Jeremy Van Horebeek roared back from some adversity at the Grand Prix of Great Britain to take third position and climb the podium again – his seventh consecutive top three finish in the premier MXGP class – at Matterley Basin today.

The Belgian was once more a prominent force on the Yamaha Factory Racing YZ450FM and rode to a pair of third positions on the tacky and enjoyable racing surface in the south of England.

25,000 fans braved a changeable climate that saw the weekend swapping rain for sunshine at regular intervals thanks to a stiff breeze. The showers on Friday and Saturday gave some superb natural watering to the Matterley dirt and allowed it to carve into a technical and rutty prospect.


The scenic layout – which has hosted the British round of the MXGP series since 2011 – made for a long lap-time and once more gave unparalleled views to the spectators that lined the fences around the track.

Van Horebeek’s weekend did not get off to the most fortunate of starts. A problem with the start clip on his front fork guard led to a breakage of the brake hose as he was plotting a fast course from fourth to second position in Saturday’s Qualification Heat. He pitted and rode the second half of the 20 minute and two-lap distance with no stopping power on the front end and collected a brave 15th.

On Sunday, and under some welcome blue skies, JVH was again a firm presence in the leading group. The 2014 Italian Champion rode a pair of lonely races to third position each time and although he tried to fend off Tony Cairoli while holding second in Moto Two was unable to resist the Italian. Van Horebeek’s unparalleled consistency means he is third in the championship standings.

“This is one of my favourite tracks of the year and the GP did not go like I wanted,” said Van Horebeek. “I struggled all the way through and I guess it is not the best day for me. Still, we are on the podium again so I did pretty well I suppose. I’m looking forward to going to France now.

“All these podium finishes are great for me and the team. I feel really good with the way it is going. It’s just today wasn’t so great and I prefer to finish third twice than to come off the bike and register zero points.”

DP19 Yamaha racing’s David Philippaerts had a reasonable day to 10th overall. The Italian didn’t start so well in the first moto and ran to 11th. He was in the top six at the launch of the second but was too hesitant in the formative stages and again dropped down to the fringes of the top 10.

“A bad race…but good in some ways because I made some points for the championship and I’m close to the top ten; this is important because we have to look at the overall season,” said Philippaerts. “I didn’t start the first moto well and finished eleventh. I pushed a lot in the first part of the race and I did the same at the beginning of the second because I was up in sixth. I was too slow in the first ten minutes! I don’t know why but riders were passing me left and right and I was pretty angry. I was setting good lap-times by the end but it was too late. Anyway we have to focus on the top ten and my riding is getting better. My training is good and the bike is working well. Everything is correct but I now need to work on the first laps of the race to stay closer to the front.”

Rui Gonçalves took his Bike it Yamaha Cosworth YZ450F to 17th overall and defied a painful twisted ankle to complete the Grand Prix. Thirteenth was his best race finish and was scored in the second moto.

“Definitely a tough weekend,” commented Goncalves. “I was looking to turn around some problems we had on Saturday for raceday but I was last into the gate and then trying to do something from the back of the pack when I twisted my ankle on the third lap.

“I had a lot of pain but figured if I wanted to be out there for the second moto then I needed to ride for a while. I was dead-last and just concentrated on reaching the finish. The second race was a little bit better; better start and better rhythm. I had painkillers between motos to survive the weekend and will now go home to get checked out.”

Almost half of the 2014 campaign fills the MXGP scorecard and Van Horebeek, who has held a spot in the top three of the division for the vast majority of ’14 so far, is 35 points away from his first taste of the red plate and first place. Philippaerts is further back in 12th while Gonçalves is 13th.

Regular Grand Prix hosting circuit St Jean D’Angely will again entertain the French stop on the FIM Motocross World Championship calendar next weekend with the ninth round of the season nudging the series into June.