Monster Energy Yamahas Steven Frossard somehow buried the pain of a strained collarbone ligament at a sunny Valkenswaard to finish fourth overall and lift the red plate as leader of the MX1-GP FIM World Championship. After only his second event on the works YZ450FM Frossard classified behind team-mate David Philippaerts the Italian scoring third place and walking the podium for the first time since the Brazilian GP last August but now leads the series by five points.
A fall while heading towards pole position on Saturday left Frossard in pain come warm-up on the morning of race-day and even in doubt as to his participation for the motos. 35,000 people had taken advantage of the second round of fifteen in the FIM contest occurring over the Easter holiday weekend. With some treatment and strapping Frossard took to the start gate and benefitted from two bright getaways to run among the leading group for both sprints. He disputed the win with Tony Cairoli in Moto1 and finally took second and then was two laps away from the final step of the podium in Moto2 except a slip landing off the finish-line jump saw the 23 year old run into the fence. Frossard passed the chequered flag in fifth place.
David Philippaerts was not sharp enough at the opening of Moto1 to be in contention for the top three but nevertheless rode strongly to obtain fourth. In Moto2 more intent from the first lap pushed the Italian into the battle for the lead and his third position was enough for the rostrum ceremony after Frossards late misfortune.
The third member of the Monster Energy triumvirate, Anthony Boissiere, was 13th overall with 15th and 13th positions and was not assisted by a first moto crash at the start.
In the formative championship standings Frossard is the first Frenchman in six years to front the MX1 table. Philippaerts is fifth and 22 points in arrears.
Monster Energy Yamaha will next grace the international stage with back-to-back Grand Prix events in USA and Brazil. The Americas phase of the championship will begin on May 15th with the trip to Glen Helen in California.
David Philippaerts, Monster Energy Yamaha, 3rd:
It was difficult here because the lines changed every lap and it was possible to lose or make two-three seconds each time. In the first moto I was too relaxed at the start of the race and the others made a break. So in the second one I tried to push more in the beginning and it was better. Im really happy for me to be back on the podium. We have all worked a lot for results like this.
Steven Frossard, Monster Energy Yamaha, 4th, 13th:
Im really happy to get the red plate, especially because after the crash yesterday I had a lot of pain in my collarbone and it was difficult to ride; the warm-up was impossible this morning. I spent time with my doctor and trainer and with some massage and strapping I was ready to try the races. I had a really good start in the first moto and it was quite easy to stay focussed after that. My goal was to stay in fourth in the next heat and make the podium but my hand slipped off the handlebar after a jump and I crashed. I could still manage fifth and it feels great to have the red plate after a Grand Prix in the sand. For me it was easier to ride the 450 here. I could play with the bike and I felt really good on my race-bike today.
Anthony Boissiere, Monster Energy Yamaha:
Today was very difficult. I was not in the top ten because in the first race I crashed in the second corner and it was hard to come back. I was fifteenth and took thirteenth in the second moto which was a bit better but I was tired in that one. The track was really bumpy! I will try to be better for the GP in the USA.