KTM Dominate 2017 SMX Cup – Riders Cup
KTM Factory riders Dungey, Herlings and Musquin take top three
KTM’s three Red Bull KTM factory riders Ryan Dungey, Jeffrey Herlings and Marvin Musquin were the dream team in the Vetlins-Arena, Gelsenkirchen Germany on Saturday night.
Held in the stadium of Germany’s FC Schalke, the new competition, a faceoff between teams representing six manufacturers, was not a classic Supercross but instead an indoor Motocross race.
In addition to three designated riders, each team had the option of a joker rider, who could be deployed at the discretion of the team manager. Team KTM’s nominated joker rider was young Spanish teenager Jorde Prado.
The competition was made up of three races and the result was calculated according to the best seven of the nine results for each team, using the same scoring system as the Motocross of Nations.
The team with the lowest score was the winner. KTM picked up only 18 points after discarding their two worse scores, a fifth and a sixth. Honda was second with 43 points and Kawasaki was third with 61 points.
The purpose-built track in the stadium was tight and challenging with patches of soft sand and potential traps for riders who were not completely on their guard.
After two 15-minute practice sessions, riders were sent out in the order they finished in the second practice. Suzuki were first up with their fastest rider, Jake Weimer. Weimer laid down a relatively good lap although there were certain spots that had be groomed, which may have effected his overall time with no line carved, so the best he could do was a 51.573.
Former MX2 World Champion Jordi Tixier followed on behalf of Team Kawasaki, and managed to beat Weimer’s time with a 50.833. Next up was Yamaha’s Romain Febvre, last year’s MXGP World Champion.
Febvre was a little too eager on his lap and over cooked the first triple in, which screwed up his rhythm completely. The former champed bounced it out and still managed to top both Tixier and Weimer with a 50.766.
Husqvarna’s Zach Osborne probably put in the tidiest and smoothest lap of all for third, 49.721, while the real eye-opener was the speed of Honda’s Tim Gajser and KTM’s Jeffrey Herlings.
Gajser was up first, and in typical ‘Tiga’ style, he was all whips and scrubs on his way to the top of the table, despite massively over cooking the ski jump into the sand waves. Gajser is such an animal though, he just soaked it all up, and kept the throttle wide open to go pole with a 49.390, which was a time Herlings fell slightly short of with his 49.418.
There was such an intense vibe at the start of race one as the best riders in the world, from both sides of the ditch, the USA and Europe, lined up next to each other. After winning the Superpole, Honda’s Tim Gajser went to the line first ahead of KTM’s Jeffrey Herlings, Husqvarna’s Zach Osborne, Yamaha’s Romain Febvre, Kawasaki’s Jordi Tixier and Suzuki’s Jake Weimer.
When the gate dropped it was Gajser who led the way into turn one, although KTM’s Ryan Dungey had a lightening quick getaway and out of nowhere almost railed around the outside of everyone for the Fox Holeshot. Herlings was on the inside of Gajser, but the Honda rider slammed that door before drifting wide to cut off Dungey as well.
Osborne was the filling in a world champion sandwich when he chose to start in between Gajser and Herlings. Both riders got out of the gate quicker and squeezed him out, but somehow he managed to keep a tight line and emerged in fifth.
KTM’s Marvin Musquin overshot the turn as the reigning MXGP world champion, Gajser, tried to gap the field. Dungey had company in the form of Febvre and Herlings, but those two made life a whole lot easier when they decided to haggle over the same piece of real estate, locked bars, lost balance and both toppled over.
Introducing the electric start! There aren’t many Yamaha YZ450F’s with electric starts, but one of the few that there are is plastered up ‘461’, and that worked in Febvre’s favor. He only lost one spot to Osborne while Herlings lost two spots, one to Osborne and one to Kawasaki’s Tommy Searle.
A little flustered, Herlings didn’t waste any time in hammering the throttle around the outside of Searle, who thought he’d throw a solid move back for old-times sake. That battle didn’t last very long though as Herlings made it clear he didn’t line up to play games when he got the job done and gapped it.
Gajser put in a classic ‘holeshot and win’ performance ahead of the two supercross stars Dungey and Osborne while Febvre and Herlings rounded out the top five.
2016 Monster Energy SMX Riders’ Cup Race 2
Race two was the craziest race of the night. It started with Gajser pulling his second Fox Holeshot ahead of Herlings who bobbled and went down, and almost collected his KTM teammate Ryan Dungey.
