The Red Bull KTM team enjoyed a brilliant set of results at Gore-Basin on the Isle of Wight for the Grand Prix of England today as Tyla Rattray and Ben Townley won the MX2 and MX1 events in the fifteenth round of seventeen in the 2005 FIM Motocross World Championships. Steve Ramon (MX1) and Carl Nunn (MX2) further boasted the 'orange' presence on the podium with second and third places respectively.
25,000 spectators slapped on the sun cream and took positions on the lofty circuit inclines located on the steep Arrreton downs. High temperatures and blue skies were a welcome break from the rain and mud that has cursed the last three consecutive races in August and the spectacular course offered both fans and riders a treat of Grand Prix motocross racing.
KTM owned both MX1 motos with Ramon hole-shotting and breaking free in the opening sprint, while Townley repeated the display in the second heat. The races saw some frantic scraps for positions outside of the top three and Townley was involved in the first motos fracas with Brian Jorgensen, Stefan Everts and Josh Coppins. The Kiwi was eventually able to force his way through to third even though a bad start seemed to have limited his chances on the first lap. Ramon was indifferent to the squabbles behind him, although a late surge from Mickael Pichon gave the Belgian cause to keep pushing until the chequered flag. It was Ramon's first haul of twenty-five points this season
In the second moto Townley sampled the fruits of a better jump from the gate and his credentials for victory were never in question as he quickly pulled away. Ramon held the runner-up spot for half the moto until he suffered some arm-pump and was reeled-in by Coppins and Pichon. The former World Champion finished fourth and gifted the overall to Townley for his third victory this year.
Kenneth Gundersen - making only his second GP outing in more than a year - suffered a crash in morning warm-up and damaged his left thumb. The Norwegian attempted the first moto but after tangling with Marvin van Deale pulled out with too much pain and was not a fixture for the second race after substantial swelling.
In MX2 Tyla Rattray completed a dream comeback from four months out through knee ligament injury. The South African was second and third in the motos and looked comfortable on a rough and very technical track. He was beaten by Billy Mackenzie in the first heat and wasn't able to match the speed set by David Philippaerts in moto2. The Italian had to pull out of the opening test after some mechanical trouble but was free to record his third triumph of the campaign later in the afternoon.
Carl Nunn had the loud and passionate home fans cheering wildly when he beat Anthony Boisierre to fourth in the second moto to secure his third podium of the season and second overall top three in a row. It could have been a higher standing if he had not have crashed while fourth, with designs on the top three, early in the first moto and crossed the line eighth.
Marc de Reuver was holding eighth in the first moto but a crash led to his retirement and a similar outcome awaited the Dutchman later in race two.
In addition to four podium appearances, three different KTM riders claimed victories from the four motos on the Island.
In terms of the World Championships Townley third lies 71 points from Coppins and the runner-up position in the series, but is 59 points ahead of Pichon in fourth. Ramon is 23 points behind the Honda rider in fifth.
In MX2 David Philippaerts is fourth while Carl Nunn has moved up three positions in the last three Grand Prix and is now seventh.
The penultimate round of the World series follows hard upon with the Grand Prix of Netherlands taking place next weekend at the Lierop circuit (host of the 2004 Motocross of Nations), before a week's break precedes the last event of a long campaign at Desertmartin in Northern Ireland.
Ben Townley, winner:
"It has been a goal of mine recently to go after the last three Grand Prix victories and I have got one so there is two more to go. I am riding good at the moment and we have some good tracks to end the season; I can't wait. They did a good job with the track today considering that it was over-watered this morning. They got the diggers out and corrected the mistake so I want to congratulate them.
I work hard on my starts during the week but I guess I have to keep on working! I battled hard with Stefan in the first race, I caught Josh and it was pretty hectic racing out there. In the second moto I made a push for the lead on the first lap and was able to get my times down. Half way through I thought I had over-done it because I was making a few mistakes but I settled and finally took the victory so I am really happy."
Steve Ramon, 2nd:
"The last two GPs have been great for me. This weekend was very good and I felt confident after Timed Practice. I knew my speed was there and I could take a decent result. I had two excellent starts. In the first moto I took the holeshot and was riding well and had some good lines. I had some problems with backmarkers and Pichon came close towards the end but it was a nice feeling to finally win a moto. The second race was more difficult. I got a good start again but had some arm-pump and was feeling a little bit tired. I am happy to get second today and I
want to thank everybody at KTM."
Carl Nunn, 3rd:
"I had a really good day yesterday so I was confident of a result this afternoon but I had a big crash this morning. I was in a little bit of pain and it put a couple of doubts into my head. I had good first few laps in the first moto but then I crashed and didn't really regain my rhythm afterwards. I made it difficult for myself. In the second moto the track was better and I could feel my riding was stronger. The crowd were so loud it was unbelievable. As soon as I got my pit signal that I had to stay in front of Boissiere to take the podium they erupted even more!"
