–  World Motocross 2013 – Round Two – Si Racha, Thailand
–  Cairoli and Herlings successfully open Thai MXGP chapter

The second Grand Prix of the 2013 FIM Motocross World Championship took place today at Si Racha, Thailand, for the first time in the History of the series and Antonio Cairoli and Jeffrey Herlings were the ones who dominated the event. Cairoli won once again the Super Final and Jeffrey Herlings improved the seventh position he obtained in Qatar and finished fourth against the MX1 bikes.

Cairoli not only won the Super Final, but also the MX1 Grand Prix and he is now leading the MX1 class. Gautier Paulin was second in the Super Final and second overall and Clement Desalle was third in the Super Final and third also in the overall result of the MXGP.

Jeffrey Herlings was the best MX2 rider in the Super Final and he was also the MX2 overall winner. Romain Febvre was second overall in the Grand Prix and Jose Butrón completed the top three after making two consistent races.

MX2 Race 1

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings could not take the holeshot of the first race but after the second corner he managed to overtake Romain Febvre easily. The red plate holder rode consistently at the front and he crossed the finish line with forty seconds advantage on the second classified.

Wilvo Nestaan JM Racing KTM’s Romain Febvre obtained the GET Athena holeshot Award after another fantastic start. The French young rider rode a solid moto and he kept the second position until the chequered flag.

The first MX2 race was really tough for Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe’s Max Anstie because in the first half of the heat he got stuck behind Jose Butron and it was not until the eleventh lap that Anstie could overtake the Spaniard. In the end Anstie was third and he entered really motivated in the Super Final.

Monster Energy Yamaha’s Dean Ferris could not start at the front, but he managed to finish fifth in the first race. His teammate Mel Pocock broke his goggles before the start and he had to enter the pitlane right after the gate drop to get a new ones. The British rider gave all his best and he ended fifteenth.

Jordi Tixier could finally take part in the races today, as his cut in his chin was much better. The French rider thanked all doctors that treated him yesterday in the track and in the hospital in Pattaya because they did a really good job and today he was ready to race. In the first heat Tixier gave it all and he managed to move from eighth to sixth.

MX2 Race One Results
1 Jeffrey Herlings KTM NED 38’59.025
2 Romain Febvre KTM FRA 0’40.448
3 Max Anstie Suzuki GBR 0’46.613
4 Jose Antonio Butron KTM ESP 0’52.882
5 Dean Ferris Yamaha AUS 0’56.827
6 Jordi Tixier KTM FRA 1’01.620
7 Glenn Coldenhoff KTM NED 1’08.162
8 Alessandro Lupino Kawasaki ITA 1’13.475
9 Christophe Charlier Yamaha FRA 1’26.379
10 Petar Petrov Yamaha BGR 1’29.833
11 Stefan Olsen Honda DNK 1’38.962
12 Julien Lieber Suzuki BEL 1’43.550
13 Pascal Rauchenecker KTM AUT 1’46.914
14 Dylan Ferrandis Kawasaki FRA 1’48.960
15 Mel Pocock Yamaha GBR 1’50.902
17 Maxime Desprey Yamaha FRA 1’53.815
18 Kevin Fors Yamaha BEL 1’58.325

MX2 Race Two Results
1 Jeffrey Herlings KTM NED 41’02.035
2 Romain Febvre KTM FRA 0’42.894
3 Christophe Charlier Yamaha FRA 0’47.688
4 Alessandro Lupino Kawasaki ITA 1’01.736
5 Jose Antonio Butron KTM ESP 1’06.295
6 Dean Ferris Yamaha AUS 1’09.940
7 Julien Lieber Suzuki BEL 1’18.083
8 Glenn Coldenhoff KTM NED 1’25.503
9 Jordi Tixier KTM FRA -1Laps
10 Dylan Ferrandis Kawasaki FRA -1Laps
11 Mel Pocock Yamaha GBR -1Laps
12 Petar Petrov Yamaha BGR -1Laps
13 Valentin Teillet Kawasaki FRA -1Laps
14 Stefan Olsen Honda DNK -1Laps
15 Pascal Rauchenecker KTM AUT -1Laps
19 Maxime Desprey Yamaha FRA -1Laps
20 Kevin Fors Yamaha BEL -2Laps

MX2 World Championship
1. Jeffrey Herlings KTM NED 100
2. Romain Febvre KTM FRA 82
3. Dean Ferris Yamaha AUS 69
4. Christophe Charlier Yamaha FRA 65
5. Glenn Coldenhoff KTM NED 63
6. Jose Antonio Butron KTM ESP 60
7. Jordi Tixier KTM FRA 57
8. Alessandro Lupino Kawasaki ITA 56
9. Julien Lieber Suzuki BEL 47
10. Max Anstie Suzuki GBR 37
11. Petar Petrov Yamaha BGR 36

MX1 Race 1

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli obtained the GET Athena holeshot but he got arm pump in the first corners of the race and he dropped down to third. After a few laps the Italian started feeling better and in lap nine he took back the lead and kept it until the chequered flag.