Gajser looked cool, calm and collective out front, on the gas early and braking late, until he left his braking a little too late and locked up the rear wheel into an edge which pitched him over the bars.
Febvre took over the lead after he had found his way around Team Honda’s Evgeny Bobryshev, who was trying to ride through the pain of an injured wrist.
Osborne showed Gajser a wheel or two in the battle for fourth, before Gajser spammed himself again and hurt his shoulder. While it should have been smooth sailing from there for Osborne, he seemed to tire and Team Kawasaki’s Jordi Tixier passed him with ease to finish fourth behind fellow Frenchmen Febvre and Musquin, and American, Dungey, who all finished in that order.
Hats off to Jeffrey Herlings who diced his way through the pack from dead last for fifth.
2016 Monster Energy SMX Riders’ Cup Race 3
Razor sharp bumps and limited traction made from a very technically challenging final race of the evening. Ryan Dungey got off to a ripper of a start and with clear track ahead it seemed like the supercross champ was set for 16 laps.
Gajser, who would have been feeling secondhand after body slamming the ground a couple of times in the race prior, seemed content in second ahead of two Frenchmen, Marvin Musquin and Jordi Tixier, but eventually faded back to fifth.
Meanwhile, Herlings was on the move after starting at the blunt end of the top ten. The Bullet was passing everyone like they were standing still and eventually found himself in second, taking chunks out of Dungey’s lead. With six laps to go, Dungey swapped out in the sand section, and Herlings took full advantage. Simultaneously, the third of KTM’s hotshots, Musquin, squared up on Gajser and passed the Honda ace for third.
While the Monster Energy SMX Cup is a team event as well, it became a battle of pride between Herlings and Dungey. Dungey tried to up his game, but a mistake riddled lap after seeing the two lap board saw the American back off and let Herlings have it. Dungey came home in second ahead of Musquin, Tixier and Gajser.
Ryan Dungey, KTM Red Bull factory
“It was kind of nice because the pressure to do it individually was not there but you also wanted to win for the manufacturer. It was great to be alongside Marvin and Herlings and Prado and good to see the KTM team from Europe here. I’m glad that we could get the Manufacturer’s Cup and go 1-2-3 in the individual. A lot of people looked at the track and said I would have an advantage because it was a supercross track, but it wasn’t. It got a lot rougher than you would want for supercross. We got the bike working well and the boys did a great job. They rode well and were consistent and if there was a mistake, they charged back. I thought we worked well as a team.”
“KTM had a lot of options and I was surprised that they picked me but I think I showed what I am capable of. I’m very happy to have been second in the individual and it’s great to win as a team. It was a good experience to ride with Dungey and to pass him in the last moto, well that was pretty cool!”
Marvin Musquin, KTM Red Bull factory
“When Roger (De Coster – Team Manager for this event) called me a month or two ago and asked me to be part of the KTM team I thought wow! I was a bit surprised because we have a lot of good riders at KTM. I was very excited because first I wanted to fight really hard for KTM and to give the best, and also do well myself. For us to be first, second and third on the podium and for me to be third with equal points with Jeffrey was great. It was a good experience and a difficult track because it was like racing outdoors. It’s always fun to do a team race like this.”
Jorde Prado, KTM Red Bull Factory ‘joker’
“I didn’t expect to be picked to be the joker rider because KTM has so many good riders, and also when I came here I only expected to make the practice. So today when they told me I could do the three races – that was really fun and really good experience for the future. I was able to compare myself to the best riders on the plant.”
Pit Beirer, KTM Motorsports Director
“We could clearly show again in the ranking where the manufacturer from Austria should be – on the top, thanks to this fantastic team. It is so nice to see the one strong force that we can make out of our riders from the US and Europe. Its an incredible pleasure to have you guys altogether.”
Gautier Paulin, Team HRC
“In the first race I took a huge stone to my shoulder and I lost a lot of power in my arm which made it difficult. The track was good though and it was good to ride because everyone was at the same rhythm, and it was just about giving the right push and the right moment. I had a great team and it’s great to put Team Honda in second place this evening.”
Evgeny Bobryshev, Team HRC
“In the first race I had a little crash and damaged my wrist so I couldn’t continue with the pain so I had to pull off which was disappointing. The track was getting rough today, especially in the last race, so it was tough but it’s great to take Team Honda into second.”
