Belgian championship - Looking back
Press release Monday 21th May 2007 By Tom Jacobs/Pixelpony
Reigning Belgian Champion Ramon, gained a serious advantage over his fellow competitors. Factory Suzuki rider Ramon now leads the championship with 263 points, Pourcel takes second place in the championship standings with 215 points. He passed Manuel Priem in the championship chase. Kevin Strijbos never found his rythm and had a real off-day.
Heat 1 American Mike Brown once again pulled off one of his signature holeshots, but it was Strijbos who quickly took command. At half race distance Strijbos was passed by his Suzuki Racing team mate Ramon. However, David Philippaerts was undeniably the fastest man on the track. The Italian star charged through from fifth to second and gained the lead from Ramon after an interesting battle. Christophe Pourcel was third ahead of Strijbos and Dereuver. Cas-Honda rider Ken De Dycker rode a solid race, bouncing back from a dramatically low 36th to come home 7th.
Heat 2 Steve Ramon might have taken the holeshot, but a couple of turns later it was Christophe Pourcel that led the race. Pourcel, who posted, the fastest lap during qualifying, attacked right away en made a break. Behind the frenchman's back a three way battle between Phillipaerts, Ramon and De Dycker developed. Phillipaerts was the most eager; while De Dycker nicked Ramon's third place. Barragan ended up fifth, ahead of Mike Brown. Kevin Strijbos missed his start but fought his way back to ninth.
Heat 3 As often Brown made a rocket start. However, this time the battle for the heat win was between Phillipaerts and De Dycker. De Dycker lead early on, but crashed rather clumsy in a slow turn. Then it was Phillipaerts turn to lead. De Dycker remounted fairly fast. Phillipaerts looked like he was winning the heat but De Dycker was on a roll. The CAS rider passed Phillipaerts again and lead to the finish. Ramon, Brown and Van Daele completed the top five positions.
The fifth round of the United Telecom Trophy takes place in Nismes on july the 8th.
Quotes after the races
David Philippaerts (overall winner): “The pace was very high today, luckily I was there from the start each time. This track suits me and when I won the first heat, I knew he was able to win the overall. It feels real good to win with such strong competition. I hope to hold my current form for next weekend's Japanese GP in Sugo!
Steve Ramon (second): “The first heat was a bit tough, early on in the race I got arm pump. The second heat went a lot better, I was in a group with Phillipaerts and De Dycker in contention for the second place. At the end of the heat I was third but went wide to pass a lapped rider. De Dycker took advantage and passed me then. The third heat could have been better, Pourcel clipped me in the start and I lost valuable time. Meanwhile Phillipaerts and De Dijcker were gone. Regarding the championship chase I had a good day.
Christophe Pourcel (third, winner of heat two): “I clipped Ramon in the start of the third heat and lost a lot of places which was a pity. Nonetheless I'm pretty stoked with my races. The riding went good and I feel better and better on a 450. After my third place in heat 1 I was so confident that I won the second heat fairly easy. As a bonus I had a field day in the championship standings.
Ken De Dijcker (fourth, winner of heat three) “I messed up the first heat because of a bad start. Despite that my pace wasn't too bad today. Despite a crash in heat two I still ended up third. In heat three my start was good and I was glad to beat Phillipaerts. Passing was difficult today, but the track improved with more ruts appearing during the course of the day.
Kevin Strijbos (sixth) “In the beginning of the first heat I felt real good. But then I got arm pump and had to lower my pace. Because I left my choke on at the begin of the second heat the engine didn't run properly and I lost a lot of ground. A stupid mistake because normally I check it myself just before the start! The third heat went rather dismal as well. I crashed whilst lying fifth and never found my rhythm back.”
Manuel Priem (twelfth) “At the moment nothing seems to work for me. The harder I try the worser it gets. It's really frustrating, but I keep fighting and know that my time will come! It's a pity that I lose some valuable ground in the championship. There's a long break and after that another four races so everything can happen.”