45,000 fans shouted, danced, partied and generally went bananas at the Grand Prix of Brazil and the seventh round of the FIM Motocross World Championship where Monster Energy MX racers flew to positions in the top five of the MX1 and MX2 classes.
Samba was not met with sunshine for the second year in a row but that didn’t stop the crowds from soaking up the motocross carnival vibe. The grandstands were packed at one of the best facilities on the GP calendar that housed a twisty, narrow and jump-tastic racing course.
The rain lashed down on Saturday night but fears that Beto Carrero would see yet another swampy ‘mudder’ on Sunday were allayed when the low clouds slowly blew back over towards the Atlantic. The venue north of the party city of Florianopolis was prepped, and ready for topflight motocross after news emerged on Saturday afternoon that the site will entertain the monolith of off-road racing that is the Motocross of Nations in 2017.
Gautier Paulin was the best positioned representative of the Monster claw with fifth position overall in the premier MX1 class on his factory Kawasaki and only a set of mediocre starts in the motos – the second race seeing the final incarnation of the Super Final mixing MX1 and MX2 classes this year – prevented the French ace from taking his fifth podium result of the season.
“This track is nice to ride, and I had a good feeling but my start in the first MX1 race was not so good and I had to pass a lot of riders to finish fourth, again with the fastest lap time. In the Superfinal it was again difficult out there,” said Paulin.
Tommy Searle, riding with pain in the middle finger he broke in Portugal two weeks before, engaged in an all-action battle with Jeremy Van Horebeek in the Supe Final that was an absolute treat of bar-banging and position-swapping.
“Yeah, that was quite good fun but I suffered with being tired all day,” the Brit said who was eighth in the MX1 listing. “With my finger I haven’t been able to ride since Portugal so maybe I missed a little something.”
Monster Energy Yamaha’s Joel Roelants continued his push back to full race fitness with ninth overall while worthy mentions go out to Dean Ferris for fifth in MX2, Christophe Charlier and Mel Pocock who all followed the tough Aussie in the final classification.
Pocock, the reigning European Champion, posted a career best GP finish with fifth in the first MX2 moto.
Pocock commented: “This is the best GP I have been to in my life. There is so much atmosphere here and I cannot wait to come back next year. The track was awesome and the preparation also. I got a mint start in the first race and pushed forward in the final stages to make sure of my personal best.”
With the recently cancelled Grand Prix of Mexico rapidly becoming a distant memory the Grand Prix crews will head straight back to Europe where a min-break lies in store. A cool double-header at Ernee, France and Maggiora, Italy will represent a hard turn of the gas for the series in mid-June.