— FIM MX1/MX2 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, ROUND 11, SUNDAY JULY 7, ZELTA ZIRGS, KEGUMS, LATVIA – Cairoli and Herlings rule in Latvia
The sun was shining also today in Kegums to host the final races of the Latvian Grand Prix and the technical hard sand track of Zelta Zirgs saw Antonio Cairoli and Jeffrey Herlings obtaining another overall victory. In MX1 Ken De Dycker was tight in points with his teammate after winning the first race and finishing second in the second one, and Clement Desalle was once again on the third step of the podium. In the MX2 class José Butrón clinched two good starts and finished second overall, while Jordi Tixier completed the top three.
The final races of rounds three and four of the EMX125 and EMX250 European Championships also took place today in Kegums and while local hero Wilvo Nestaan JM Racing KTM’s Pauls Jonass remained unbeaten in the EMX125 class, in the action packed EMX250 final it was Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe’s Jeremy Seewer who put a stop to the winning streak of Guillod Motorsports Valentin Guillod to take home his first EMX250 race win of the season.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli was on the top of the podium this weekend, as he did last year in Latvia. In the first race the Italian was second behind his teammate after the first corner and he tried to keep a good rhythm but he did not want to push too much because he is not training 100% due to his knee injury. In the second race Cairoli started in the front and he was able to dominate the race from start to end.
This weekend Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Ken De Dycker also obtained the same result as he did last year in Kegums by finishing second overall; the Belgian rider obtained the Get Athena Holeshot in the first race and he quickly opened a big gap with Cairoli and managed to keep the lead until the chequered flag. In the second race De Dycker also had a good start, but this time it was Cairoli the first one to reach the first corner and the Belgian rode behind his teammate during the whole race. De Dycker admitted that he was very satisfied with how the weekend went for him and even if he is still fourth in the championship, he is just eight points behind his compatriot Clement Desalle. During today’s press conference De Dycker thanked KTM for trusting him and for having signed him for two more seasons.
Yesterday Rockstar Energy Suzuki World’s Clement Desalle did not have a good feeling neither with his bike nor the track, but after making some changes on the settings of his Suzuki the Belgian rider felt much better and he rode both motos comfortably. In the first race Desalle did not have a good start, but he was able to move up to third very fast and kept such position until the end of the race, whereas in the second heat he had a better start, but by the time he moved up to third both Cairoli and De Dycker had opened a big gap at the front. It has been a positive weekend for Desalle, but he admitted that he is now looking forward to finishing on the top of the podium and not third overall as he did today.
Kawasaki Racing Team’s Gautier Paulin missed once again the podium this weekend, but all in all he was satisfied with his riding. In the first race the French rider had a really good start, but the first corner was really slippery and Cairoli touched his front wheel, Paulin crashed and he had to start from the last position. The Kawasaki rider recovered his rhythm really quickly and he was already eleventh after the first lap. Paulin kept on recuperating positions and in the end he crossed the finish line fifth. In the second race Paulin was riding consistently in the fourth position behind Desalle, when Tommy Searle surprised him from behind and the French rider dropped down one position. By the middle of the race Searle stalled the bike in a corner and Paulin moved up to fourth and he kept such position until the chequered flag.
His teammate Jeremy Van Horebeek had another good weekend and he managed to finished fifth overall thanks to his 4-5 result. The Kawasaki Racing Team’s rider had a good start in the first race and he rode a consistent moto in fourth. In the second one Van Horebeek started down in the sixth place behind Paulin and by the middle of the race he was also surprised by Searle. Van Horebeek also took advantage of the British mistake and in the end he crossed the finish line fifth behind Paulin.
Tommy Searle was down in the sixteenth position after the start of the first race, but he made an incredible recovery to finish seventh. In the second moto he was thirteenth after the first corner, so once again he had to give it all to move up to the fourth place ahead of Paulin. However, he stalled the bike in a corner when he was about to overtake Desalle, he dropped down two positions and he crossed the finish line sixth, which gave him also the overall sixth position in the Grand Prix.