Roger Harvey, HRC General Manager – MXGP
“We’re happy with second today in the Manufacturers’ Cup. The day was a little bruising for all the guys with little injuries, but they all did a good job. It was great to see Tim take a race win on the new 2017 CRF as we continue the programme of working forward to next season, and although Bobby, Gautier and Tim all picked up little things that slowed them down a bit, generally we come away from this first SMX event reasonably happy.”
Jordi Tixier, Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team
“I had a lot of fun today; it was a good day and it’s great to be back on the podium. It was teamwork; maybe nobody expected to see us on the podium but here we are as everyone did a good job. In the first moto I had a little crash and finish eighth.
“The second was really good even if my rhythm was not good enough during the first few laps and the last one was even better. I got a very good start, it’s been a long time since I raced at the front. I started training on Supercross tracks two weeks ago and it helped me tonight; I gave everything I could and it’s great to put Kawasaki on the box.”
Tommy Searle, Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team
“I didn’t know what to expect, and overall it was an enjoying day. I’m really happy to finish the season on the podium with my teammates; it’s nice to end the season on a high. Jordi was really good in the third race and that helped us to reach the podium. I came here a little bit sick, and I struggled to breathe in the stadium but I did my best. It was a nice event, congratulations to the team staff and special thanks to Steve Guttridge for his words of wisdom.”
Vsevolod Brylyakov, Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team
“It wasn’t easy to race on this track with a 250 against the 450s, but it was a good experience to race an indoor and I learnt a lot today. It didn’t go so well with a big crash at the start of the first race, but the second moto was much better and helped the team to be on the podium. For sure I’m happy, even if this weekend didn’t go as expected. The guys did a great job; it’s amazing and I’m really happy to finish the season like this on the podium.”
Filip Neugebauer, Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team
“The first two races were tough for me, as I had troubles with my clutch in the first race and then in the second one I bent my shift level after three laps and had to ride in second gear all race. Finally, I was able to show what I can do in the last race, and finished fourteenth which is good for me. I’m happy for this opportunity to represent Kawasaki in such a major event.”
Steve Guttridge, Kawasaki Motors Europe Racing Manager
“It was an awesome day; the team really worked well together. As I said this morning during the first press conference, maybe we were really the underdogs but finally we finished the season on the podium. It was fantastic to finish the season on a high note; all the riders rode well and it’s a good motivation for everyone to prepare for next season.”
Zach Osborne, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
“I enjoyed racing this event a lot. I did my best and got away with a third and a fifth in the first two motos. Unfortunately, someone hit me right off the start in moto three and I found myself on the floor without actually knowing what had happened. It’s a bit of a bummer as at that point we were fighting for second overall as a team. It is what it is. We had a strong team I believe and we showed that on the track. Christophe was super consistent and if it wasn’t for my crash we could have easily walked away with the runner-up spot. For me this was a pretty special event as I got to see lots of familiar faces again. I had a blast and I’m looking forward to racing again in Europe when the opportunity comes.”
Christophe Charlier, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
“It’s been a good night for us. Despite my bad starts I was consistently fast throughout the evening and managed to get inside the top 10 in each of the three motos. It’s not bad at all, especially considering I spent more than two months away from my bike after my injury. I got back on the bike and started straining almost a week ago. Tonight I struggled a bit with my fitness, but the speed was there and that’s very positive. I gave it pushing hard until the finish of each race and I’m satisfied with the final result.”
Thomas Covington, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
“My speed was great tonight and I knew I could be the fastest 250F rider. Unfortunately, things didn’t go our way in terms of our results. I battled with my starts and suffered one too many crashes. The hardest race for me was the second one. Our crash with Herlings damaged my gear lever so I had to ride the rest of the race in second gear. It definitely wasn’t the end to the season I was looking for but it gives me some extra motivation to work harder in the off-season. Our focus now is the 2017 world championship and I’ll do my best to be 100% ready when it starts.”
Romain Febvre, Yamaha Racing Team
“The event was good and the track was really good also. We worked on our starts a lot this week so the race starts were strong for us. I was able to always start at the front, which was the key for the races. The track is really small so if you start last it’s very difficult to come back. The first race I was following the leaders looking for a place to pass but made a mistake, and Herlings also. We touched each other and crashed.
