the second part of the race to put some pressure on Melotte. He passed his team-mate and won the heat and the grand prix (74 wins), while Smets got his best result of the season as he passed Pichon for a third place in the heat and overall.
Moto One:1. Cedric Melotte (Yam); 2. Stefan Everts (Yam); 3. Joel Smets (Suz); 4. Mickael Pichon (Hon); 5. Kevin Strijbos (Suz); 6. Ken De Dijcker (Hon); 7. Steve Ramon (KTM); 8. Kenneth Gundersen (KTM); 9. Chris Burnham (KTM); 10. Marnicq Bervoets (Yam); 11. Yoshi Atsuta (Hon); 12. Danny Theybers (Yam); 13. Tanel Leok (Suz); 14. Lauris Freibergs (Hon); 15. Antti Pyrhonen (Suz)
Moto Two:1. Stefan Everts (Yam); 2. Cedric Melotte (Yam); 3. Joel Smets (Suz); 4. Mickael Pichon (Hon); 5. Josh Coppins (Hon); 6. Kevin Strijbos (Suz); 7. Kenneth Gundersen (KTM); 8. Steve Ramon (KTM); 9. Ken De Dijcker (Hon); 10. Lauris Freibergs (hon); 11. Yoshi Atsuta (Hon); 12. Tanel Leok (Suz); 13. Marko Kovalainen (Hon); 14. Danny Theybers (Yam); 15. Mark Hucklebridge (KTM)
Overall:1. Stefan Everts (47pts); 2. Cedric Melotte (47); 3. Joel Smets (40); 4. Mickael Pichon (36); 5. Kevin Strijbos (31); 6. Kenneth Gundersen (27); 7. Steve Ramon (27); 8. Ken De Dijcker (27); 9. Yoshi Atsuta (20); 10. Lauris Freibergs (18); 11. Tanel Leok (17); 12. Josh Coppins (16); 13. Danny Theybers (16); 14. Marko Kovalainen (13); 15. Chris Burnham (12)
MX1 Championship Points Standings: 1. Stefan Everts (176/2wins); 2. Cedric Melotte(150/1); 3. Steve Ramon (129); 4. Mickael Pichon (127/1); 5. Kenneth Gundersen (120); 6. Josh Coppins (114); 7. Joel Smets (102); 8. Kevin Strijbos (99); 9. Tanel Leok (74); 10. Ken De Dijcker (72); 11. Javier Vico Garcia (65); 12. Brian Jorgensen (60); 13. Yoshi Atsuta (57); 14. James Noble (47); 15. Lauris Freibergs (47)
Moto One:1. Ben Townley (KTM); 2. Tyla Rattray (KTM); 3. Antonio Cairoli (Yam); 4. Stephen Sword (Kaw); 5. Andrew McFarlane (Yam); 6. Claudio Federici (Yam); 7. Alessio Chiodi (Yam); 8. Mickael Maschio (Kaw); 9. Carl Nunn (Hon); 10. Jonathan Barragan (KTM); 11. Andrea Bartolini (Yam); 12. Garath Swanepoel (KTM); 13. David Philippaerts (KTM); 14. James Dobb (Hon); 15. Jeff Dement (Hon)
Moto Two:1. Ben Townley (KTM); 2. Tyla Rattray (KTM); 3. Alessio Chiodi (Yam); 4. Marc de Reuver (KTM); 5. Carl Nunn (Hon); 6. Stephen Sword (Kaw); 7. Andrew McFarlane (Yam); 8. Billy Mackenzie (Yam); 9. Claudio Federici (Yam); 10. Antonio Cairoli (Yam); 11. David Philippaerts (KTM); 12. Rui Goncalves (Yam); 13. Sebastien Pourcel (Kaw); 14. Andrea Bartolini (Yam); 15. Jeff Dement (Hon)
Overall:1. Ben Townley (50pts); 2. Tyla Rattray (44); 3. Alessio Chiodi (34); 4. Stephen Sword (33); 5. Antonio Cairoli (31); 6. Andrew McFarlane (30); 7. Carl Nunn (28); 8. Caudio Federici (27); 9. Marc De Reuver (18); 10. David Phillipaerts (18); 11. Andrea Bartolini (17); 12. Billy Mackenzie (14); 13. Gareth Swanepoel (13); 14. Mickael Maschio (13); 15. Jeff Dement (12)
MX2 Championship points standings:1. Ben Townley (169/3wins); 2. Stephen Sword (152); 3. Andrew McFarlane (128); 4. Tyla Rattray (127/1); 5. Marc De Reuver (121); 6. Antonio Cairoli (86); 7. Carl Nunn (84); 8. Mickael Maschio (80); 9. Aigar Leok (80); 10. James Dobb (78); 11. David Philippaerts (61); 12. Alessio Chiodi (55); 13. Sebastien Pourcel (47); 14. Jonathan Barragan (46); 15. Manuel Priem (42)