— Cairoli and Herlings winners of the Dutch Grand Prix
— Weather: Sunny, cold – Temperature: 6 degrees C – Attendance: 27,000.

The sun came up today in Valkenswaard to host the main races of the Grand Prix of the Netherlands, which made the track being more demanding for the MXGP riders. The great crowd present at Valkenswaard enjoyed fantastic racing in both MX1 and MX2 classes and they saw Antonio Cairoli and Jeffrey Herlings adding one more Grand Prix victory in his records.

This weekend it was the first time that the SkyBox was used in the FIM Motocross World Championship and it was a big success, as watching the start from the second floor was a unique experience for the fans and the presentation of the MXGP riders before the start provided another impressive element of the show.

The second race of the first round of the FIM WMX World Championship took place today and Natalie Kane, Megan Rutledge and Chiara Fontanesi starred in an intense battle from the beginning until the end of the heat. In the end it was Fontanesi who took the win, as well as the overall victory ahead of Rutledge and Kane.

Valkenswaard also hosted today the two main races of the first round of the FIM MX3 World Championship, where Gert Krestinov obtained the overall win with a 2-1 result. Second overall was Mike Kras and Filip Neugebauer completed the top three.

— MX1

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli was really happy for being once again on the podium even if he could not win both heats. In the first race the Italian managed to take the lead from Bobryshev already in the opening lap, but by the middle of the heat he was surprised by his teammate Ken De Dycker who led a couple of laps until the made a mistake. The Italian recuperated the lead and crossed the finish line with almost three seconds difference with the second classified. In the second race Cairoli admitted that had some pain in his arms in the beginning of the heat which made him make many mistakes, so he decided to slow down in order to stay in two wheels. After a few laps the Italian got back the good rhythm, but De Dycker had already opened a big gap, so he finished second and won the MXGP of the Netherlands for the fourth time in a row.

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Ken De Dycker ended on the second step of the podium after finishing second and first in today’s races, but he might have won the Grand Prix if he hadn’t crash in the first heat when he was leading it. The Belgian admitted that he was very satisfied with his riding and with his second overall position, as it had been a long time since he was on the podium and racing at the front. De Dycker moved from fourth to third in the MX1 point standings.

Honda World Motocross’ Evgeny Bobryshev succeeded in being on the third step of the podium this weekend after finishing second and fourth in today’s races. The Russian took the holeshot in both heats and he won the Get Athena Award, which is given to the rider that takes the holeshot in the first heat. Bobryshev admitted that he was really happy with his riding this weekend, even if he had a small crash in the end of the second heat.

The fourth overall position went for Rockstar Energy Suzuki World’s Kevin Strijbos. The Belgian rider had quite a good start and he rode sixth during the first six laps, but Paulin overtook him and Strijbos was not able to passed him back and crossed the finish line seventh. However, the Belgian had an excellent start in the second heat and he rode second until Cairoli made the pass on him by the middle of the heat. Strijbos was very satisfied with his third position in the second heat, as well as with the overall fourth position in the Grand Prix.

Honda World Motocross’ Max Nagl was touched by bad luck yesterday in the qualifying heat, but he did two excellent races today and he finished fifth overall. The German ended sixth in both motos and he recuperated the confidence he was missing after being so unfortunate in the previous two grand prix.

Gautier Paulin had a good start in the first race and he finished fifth, but in the second moto his start was not that good and he struggled to get a good rhythm to overtake the riders that were riding in front of him. In the end Paulin finished seventh and obtained the overall sixth position.

Clement Desalle did not find himself comfortable on his bike today and he ended only seventh overall, followed by Tanel Leok and Tommy Searle. Rui Gonçalves completed the top ten.

David Philippaerts had a really good start in the second moto, but a mechanical problem pushed him to pull out from the race. The Italian ended thirteenth in the Grand Prix.

Jeremy Van Horebeek finished eleventh in the first heat, but he stopped in the pitlane in the second moto as he noticed that there was a problem with his bike and he did not want to take any risks.

Monster Energy Yamaha’s Steven Frossard did not take part in the races today, as he had to get an operation done on one of his toe this morning, as yesterday he broke the toe that he had fractured last week while training.

MX1 Race 1 top ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 39:45.837; 2. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:02.473; 3. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), +0:09.193; 4. Tanel Leok (EST, Honda), +0:26.611; 5. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:30.675; 6. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Honda), +0:35.943; 7. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), +0:49.340; 8. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), +1:13.591; 9. David Philippaerts (ITA, Honda), +1:16.523; 10. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +1:16.668;

MX1 Race 2 top ten: 1. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), 39:22.098; 2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:01.521; 3. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), +0:14.800; 4. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:37.145; 5. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), +0:44.981; 6. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Honda), +0:52.555; 7. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), +1:00.383; 8. Rui Goncalves (POR, KTM), +1:02.518; 9. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +1:02.629; 10. Joel Roelants (BEL, Yamaha), +1:06.622;

MX1 Overall top ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 47 points; 2. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), 45 p.; 3. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), 40 p.; 4. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), 34 p.; 5. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Honda), 30 p.; 6. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), 30 p.; 7. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), 29 p.; 8. Tanel Leok (EST, Honda), 28 p.; 9. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), 23 p.; 10. Rui Goncalves (POR, KTM), 21 p.;

MX1 Championship top ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 142 points; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), 116 p.; 3. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), 115 p.; 4. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), 108 p.; 5. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), 89 p.; 6. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), 87 p.; 7. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), 87 p.; 8. Rui Goncalves (POR, KTM), 73 p.; 9. Tanel Leok (EST, Honda), 61 p.; 10. Joel Roelants (BEL, Yamaha), 58 p.;

