World 250MX Championship Results

Honda's reigning double 250cc Motocross World Champion, Frederic Bolley, was de-throned by Team Corona Suzuki's Mickael Pichon at the Catalogna Circuit at Bellpuig, Spain. Bolley placed third in the grand opening race.

The championship was the first of the new format races - Triple header Grand Prix combining all three classes in a single moto.

"I don't like the new format," commented Pichon on the 35 minute plus two laps format race. "I think everyone prefers the two race format, but this is what we have to compete with. The track here at Bellpuig is a little short with lap times under two minutes. Everyone knows that a good start now is vital, one race means only one chance. You can't afford to make any mistakes otherwise you will loose out big time..."



Pichon qualified in pole position and was the fastest rider on the track during Friday's qualifying session, but finished second during Saturday's session.

"I think everyone was feeling a little nervous here this weekend," said Pichon. "A new championship with everyone hoping for their best result and nerves play a big part of the race."

Pichon held on to the lead for three laps, but as he crested a steep hill he put his front wheel into a small patch of mud and crashed, handing over the lead to Gordon Crockard. After picking himself up, he was back in 3rd position behind Federici. Pichon set off to reclaim the lead, and eventually he forced Crockard into a mistake. He made the pass, holding the lead to the flag and a maximum 25 point score.

Bolley ended the first lap of the race in 14th place, but fought hard to overcome his rivals one by one. Prior to the race, Bolley had ridden in only one race on the CR250M Honda, because of team line-up changes just efore the season opened. Bolley's PAMO Honda team was replaced by Team UFO Honda Martin for 2001.

"The Sunday before the Spanish GP I raced my only motocross of the pre-season," said Bolley. "Regarding that I'm very happy with my third position. This gives me a lot of confidence for the next GP in Valkenswaard. I won the first moto there last year and was overall GP winner."

Pichon's teeammate, Josh Coppins, was able to place sixth. During the race, Coppins slipped back from 4th to 8th position within a couple of laps.

"I just wasn't riding loose enough," said Coppins. "My arms were tight and the arm pump meant that I couldn't hold onto the handlebars. The bike almost jumped out of my hands a couple of times and I simply had to back off the gas or crash. I was feeling stronger near the end of the race. It's not often that I ask for more laps, but I think with maybe two or three laps more I could have got back within the top five. Many riders were feeling tired near the end."

Gordon Crockard finished seventh for CAS Elf Honda team with Jussi-Pekka Vehvilainen, the next best Honda, in ninth place.

The 125cc Spanish GP was won by Englishman Jamie Dobb (KTM). Thomas Traversini, on another KTM, placed second and Alessio Chiodi (Yamaha) third. American Scott Sheak, (UFO Honda Martin) was the best Honda finisher, with ninth place.

Stefan Everts made a return to GP racing with victory in the 500 race. Belgian Everts (Yamaha) finished well clear of Andrea Bartolini (Husqvarna) and reigning Word Champion Joel Smets (KTM).

RACE RESULTS AND WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS STANDINGS:

125cc:1. James Dobb (GB), KTM, 25 points;2. Thomas Traversini (I), KTM, 20;3. Alessio Chiodi (I), Yamaha, 16;4. Steve Ramon (B), Kawasaki, 13;5. Kenneth Gundersen (N), KTM, 11;6. Luigi Seguy (F), Yamaha, 10;7. Alessandro Belometti (I), Yamaha, 9;8. Alessandro Puzar (I), Yamaha, 8;9. Scott Sheak (USA), Honda,7;10.Christian Stevanini (I), Husqvarna, 6;11.Serge Guidetty (F), Husqvarna,5;12. Sven Breugelmans (B), Yamaha, 4;13. Stephen Sword (GB), Husqvarna, 3;14. Petri Järvela (S), Honda, 2;15. Nicolas Charlier (F), KTM, 1.250cc:1. Mickaël Pichon (F), Suzuki, 25 points;2. Pit Beirer (D), Yamaha, 20;3. Frédéric Bolley (F), Honda, 16;4. Claudio Federici (I), Yamaha, 13;5. Paul Cooper (GB), Yamaha, 11;6. Joshua Coppins (NZ), Suzuki, 10;7. Gordon Crockard (GB), Honda, 9;8. Chad Reed (AUS), Kawasaki, 8;9. Jussi-Pekka Vehviläinen(SF), Honda, 7;10.Danny Theybers (B), KTM, 6;11.Johnny Aubert (F), Yamaha,5;12.Marko Kovalainen (SF), Yamaha, 4;13.Jiri Cepelak (CZ), Yamaha, 3;14.Massimo Bartolini (I), Kawasaki, 2;15. Justin Morris (GB), Suzuki, 1.500cc:1. Stefan Everts (B), Yamaha, 25 points;2. Andrea Bartolini (I), Husqvarna, 20;3. Joël Smets (B), KTM, 16;4. Marnicq Bervoets (B), YamahaÚ 13;5. Cédric Melotte (B), VOR, 11;6. Francisco Garcia Vico (E), KTM, 10;7. Fabrizio Dini(I), Yamaha, 9;8. Johnny Lindhe (S), Husqvarna, 8;9. Andrew McFarlane (AUS), Yamaha, 7;10.Gert-Jan van Doorn (NL), VOR, 6;11.Willie van Wessel (NL), Husaberg, 5;12.Mats Nilsson (S), Husaberg, 4;13.Trampas Parker (USA), Yamaha, 3;14.Rupert Walkner (A), KTM, 2;15.Johan Boonen (B), KTM, 1. Next GP: Valkenswaard (The Netherlands) on April 1st.
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Danielle Grossman
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