His teammate Ken De Dycker had also a good start and he rode third during the first laps of the heat and when Cairoli slowed down his rhythm, De Dycker moved up to second place. After two laps Evgeny Bobryshev, who was leading the race, made a mistake and dropped down to third, so De Dycker became the leader of the race. However, when Cairoli recuperated his speed, De Dycker could not keep the lead and the Belgian rode second until the end of the race.

The third position was for Rockstar Energy Suzuki World’s Clement Desalle who rode fourth during most of the race and he managed to move up to third when there were only two laps to go. The Belgian suffered a big crash when he was riding third, but fortunately he could go back quickly on his bike and kept the position until the end.

Kawasaki Racing Team’s Gautier Paulin did not have a good start in the first race but he did an incredible recovery from tenth to fourth. The French rider felt really well on his Kawasaki and the way he rode the first moto said it all.

CLS MX2 Kawasaki Monster Energy Pro Circuit’s Tommy Searle started sixth behind Rui Gonçalves and after four laps the British rider managed to overtake the Portuguese. However, after some laps Paulin was coming really strong from behind and Searle dropped down one position. Finally, the British ended fifth as Bobryshev dropped several positions when he was riding third.

David Philippaerts did a really good first race and he ended sixth ahead of Strijbos, who did an incredible recovery from his initial eleventh position. Rui Gonçalves finished eighth and Steven Frossard and Joel Roelants rounded up the top ten.

Evgeny Bobryshev had a fantastic start and managed to lead the race during the first five laps but he made a mistake when he was at the front and De Dycker and Cairoli overtook him. The Russian was riding a consistent moto in third, but he suddenly started feeling dizzy due to the heat and with two laps to go, he went from third to last.

Jeremy Van Horebeek keeps on struggling with his thumb and he could only finish fifteenth in the first race.

MX1 Race One Results
1 Antonio Cairoli KTM ITA 39’04.412
2 Ken De Dycker KTM BEL 0’10.685
3 Clement Desalle Suzuki BEL 0’17.533
4 Gautier Paulin Kawasaki FRA 0’25.044
5 Tommy Searle Kawasaki GBR 0’31.640
6 David Philippaerts Honda ITA 0’34.070
7 Kevin Strijbos Suzuki BEL 0’36.997
8 Rui Goncalves KTM POR 0’55.535
9 Steven Frossard Yamaha FRA 0’58.921
10 Joel Roelants Yamaha BEL 1’01.405
11 Davide Guarneri KTM ITA 1’13.632
12 Tanel Leok Honda EST 1’22.698
13 Xavier Boog KTM FRA 1’41.909
14 Jonathan Barragan KTM ESP -1Laps
15 Jeremy Van Horebeek Kawasaki BEL -1Laps

MX1 Race Two Results
1 Antonio Cairoli KTM ITA 40’29.807
2 Gautier Paulin Kawasaki FRA 0’17.338
3 Clement Desalle Suzuki BEL 0’19.927
4 Tommy Searle Kawasaki GBR 0’39.004
5 Rui Goncalves KTM POR 0’48.891
6 Xavier Boog KTM FRA 0’51.171
7 Joel Roelants Yamaha BEL 0’59.330
8 Steven Frossard Yamaha FRA 1’05.281
9 Ken De Dycker KTM BEL 1’12.554
10 Kevin Strijbos Suzuki BEL 1’16.311
11 Evgeny Bobryshev Honda RUS 1’19.257
12 Tanel Leok Honda EST 1’22.929
13 Davide Guarneri KTM ITA 1’27.663
14 David Philippaerts Honda ITA 1’47.763
15 Shaun Simpson TM GBR -1Laps

