Grand Prix of France - More rider comments
Press release Monday 08th June 2009 By PR
‘We did the sighting lap on a perfect track, just soft as we like, but when we were in the waiting zone a storm came and the track changed completely. My first start was not good and I had trouble to pass, made several mistakes and finished eighth. I was not happy with my riding and between the races I went to the track to watch the MX1 race and looked for some new lines; we also changed some settings on the bike and even with an average start I was able to come back to fourth. I enjoyed the second race much more, I was pretty aggressive when I passed my rivals but we needed to score as many points as possible. Musquin is strong, but I’m sure I can catch him; we’ll continue to fight and work, he is a little faster than I at the moment and is taking holeshots but we’ll improve these points in the following weeks.’
“After yesterday it was a shame not to make the podium today. The first race was really muddy and my start was not so bad but a few riders had better drive than me and I lost some ground on the straight. I was sixth but I had a problem with my goggles on the first lap. I reached fourth without any goggles and that was very hard. In the second race I was average out of the gate and wanted to pass people quickly on the first lap but had a crash; I was too hasty. Philippaerts went down in front of me afterwards and I fell twice! We both rode from the middle of the pack and I reached sixth; I know I can do better.”
“I am happy with how things went and more importantly the rhythm and speed I could make. The bike worked really well and we fixed a small engine issue on Saturday to help improve some traction and it was great for the races. The support of the fans for sure was incredible to hear. The track itself was not easy for passing and I kept using the double jump to take some ground. Someone touched me on the inside of the second moto and that made the crash, but the grand prix overall was a good experience.”
“It was a frustrating weekend again. I have the speed - as everyone can see - during the beginning of the races and I am just getting used to racing with this thumb injury. It was a lot better this week and I didn’t need an injection into the joint. The first race was a bit of a lottery with the rain. I crashed on the second lap, was covered in mud and made it hard on myself. I tried to come back through and was passing a rider-a-lap up to 15th when I then ‘hit a wall’ and struggled to find lines. On the last lap I went down on the slippy uphill section and rolled down to the chequered flag after losing two or three places. In the second one I got off to a good start and pushed my way to the front. Nagl had been riding unbelievably all day and I did not have an answer for him. I got to the thirty minute mark and the thumb gave-in again. I got really tired, the elbows dropped and I couldn’t keep the pace. It is annoying but the positive part is that I showed I can still finish in the top five while carrying an injury. I need to keep on fighting to get in the top ten of the championship.”
"The first moto was difficult because it started to rain heavily just before. I made a bad start and tried to pass some riders but had to take off the goggles and then stopped in the pits for more. I came back to twelfth but slipped off again two laps from the end. The track was really strange; only one line and away from that it was almost impossible to pass. I went to the outside of the gate and got a much better start in the second moto. I was third and felt a bit stiff on the first three laps but could then push to catch Roczen. I made three mistakes that almost caused me to crash and chose to finish the moto in the top three and not take more risks."
"It was another difficult week. With some bad starts I could make 9th and 8th, and I don't really have that much to say. The speed was pretty good but the results not so much. My shoulder did not bother me too much; I just had to ride with some pain. There was only one good line for each corner so if you didn't get the holeshot it was very hard to win or make the podium."
"This is a great result for me and an important point in my season. The starts were really important for me today and I think the second moto was tougher than the first one. I learned a valuable lesson today and that is how important it is to start with the leaders in order to find a good rhythm quickly. I could make some good laps and felt a bit tired because of the conditions but otherwise it was a memorable day. To do this in front of my home crowd is fantastic and a podium is a surprise for me; certainly at this round!"
Ken De Dycker
"The day was going well until we had some bad luck. I had a great start but after about 15 minutes I must have had a hard landing and hit a rut because the foot-peg broke off and there is nothing that can be done about it. My riding was good, I was smooth and didn't have to push to be fast, it is just disappointing about the DNF but we won't think about the past now and just look ahead to what we can do in the coming GPs."
‘ I got a good start in the opening race and that was necessary to obtain a good result as the track was slippery due to the showers. I came back close to Boissière, but I got mud in my goggles so I decided to secure third position rather than take any risks; I knew that Guarneri was far behind. My second was average, but in the third corner another rider pushed me out of the track and I crashed and landed on my shoulder. I came back from last to fourteenth. Honestly, I was expecting a podium here but with the track conditions it was impossible to come back strongly in the second race.’
“I thought I might do quite well in the first one when the rain came down and I made a good start but Aranda completely T-boned me on the first lap. I was way back and had to pit for goggles. I was getting frustrated by the slower guys and tried to make a move on someone and managed to take myself out. The first race was a disaster and the second did not start well either. I crashed on the first lap and then rode as well as I could for 18th; there is not much more I can say about it.”