Kevin Strijbos was expecting to finish among the top five this weekend, but he had to settle down with a final seventh position after finishing sixth and seventh in today’s races. Rui Gonçalves, who was back this weekend from a little knee injury, finished eleventh in the first race after a poor start, but he took the holeshot of the second one. The Portuguese rode third during the first two laps, but a mistake forced him to drop several positions and ended eighth in the race and also in the Grand Prix.
Max Nagl did not find himself comfortable on the Latvian track and he finished ninth overall and Joel Roelants completed the top ten.
Home rider Matiss Karro succeeded to keep on two wheels during the whole weekend and he was very satisfied with his thirteenth overall position. The second best Latvian rider was Augusts Justs in nineteenth.
Evgeny Bobryshev had a solid first race and finished eighth, but in the second moto a stone entered the radiator of his Honda and he was forced to pull out from the race. The Russian finished seventeenth overall.
Steven Frossard made a mistake in the beginning of the first race and he hit the finger he dislocated yesterday, so he decided to retire. In the second heat the French rider was struggling with pain and he entered the pitlane already after the first lap.
MX1 Race 1 top ten: 1. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), 39:15.569; 2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:07.750; 3. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), +0:12.832; 4. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:25.821; 5. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:32.184; 6. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), +0:34.058; 7. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:34.392; 8. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:42.651; 9. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Honda), +0:48.658; 10. Davide Guarneri (ITA, KTM), +0:57.589;
MX1 Race 2 top ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 39:33.938; 2. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), +0:05.408; 3. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), +0:09.753; 4. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:12.063; 5. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:14.796; 6. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:24.159; 7. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), +0:28.675; 8. Rui Goncalves (POR, KTM), +0:49.576; 9. Joel Roelants (BEL, Yamaha), +0:57.013; 10. Matiss Karro (LAT, KTM), +1:13.104;
MX1 Overall top ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 47 points; 2. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), 47 p.; 3. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), 40 p.; 4. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), 34 p.; 5. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, Kawasaki), 34 p.; 6. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), 29 p.; 7. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), 29 p.; 8. Rui Goncalves (POR, KTM), 23 p.; 9. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Honda), 19 p.; 10. Joel Roelants (BEL, Yamaha), 18 p.;
MX1 Championship top ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 514 points; 2. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), 432 p.; 3. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), 414 p.; 4. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), 406 p.; 5. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), 327 p.; 6. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), 318 p.; 7. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Honda), 272 p.; 8. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, Kawasaki), 271 p.; 9. Rui Goncalves (POR, KTM), 203 p.; 10. Davide Guarneri (ITA, KTM), 186 p.;
MX1 Manufacturers: 1. KTM, 526 points; 2. Suzuki, 440 p.; 3. Kawasaki, 438 p.; 4. Honda, 337 p.; 5. Yamaha, 194 p.; 6. TM, 157 p.;
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings had an outstanding day in Latvia and he dominated both heats with superb authority. In the first moto the Dutch rider started behind José Butrón and he managed to pass him after two laps even if he admitted that he was struggling with arm pump at the beginning of the race. Herlings crossed the finish line forty seconds ahead of Butrón, and in the second race he managed to take the holeshot, he pulled away and this time he finished fifty seconds ahead of the second classified, Jordi Tixier. Herlings keeps on proving that he has a special talent and with 18 years of age he has already obtained the same 27 Grand Prix victories as the best ever Dutch rider Dave Strijbos.
KTM Silver Action’s José Butrón was once again on the second step of the podium thanks to his 2-3 result. The Spanish rider obtained the Get Athena holeshot in the first race and he managed to keep the second position until the chequered flag. In the second moto Butrón started also at the front, but this time he could not hold the second position and he finished third behind Tixier. Butrón keeps on being third in the MX2 championship and his goal is to keep on training hard to finish on the podium at every Grand Prix.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jordi Tixier was a bit disappointed with the third overall position, as he was expecting to finish second behind his teammate Herlings. In the first race Tixier managed to overtake Butrón after five laps, but he crashed as he was pushing really hard to catch his teammate. In the end the French rider finished fourth but he was able to obtain the fastest lap of the race. In the second heat Tixier did not have a good start, but he quickly moved from seventh to second and this time he managed to keep the position until the end.