MX1 World Championship
1. Antonio Cairoli KTM ITA 95
2. Clement Desalle Suzuki BEL 87
3. Gautier Paulin Kawasaki FRA 78
4. Ken De Dycker KTM BEL 70
5. Tommy Searle Kawasaki GBR 64
6. Kevin Strijbos Suzuki BEL 55
7. Rui Goncalves KTM POR 52
8. Steven Frossard Yamaha FRA 47
9. Evgeny Bobryshev Honda RUS 47
10. Xavier Boog KTM FRA 41
11. Joel Roelants Yamaha BEL 40
12. David Philippaerts Honda ITA 37
13. Davide Guarneri KTM ITA 33
14. Tanel Leok Honda EST 33
15. Shaun Simpson TM GBR 26
16. Jonathan Barragan KTM ESP 19

Super Final

Once again the Super Final was the most expected and espectacular race of the weekend and with the grid completely full with the best MX1 and MX2 riders it was finally Antonio Cairoli who took the holeshot and dominated the heat until the end. Gautier Paulin started the Super Final being third behind Desalle but in the end of the race he managed to make a move on the Belgian rider and he crossed the finish line second, which gave him the second overall position in the MX1 class. Clement Desalle finished third in the Super Final and third in the MXGP and during the press conference he highlighted the outstanding treatment he received by the doctors at the medical centre of the track after the first race, which let him race with almost no pain during the whole race.

Jeffrey Herlings was once again the best MX2 rider in the Super Final but this time he finished fourth ahead of Tommy Searle. The Dutch rider was very satisfied with his race and he explained that he could have overtaken more riders if he had had a 450cc machine. His new challenge is now focused in the MXGP of Brazil where he believes he has some chances to be fighting for a top three result in the Super Final.

Rui Gonçalves was sixth and his teammate Xavier Boog was seventh, while Joel Roelants, Steven Frossard and Ken De Dycker rounded the top ten.

Romain Febvre rode in top ten most of the race, but in the end he finished eleventh being the second best MX2 rider in the Super Final. Christophe Charlier was the third best MX2 classified rider in fourteenth and Alessandro Lupino was the fourth one in seventeenth.

Super Final top 10: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 40:29.807; 2. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:17.338; 3. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), +0:19.927; 4. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +0:32.228; 5. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:39.004; 6. Rui Goncalves (POR, KTM), +0:48.891; 7. Xavier Boog (FRA, KTM), +0:51.171; 8. Joel Roelants (BEL, Yamaha), +0:59.330; 9. Steven Frossard (FRA, Yamaha), +1:05.281; 10. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), +1:12.554.

MXGP THAILAND – QUICK FACTS
Circuit length: 1550
Type of ground: Intermediate to soft
Temperature: 33° C
Weather conditions: sunny
Crowd attendance: 17000

NEXT MXGP
After the two overseas Grand Prix the FIM Motocross World Championship will take a three-weeks break before travelling to Valkenswaard, The Netherlands. The third Grand Prix of the season will be celebrated during the Easter weekend on the 31st March and 1st April.

– Yamaha Report

A steaming Grand Prix of Thailand saw Monster Energy Yamaha’s Joel Roelants continue to improve and adapt to the nuances of the premier MX1 class of the FIM Motocross World Champion and also get back up to the top level. The former MX2-GP winner grasped 10th and 7th positions for 7th overall at Si Racha to better his 13th from the previous week in Qatar.

Another flowing course housed some big jumps and wide sections that made life tricky for the MX2 elite against the 450s of MX1 in the second attempt at the experimental Superfinal format. The ground was a mix between hard-pack and churned bumps and ruts in the corners. Riders commented of varying grip on the new terrain but the dirt provided some interesting line choices by the second half of the closing race. Temperatures in excess of thirty degrees meant an energy-sapping weekend and Roelants showed his positive trajectory of progress in difficult conditions.

The Belgian was diligent with his lap-times and application in the two races and a slightly better start in the Superfinal led to his best ranking so far on the YZ450FM. The Thai heat was a restrictive factor for Steven Frossard who had not recovered sufficiently from illness to make an impact on the leading group. The fast Frenchman was 8th overall, just behind his team-mate, with a scorecard of two 9th positions.

The Grand Prix of the Netherlands will form the third stop on the FIM Motocross World Championship calendar and will take place through the shallow sand of Valkenswaard near Eindhoven on Easter Monday.

Joel Roelants
“The plan to was to get every point that I could in the first two GPs and in Qatar I finished 15th and 12th and here was 10th and 7th so I think things are going upwards and I’m happy about that. I know I have to give myself a bit more time. We have three weeks before Valkenswaard and I will make some good progress physically. I think I’m around 75% now, so to take seventh place is OK. If I’m fitter, then I know I can do better.”