MX1 Manufacturers: 1. KTM, 147 points; 2. Suzuki, 121 p.; 3. Kawasaki, 108 p.; 4. Honda, 99 p.; 5. Yamaha, 66 p.; 6. TM, 35 p.;

— MX2

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings has broken one more record this weekend obtaining another overall victory winning both motos, so the Dutch rider has won all the races celebrated in Valkenswaard since 2010. However, the home rider admitted that today’s victory has been the most difficult one because he had to start from gate 40 as he was disqualified from yesterday’s qualifying race. Herlings had an excellent start in race one, he was already eighth after the first corners and by the middle of the race he was leading. The second race was more complicated for Herlings, as his start was not that good, but he succeeded in overtaking several riders in each lap until he got to the second place. At this point, his teammate Tixier was already 21 seconds ahead of him, but the French rider was getting a bit tired and Herlings passed him and won the race.

The second overall position was for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jordi Tixier who rode really well this weekend in both races. The French rider took the holeshot in both heats and led the race comfortably until his teammate Herlings passed him. Tixier and the whole Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team were very satisfied with such result, as they had all been working really hard to obtain a podium finish. During the press conference Herlings also congratulated Tixier for his podium finish and for having ridden so well in both races.

The Dutch Grand Prix will be always remembered by Wilvo Nestaan JM Racing KTM’s Jake Nicholls, who obtained his maiden MXGP podium after finishing fourth and third in today’s races. The British rider admitted that he had almost lost all the confidence he had in himself after obtaining so bad results in the first two Grand Prix of the season, so this weekend’s result will help him to keep the motivation up and try to finish on the podium more often during the year.

Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe’s Max Anstie had a great start in the first heat and he crossed the finish line third ahead of Nicholls and Coldenhoff. However, in the second race he started down in the eighth position and it was very difficult for the British riders to move up some positions. In the end, Anstie finished sixth and obtained the overall fourth position of the Dutch Grand Prix.

Wilvo Nestaan JM Racing KTM’s Glenn Coldenhoff started really good the weekend winning the qualifying race, but the home rider was only able to finish fifth overall of the Grand Prix. Coldenhoff had a good start in both motos; in the first one he started fourth and in the second he rode second during the first laps, but Coldenhoff could not keep the rhythm of the front group and he crossed the finish line fifth and fourth. All in all, the young Dutch rider is very satisfied with his performance today.

Aleksander Tonkov had one of the best weekends since he is in the MX2 class, as he managed to finish sixth overall ahead of Mel Pocock and Priit Ratsep. Pascal Rauchenecker was ninth and Romain Febvre completed the top ten.
Dean Ferris decided not to take part in the Grand Prix as he is still suffering a lot of pain from the injuries he got some weeks ago. The Australian rider will be back on his Monster Energy Yamaha in the following Grand Prix, which will take place in Italy in two weeks time.

MX2 Race 1 top ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 39:49.179; 2. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), +0:11.056; 3. Max Anstie (GBR, Suzuki), +0:21.337; 4. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), +0:22.824; 5. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:24.088; 6. Julien Lieber (BEL, Suzuki), +0:58.146; 7. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), +1:01.127; 8. Petar Petrov (BUL, Yamaha), +1:09.946; 9. Priit Ratsep (EST, KTM), +1:11.786; 10. Mel Pocock (GBR, Yamaha), +1:15.897;

MX2 Race 2 top ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 39:47.473; 2. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), +0:07.845; 3. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), +0:12.739; 4. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:21.467; 5. Romain Febvre (FRA, KTM), +0:45.622; 6. Max Anstie (GBR, Suzuki), +1:08.635; 7. Elliott Banks-Browne (GBR, KTM), +1:12.868; 8. Alexander Tonkov (RUS, Honda), +1:15.878; 9. Mel Pocock (GBR, Yamaha), +1:19.983; 10. Pascal Rauchenecker (AUT, KTM), +1:25.293;

MX2 Overall top ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 50 points; 2. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), 44 p.; 3. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), 38 p.; 4. Max Anstie (GBR, Suzuki), 35 p.; 5. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 34 p.; 6. Alexander Tonkov (RUS, Honda), 23 p.; 7. Mel Pocock (GBR, Yamaha), 23 p.; 8. Priit Ratsep (EST, KTM), 22 p.; 9. Pascal Rauchenecker (AUT, KTM), 19 p.; 10. Romain Febvre (FRA, KTM), 16 p.;

MX2 Championship top ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 150 points; 2. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), 101 p.; 3. Romain Febvre (FRA, KTM), 98 p.; 4. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 97 p.; 5. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), 74 p.; 6. Max Anstie (GBR, Suzuki), 72 p.; 7. Christophe Charlier (FRA, Yamaha), 71 p.; 8. Dean Ferris (AUS, Yamaha), 69 p.; 9. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), 64 p.; 10. Julien Lieber (BEL, Suzuki), 62 p.;

MX2 Manufacturers: 1. KTM, 150 points; 2. Yamaha, 103 p.; 3. Suzuki, 94 p.; 4. Kawasaki, 63 p.; 5. Honda, 52 p.; 6. TM, 3 p.;

— MX3

The sun came out to greet the MX3 riders for their first race here at the circuit of Valkenswaard, The Netherlands, upping the freezing temperature just a little bit in time for the gate drop of MX3 race one.