The fourth overall position was for a strong Petar Petrov who obtained the best result of the season after crossing the finish line eighth and fourth in today’s races. In the first race the Kemea Reytec v/d Laar Yamaha rider started down in the thirteenth position, but he managed to get a good rhythm and crossed the finish line eighth ahead of Alessandro Lupino. In the second moto he was eighth after the first corner and after five laps he was already fourth. The Bulgarian rider was able to hold such position and he was extremely satisfied with such result, as it was a good reward for the hard work he and his team are doing during the whole season.
Wilvo Nestaan JM Racing KTM’s Romain Febvre was back again racing among the top MX2 riders and his 7-5 result made him finish fifth overall of the Grand Prix. The French young rider started around the sixth position in both heats and while he rode a consistent second heat in fifth, in the first moto he could not keep a good rhythm and he ended seventh. Febvre was happy with his performance today because Grand Prix after Grand Prix he is recovering his physical condition.
His compatriot Dylan Ferrandis did not have really good starts and he ended twelfth in the first race and sixth in the second one. Since the French rider was on the podium at his home Grand Prix, his results have not been really consistent but he has shown a little progress.
Glenn Coldenhoff starred in a fantastic recovery in race one, moving from tenth to third, but a crash in the opening lap of race two forced him to enter the pitlane because the shift lever was damaged. The Belgian rider was back in the race after a few minutes, but he was only able to cross the finish line nineteenth and he finished seventh in the Grand Prix.
Jake Nicholls was third after the start of the first race, but he could not keep such position and he finished fifth. The British rider did not have a really good start in the second race and he crashed while he was riding tenth. Nicholls dropped down to the twenty-second position to finish seventeenth in the race and eighth overall in the Grand Prix.
Harri Kullas was ninth and Jason Clermont completed the top ten. Dean Ferris crashed in the first race when he was recovering several positions after a bad start and he was only able to finish eighteenth. In the second moto the Australian obtained a solid seventh place which gave him the final eleventh position.
Christophe Charlier did not have a good start in the first race but he managed to finish sixth, whereas in the second heat he was forced to retire because he crashed in the very beginning of the race when he had overtaken Febvre. The French rider ended thirteenth overall.
Alessandro Lupino was down in the seventeenth position after the start of the first race, but he succeeded to finish ninth. In the second moto he started third behind Herlings and Butrón, but he had a big crash landing from the jump by the finish line and he was forced to retire because he had no feeling on his left leg. Lupino had some tests done on his leg and it seems that there is no serious injury.
It was also a difficult weekend for Alexandr Tonkov because he had a really big crash in the beginning of the first race while he was riding sixth and he had to stop in the pitlane because he had too much pain in one of his elbows. The Russian was not able take part in the final race.