Steven Frossard
“My weekend was not good and I didn’t feel so well. I’ve been sick and couldn’t ride like I wanted. Add to that two bad starts and it was a difficult day. The heat is hard enough to deal with when you’re 100% but when you’re ill it is a real struggle to make good results. I will do everything to be ready for the next GP.”

Charlier so close to first 2013 podium

The new Si Racha circuit hosted the very first Grand Prix of Thailand in FIM Motocross World Championship history and with 17,000 spectators in attendance Monster Energy Yamaha’s Christophe Charlier came to within two points of scoring his first podium finish of the season. The Frenchman was fourth overall in the second round of eighteen, while team-mate Dean Ferris again shone on the Superfinal stage and placed sixth in the final MX2 listing.

The new Si Racha layout was open, quick and undulating with the uphill sections and several hefty jumps proving difficult for the 250s against the bigger bikes in the second Superfinal event of 2013 (the mixed category moto being used for the non-European meetings on the calendar). Under the hot sun and temperatures of thirty five degrees Charlier took fourth and exercised a degree of damage limitation for what should have been a genuine podium opportunity. The former European Champion was jostling for a top three slot in the opening race when he was forced to ditch his dirty goggles and then received a stone to the eye that dropped from fourth to ninth. A great start on the YZ250FM in the Superfinal and some decent speed on an increasingly rougher terrain saw him capture fourteenth (and third spot in MX2).

Dean Ferris was the fastest starter in the Superfinal against the bigger bikes and was haunting the top five. The Australian had ridden to fifth earlier in the day for the opening moto but lost feeling in his hand during the second outing and couldn’t maintain a regular pace. The GP of Qatar podiumee had his hands on another trophy at one stage but by finishing 6th best in his class he had to accept the same ranking in the overall listing for the Grand Prix.

European Champion Mel Pocock had the unbelievably bad luck of his goggles snapping on the start line mere seconds before the gate dropped for the first moto. The twenty year old had to enter the pitlane and then tipped off while trying to attack the rear of the pack. Pocock soon found an effective rhythm, and some nice overtaking moves got him to fifteenth. The Englishman worked to 26th in the Superfinal (11th in his class) for 14th overall. Maxime Desprey posted a best finish of 17th in the first moto.

Yamahas hold 3rd and 4th in the world championship standings with Ferris in the top three and Charlier just four points away. The paddock heads back to Europe after an opening to the campaign that involved trips to the Middle East and Asia. A pause of three weeks precedes round three in the sand of Valkenswaard for the Grand Prix of the Netherlands on Easter Monday.

Christophe Charlier
“I’m happy. I didn’t start well in the first race and this meant I had to throw away my goggles. I was OK for most of the moto but then a stone hit my eye and I had to slow. I lost quite a few positions. I tried to come back but I could only see out of one eye! The start was better in the Superfinal and I did my best to stay with the 450s. I reached the back of Ferris and passed him and then ate four seconds to Febvre but could get him by the finish. Anyway, I’m happy to be fourth in the championship at the moment because it’s going to be a long year.”

Dean Ferris
“It’s frustrating. Another position and I would have had the podium but I couldn’t do anything about it. My hand was numb after the first five minutes. I was thinking more about the championship and the wider picture than trying to go faster and definitely crashing. I got a good start! The first 250 in the Superfinal so that Yamaha and Cosworth engine has really shown again what it can do. It’s been a good first two rounds with the team and I love working with the guys. It has been positive just getting to know them and hang out in Pattaya for the week. Overall it’s been a bright start to the championship.”

Mel Pocock
“I was pumped to take sixth place in the heat race yesterday, that’s the best I’ve done on Saturday so far. I was sat on the line for the first moto and the goggle strap just pinged off. I was trying to wave and get the team’s attention. I did the first three corners without any goggles and pulled into the pitlane. I charged through the pack but went too hard at the beginning and crashed. I settled into a pace and made fifteenth I think that was only OK. Next race, it was manic and I don’t really know what happened. I just rode it out in the heat. I couldn’t believe how hot it was. I took eleventh and that’s not really where I want to be. I want top tens and I know I can be there. I can’t wait to get back to Europe to put a coat on!”

Maxime Desprey
“In the first moto I made a good start but made a mistake. It was very difficult after that with the weather hard to handle. I tried to relax and concentrate on my riding and it led to seventeenth position. The Superfinal was such hard work and it got to a point where physically I couldn’t do any more. I know now where I need to work further.”

