-- World MX Rnd 2 - Valkenswaard, The
Antonio Cairoli was back on the top of the podium in Valkenswaard, while other KTM rider Jeffrey Herlings achieved a new victory at his home track. Steven Frossard is the new leader of the FIM MX1 World Championship and Ken Roczen kept the red plate after the second Grand Prix of the season.
Valkenswaard got a completely different podium in the MX1 class in comparison with the one in Bulgaria, which shows how competitive the Championship is going to be this year. Antonio Cairoli had an outstanding weekend achieving the overall victory even still having problems with his left knee. Second overall was Max Nagl thanks to his 3-1 result, and the third overall position was for David Philippaerts whose last podium was back in 2010 at the Brazilian GP.
In the MX2 class Jeffrey Herlings obtained a consistent victory winning both heats with superb authority, while his teammate Ken Roczen could not keep Herlings rhythm. Third overall was Tommy Searle with a solid 3-3 result and he is now in the third position of the Championship just two points away from Herlings.
The UEM EMX-2 Championship started this weekend in Valkenswaard with Michael Van Wezel as the first leader of the series. Second was Jens Getteman and Russian Aleksandr Tonkov completed the top three.
Red Bull Teka Factory Racing MX1’s Toni Cairoli obtained his first GP victory of the season after his ninth position in Bulgaria. Due to his knee injury, the Italian had not ridden for the last two weeks, but he felt really confortable on his KTM and managed to win both heats. Cairoli expressed his satisfaction for being back again on the top and he is looking forward to repeat such performance in the upcoming Grand Prix in the USA.
Red Bull Teka KTM Factory Racing MX1’s Max Nagl was second overall, but he admitted that if he had been mentally better during the first heat, he might have obtained the overall victory. The German felt much better on the second moto and took the lead after eight laps.
Monster Energy Yamaha’s David Philippaerts was on top of the podium after his 4-3 result. The Italian rode second most of the second moto, and eventually he managed to take the lead over Rui Gonçalves. However, the Italian lost too much energy overtaking the Portuguese and had to settle down with a final third position.
Monster Energy Yamaha’s Steven Frossard was fourth overall tight in points with his teammate Philippaerts. The French hurt his collarbone yesterday during the qualifying race and had to cope with the pain during both GP races. Frossard started the first race being in the lead, but Cairoli overtook him during the eighth lap. Thanks to this weekend’s results, Frossard has become the new leader of the MX1 class already on his second GP in the MX1 class.
The fifth place was for Rui Gonçalves from Honda World Motocross team with a 6-4 result. The Portuguese was just sixth in the first race, but he took the holeshot of race two and led it for six laps. Gonçalves was too open on a corner and moved from first to fourth after being overtaken by Philippaerts, Nagl and Frossard.
Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1’s Clement Desalle lost the red plate after his performance in Valkenswaard. The Belgian started both races among the top group, but he could not keep the leader’s rhythm and finished sixth and fifth respectively. Desalle is now third in the Championship, two points away from Nagl and seven points behind Championship leader Frossard.
LS Honda Racing’s Ken De Dycker could not show his riding skills on the sand this weekend and a 7-8 result made him finish with a seventh overall position.
Evgeny Bobryshev did a really good start in the first race and got the lovemytime holeshot award. However, his bike stalled, he had a small crash and went down to the sixth position. The Russian struggled to keep the rhythm of the leading riders and he made another mistake by the end of the race, which made him finish tenth. On the second race he got a solid seventh position.
Ninth was Tanel Leok and Steve Ramon completed the top ten.
On his first appearance in the Championship, Ben Townley took only part in the first race and he finished 19th. The New Zealander was very tired after the first moto and he decided not to race and keep some energies for the third Grand Prix of the season.
Jonathan Barragán, who was third in Bulgaria, had to settle down with a twelfth overall position. The Spanish rider was involved in a tangle at the start of race 1 and he kept on making mistakes throughout both heats. At the moment, he is placed seventh in the championship standings.
Home rider Marc De Reuver finished fifteenth after being eleventh in race one and getting a DNF due to a crash in race two.