When the gates dropped it was Netherlander Mike Kras who took full advantage of a good start, leading the race from start to finish taking the win at his home GP in Valkenswaard. Meanwhile, Fillip Neugebauer and Santtu Tiainen went to battle for the second position but were soon accompanied by a new challenger in the form of Gert Krestinov who had just charged his way from a tenth place start to take over the second place on lap six. Filip Neugebauer got past Tiainen and eventually settled in third.

Meanwhile, Santtu Tiainen’s troubles were still not over as he was again under attack by Kasper Lynggaard and Klemen Gercar with the duo both sneaking past him midway through the race dropping him out of the top five. It was close between the three but in the end Kasper Lynggaard managed to hold off Klemen Gercar sealing fourth position leaving Gercar to settle for fifth.

MX3 race two left the riders facing not only the challenge of the cold weather but also an extremely rough Valkenswaard circuit, these factors didn’t stop Gert Krestinov from putting in another strong performance coming home with the race win giving him also the overall here in Valkenswaard. Chasing Gert Krestinov was race one winner Mike Kras, who put in another solid performance finishing second place followed by a consistent Filip Neugebauer in third. Meanwhile Klemen Gercar and Kasper Lynggaard enticed in yet another battle, this time Klemen Gercar held off Kasper Lynggaard for fourth forcing Lynggaard to settle for fifth.

MX3 Race 1 results: 1. Mike Kras (NED, Suzuki), 36:20.330; 2. Gert Krestinov (EST, Kawasaki), +0:04.422; 3. Filip Neugebauer (CZE, Kawasaki), +0:14.735; 4. Kasper Lynggaard (DEN, Yamaha), +0:22.103; 5. Klemen Gercar (SLO, Honda), +0:24.300; 6. Santtu Tiainen (FIN, Honda), +0:26.007; 7. Lukasz Lonka (POL, Honda), +0:28.354; 8. Timur Muratov (RUS, KTM), +0:28.710; 9. Martin Michek (CZE, KTM), +0:30.553; 10. Ludvig Söderberg (FIN, Honda)

MX3 Race 2 results: 1. Gert Krestinov (EST, Kawasaki), 34:57.005; 2. Filip Neugebauer (CZE, Kawasaki), +0:18.182; 3. Mike Kras (NED, Suzuki), +0:32.614; 4. Klemen Gercar (SLO, Honda), +0:38.366; 5. Kasper Lynggaard (DEN, Yamaha), +0:45.423; 6. Timur Muratov (RUS, KTM), +0:48.033; 7. Matthias Walkner (AUT, KTM), +0:54.175; 8. Santtu Tiainen (FIN, Honda), +0:56.307; 9. Ludvig Söderberg (FIN, Honda), +1:03.998; 10. Matevz Irt (SLO, Suzuki)

MX3 Championship top 10: 1. Gert Krestinov (EST, Kawasaki), 47 points; 2. Mike Kras (NED, Suzuki), 45 p.; 3. Filip Neugebauer (CZE, Kawasaki), 42 p.; 4. Klemen Gercar (SLO, Honda), 34 p.; 5. Kasper Lynggaard (DEN, Yamaha), 34 p.; 6. Timur Muratov (RUS, KTM), 28 p.; 7. Santtu Tiainen (FIN, Honda), 28 p.; 8. Ludvig Söderberg (FIN, Honda), 23 p.; 9. Lukasz Lonka (POL, Honda), 23 p.; 10. Martin Michek (CZE, KTM)

— Womens Motocross

The FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship set off to a great start in Valkenswaard with a sensational race one and an even more incredible race two, really showing fans what women in motocross can do.

Race two saw Australian Jessica Moore have a great start squeezing out ex World Champion Stephanie Laier for the holeshot, less than two corners later HM Plant KTM UK’s Nathalie Kane passed both riders snatching up the lead, Pfiel Kawasaki’s Meghan Rutledge followed Kane through taking over the second place position. Meanwhile, race one winner Kiara Fontanesi was facing the aftermath of a bad start, sitting outside the top ten. After an extremely hard charge on lap one Fontanesi was already inside the top three trying to break down the ten second lead of Nathalie Kane.

With 5 minutes to go Fontanesi and Rutledge had caught Kane provoking a three way battle for the lead. While dicing through the lapped riders Rutledge managed to take over the lead with Fontanesi taking over second, leaving Kane to struggle through the lapped traffic. With two laps to go Fontanesi made a close pass on Rutledge to take the lead causing Rutledge to have a small crash in a corner. The Australian Meghan Rutledge was quick to remount maintaining the second place position but allowing the Irish rider Nathalie Kane to close the gap again instigating a last lap sprint home.

In the end it was Fonta MX Monster Energy Yamaha’s Kiara Fontanesi who took her second win of the weekend, finishing with a nine second lead ahead of Pfiel Kawasaki’s Meghan Rutledge and HM Plant KTM UK’s Nathalie Kane. Further back after a strong performance the Australian Jessica Moore had slipped back to sixth with Stephanie Laier taking the fourth position and Larissa Papenmeier again rounding out the top five.