– KTM Report

Cairoli and Herlings triumph for Red Bull KTM in Thailand

Red Bull KTM Factory riders Tony Cairoli and Jeffrey Herlings took control of the races at the first ever MX1 & MM2 GP of Thailand on Sunday leaving this exciting new venue with both red plates in their kits.

Successfully conquering the special new three-race format (MX1, MX2 and Super Final), the lead KTM factory riders have already thrown down the gauntlet to their opponents in only the second GP of the season. Cairoli led superbly from the front on both of his trips to this new track with a masterly display of riding skill and tactics on the KTM 350 SX-F that left riders on the bigger 450 cc bikes little chance to match him.

Herlings, the Dutch teenager who only arrived in Thailand on Friday morning followed up his convincing (by 40 seconds) win in the MX2 race with a fourth place behind MX2 riders Cairoli, Gautier Paulin and Clement Desalle in the hard-fought Super Final. This effectively put him in front of 17 other MX1 riders on the track. It also underlined his personal brand of tenacity and skill, as well as the quality of his KTM 250 SX-F factory bike. Herlings almost made a pass on third placed Clement Desalle in the closing lap of the Super Final but decided to back off and settle for fourth. He will now have to wait for the GPs in Mexico and Brazil for another attack on the bigger machines. In this new race format, being adopted this year only for the four races away from Europe, the top 20 MX1 and MX2 riders advance to contest the Super Final.

The other two KTM factory riders, Ken De Dycker and Jordi Tixier finished fifth and eighth in the MX1 and MX2 classes for valuable points in the championship. De Dycker had a great race in the MX1 outing, finishing second to Cairoli, but he found himself buried in the pack at the start of the Super Final. He did well to recover enough to finish tenth and overall fifth in his class. Tixier was racing with a vicious cut to his chin that required 14 stitches after a nasty crash on Saturday. He finished sixth in the MX2 race and was rated overall eighth in MX2.

The presence of the KTM brand is also being felt in the MX2 class this year with a slew of young riders like Romain Febvre of France, Glenn Coldenhoff of Netherlands and Jose Butron of Spain already delivering impressive results on the KTM 250 SX-F.

Following the GPs of Qatar and Thailand, the factory teams now return to Europe where action will resume on the Easter weekend in Valkenswaard, Netherlands, a track where Herlings and Cairoli are known to excel in its soft sand. Having already laid the foundation for a solid start to their seasons they and their KTM teammates will be looking to garner more points at this popular European race venue.

What the top KTM riders said after the races:

Tony Cairoli: “It was a good weekend for me and I was happy to take both races today. It was a difficult race for everyone because of the heat but you have to manage your energy and know your body, especially for the second motos when you start to get tired. The second race was better for me because the track wasn’t so bumpy and the best part of the weekend is that we got the red plates.”

Jeffrey Herlings: “I had two good starts and I showed after the first race that I am the man to beat this year in MX2. I almost got a podium in the Super Final and I hope that’s going to happen this year. I’ll be working towards that.”

– Suzuki Report

Clement Desalle scaled the FIM Motocross World Championship podium for the second time in eight days as the rapid Belgian took his Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1 works RM-Z450 to third place overall at Si Racha for the first ever Grand Prix of Thailand.

The event was characterised by high temperatures and humidity and the new facility housed a jumpy, spectacular and grippy layout that carved into a challenging racing course by the end of the weekend. Some 17,000 curious spectators travelled to the venue close to Pattaya and witnessed the second running of the Superfinal format that saw the MX1 and MX2 classes mixed for their second moto points scores.

Desalle made a reasonable getaway in the first sprint and was closing on the rear of Antonio Cairoli for third position when an attempted scrub went wrong on the big double jump in the centre of the track and ‘#25′ caught his foot on the outside of a rut and was thrown off the back of the bike. He was fortunate to be unharmed – except for some stitches required for a torso scratch – and swiftly recovered the bike losing minimal time. With Evgeny Bobryshev also falling late in the moto Desalle was able to move into a well-earned third place by the finish line.

A decent start in the Superfinal saw Desalle following Cairoli. The World Champion was able to make a gap and the Suzuki man then had to deal with Gautier Paulin and Jeffrey Herlings. Having successfully defended third place from the MX2 champion, Desalle tried to capitalise on a mistake by Paulin on the last lap but the Frenchman re-entered the track at speed and the two briefly touched. Desalle confirmed third at the flag to again walk the rostrum.

