Italian charger David Philippaerts of the Monster Energy Yamaha team showed that he means business for this year’s World MX1 Championship. Having started the year with inconsistent results Philippaerts came fighting back with a strong victory at the Grand Prix of Brazil.
Philippaerts went 2-1 for the overall, just piping defending Champion Antonio Cairoli. Now holding down fourth place in the series points the 2008 World MX1 Champion knows that he needs to go to France in two weeks time and once again show what he is capable of.
Monster Energy and European-based journalist Geoff Meyer contacted BikesportNZ.com to offer us this interview with the man.
Q: David you must be so happy to finally take a victory?
Philippaerts: I am so happy and I was fast yesterday. I passed two riders in one lap in that second moto and that had a lot to do with my success. I felt so good all weekend, winning the Saturday qualification race and then winning the Grand Prix. In America it wasn’t so good, but this is so much better for me and the team. I can’t wait for the next race in France in two weeks.
Q: Tell me about your races in Brazil?
Philippaerts: I am riding well now. I made a mistake in the first moto and couldn’t get Antonio. I like this track and I wanted to push in the second moto. I wanted to stay on the podium. It was so hot, but I felt better here than in America a week earlier. Last year I finished second in Brazil, so it’s nice to win this year. This is now my focus for the rest of the year. I want to win more often.
Q: You always show good speed at the St Jean d’Angly circuit in France?
Philippaerts: I won my first ever Grand Prix there many years ago and I also won last year at this circuit, so I have good memories. My confidence is also high after winning in Brazil.
Q: You were not so lucky at the Grand Prix of United States a week prior to Brazil, although you did improve on your 2010 result at the Glen Helen circuit.
Philippaerts: The USGP was a better race for me than last year but we had some trouble with the starts at Glen Helen. I pushed really hard in both races, and I had a bit more luck in the first race but I was really a long way behind at the beginning of the second moto and that didn’t help my results. The results I took were not the ones I wanted but this was the best I could do in America. The track was difficult with many jumps and bumps, even a little dangerous in some places. I had hoped for better results in Brazil, so I am happy that I got the win there.
Q: You looked to be struggling in Valkenswaard, can you tell me about that round of the Championship?
Philippaerts: It wasn’t easy. On every lap the track changed and in the first moto I stayed relaxed for the second moto I tried to push more at the start and that helped. I came back to be on the podium and that was good for my championship. I worked hard for this, I always work hard for this. When you want to pass riders in sand tracks it is difficult because the lines change quickly, it is easy to make a mistake. I lost some time trying to pass Rui Goncalves. I was happy with third, the season is long and it’s ok to finish with consistent results at this stage of the season.
Q: The opening round in Bulgaria didn’t really go that well, you are usually good on these types of hard packed tracks.
Philippaerts: The first moto was good but I crashed at the start of the second and made a mistake when the rear stepped out. I restarted last and pushed as hard as I could but my times were not as good as the first moto. Overall I think I was good enough for a top four finish, which would have been okay because the track was very hard. I have always liked Sevlievo, but there were other riders who were quicker than me. We must improve our starts if we want to continue to have good results.
© Photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com