WMX Race 1 results: 1. Chiara Fontanesi (ITA, Yamaha), 25:16.735; 2. Meghan Kat Rutledge (AUS, Kawasaki), +0:16.992; 3. Natalie Kane (IRL, KTM), +0:21.579; 4. Stephanie Laier (GER, Kawasaki), +0:31.162; 5. Larissa Papenmeier (GER, Suzuki), +0:38.462; 6. Nancy Van De Ven (NED, KTM), +1:18.831; 7. Nicky van Wordragen (NED, Yamaha), +1:26.853; 8. Jessica Moore (AUS, KTM), +1:30.788; 9. Britt van der Wekken (NED, Honda), +1:31.859; 10. Marielle De Mol (NED, TM), +1:37.144

WMX Race 2 results: 1. Chiara Fontanesi (ITA, Yamaha), 25:21.616; 2. Meghan Kat Rutledge (AUS, Kawasaki), +0:08.545; 3. Natalie Kane (IRL, KTM), +0:09.090; 4. Stephanie Laier (GER, Kawasaki), +0:58.386; 5. Larissa Papenmeier (GER, Suzuki), +1:02.258; 6. Jessica Moore (AUS, KTM), +1:19.615; 7. Britt van der Wekken (NED, Honda), +1:36.425; 8. Nina Klink (NED, KTM), +1:42.165; 9. Nancy Van De Ven (NED, KTM), +1:42.542; 10. Anne Borchers (GER, Suzuki), +1:45.444

WMX Championship top 10: 1. Chiara Fontanesi (ITA, Yamaha), 50 points; 2. Meghan Kat Rutledge (AUS, Kawasaki), 44 p.; 3. Natalie Kane (IRL, KTM), 40 p.; 4. Stephanie Laier (GER, Kawasaki), 36 p.; 5. Larissa Papenmeier (GER, Suzuki), 32 p.; 6. Jessica Moore (AUS, KTM), 28 p.; 7. Nancy Van De Ven (NED, KTM), 27 p.; 8. Britt van der Wekken (NED, Honda), 26 p.; 9. Nicky van Wordragen (NED, KTM), 24 p.; 10. Nina Klink (NED, KTM), 22 p

— KTM Report

Sunday was a great day out at the sandy Valkenswaard circuit for the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team with Tony Cairoli and Ken de Dycker finishing 1-2 in MX1 and Jeffrey Herlings and Jordi Tixier 1-2 in MX2 for two clear wins in the GPs of Netherlands.

It was not only a double triumph for the four riders but underlined the performance of their KTM racing machines – Herlings and Tixier on the KTM 250 SX-F, Cairoli on the light and nimble KM 350 SX-F and De Dycker on the KTM 450 SX-F.

Pit Beirer, Head of KTM Motorsports: “Our top riders won their overall GPs and what made it even nicer was that our other two riders were second. You can’t have a better day than this. Now we have to work very hard to keep at this level.”

Herlings got the ball rolling with two immense races starting back at gate 40 following a disqualification in qualifying after he crashed and was deemed to have had outside assistance. He took the first lap steady in race one to position himself out of trouble but teammate Tixier was out of the gates like a rocket, grabbed the holeshot and took the lead. Jeffrey quickly worked his way up to third behind Tixier and Max Anstie but the team’s French rider hung tenaciously onto the lead until lap 10 with Herlings jockeying behind him waiting to pounce. But in the end, the ‘King of Sand’, as Herlings is known, took another impressive 11-second lead.

Herlings had an even bigger challenge in the second race of the day and was back at twenty-third at the drop of the gate at the same instant as Tixier again took the holeshot. And while Herlings battled through the traffic with his unbelievable confidence, his teammate stretched his lead at the front of a train of around five KTM riders. Herlings moved into second place with eight laps to go but Tixier was still six seconds in front. The Dutch rider put down the hammer and caught his teammate with three laps to go and charged his way to the flag and yet another superb victory. While everyone is accustomed to stunning rides by Herlings in the sand, it was also a huge ride for Tixier. Herlings has now won four times in Valkenswaard, each time with double moto wins.

Cairoli came out of the gates well in the opening race, sandwiched in between the two Honda riders Evgeny Bobryshev and Max Nagl with KTM teammate De Dycker in fifth. Cairoli seized the lead before the end of lap two and settled down to control the race. De Dycker meanwhile moved his way through the pack and began to close on Cairoli with 14 laps to go. The Belgian rider slipped past and held the lead for several laps before coming to grief in the wave section, part of the track in shade where the sand track was still frozen and very slippery. Cairoli slipped by and settled down to take the comfortable victory, hitting the flag with almost six seconds advantage. De Dycker crossed the line in third.

Glory in the second MX1 moto went to Ken de Dycker who took the lead 21 minutes into the moto and managed to hang on right to the end, despite a hard charge from Cairoli in the closing laps. Second place in the race was enough to give Cairoli the GP victory, the 56th of his amazing career and his fifth consecutive on the Valkenswaard circuit.

Tony Cairoli (1-2, wins GP)
“The track was very hard. In your mind you think it’s sand but some bumps were really square and I made some mistakes at the beginning of the second race after winning the first race easily. I couldn’t find my rhythm for the first 15 minutes of race two but my last lap was the best of the race and in the end we almost had a photo finish with Ken.”

Ken de Dycker (3-1, second in GP)
“We both had a good start in the first moto and then Tony let me by after he made a mistake. I tried to keep calm but then one time I started to slide and the bike threw me off. I was a bit dizzy for two laps. There was one place where I could have passed Bobryshev if I had been closer. The race was one lap too short. The second mot was really easy but I did make some mistake half way and towards the end.”

Jeffrey Herlings (1-1, wins GP)
“It definitely wasn’t easy from gate pick 40 but I made the best of it. I got a good start in the first moto but it wasn’t good at all in the second, so the first race was a bit easier for me but I made it happen. Then in the last laps it was great to see all the Dutch flag, I like that!”