“It could have been better but with a crash it wasn’t too bad. The second race was perfect, I had a good start and was second, then Tim Gasjer had a crash and I took the lead. Second place was elastic, he kept coming back but then I was moving forward so I kept the position. The last race, someone came too fast on the inside and crashed, pushing everyone out and I was stuck behind the bike. I went last but came back to finish seventh which was a bit disappointing. The stadium event is good for the pubic and it was great to be part of a full Yamaha team.”
Brent Van Doninck, Yamaha Racing Team
“Race one was my best start of all three for me. I was first MX2 rider and I think I was 13th or 14th overall with the MX1 riders. It was a good race and I was happy with it. The second race I had a bad start, I was already in the back from the beginning. The third race again I had a bad start, I was the fourth MX2 rider but then many riders crashed, which was good for me and easy passing! It was a good day, I had fun and it was a nice event. I felt honoured that Yamaha picked me for the event, I like things like this and to be together with the team and Romain was great.”
Yannis Irsuti, Yamaha Racing Team
“Race one was a hard race because I had an SX set up on the bike but it wasn’t an SX set up track, there was too much sand so I crashed on the first race and the same thing in the second race. For the last race I tried to have fun, I didn’t crash so it was good for me. It was really great to ride with Romain, a world champion, and Brent who is also a great rider. It was like a dream for me.”
Alberto Barozzi – YRT MX Team Manager
“For sure the races were amazing for the spirit and the atmosphere. The Manufacturers’ Cup is a really good challenge for the future because my feeling is that the responsibility for our riders to defend the brand is a great honour. Our line up changed a bit for reasons before the event, which was unfortunate. Finally Romain made a very good result and was one of the fastest riders on the track. Brent was very close to winning the overall 250 but in the final round he had a bad start which affected it. He rode really well as always. For Yannis, it was his first time in the big international stage. He rode well and gave his maximum with a less than perfect set up on his bike. We are happy for the event and take the positives from it for the future, it’s definitely an interesting way to end the season for the Yamaha family.”
Jeremy Seewer, Team Suzuki Racing
“It was something new for all of us, a special track, riding in an arena and it was the first time for me. But it was alright. We had to change some things on my bike for the set-up because we’ve never done this type of race before. I had a bad start in the first moto and a crash, which was not my fault.
“Second moto, I had a really good start, fighting up front but with 250 it was really tough. In the third moto I had to start from the outside but managed it pretty well, had one sketchy moment and finished pretty well. We won the overall in MX2 and I’m happy about this. It was a fun event, something else.”
Jake Weimer, Team Suzuki Racing
“An interesting day for sure. I started off the day with a rock in the face in practice and a pretty big gash on my forehead. But overall through the day working with the team and making some adjustments, it seemed to improve every time I got out on the track. Results-wise nothing crazy but it was a tough race. I was hoping it was going to be a little more ‘Supercrossy’ but the track was really rough and sandy so I had some obstacles to overcome but it seems like every time I went out I was better. I had a good time, hoped to have some better results, but gave it my all and it was nice to hang out here with the guys from Team Suzuki in Europe.”
Arminas Jasikonis, Team Suzuki Racing
“It’s been a first time for me racing in an arena and with such big riders but I had some fun riding. Starts were as always bad, we must admit, and we must really change it in my head. But it has been good, in the third moto I crashed but had some good rhythm and I think it could have been better. I’m happy to walk away in one piece, because of the track, one mistake and it could end not so good.”
[youtube id=”F-3kkdP7Ojg” width=”560" height=”315"]
2016 SMX125 European Cup
After setting the fastest time in Timed Practice Sander Agard-Michelsen fluffed his lines when the gate dropped for Race 1, instead leaving Luca Milec to pull the holeshot on his APJ Yamaha with IceOne Husqvarna’s Mikkel Haarup giving chase.
Agard-Michelsen held third on his TM for a lap but regained his place in the top three a lap later when he breezed back past the German Jeremy Sydow but by then, the top two had packed up and done one into the distance.
That all changed with two to go when a mistake from Milec inadvertently took out Haarup and as quick as that, the two leaders were down.
Haarup was quickest to recover and managed to hold on for the win ahead of Sydow and Michelsen. Milec was fourth and Szymon Staszkiewicz was fifth.