Red Bull Teka Factory Racing MX2’s Jeffrey Herlings obtained his second overall victory at his home soil. In the first race, Herlings had to stand Roczen’s pressure when the German was closing the gap, but Roczen made a mistake and Herlings took the lead until the chequered flag. In the second heat, it was Herlings who crashed at the opening lap, but he recuperated the lead already on the lap two.
Second overall was his teammate Ken Roczen after two solid second places. The German confessed that he had changed his training habits and he felt much more tired on the bike. However, Roczen is still the leader of the MX2 class and he is looking forward to win in Glen Helen in two weeks time.
CLS Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit’s Tommy Searle completed the third step of the podium after finishing third in both heats. The British rider confessed that it was difficult for him to get good starts on the sand and had to fight really hard to climbed up from the seventh and sixth position.
Arnaud Tonus from Bike-it Cosworth Wild Wolf Yamaha had an excellent weekend in Valkenswaard and he missed the podium only for four points. The Swiss rider showed how much talent he has, by starring in different battles with several riders like Gautier Pauline in race one or Tommy Searle in race two. Tonus has improved two positions in the point standings and he is now fourth behind Tommy Searle.
Fifth was Monster Energy Yamaha’s Gautier Pauline, who did not manage to find a good rhythm in the sandy track of Valkenswaard and he could only be fifth and sixth respectively.
The sixth overall position was for Joel Roelants from Nestaan JM Racing KTM team, who had a very tight battle with Gautier Pauline during the second race. Roelants succeeded in overtaking the French and finished in a solid fifth position.
Monster Energy Yamaha’s Harri Kullas finished seventh in the first race, but he got an excellent start in the second heat and he was placed third in the opening lap. The Finish rider tried to keep the rhythm but he was finally seventh by the end of the race.
American Zach Osborne struggled the whole weekend trying to find good lines and catch the leading riders, and his 6th and 8th positions only let them be eighth overall.
Max Anstie did not finish the weekend as he had expected and had to settle down with a final ninth position, while Nikolaj Larsen got a decent 10th place.
Jeffrey Herlings triumphs at home in Valkenswaard
Young Dutch teenager Jeffrey Herlings rode like the devil throughout two motos on Easter Monday at home on Valkenswaard to be the dominant MX2 rider of the day and repeat his 2010 victory in the sands of this track. With Germany's Ken Roczen in second overall, the Red Bull Teka KTM Factory Racing Team had plenty to celebrate.
Jeffrey rode a superb and seamless first moto. He got away to a good start and the only rider to challenge him was Roczen who moved up to within a half a second of the Dutch teenager before making several small mistakes. Herlings needed no excuse to seize the moment and went on to take the victory by a massive 37.4 seconds to the collective joy of thousands of wildly cheering Dutch fans.
But it was in the second moto that the young Dutch teenager genuinely thrilled the crowds. This time it was championship leader Roczen who flew out of the start gates and immediately took the lead. Knowing that a good start and a commanding lead gave him victory in the first moto Herlings then proceeded to systematically hunt down his German rival with everything he had. Then half way through the second lap he came off the bike after losing momentary control during an overtake maneuver and ended up in the sand. Jeffrey was back on his KTM 250 in a flash, turned up both the gas and the adrenalin and set off in furious pursuit.
Herling's chance to retake the lead came when the riders were about two thirds through the second moto and from that moment on, he poured on the pressure until he had built a commanding advantage. Jeffrey then enjoyed cruising home in the final two laps to win by a margin of 11 seconds. It was a masterly ride by Herlings and levels the overall GP wins to 1 each for him and Roczen, not only the two most talented riders in MX2 but also the greatest rivals. The stage is now set for some stunning races between these two, especially when they next meet on the track at Glen Helen for the USGP, where it will be Roczen who will enjoy the crowd support. The young German has been racing the AMA SX West Lites competition and has already attracted plenty of attention and a considerable fan base in the USA.
Jeffrey van Horebeek, the third member of the Red Bull Teka KTM MX2 Factory Racing Team is currently sidelined after injuring his shoulder in the Belgian national championship.