Jordi Tixier (2-2, second in GP)
“For me it was a good weekend, I was twice second but it was like I won. I got two holeshots and was in front for the first 25 minutes in the first moto and in the second I was in the lead up to five laps before the end.”

—  Yamaha Report

Monster Energy Yamaha’s Joel Roelants continues to build into his rookie MX1 FIM Motocross World Championship season and showed decent speed around Valkenswaard for the Grand Prix of the Netherlands and the third round of the 2013 series.

The technical level of the Dutch sand was not as high as usual, as the sand did not churn into the normal myriad of bumps and holes. With the MX3 and Women’s World Championship events also filling the timetable the surface resisted the amount of continuous use. The skies remained bright through Easter weekend but cold winds reminded the 27,000 crowd that winter has only just officially finished.

Roelants plagued the running order of both races nearer the higher end of the leaderboard. His charging style saw numerous close calls and several small mistakes in the first moto as he finished fourteenth. A more restrained approach delivered tenth in the second sprint but for the Belgian it was a classic case of ‘final results not reflecting potential’ in what was just his third event for the team and on the YZ450FM.

Steven Frossard was unable to compete after suffering a cracked metacarpal in his left foot on Tuesday, sustained as a result of another rider veering across and into the former championship runner-up while training. Frossard rode on Sunday but caused movement in the fracture and elected to undergo surgery today to pin the break and hopefully enter the paddock for the Italian Grand Prix in two weeks.

Some bright news for Yamaha at Valkenswaard came through Kiara Fontanesi’s impressive double moto win and overall victory for a comprehensive opener to her FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship title defence. The Italian went 1-1 on her distinctive Monster Energy YZ250F.

Joel Roelants
“I felt really good in the first heat and my speed was really good also. I passed many guys but managed to crash four times and make huge mistakes without going down. I think without those crashes I could have been in the top five. I told myself for the second heat ‘keep it upright for the first fifteen at least’. I got a steady pace going but when I wanted to charge I could find anything. I think it was the effect from the first heat. I know that if I had ridden here like I do in training then I would have been in the top five both times for sure. The result is quite frustrating but there are some bright points from the first race. I fought for every point.”

Steven Frossard
“I cannot believe my luck. I was hit by a guy who somehow managed to turn into me on straight while I was riding and his footpeg smashed into my foot. I had a small crack but the bone has moved after riding yesterday and it took me five minutes to get my shoe on this morning. The best option was to fix it straight away and put a pin inside so I should hopefully be back for Italy in two weeks.”

Kiara Fontanesi
“It is not easy to come back and go 1-1 again at the first race so I’m really happy. After winning the world championship last year I wanted to come here and do well so there was some pressure but I started in a good way. The track was really hard and different compared to last year. It wasn’t like I expected it to be and I didn’t like it much as it was flat and difficult to pass. A difficult day but in the end a perfect result.”

2012 European Champion Mel Pocock defied a dramatic qualification heat on Sunday at the Grand Prix of the Netherlands to bravely race to 7th position overall at a cold and busy Valkenswaard circuit, packed with 27,000 spectators. The Monster Energy Yamaha man was struck from his machine through the tricky opening corners and also ran into another racer during the twenty-minute outing but buried his discomfort on Easter Monday to roar away from the start line on his YZ250F and record finishes of 10th and 9th in the motos.

Bloodied hands due to blisters showed the extent that the twenty year old drilled around the hard and lumpy sandy track south of Eindhoven. The course could have been rougher and more technical but the frozen base of the Eurocircuit did not give way compared to past editions of the Grand Prix.

Pocock’s efforts partially countered the unfortunate news that Dean Ferris felt insecure in his capabilities on the sand after practice and qualification. The Australian had less than two weeks to recover from a broken collarbone and wasn’t prepared to take further risk in Holland. Maxime Desprey turned heads on Sunday with a fast qualification performance to seal tenth. The Frenchman wasn’t able to enter the front section of the field due to his starts but steadily accrued points with a 16th in the second moto. Christophe Charlier registered 15th position in the first moto after a mediocre getaway and two crashes and then suffered a technical problem on the sighting lap of the second race that prematurely ended his participation at Valkenswaard.

Mel Pocock
“I’m happy. I struggled my arse-off yesterday and got really beaten up. I went down at the start of the qualification heat and someone hit my leg and another person whacked my knee! I passed about twenty guys and was really steaming through when I came around and someone had crashed ahead of me. As I came by they lifted up their bike and I hooked the handlebar, quashing my left bicep muscle and that really hurt! I settled down after that and took the place I was in. Today I had two really good starts and fought all the way through the race. I rode so much better than yesterday. I’ll keep plodding away because I haven’t had the best of starts to the season. I am fit, I just need things to go my way.”

Maxime Desprey
“This track was very strange to ride but my feeling with it got better through the weekend. In qualifying I finished tenth and this was pretty good. I must continue to work through the longer motos and get better. My feeling with the bike is improving and I’m happy with the direction the season is going.”

Christophe Charlier
“Not much luck today, in fact the day didn’t start well at all with two crashes in the first race. I fought for what I could and then wasn’t able to do better in the second moto because I could feel that the bike had a problem on the sighting lap. Anyway, we will forget about this weekend and it doesn’t change my motivation. We go to Italy next and this will almost be like a home GP for me.”

