It’s a kind of reward that Stephane Dasse offered to Brian Moreau and Pierre Goupillon, as both got their first taste of GP action this weekend at the final round of the World Championship in Imola. For their GP debut both Bud Racing Monster Energy Kawasaki riders scored points.
The GP racing format is much different from the European one, and both Brian and Pierre learned a lot this weekend among the best MX2 riders. With two practice sessions and one qualifying race on Saturday, a warm up and two races on Sunday, they had a busy schedule compared to what they were used in the European series. On Saturday Brian was in the top twelve during the timed practice period, but he lost all his chances to get a good gate pick for the race when he had some troubles as his transponder moved on his front fork. The qualifying race was better for Pierre Goupillon who came back from over twentieth to sixteenth.
From his thirty fourth position on the gate Brian got twice a great start, with a top six position in race one and a top five in race two! Thirteenth of the first race Brian hold the fifth position during mostly 15 minutes in race two, but struggled physically after fifteen minutes and finished fifteenth just one year after jumping on the 250 KX Kawasaki last year. Pierre didn’t got such great starts, and even crashed during the first lap of the second race; fighting all races long, with good lap times, he scored a seventeenth position in race one and just missed the points in race two finishing twenty one. It was the last race for Pierre with the Bud Racing Team, while Brian will enter the Monster Cup in Vegas mid October.
Brian Moreau: “It was a great weekend for me, even if I had to start from the thirty-fourth gate after a problem with the transponder in the qualifying race. It was my first experience of riding a GP and the race format is very different to that in the European series. I got a good start in the first race; I started sixth and finished thirteenth which was not bad. My second start was even better as I was fifth for the first six laps but then I felt tired and lost several positions to finish fifteenth but it was a good experience and will help me for the future.”
Pierre Goupillon: “It was a great experience and I had a lot of fun to ride all weekend long, even if I never spend so much time on my bike during a weekend! Now I know what is a Grand Prix, it was my first one and for sure this experience will help me in the future. I struggled with my starts and couldn’t really get good results on Sunday, even if I had a good rhythm and a good speed; I learned a lot, know what to expect among regular GP riders, and want to thanks the Bud Racing Team to offer me this opportunity.”
Team Monster Energy Bud Racing Kawasaki had a pretty good weekend in Bulgaria, as both Brian Moreau and Pierre Goupillon had the podium honours in one of the two races. Brian claimed his first ever 250 win in the European championship, while Pierre just missed the overall podium by three points.
Brian and Pierre both confirmed their speed that they already show in Switzerland, but it was again the case of one good moto for the enthusiastic youngsters. Fastest rider in the qualifying session Brian dominates the first race and won his first EMX250 moto, but retired early in the second one after a collision on the opening lap eliminated the teenager with a painful burned leg. Fourth in the timed practice period, Pierre had a good start in the first race but collided with Clarke in the first laps and had to fight hard to came back seventh; on Sunday he did another strong race to finish third and eventually missed the podium by just three points! With one more round to go (Assen mid September).
Brian Moreau: “It is so frustrating. On Saturday I took my first win in the EMX250, then on Sunday my race was over on the first lap. I felt so good on Saturday; I took the holeshot and I was riding fast and consistent all moto for the victory. On Sunday I also started well and I was second on the first lap when I collided with Tom Vialle and my left leg was caught between the rear wheel and the swinging arm. Hopefully there’s nothing seriously wrong.”
Pierre Goupillon: “My speed was already good on Saturday but I made a mistake early in the race and it was difficult to pass on this track. I had a good feeling on the bike and pushed all moto to finish seventh and my start on Sunday was good again; I started sixth and could pass Vialle for third two laps from the finish. »
Brian Moreau raced to third place in the Swiss round of the FIM European EMX250 Motocross Championship at Frauenfeld, his second podium this season while team mate Pierre Goupillon got a fifth position.
Brian rode two strong races and in the first moto he advanced from an initial sixth place on Saturday evening to finish second, less tan two-tenths of a second behind the race-long leader. Brian appeared to be a strong candidate for overall victory as he started with the leading group in the second moto on Sunday morning, but a crash as he landed badly off a downhill jump cost him many places while he was fighting to pass the leader; rejoining the race twelfth he narrowly missed setting the fastest lap of the race as he pushed forward to take over seventh place two laps from the end and thus secure third overall on the weekend.
Pierre Goupillon completed an impressive weekend for team Bud Racing Monster Energy Kawasaki with third place in the first moto; an early crash in the second race cost him a possible podium, but he came back tenth to secure a fifth overall.
Brian Moreau: « I was one of the fastest rider on the track all weekend; that’s really positive. On Saturday I came back from sixth to second, but during the second race on Sunday I made a few mistakes. I crashed when I was trying to pass Mathys (Boisrame) for the lead, then I came back, riding faster than the leaders but again I made some mistakes which cost me positions. Today the track was a little rougher, but it was the same for everyone; I need to be more focused on my riding to be more consistent.”
Pierre Goupillon: “On Saturday I had a good race, just a shame that it took me too much time to take my rhythm as I think I could have win this moto. Anyway third was a good result, for the second heat the track was different with mainly one line after they watered it; during the first lap another rider hit me and I crashed; I was twenty-one after the crash and came back tenth, posting my best time during the last lap. I had the speed for a podium this weekend.”