Jeffrey Herlings: "I am very happy I felt very comfortable on the bike and today I was the fastest guy out there on the track. And I'm pretty satisfied that I came away with two wins and it's also good for the championship. Now I'm only eight points behind my teammate Kenny." The Dutch fans gave Jeffrey the star treatment and the young rider was mobbed wherever he went over the weekend.
While teammate Ken Roczen was clearly disappointed not to take the win he said he could still be satisfied with two second places and he was happy to be going to the next GP in Glen Helen in the USA as the holder of the red number plate. "I did expect a bit more today but Jeffrey was going really fast and it was okay, also for the championship points," he said. Ken now goes back to the USA where he will race again in the AMA SX Lites for several races in the run up to the USGP at Glen Helen.
Red Bull Teka KTM team boss Stefan Everts said he was "super satisfied" with the MX2 results. "Coming into this GP we expected a great result today. This time there was a lot of pressure on Jeffrey because he won here last year and he showed something really great today, especially when he came off the bike and got on and back in the race so quickly. Now we are 1 and 2 in the championship and in the next GPs we will see more fights between Ken and Jeffrey."
First EMX2 GP to KTM rider Michael van Wesel of Netherlands
Michael van Wesel performed well on the Valkenswaard sand to take the first EMX2 GP in front of his enthusiastic home crowd finishing with a 2-1 result to become the first to hold the red plate as championship leader. "I had a bad start in the second moto and was back at 5 or 6 and the track is very rough. But I got back into it and had a good race. Now it's a dream to have the red plate," he said.
KTM's MX1 factory riders double deliver in the sands of Valkenswaard
Red Bull Teka KTM factory riders Tony Cairoli and Max Nagl rode two masterly motos on the deep and tricky sands of Valkenswaard in the Netherlands on Easter Monday to deliver two consecutive moto victories and finish the day 1-2 on the GP podium.
The result, following on from a 1-2 in the MX2 class GP was proof of the depth of talent in the Orange factory team and underlined the qualities of the KTM 350 SX-F machine, ridden this year by both Cairoli and Nagl.
The performance was even more spectacular for Cairoli who was riding injured after hurting his knee in the first GP at Sevlievo, Bulgaria, and while he was clearly in pain and discomfort as he climbed onto the highest step of the GP podium, he never let it deter him from another triumphant ride.
The two riders split the results of the day's ride - Tony won the first moto and Max took second place. Then Nagl of Germany, also buoyed by the support of his new Belgian based fan club, whose members flocked over the border to support him, put in a great ride to take the second moto with his Italian team colleague finishing second. While Cairoli won the MX1 title in 2010 on the newly released 350 SX-F machine, this is Nagl's first year on the new bike. In 2010 he rode the KTM 450 SX-F. The result moves Nagl up to second place in the championship standings, just five points behind the leader Steven Frossard with Cairoli in overall fourth with a 13-point gap to the leader.
It was the fifth time that Tony had won at Valkenswaard and the third in a row in MX1. He paid tribute to the enthusiasm of the Dutch fans and the way they support him. "I am happy that this is the third time I have won in mX1 here but I did struggle a bit today. Normally this track is a lot of fun to ride but today I tried to be more careful with my injured knee and I tried not to put it on the ground so much. Today we could also close the gap in the championship points and I hope it's not too long before we get the red plate back again," Cairoli said.
Max Nagl said it had been a good weekend for him, including a great qualifying when he took the pole position but he had not been so confident in the first moto. "Then in the second heat I changed my strategy. I was leading after about 15 minutes so I was able to find my rhythm and find some nice lines on the track. That makes it easier," he said.
Team boss Stefan Everts expressed satisfaction with the performance of the two MX1 riders saying it had been a tough and physically hard GP. "I was mostly impressed with the comeback of Antonio. We knew he had a knee injury but he did better than we expected. He came back to win in the first moto after not having a very good start. Also in the first Moto Max was third and showing a good speed. Then it was the opposite in the second race when Max put in a nice performance and fought really hard to be in front," he said.
In other related news, it was also announced at Valkenswaard that Cairoli has signed to stay with the Red Bull Teka KTM Factory Racing Team for another two years.