Dean Ferris
“I did think I could go a bit faster but reality struck in the first session and I thought I wouldn’t be able to get points. The track was a lot faster and I’m a lot weaker on the bike that I thought I was going to be. I had to swallow my pride and will just get strong for the next round.”

— HRC Report

A bright but extremely cold Grand Prix of the Netherlands took place on the sand of Valkenswaard over Easter weekend and through the brisk conditions Antonio Cairoli toasted success in what was round three of eighteen in the 2013 FIM Motocross World Championship. Spectators packed hats, gloves and scarfs to cope with the last desperate throes of winter as Europe officially moved into summertime hours on Sunday morning. Motocross fans gladly lapped up the chance to watch the world’s best in action on holiday Monday, and among the track stars was Honda World Motocross’ Evgeny Bobryshev who took his factory CRF450R to third position overall for his first silverware of the season and first since Germany in 2011.

The Dutch sand did not carve into its usual plethora of bumps, ruts and holes mainly due to the low temperatures and even a layer of frost on raceday morning. The track was faster and did not produce the usual fluctuations of pace and technical challenges associated with the terrain and this particular venue.

Evgeny Bobryshev was looking to banish some demons after fresh memories of his thumb injury at Valkenswaard in 2012 that affected his fitness and preparation for a large chunk of that season. The Russian could also draw on pleasant recollections in Holland as it was around the ‘Eurocircuit’ south of Eindhoven in 2010 that he forged his name in MX1 with a commanding performance on a CRF450R and rode to fourth position in his rookie campaign. On this occasion ‘Bobby’ – and team-mate Max Nagl – enjoyed fantastic starts, seizing the holeshot in both thirty-five minute and two lap motos. The twenty-five year old didn’t drop out of the top three for the whole first race and was able to overtake a fallen Ken De Dycker to seize second place by the finish. Later in the afternoon for the second outing ‘777’ kept a consistent speed and despite a small slip entering the final two laps was able to classify fourth and uncork his first bottle of champagne this term.

Max Nagl was able to pick up his first points since the championship-opener in Qatar where he suffered the initial signs of a stomach virus that cast him to the sidelines the following week in Thailand. The German was back on form and near full fitness at Valkenswaard, just missing some ‘bike time’ to run closer to the leaders. The 2012 Motocross of Nations winner was still a threat around the mid-top ten and again benefited from the grunt of the CRF both from the start gate and also on some of the slicker parts of the sand. Max posted results of sixth and sixth for a decent fifth overall and is now looking to build rapidly into his campaign.

David Philippaerts, who had previously celebrated podium success at Valkenswaard in 2010 and 2011, took his Gariboldi Honda to ninth in the opening sprint and his presence alongside Nagl and Bobryshev around the first corner of the second moto meant the MX1 pack resembled a ‘red pointed’ arrow. Sadly the Italian would not last the distance as a clutch problem would curtail his involvement in the race.

A achievement worthy of note is that thanks to Route 77 MVR-D Honda’s Tanel Leok capturing fourth position in Moto1 four CRF machines filled positions in the top nine of the MX1 class.

After three meetings the standings of the premier MX1 class is beginning to take shape. Antonio Cairoli retains the red plate by twenty-six points from Clement Desalle and Bobryshev is the leading Honda campaigner in sixth with eighty-seven points. Phillippaerts has forty-nine.

Round four of the FIM Motocross World Championship will take place in two weeks time at the circuit of Arco di Trento near Lake Garda for the Grand Prix of Italy.

Evgeny Bobryshev: Race Result: 2nd/4th Championship position: 6th
“It has a been a long time, over a year, since I’ve been on the podium. I’m happy with the weekend and everything clicked but I’m just a bit frustrated by the second moto because I couldn’t find my way around the track with good lines and was making mistakes. I had a silly crash on the last two laps when I tried to cut the line passing some backmarkers and the wheel just washed out. I picked the bike up and it was still running so I didn’t lose too much time. I’m super-happy and the team is pumped, so many thanks to them. Max is back and we have a decent result.”

Max Nagl Race Result: 6th/6th Championship position: 14th
“I feel great and especially for my starts today because we changed the clutch springs yesterday to make them softer to ease out the power. It really worked and made it much better. My riding was also good and I battled with Paulin and Desalle in the races. I feel like a stone has dropped away from my shoulders and I know I can build up again and get better and better every week.”

David Philippaerts: Race Result: 9th/DNF Championship position: 12th
“I was really happy with the first moto because I passed a lot of good riders and got really close to Desalle at the end, so my speed was decent across a track that wasn’t easy for me. I almost had the holeshot in the second moto and felt good. I didn’t have the speed of Cairoli and De Dycker but I thought a top six would be possible. Strijbos passed me and then the bike stopped. I restarted and tried to ride around the problem for a while but it was clear I would have to stop and now we have to find out exactly what was the problem. Anyway I feel quite positive because I’m still a rider who is on his way back. After two years of problems everyone says “Philippaerts, stop, stop” but I’m still here and I see that I can be near the top in an MX1 championship that has many good riders.”

— Rockstar Suzuki MX1 Report

Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1’s Kevin Strijbos marked his first top-three moto finish of the 2013 FIM Motocross World MX1 Championship campaign in front of 27,000 spectators at Valkenswaard in the Netherlands today to classify fourth overall while team mate Clement Desalle emerged unscathed from a first corner crash to end the day sixth in the MX1 class.

Valkenswaard was a different prospect to what the riders usually encounter at the facility south of Eindhoven. The cold had hardened the sand significantly so the usual waves of bumps and ruts were reduced and the terrain remained slippery and fast.