Team mate Kevin Strijbos had a difficult day and classified 10th at this second round of 18. Strijbos didn’t get away well for Moto1: The Belgian veteran was slow in the first laps and had worked all weekend to try and find an effective rhythm on the Thai earth without much success. The former GP winner was finally able to settle down and progress from a position outside the top 10 to grab seventh but was unsatisfied. In the Superfinal he was also frustrated and a bad start enforced an aggressive approach to scale the time sheets and reach 12th by the end of play.

Desalle has conceded the red plate to Cairoli but remains just eight points adrift in the championship with Strijbos not far away in sixth. The third round of the series will happen much closer to home for Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1 with the Grand Prix of The Netherlands set for Valkenswaard on Easter weekend.

Clement Desalle: “To be on the podium again is OK. Luckily I leave this GP without much pain. I was scrubbing and caught my foot on the ground. My body was not going the same speed as my bike and I ended up like Superman. It was a really big crash but I was able to get up and finish the moto. I had a scratch and some stitches but was happy that I didn’t have an injury. The medical staff did a great job and it’s nice to know we have that kind of good facility right next to the track. The track itself was too new but I enjoyed the end of the first moto and also the second because more lines came up.”

Kevin Strijbos: “A very bad weekend I think. My speed was OK but I didn’t feel good on the track during both days. I had a good start in the first moto but struggled to find my rhythm and many riders passed me. I dropped from fifth to 12th and then fought back to seventh, so at least I recovered a little bit. I missed the start completely in the second race and was far behind. It was sketchy with the 250s in the Superfinal. Last week I had a good start and it seemed OK but this time inside the pack I thought it was crazy. I did OK but it was difficult to pass. To come home 10th in MX1 is bad and I think I have to forget this GP, go home, rest and work towards Valkenswaard.”

Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe’s Max Anstie came a little closer to his maiden trophy on the factory-backed RM-Z250 as he registered a positive third position in the first MX2 moto for the Grand Prix of Thailand and the inaugural visit to the country for what was the second round of the FIM Motocross World Championship.

Unbearable heat created extremely difficult racing conditions at Si Racha. Mercifully cloudy conditions on Sunday nullified some of the intensity from the sun but the humidity and temperatures touching almost 35 degrees meant the Thai Grand Prix was a tough outing and watching for the 17,000 crowd.

Anstie rode strongly in the first MX2 outing and some consistent speed on his RM-Z 250 pulled him up to a comfortable third place. The Brit then faced the second Superfinal of 2013 and up against 450cc machinery was overwhelmed by the frantic intensity of the opening laps. The youngster has been trying to shake off effects of his crash at Losail the previous Saturday and the combination of the physical handicap and the poor start meant the chance of a trophy and spray of champagne slipped away with a lowly 31st spot and ninth overall.

Two first lap crashes hid a lot of good work by team mate Julien Lieber: The 18 year old fought back well from a first moto, first-lap tumble to reach a consolatory 13th spot. The Belgian again slipped-up in the hectic opening moments of the Superfinal and then faced a daunting trek through the field. Lieber’s efforts amounted to seventh in MX2 as the afternoon reached a close and he rescued 10th in the final classification.

The duo hold ninth (Lieber) and 10th (Anstie) positions in the formative MX2 World Championship standings and it’s back to Europe now for Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe and rippling sand of Valkenswaard near the city of Eindhoven will reconvene the Grand Prix paddock for the Dutch round of the series on Monday April 1st.

Julien Lieber: “That crash trying to scrub the jump made the first moto hard work. I was down in 27th and came back to 12th, so in the end it wasn’t a bad race although I did feel very tired afterwards. In the Superfinal I was sixth in the start, which was really good, but crashed again and had to repeat what I had done earlier! I tried my best and got up to seventh in the MX2 class. Overall it was a pretty good weekend. It was a hard track for the 250s and I don’t like that start with the 450s at all.”

Max Anstie: “Since last week I’ve been trying to sort myself out a little bit because I’ve been taking painkillers after the crash in Qatar. I pushed hard in the first moto and made it happen but in the second one against the 450s it was a struggle. It was dodgy on the first lap and I hit a couple of 450s when they almost landed on me. I was way, way back. I pushed again but it didn’t come together. I didn’t put myself in a good position to do the job. It was a shame but we’re making improvements and third place in the first moto is alright. I still don’t feel 100% and where I should be and I’ve had a couple of big crashes in the last two weeks. We’ve got three weeks now before Valkenswaard and we’ll be strong and see what happens. We’ve done everything we possibly can but the results aren’t coming…yet! I want to thank all the guys and the team for the great job.”

