For the second year in a row Monster Energy Yamaha’s Steven Frossard has claimed the number one plate in the Internazionali D’Italia MX (Italian Motocross Championship) after winning the Elite category at Gazzane Di Preseglie for the fourth and final round of the series.
The Frenchman tasted victory for the fourth consecutive event in just five weeks and was again able to consign FIM World Champion Antonio Cairoli to his wheel tracks in what has been an effective warm-up campaign for the Grand Prix calendar set to start in Holland on Easter Monday (April 9th). Frossard and his team achieved the distinction despite the 2011 FIM World Championship runner-up suffering with illness for the first half of the contest and the emphasis for the factory team resting squarely on testing and preparation during the Italian meetings.
Frossard was disturbed by some arm-pump and a goggle malfunction during the MX1 moto at Gazzane Di Preseglie but then recovered from a fifth place start in the Elite race to overhaul Davide Guarneri and lead Cairoli through an exciting trail around the backmarkers to the chequered flag.
Team-mate David Philippaerts attempted both sprints but was forced to withdraw from the races after straining his right thumb ligament the previous week. The powerful Italian sought some treatment in Belgium prior to the weekend and was advised a week of rest should see improvement, allowing time for further practice mileage in the sand before the trip to Valkenswaard for Grand Prix ‘one’.
Frossard not only gave Team Manager Massimo Raspanti and Owner Michele Rinaldi their second title in two years on the factory YZ450FM but also a 60,000 euro winning bonus. Under the ruling that allows each rider to drop their worst result Philippaerts has finished second in the Elite class for a great 1-2 (a prize fund of 100,000 euro for the team).
“Of course I’m really happy to get the job done again,” said “183”. “The races were not so easy today but I knew my situation with the points before I came here and that meant my goal for the weekend was set out. Overall it has been a positive championship here (in Italy). We did what we wanted to do and the feeling on the bike is very good. We’ll get in the sand now before traveling to Valkenswaard.”