MX2 Race 1 top ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 39:23.741; 2. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), +0:40.392; 3. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:44.150; 4. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), +0:48.004; 5. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), +0:53.224; 6. Christophe Charlier (FRA, Yamaha), +0:54.812; 7. Romain Febvre (FRA, KTM), +0:55.963; 8. Petar Petrov (BUL, Yamaha), +1:12.712; 9. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Kawasaki), +1:15.794; 10. Jason Clermont (FRA, Kawasaki), +1:17.022;
MX2 Race 2 top ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 39:29.424; 2. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), +0:50.418; 3. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), +0:57.147; 4. Petar Petrov (BUL, Yamaha), +1:03.053; 5. Romain Febvre (FRA, KTM), +1:07.640; 6. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), +1:21.923; 7. Dean Ferris (AUS, Yamaha), +1:35.685; 8. Tim Gajser (SLO, KTM), +1:43.567; 9. Pascal Rauchenecker (AUT, KTM), +1:47.383; 10. Stefan Kjer Olsen (DEN, Honda), +1:48.382;
MX2 Overall top ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 50 points; 2. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), 42 p.; 3. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), 40 p.; 4. Petar Petrov (BUL, Yamaha), 31 p.; 5. Romain Febvre (FRA, KTM), 30 p.; 6. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), 24 p.; 7. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 22 p.; 8. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), 20 p.; 9. Harri Kullas (FIN, KTM), 18 p.; 10. Jason Clermont (FRA, Kawasaki), 18 p.;
MX2 Championship top ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 542 points; 2. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), 403 p.; 3. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), 353 p.; 4. Christophe Charlier (FRA, Yamaha), 322 p.; 5. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 304 p.; 6. Dean Ferris (AUS, Yamaha), 273 p.; 7. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), 272 p.; 8. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Kawasaki), 244 p.; 9. Max Anstie (GBR, Suzuki), 228 p.; 10. Petar Petrov (BUL, Yamaha), 196 p.; 1
MX2 Manufacturers: 1. KTM, 547 points; 2. Yamaha, 388 p.; 3. Kawasaki, 328 p.; 4. Suzuki, 252 p.; 5. Honda, 230 p.; 6. TM, 49 p.; 7. Husqvarna, 1 p.;
MXGP LATVIA – QUICK FACTS
Circuit length: 1540m
Type of ground: hard sand
Temperature: 24° C
Weather conditions: Sunny
Crowd attendance: 22000
The FIM Motocross World Championship travels now to Finland to celebrate the third Grand Prix in a row, the twelfth in the season, during the 14th July weekend. The emblematic track of Hyvinkää, which hosted the last Grand Prix back in 1991, will also host the fifth round of the EMX250 European Championship.
— KTM Report
The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team had a near perfect weekend on the Latvian circuit in Kegums to take both MX1 and MX2 victories after storming rides by both Tony Cairoli and Jeffrey Herlings.
The outing in Kegums proved to be another all Orange affair. All four KTM factory riders delivered impressive performances on the track that was technically difficult and was capable of surprising any rider whose concentration slipped. Ken de Dycker pulled off an impressive victory in the opening MX1 moto and finished behind Cairoli in the second race to join him on the podium in overall second.
Cairoli, with his 61st career victory, has now been on the podium in every GP this season and has laid a solid foundation towards retaining his World Championship title. De Dycker of Belgium looked very impressive in the first moto, finishing seven seconds in front of Cairoli, who has been cautiously nursing a leg injury for several rounds. But in the second moto, Cairoli threw caution to the wind and went for the big win. He dominated the race from gate drop to flag, while de Dycker fought the good fight behind him. Cairoli riders the KTM 350 SX-F, while de Dycker is on the KTM 450 machine
Tony Cairoli: “I had some good races with my teammate and it was also good for the championship. He took points away from other riders and he also gained some for himself. Hopefully he can come closer to the top. I haven’t been able to train since my knee injury. I didn’t know what to expect because the track was very rough and that takes a lot of energy. Because of my condition, I wanted to see how things went in the first moto. I waited a bit too long and Ken made a gap I couldn’t make up. I knew I had to attack right from the start of the second moto. I had some good energy and I made a good gap.”
Ken de Dycker: “Already yesterday I had a good rhythm and I made no mistakes in the first moto. I was able to make a gap and I could control the race. Also when Tony is behind me I know I am safe and a 1-2 in the first moto is good for us. Then Tony was very fast at the beginning of the second moto. I tried to push and half way through the race I got closer to him. I had my rhythm, I didn’t make mistakes and I was happy to be second”
Pit Beirer Head of KTM Motorsports has also confirmed that the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team has signed de Dycker for another two years, thus maintaining good team continuity and harmony for the coming seasons.
In MX2 Herlings continued to amaze with two stunning moto victories where he distanced himself from the rest of the pack with what appeared to be very little effort to cross the line around 40 seconds in front in each race.
It was the Dutch teenager’s 27th GP win and he has now equaled David Strijbos as the most successful Dutch rider ever. It is a remarkable record for a rider so young. Although he is recognized as the world’s best sand rider, Herlings is currently one of the most exciting performers on any surface He has won every GP so far in the current season and has a more than commanding lead in the MX2 World Championship.