Strijbos endured contrasting moto experiences: The Belgian was frustrated with his set-up in the first run of 35 minutes and two laps. He felt powerless to improve on a ranking of seventh position despite a bright start that saw #22 running among the leaders in the formative phases of the race. Several modifications to the forks and also the behaviour of the rear shock paid dividends for the next outing where the track had begun to roughen-up but was still hard-packed in many places. Strijbos was given a new lease of life and was able to keep Evgeny Bobryshev distant in fourth place to notch a very decent third position.

Desalle had his weekend ‘checked’ in the opening seconds of Moto1 as the Qatar GP winner was the sole victim of the fast, snaking first turn. The Belgian crashed and restarted from last position and some seconds adrift of the final rider in the MX1 posse. He worked his way through to eighth to bag 13 points for his efforts. Cautious out of the gate for the second time of asking in Moto2, Desalle gained ground in the second half of the top 10 and eventually passed Max Nagl to register fifth spot.

The Grand Prix of Italy at Arco di Trento, north west of Venice, will host round four of the series in a fortnight and is followed a week later by a trip to Sevlievo in Bulgaria. Desalle will travel to southern Europe with second position in the Championship and only a 26 deficit to leader Antonio Cairoli. Strijbos has now moved up into fifth place.

Clement Desalle: “It was really cold this morning but I guess this was not a surprise after yesterday. I had a good jump out of the gate in the first moto but I was really close to some riders around the second corner. It is very fast there and someone touched me – I think it was Leok – and crashed, hitting my head pretty hard. I was dazed for a few seconds there but it wasn’t anything too bad and I could find my way back to eighth. I was by myself for the second half of the moto…it was better to have this than a DNF. I was a bit wary of the start for the second moto and I felt a lot of pressure with us all coming so close together. I took some time to pass Nagl and ended up fifth. Nothing special. I was sick during the week so I couldn’t train like I wanted. It’s not an excuse but I think if I’d have had two days on the bike then perhaps it would have been better today. We will work on because there is still a long way to go and I’m feeling positive.”

Kevin Strijbos: “It was a tale of two different motos really. I had a good start in the first race – around fifth or sixth – and in the beginning I just tried to mix it up but by the third lap I had loads of arm-pump. I couldn’t hold on any more and I was so mad about that. I wasn’t tired or anything but I just couldn’t push. I was angry after the race and I knew with the front fork and the shock the way they were I wouldn’t be able to hit the lines and ruts like I wanted. I talked to Frank about the set-up and he tried something drastic that had worked for me in 2011 when I had a few wild-card rides with the team. A big thanks to him because it was so much better. I could move the bike around a lot more and could do what I wanted. It is a bit of a pity we didn’t get it sorted for the first race because I could have made the podium today. I had the speed for sure. It is good to make the top three anyway and again I want to thank the team for its support, everyone worked hard and helped me turn this day around.”

— Rockstar Suzuki MX2

Fourth position overall and a third place in the first moto of the Grand Prix of the Netherlands at a cold and breezy Valkenswaard circuit showed that Max Anstie and the Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe team are pushing their 2013 FIM Motocross World Championship term on the right path.

Some 27,000 spectators shivered through sunny conditions but with a wind chill factor of almost zero degrees. The Dutch sand showed obvious signs of the ‘artic climate’ over Easter weekend as the terrain was slippery and frozen during the morning sessions and lessened the quantity of rutted and technical bumps through the many turns and jumps. But the course was still a special test of nerve and machine set-up.

Anstie and team-mate Julien Lieber blasted out of the gate for two excellent starts inside the top six in the first moto, using the power of their RM-Z250s to full effect. The Brit maintained a steady speed, holding second for the first five laps of the race and then circulating a safe third behind Jeffrey Herlings and Jordi Tixier. Lieber was not far behind: The young Belgian pushed to keep inside the top six and secured 15 points by the wave of the chequered flag.

The second moto start saw the Suzuki duo tucked deeper into the 40-strong pack. Anstie strove towards sixth position; a ranking that saw him miss the overall podium by three points. Lieber was unlucky not to make the finish after two crashes, but was fortunate to leave Valkenswaard without injury as Jose Butron smashed the #33 RM-Z as the teenager was trying to retrieve the fallen motorcycle the second time. The damage from the collision was extensive and Lieber was forced to retire.

Anstie is currently sixth in the MX2 standings while Lieber is 10th. In two weeks Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe will roll into the paddock of Arco di Trento for the Grand Prix of Italy and then head straight to Sevlievo seven days later for the Bulgarian round.

Max Anstie: “We did a lot of work in the last couple of weeks but it was all at Lommel and then we come here and the sand is frozen and hard! We were searching all weekend for the right setting and we were also testing a few little bits and pieces, trying to bring it together but it didn’t really happen. I had a good start in the first race and ran my pace. We are getting there and this should have been a top-five no problem. I’m not tired physically but I couldn’t really ride like I wanted to today. All we can do is keep working and I know we are close. We’ll go again in a couple of weeks.”

Julien Lieber: “The first race was pretty good and the start was perfect. I finished sixth and felt a bit tired with some back pain so I wasn’t sure what to expect in the second moto. My start wasn’t as good and I was behind Banks-Browne in the top 10 when I crashed and then fell again. I was picking up my bike when I saw the other riders coming and had to let it go. It was in no state to ride after it had been hit. I’m really lucky that I’m OK. The track was difficult today.”

