In changeable weather conditions and across a tricky Sevlievo circuit, Yamaha Monster Motocross Team's David Philippaerts scored his first success on the YZ450FM with first and second positions in the two motos at the Grand Prix of Bulgaria. After four rounds of fifteen in the 2008 FIM MX1-GP World Championship the Italian has extended his lead in the series to 17 points and also placed Yamaha first in the manufacturer's standings. Josh Coppins was sixth overall and currently lies third.
The hard and fast layout situated deep in the Bulgarian countryside offered two different tests to the riders of the MX1-GP category as the first moto of 35 minutes and 2 laps took place in sunshine but a grey sky and rainfall created a slick and greasy terrain for the second outing.
Philippaerts made the most of two decent starts to obtain his prize. The 24 year old escaped the attentions of Billy Mackenzie and Marc de Reuver to lead the first sprint from start to finish. In the second wetter race he fought with Jonathan Barragan and was ultimately unable to match the Spaniard's pace. Entering the last lap Philippaerts was resigned to his second consecutive runner-up position until the leader crashed and allowed Sebastien Pourcel and the Yamaha representative to pull through. Second spot in the moto was enough to secure the overall and his second career MX1-GP success.
Josh Coppins ended the day disappointed with sixth position but a set of average starts and some hesitancy on the first lap of Moto1 meant that a better placing was not possible. The Kiwi qualified quite well, (Philippaerts was eighth after being baulked on his two flying lap attempts) with the sixth best lap-time on a dry track that saw the protagonists of the class separated by very little. However he was, by his own admission, 'too slow' in the opening stages of Moto1 and although he pulled through the pack well and was all over the back wheels of Marc de Reuver and Barragan contesting second place, he crossed the finish line in fourth. The second moto was even tougher as he touched with his team-mate along the start straight and had to be determined to cut through from a mid-pack position on the first lap.
The course was not easy for overtaking, making Coppins' job even harder; he took 14 points for seventh at the flag. The 31 year old is still well in touch with the title chase.