– HRC Report

Sweltering conditions at the first ever Grand Prix of Thailand saw Antonio Cairoli win the second round of the 2013 FIM Motocross World Championship at the new Si Racha circuit northeast of the tourist town of Pattaya. In front of a 17,000 crowd enjoying their first glimpse of MXGP, Gariboldi Honda’s David Philippaerts took his CRF450R to eleventh position overall and through the second event to use the Superfinal format that mixed the MX1 and MX2 classes.

Si Racha offered a fast, hard and grippy test to the world’s best; most of whom had stayed in the country to acclimatise after travelling directly from Qatar the previous weekend. A torrential rain shower on Saturday softened up the mud but the heat dried the terrain rapidly and the many jumps and off-cambers of the course provided ample spectacle to the new Thai Grand Prix audience.

Former World Champion Philippaerts rode with gusto in the first MX1 moto of thirty-five minutes and two laps duration. The Italian – in his second GP in ‘red’ – chased Tommy Searle relentlessly to earn a well-deserved sixth position by the flag. ‘DP19’ was unlucky to suffer a stall in the opening corners of the Superfinal and began a charge from dead-last. He passed almost half of the field to reach a creditable twentieth.

Honda World Motocross’ Evgeny Bobryshev had a possible first podium finish of the season in sight through the initial stages of Moto1. The Russian started well and led the first five laps before a slip caused him to lose two positions. He was coasting easily in third place entering the penultimate circulation when he committed another error and was unable to fish his CRF from outside of the banked turn to restart. Eventually he rolled across the line in eighteenth. A more conservative approach in the Superfinal seemed to pay off with a seventh place standing, again reaching the final minutes until he crashed in the uphill waves section. Exasperated Bobby again picked up the bike and broke the timing beam to register thirteenth. He was fourteenth in the final classification.

Sadly Max Nagl was ruled out of the event. The German was diagnosed with a stomach infection in the wake of his difficult debut at Qatar last Saturday and after needed a hospital visit towards the end of the week regrettably had to withdraw from the meeting. The former championship runner-up now has another three weeks to recover from his illness and also the recent injury to his right wrist to get prepared for round three.

The Grand Prix of the Netherlands will constitute the third fixture in the FIM Motocross World Championship schedule and will take place at the renowned Valkenswaard circuit (now reverted to its original layout) and across Easter weekend.

David Philippaerts: Race Result: 6th/20th Championship position: 12th
“I’m happy with the first moto. To finish sixth and be the first Honda was pretty good for me and I’m content with positions in the top six or seven because after two years of injury and with a different bike I’m working my way up. I don’t like the track so much because there were so many jumps and I’m still a bit hesitant with this after the two accidents. In the Superfinal I made a good start, around tenth I think, but then the bike stopped near the pit lane and I tried to get it running with the clutch. I had to push it and when I was going again I was last. I did my best until the finish. I passed a lot of riders and it was hard with the MX2 guys. We go back to Europe now and I think this will be good for me. The top three or four are on a different level but my focus is to try and reach them.”

Evgeny Bobryshev: Race Result: 18th/13th Championship position: 8th
“I began the first race well and found a rhythm that let me stay at the front and conserve energy, but I made a mistake and hit a stone with my front wheel. I quickly picked up the bike and carried on. I was so hot in the final laps and all my energy had gone. I had no power in my muscles and made another stupid mistake with one lap to go. I was over the berm and was stuck there. I didn’t really know what was going on. Finally I could start the bike again and made it over the line. I had a bad start in the second race and wanted to take it easy and ride smoothly. The times were coming but at the end I lost grip on the handlebars in the waves and went down again and was winded. It took me half a lap to get my breath back. It was a shit day. Now we have to work on and just learn from this.”

– Kawasaki Report

Gautier Paulin of the Kawasaki Racing Team finished runner-up in the Thailand round of the FIM MX1 Motocross World Championship at Si Racha to maintain his 100% podium record this year.

The Frenchman made life difficult for himself with a less effective qualification than usual and the subsequent poor choice of gate saw him buried in the pack at the start of the MX1 race. However he battled magnificently to fight through the field for an eventual fourth place and later in the day secured his second podium finish of the season with a sparkling ride to second place in the Superfinal and the overall classification. He is now third in the World Series, just 17 points from the series pace after two GPs.