— Kawasaki Report

Gautier Paulin finished sixth overall in the third round of the FIM World MX1 Motocross Championship at Valkenswaard in the Netherlands to maintain his challenge for the world title.

The French leader of the Kawasaki Racing Team made an impressive start to the weekend with fourth place at the track between Eindhoven and the Belgian border. Several weeks of overnight frost created unusual track conditions and a revised layout added to the challenge all weekend as Paulin battled the local sand experts throughout both points-scoring races to finish fifth and seventh and retain fourth place in the championship as the series heads to the hard-pack tracks of southern Europe later this month.

Tommy Searle of Team CLS MX1 Kawasaki Monster Energy Pro Circuit also fought hard in the unusual conditions, but difficulties at the start of the qualifying race left the Englishman with a poor choice of start gate for both GP motos and he faced a tough battle through the pack each time. He eventually finished tenth and eleventh in the two motos.

Jeremy Van Horebeek proved during qualification that he has put behind him the injury setbacks which hampered him at the first two rounds of the series, but the Belgian had little luck at the unpredictable opening turn and also had to battle through the pack to finish eleventh in race one. He moved quickly into the top ten of the second race before being forced to retire.

Gautier Paulin: “The track was strange this weekend as the sand was frozen below the surface; we’re not used to this though of course it was the same for everyone. I qualified fourth so I had a good gate for the races; my first start was pretty good as I was seventh, but the second one was worse. I had a good feeling in the first moto, but in the second one I only found the good lines and a good rhythm during the last ten minutes and that was too late. The result is not what I was expecting, but we will continue to work hard to prepare the upcoming rounds.”

Tommy Searle: “The qualifying race was tough as I was last in the first corner, but I recovered and finished fourteenth. The sand was hard this year and everyone was riding fast; it was difficult to pass and I finished tenth in the first race. The second race was similar with a ninth position. It was my first GP in the sand with the 450 and I need to gain more experience to get better results.”

Jeremy Van Horebeek: “On Saturday I was pleased to be back in the top six of the timed practice period, and I confirmed that ranking in the qualifying race. Today was different; my starts were not as good and the starts were so important! I fought back from twentieth to eleventh in the first moto, and I was running tenth in the second one and battling to move further forward until something happened and I had to retire to the pits.”

Kawasaki’s young riders ended the Dutch round of the FIM World MX2 Motocross Championship had little reward for their brave efforts in the unrelenting sand of the Eurocircuit at Valkenswaard.
Little reward for great effort in the Dutch sand
Young French and Italian riders have often found the sandy tracks in the Netherlands a unique challenge, so different to the hard pack tracks on which they learnt to ride, and the Dutch GP proved doubly difficult for Kawasaki’s young trio as each suffered more than their fair share of misfortune.

Dylan Ferrandis of Rockstar Bud Racing Kawasaki and Alessandro Lupino of Team CLS MX2 Kawasaki Monster Energy Pro Circuit faced an uphill task all weekend after both of them were involved in a collision at the opening turn during the qualification race, the handicap denying each of them a good choice of gate at the start for both of the points-scoring races. The disadvantage was doubly great at the Eurocircuit as a new start layout meant that the riders on the outside of the gate faced a significantly longer charge to the first corner.

Ferrandis used the power of his KX250F to exit turn one in tenth position in the first race and he maintained this position to the finish, only to suffer the disappointment of being pushed out of the points post-race when it was discovered that his exhaust had been damaged in a collision. The French teenager bravely put the frustration behind him in race two, but had less luck at the opening turn and was forced to spend the entire race charging hard with just fifteenth place as his reward.

Lupino had little joy at the start of both races but raced superbly in the second race to advance into the top ten from a 28th placed start, only to crash hard in the closing stages of the race as he tried to move further up the leaderboard.

Jordan Lacan, a French teenager drafted in at the last minute to replace the injured Arnaud Tonus for Team CLS, battled hard all weekend but, having never previously raced in sand during his career, inevitably found the challenge difficult. He failed to score world championship points after finishing 28th and 26th but the experience will benefit him in his future career.

Bud Racing’s Valentin Teillet did not contest the Dutch GP after being severely shaken in a big crash at the previous weekend’s French championship race but he will return to GP action in Italy in two week’s time.

Dylan Ferrandis: “I didn’t know what I could expect from this GP as I broke a finger in my right hand last week at the French championship, but in the end it was not too painful. I crashed with Lupino at the start of the qualifying race so I only had twenty fourth pick at the gate, but my first start was pretty good. I raced the entire race in tenth and I was happy with this result, but the exhaust must have been damaged in a collision and I received a penalty of one minute after the noise control. I was so sad! My second start wasn’t as good as the first one, and I could only finish fifteenth, so it was not a great weekend.”

Alessandro Lupino: “I have spent a lot of time in the Netherlands to prepare for this race, but I didn’t get the reward this weekend. The crash at the start of the qualifying race ruined my GP, as it left me twenty-sixth on the grid. In the first moto my feeling was not good and I made too many mistakes, but we changed some settings on the bike before the second race. Again my start wasn’t good but I recovered to tenth and was moving in on Pocock for ninth when I crashed with only two laps to the finish. I am determined to make up for my bad luck at the next round in Italy.”

Jordan Lacan: “The team asked me to race here on Thursday, and I only had chance to ride the bike for one hour before coming here. I knew that it would be difficult as I have never raced in the sand but you can’t refuse such a great opportunity, and I did my best. I finished both races, but my start was really bad in the first race and then I crashed at the start of the second one.”

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