In Race two, Sander Agard-Michelsen rode a faultless race and disappeared into the German night sky leaving the rest of the field to fight it out amongst themselves after he pulled a massive holeshot.
Szymon Staszkiewicz looked more relaxed in second position but could not afford to switch off as Jeremy Sydow was once again on the prowl.
Race 1 winner Haarup fell on lap two and had his work cut out and for a much of the race was sitting just off the final podium. The Dane battled on and managed to pull back to eighth and it looked like fourth overall was as good as it was gonna get, until Sydow passed Staszkiewicz for second in the dying moments of the race.
Agard-Michelsen’s win earned him the overall while a brace of second place finishes helped Sydow on to the box in front of his home fans. Staszkiewicz placed third but lost third overall to Haarup who took the third step with a win and an eighth.
Monster Energy SMX Riders’ Cup Race 1 Results
- Tim Gajser Honda 1
- Ryan Dungey KTM 2
- Zachary Osborne Husqvarna 3
- Romain Febvre Yamaha 4
- Jeffrey Herlings KTM 5
- Marvin Musquin KTM 6
- Gautier Paulin Honda 7
- Jordi Tixier Kawasaki 8
- Tommy Searle Kawasaki 9
- Christophe Charlier Husqvarna 10
- Romain Febvre Yamaha 1
- Marvin Musquin KTM 2
- Ryan Dungey KTM 3
- Jordi Tixier Kawasaki 4
- Jeffrey Herlings KTM 5
- Zachary Osborne Husqvarna 6
- Evgeny Bobryshev Honda 7
- Tommy Searle Kawasaki 8
- Gautier Paulin Honda 9
- Christophe Charlier Husqvarna 10
Monster Energy SMX Riders’ Cup Race 3 Results
- Jeffrey Herlings KTM 1
- Ryan Dungey KTM 2
- Marvin Musquin KTM 3
- Jordi Tixier Kawasaki 4
- Tim Gajser Honda 5
- Gautier Paulin Honda 6
- Romain Febvre Yamaha 7
- Evgeny Bobryshev Honda 8
- Jake Weimer Suzuki 9
- Christophe Charlier Husqvarna 10
Final Standings Riders Classification –
Monster Energy SMX Riders’ Cup
- Ryan Dungey KTM 7
- Jeffrey Herlings KTM 11
- Marvin Musquin KTM 11
- Romain Febvre Yamaha 12
- Jordi Tixier Kawasaki 16
- Gautier Paulin Honda 22
- Tim Gajser Honda 25
- Tommy Searle Kawasaki 28
- Christophe Charlier Husqvarna 30
- Jake Weimer Suzuki 32
Final Standings Manufacturers Classification –
Monster Energy SMX Riders’ Cup
- KTM 18
- Honda 43
- Kawasaki 61
- Husqvarna 71
- Yamaha 77
- Suzuki 80
SMX125 European Cup Race 1
- Mikkel Haarup Husqvarna 11:21.827
- Jeremy Sydow KTM +0:01.935
- Sander Agard-Michelsen TM +0:06.286
- Luca Milec Yamaha +0:14.423
- Szymon Staszkiewicz KTM +0:16.195
- Jarni Kooij Yamaha +0:22.745
- Joel Anton Costas Yamaha +0:23.362
- Harry Kimber Husqvarna +0:25.123
- Rick Elzinga Yamaha +0:26.111
- Luka Crnkovic Yamaha +0:31.977
SMX125 European Cup Race 2
- Sander Agard-Michelsen TM 11:22.760
- Jeremy Sydow KTM +0:08.265
- Szymon Staszkiewicz KTM +0:09.115
- Joel Anton Costas Yamaha +0:16.844
- Luca Milec Yamaha +0:19.861
- Rick Elzinga Yamaha +0:20.055
- Colton Eigenmann Yamaha +0:35.130
- Mikkel Haarup Husqvarna +0:35.351
- Harry Kimber Husqvarna +0:41.451
- Martin Winter KTM +0:42.970
SMX125 European Cup Final
- Mikkel Haarup HUS 25
- Jeremy Sydow KTM 22
- Sander Agard-Michelsen TM 20
- Luca Milec YAM 18
- Szymon Staszkiewicz KTM 16
- Jarni Kooij YAM 15
- Joel Anton Costas YAM 14
- Harry Kimber HUS 13
- Rick Elzinga YAM 12
- Luka Crnkovic YAM 11