Tyla Rattray, winner:
"I am really happy to return and win. I have been working so hard both on and off the bike recently and it feels great to come back like this; I think this win feels better than the double at Zolder. The track was awesome and I take my hat off to the organisers. In the second moto I had a little crash around the back because I started to feel a little tired after about twenty-five minutes. I knew I was in the position for the overall win so I settled for that and let Christophe and David get away from me. I want to go to Lierop and win two motos there now!"
David Philippaerts, 8th:
"The bike broke in the first race so it was over early. In the second moto I started in fourth or fifth and found myself alone because Rattray crashed. It was a nice last lap because Pourcel came very close but I'm really happy to take the win. The track was perfect today."
Marc de Reuver, 25th:
"My riding is not what I want. I am getting a little bit frustrated by it. In the first heat I could follow Cairoli quite easily but then Christophe Pourcel crashed in front of me and hit him; I pulled in after that. In the second race I did not feel good and was feeling scared on the bike. I made a big 'endo' on the whoops and that was that; better luck next week!"
1. Ramon, Steve KTM 39:49.678
2. Pichon, Mickael Honda 39:51.661
3. Townley, Ben KTM 39:52.575
4. Coppins, Joshua Honda 40:02.874
5. Everts, Stefan Yamaha 40:15.953
6. Jorgensen, Brian Yamaha 40:18.271
7. Leok, Tanel Kawasaki 40:21.993
8. Barragan, Jonathan KTM 40:50.760
9. Vehvilainen, Jussi Honda 40:57.455
10. Strijbos, Kevin Suzuki 41:00.298
30. Gundersen, K KTM 7:17.000
1. Townley, Ben KTM 39:52.981
2. Coppins, Joshua Honda 39:56.629
3. Pichon, Mickael Honda 40:03.255
4. Ramon, Steve KTM 40:10.429
5. Everts, Stefan Yamaha 40:13.710
6. Barragan, Jonathan KTM 40:53.053
7. Priem, Manuel Yamaha 40:58.166
8. Noble, James Honda 41:01.539
9. Vehvilainen, Jussi Honda 41:03.617
10. Atsuta, Yoshitaka Suzuki 41:04.149
MX1 Overall Result
1. Townley, Ben 45
2. Ramon, Steve 43
3. Pichon, Mickael 42
4. Coppins, Joshua 40
5. Everts, Stefan 32
6. Barragan, Jonathan 28
7. Vehvilainen, Jussi 24
8. Noble, James 22
9. Leuret, Pascal 18
10. Pyrhonen, Antti 18
MX1 World Championship standings after 15 rounds of 17
1. Everts, Stefan 621
2. Coppins, Joshua 576
3. Townley, Ben 505
4. Pichon, Mickael 446
5. Ramon, Steve 423
6. Smets, Joel 385
7. Leuret, Pascal 296
8. de Dijcker, Ken 274
9. Noble, James 274
10. Leok, Tanel 268
11. Barragan, J. 256
1. Mackenzie, Billy Yamaha 40:30.091
2. Rattray, Tyla KTM 40:34.751
3. Cairoli, Antonio Yamaha 41:02.567
4. Bonini, Matteo Honda 41:07.103
5. Guarneri, Davide Yamaha 41:17.327
6. Maschio, Mickael Yamaha 41:18.352
7. Pourcel, Christophe Kawasaki 41:19.028
8. Boissiere, Anthony Yamaha 41:19.882
9. Chiodi, Alessio Yamaha 41:20.591
10. Nunn, Carl KTM 41:23.516
12. Leok, Aigar KTM 41:29.829
24. de Reuver, Marc KTM 30:36.592
30. Philippaerts, David KTM 9:43.697
1. Philippaerts, David KTM 40:19.780
2. Pourcel, Christophe Kawasaki 40:20.953
3. Rattray, Tyla KTM 40:56.243
4. Nunn, Carl KTM 40:58.392
5. Boissiere, Anthony Yamaha 41:01.165
6. Goncalves, Rui Yamaha 41:23.777
7. Chiodi, Alessio Yamaha 41:30.953
8. Swanepoel, Garreth Kawasaki 41:32.232
9. Maschio, Mickael Yamaha 41:32.821
10. Renet, Pierre A. Yamaha 42:10.655
23. de Reuver, Marc KTM 16:34.937
MX2 Overall result
1. Rattray, Tyla 42
2. Pourcel, Christophe 36
3. Nunn, Carl 29
4. Boissiere, Anthony 29
5. Mackenzie, Billy 28
6. Maschio, Mickael 27
7. Chiodi, Alessio 26
8. Philippaerts, David 25
9. Goncalves, Rui 22
10. Swanepoel, G 21
25. de Reuver, Marc 0
MX2 World Championship standings after 15 rounds of 17
1. Cairoli, A. 522
2. McFarlane, A. 482
3. Chiodi, Alessio 453
4. Philippaerts, D. 414
5. Melotte, Cedric 352
6. Pourcel, C. 333
7. Nunn, Carl 318
8. Sword, Stephen 310
9. Mackenzie, B. 294
19. Rattray, Tyla 132
29. de Reuver, Marc 42
Source: KTM-Sportmotorcycle AG
Photo: R. Archer