The MXGP at Valkenswaard attracted a huge crowd of followers on the Easter holiday weekend and the KTM riders clearly enjoyed chalking up yet another Orange victory on the traditional sandy track.
- Yamaha Racing
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.
Two Yamahas in Dutch GP top four
The ever-changing and swirling sand of Valkenswaard presented a difficult and technical challenge for the Grand Prix of the Netherlands and the second round of fifteen in the FIM MX2-GP World Championship. Under day-long sunshine and the glare of 35,000 holiday-making spectators, Bike it Cosworth Wild Wolf Yamahas Arnaud Tonus finished 4th overall while Monster Energy Yamahas Gautier Paulin defied odds to earn an excellent 5th.
Track conditions and an unusually intense climate created an energy-sapping racing environment for the MX2-GP riders. Paulin, steering the prototype fuel-injected YZ250FM, had to take painkillers to erase discomfort of a suspected twisted torso muscle from Saturday. The Frenchman could barely complete the warm-up session but bravely entered the two motos and produced an exceptional set of rides to 5th and 6th; at one stage he battle for third spot in the first race.
While Paulin exceeded expectations Arnaud Tonus was also displaying yet more improved speed and skill in the sand. The Swiss fought back from a so-so start in Moto1 to find his way to fourth and was only two circulations from an overall podium finish deep into Moto2 until fatigue caused a small slip and he was pipped to the line and a trophy - by Tommy Searle.
Monster Energy Yamahas Harri Kullas had a consistent day with two seventh positions and the same overall ranking and was one place higher in the event standings than American Zach Osborne on the YZ250F who had to recover from a poor start in Moto2 to climb to eighth. Kullas team-mate Christophe Charlier was eleventh. The Frenchman, who underwent laser therapy on a broken bone in his right hand crashed exiting the first corner of Moto1 but started brilliantly in Moto2 and ran as high as third before feeling the pace and dropping back to tenth.
Tonus, Paulin and Osborne are fourth, fifth and sixth in the championship table respectively and are within seven points of each other. Kullas is ninth with Charlier eleventh.
The MX2 series will recommence with the U.S. Grand Prix at Glen Helen in southern California on May 15th. The American trip
Gautier Paulin, Monster Energy Yamaha: The track was tough and very hard physically. I didnt start so well but I got some good points today and did the best job I could. We will see a little bit what has been the problem now and hope to be fully ready to go for America.
Arnaud Tonus: It seems like I feel good on the sand now! It was two tough motos but the first one was great and to finish fourth on the sand was really good for me. I pushed really hard to fight back and did the same in the second moto. When I reached third in front of Tommy that was great but I started to feel tired and made a small mistake that led to a crash. Im disappointed that I missed the podium but the results were good.
Harri Kullas, Monster Energy Yamaha: First race I was able to catch Aubin and then had a really good battle with Roelants to win seventh place. I wasnt so tired and could push hard in the last laps. I had a great start in the second moto and when Herlings crashed on the first lap I was second. I found my rhythm and Tonus and Searle were really fast. I concentrated on my speed and focussed on attacking Paulin in the last laps. I was close but made a mistake with four laps to go and he had a few more seconds on me, so it was really hard to go for sixth. I had a virus after Bulgaria and it took some time to get healthy again, nevertheless this was a consistent race and I hope we can have a good GP at Glen Helen.
Zach Osborne: It was a pretty good result considering my past history on the sand. It was nothing brilliant but it was a solid day of riding. For me this was the hard one out of the way until we get to Lommel. We can keep on trucking and build some momentum going into America. My fitness is really good and in that second race I must have passed twenty guys. Overall this is something solid to lean on. My sand riding is getting better and I know more about what I need for my set-up on the bike now.
Under hot sunshine a 35,000 crowd watched Toni Cairoli win the MX1 Grand Prix of the Netherlands at Valkenswaard as Honda World Motocross team's Rui Goncalves was the best CRF450R runner at the second round of fifteen in the FIM Motocross World Championship with fifth place.