Tommy Searle of Team CLS MX1 Kawasaki Monster Energy Pro Circuit added to his learning curve in his rookie season of MX1 GP racing to finish fourth overall and advance to fifth in the championship standings. A difficult qualification race left him with a poor choice of start gate, but the English rider advanced strongly throughout the 40 minute MX1 race to finish fifth, and followed this up with an even better ride to fourth in the Superfinal despite a small crash in the middle of the race.

Jeremy Van Horebeek continues to be handicapped by a pre-season finger injury, but the Belgian battled resolutely to score points in both races. With three weeks to the next GP in the Netherlands at Easter he confidently looks forward to soon joining Kawasaki Racing Team teammate Gautier Paulin at the head of the pack.

Gautier Paulin: “Another podium for me so it’s another good weekend, even though I didn’t qualify so well on Saturday. At the start of the MX1 race I was in the pack and got mixed up with some other riders so I was seventeenth the first time past pit lane, but I was able to fight back to fourth. My start in the Superfinal was much better as I came out of turn one third behind Cairoli and Desalle. I was able to pass Clement for second and we have reached our goal with two podiums in a row.”

Tommy Searle: “ It was an improvement with a fifth and a fourth place, and that is what we are all working for. I wanted to be in the top five and that’s what I did this weekend, so I’m happy, as it’s only my second race on a 450. We are setting up the bike better for me at every race, but I still need to improve my starts. I crashed in the Superfinal when I was chasing Paulin, but it was still a good weekend for us.”

Jeremy Van Horebeek: “For me it’s the same as last week. I can’t train enough with my bike due to my injury and it was tough again. In the MX1 race I started twelfth and managed to finish fifteenth, but the Superfinal was much more difficult. I just want to go training properly again so that I can return to my real level.”

Alessandro Lupino, the Italian newcomer to the CLS Kawasaki team, recorded an impressive fifth place in the second round of the FIM MX2 Motocross World Championship at Si Racha in Thailand.

The Italian had a bad choice of gate after a troubled qualification but showed his great reserves of determination perseverance to fight through from an initial 20th position to finish eighth in the MX2 race; his final two passes came in the last two laps to confirm his fitness as many rivals slowed dramatically in the heat. The Team CLS MX2 Kawasaki Monster Energy Pro Circuit rider had a similar ride in the Superfinal to finish fourth in class to secure fifth on the day and advance to eighth in the championship.

The Rockstar Bud Racing Kawasaki trio faced a tough weekend in Thailand, but each fought bravely in the tropical heat. Dylan Ferrandis, still rebuilding his fitness after a winter recovering from injury, suffered further bad luck when he was hit by another rider in the hectic first turn of the MX2 race but he persevered bravely to finish 14th and followed this up with tenth in class in the Superfinal.

Valentin Teillet never found the great speed he had shown one week earlier in Qatar and crashes further restricted his scoring. He is now 15th in the championship standings, one ahead of teammate Ferrandis.

Top lady Livia Lancelot again performed well in her second guest appearance against the best male riders in the world. As in Qatar she narrowly failed to qualify for the Grand Prix, but actually beat several of the male competitors.

Alessandro Lupino: “ Saturday was tough for me, but after the qualifying race we worked with the team on the settings of the bike and today I had a better feeling with my bike and with the track. My start in the MX2 race was not very good; this is something I need to work on, but I was able to fight back from twentieth to eighth. I pushed hard in the last ten minutes, and did the same in the Superfinal where I came back from thirteenth to fourth. It’s my best ever result, and I feel I’m improving a lot every week since I joined Kawasaki.”

Dylan Ferrandis: “I had a better feeling on this track than last week, and my speed was better. I haven’t been able to practice so much this year as I sent the winter recovering from the injuries I suffered last year, so it was pretty tough with the hot weather here. My start in the MX2 race was good, but another rider hit me and I had to fight back through the field to finish fourteenth. In the Superfinal I had a better start, but it was tough with the MX1 riders. Still, I scored my best result of the year so far with a tenth position so we are headed in the right direction.”

Valentin Teillet: “I couldn’t find a good rhythm on this track, and it was a disappointing weekend for me. In the first race I crashed at the start and spent a lot of energy to come back through the field, but later I crashed again twice so I finished the race very tired. I didn’t have enough energy to do better than thirteenth in the Superfinal, and for sure this is not what I was expecting.”

Livia Lancelot: “I didn’t qualified again, but it was a great experience and I have no regrets. Again I missed the qualification by only two seconds, and I think that if the track had not been so wet for the Pre-qualifying session I would have a chance to make it. Now I will go home to race the French championship, which is one of my main goals this year.”