The Portuguese rider was able to produce a decent set of motos across the dark sand where he had previously been a winner in the MX2 class in 2009. The Dutch terrain grew predictably rough and bumpy and provided numerous line choices and some entertaining racing.
Goncalves rode to sixth position in the opening heat of thirty-five minutes and two laps and finished just ahead of LS Honda Racing's Ken De Dycker with Honda World Motocross team's Evgeny Bobryshev making the top ten with tenth place.
The second sprint saw Goncalves produce an excellent start and set the pace as leader for the opening third of the moto before being swamped by a chasing pack of riders. The former MX2 world championship runner-up was able to improve his rhythm by the final throws of a very physically demanding contest and crossed the line in fourth, thanks in part to a fall by Steven Frossard. Bobryshev, fielding his '777' number, was seventh and his combined points total was good enough to place him eighth in the final standings. De Dycker took eighth at the second time of asking to collect seventh overall.
The powerful Belgian was still not fully fit after his crash two weeks ago in Bulgaria that left him with a painful back.
LS Honda Racing's Shaun Simpson classified down in twentieth overall and was beset by fitness issues that left the former British Champion powerless to tackle the sapping sand.
In the MX1 class standings Goncalves is sixth on 62 points and ten away from fourth spot. Bobryshev is eighth (on 52) with De Dycker fourteenth and Simpson sixteenth. Honda were able to chart the progress of young Brazilian Swian Zanoni in the MX2 category and the rookie came very close to his first championship points in 2011 and as a full-time member of the GP paddock with results of twenty-seventh and twenty-first on the CRF250R.
The U.S. Grand Prix at Glen Helen in California constitutes the third round of the 2011 schedule and will take place on May 15th.
Rui Goncalves (Honda World Motocross)
Race Result: 6th/4th Championship position: 6th "It was quite a good GP. A positive weekend. In the first moto I wasn't really into the rhythm in the first laps and dropped some places down to tenth. I picked it up and started to feel better so I made up positions to sixth and was on the rear wheel of Desalle. I went into the break pretty happy with the second part of that moto. I made a great start in the next one and led for the first twenty minutes or so, but I left the door slightly open through one of the corners around the back and Philippaerts went through. I couldn't stay in my line and went over the berm and that's when another two guys went by. I lost the rhythm and dropped from first to fifth. I needed two or three laps to get going again. At the end Frossard went down and I was able to take another place. It is good to come out of this feeling as fit and healthy as I do."
Ken De Dycker (LS Honda Racing)
Race Result: 7th/8th Championship position: 8th "Tiring day! I was making too many mistakes and didn't feel 100% from the crash in Bulgaria. The muscle in my back was getting very tight and that made it hard to stand-up. The result was OK but not really want I wanted, it was so hard today. Now I hope to rest to get back into better shape."
Evgeny Bobryshev (Honda World Motocross) Race Result: 10th/7th Championship position: 14th "I had a good start in the first race, but I made too many mistakes in the first laps and I was using too much energy because I was so tense on the bike. I was fighting the track and then I stalled the bike and lost three positions. It was hard to come back into a rhythm after that. I was disappointed with tenth. I wanted better in the second moto but started badly and although my riding was better than the first race it was still not really my speed. The motos felt really long today and I hoped with every lap that the guy would hold the board out to say there were only two laps left! We will try to forget this race now and put in some good training for the U.S. Grand Prix."
Shaun Simpson (LS Honda Racing)
Race Result: 20th/17th Championship position: 16th "I didn't feel so good in the heat race, without any lines, although I was able to take tenth position. I got two reasonable starts running in the back-end of the top ten and then just faded badly and I don't know why. I felt very tired and was actually sick after both motos, which is something I've never experienced before. I just went so deep into my reserves. I was not in positions where I want to be battling and had no energy to do anything about it. I need to go back home and rest-up and find a bit of extra speed and fitness from somewhere."
Swian Zanoni (Honda Brazil)
Race Result: 27th/21st Championship position: NA "I'm really happy to be here and have been training for this opportunity. Most of my riding has been on tracks that are a bit harder than this sand and I found it difficult today. I kept going though and my goal is to keep on improving."
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