KTM rider Jose Butron of Spain put on another impressive display in MX2 and maintained the kind of speed that delivered him onto the podium in overall second. Herlings teammate Jordi Tixier of France also had a strong day. He put a first moto crash behind him and finished behind Herlings in second place in the second moto for overall third.
Herlings now has an impressive 139-point lead over Tixier in the standings and is well on his way to securing his second MX2 World Championship title.
Jeffrey Herlings: “It was a very good weekend and I was able to win both races easily. It was a nice track, good weather and good fun. I did struggle a bit for the first 10-15 minutes in the first moto but after that I did some good laps. Now I’ve won 11 GP and I hope to win the all this year. That’s my goal and that’s what I’m working and training for.”
Jordi Tixier: “I got a good start in the first moto and I was second behind Jeffrey. I had a good speed because I saw the lap times and I had the fastest lap time of the race. But then I hit a big bump and lost a few places and had to fight back to catch up. I didn’t get a good start in the second moto but after five minutes I was up to second. I had some crashes today but I am happy about finishing third overall.”
Win in EMX125 for KTM’s Pauls Jonass
It was also a good day for Latvian KTM factory rider Pauls Jonass who sealed another win in the EMX125 Championship and was rewarded by an enthusiastic reception from the hometown fans. “For sure it was crazy. It was great to win my home GP. I did feel a little pressure but I tried to stay calm and it worked out. Now I am a little more confident after this win but there are still five rounds to go so anything can happen.”
Swiss KTM rider Guillod takes second in EMX250
Kegums also hosted Round Four of the EMX 250 class and KTM rider Valentin Guillod of Switzerland finished second but maintained his lead in the championship points. “Second is still a very good place and I also got good points for the championship. It was not easy this weekend because the track was tricky and slippery. Also in the first race I didn’t make a good start and for the first 7-8 minutes I didn’t find a good line. After that, it was better.”
— Yamaha Report
The Grand Prix of Latvia at Kegums hosted a 22,000 crowd enjoying pleasant summer conditions just east of Riga. At a captivating event, Monster Energy Yamaha’s Joel Roelants was able to burst back into the top ten of the premier MX1 class. The eleventh round of the FIM Motocross World Championship saw both Roelants and Steven Frossard battling a surface that was soft and loose but with a hard, bumpy base that constantly demanded much of the motorcycles and punished a lax approach.
After recovering from the impact of a stone to his eye in Sweden Roelants was immediately out of the blocks. Decent lap-times in practice led to a holeshot in the Qualification Heat. The Belgian rode to twelfth while suffering stomach cramps but signalled his intent for Sunday at the venue where he scored his first Grand Prix win last summer. The first moto did not go to plan as the 23 year old slipped to the ground on the first corner. Roelants restarted dead-last and gained confidence from a return to fifteenth.
In the second outing a much better getaway saw ‘34’ planted firmly inside the top ten and an encouraging ninth place finish represented his second best of the year so far.
Steven Frossard tangled with Tommy Searle early in Saturday’s qualification heat and suffered a dislocated forefinger on his clutch hand. The Frenchman went last to the gate on Sunday and in need of painkillers but with typical determination and grit attempted to start both motos. Ultimately he lacked the strength and feeling to reach the finish line.
The factory Yamaha crew now continue their roll east, and during the week will cover several hundred miles to reach Hyvinkaa for the Grand Prix of Finland and the twelfth outing of seventeen on the FIM calendar.
Joel Roelants – “For sure that was a step back in the right direction, even though the first heat started out pretty bad! I took a really good jump from the gate – I think third or fourth – but then crashed. I got going again twenty seconds behind the last guy. Everything went really good in the race though until I stalled the bike and lost a bit more time. That second incident was frustrating because I believe I could have reached tenth or eleventh. My speed was good enough for the top six or seven. In the second one I was a bit tired from the first race and struggled for a while because it is a long time since I’ve been near the front. After a while I tried following some lines and looking for some feedback and it started to work out well. I closed up to Goncalves. I’m quite happy with the weekend, some bad luck, but I’ll have to take what I can get.”
Steven Frossard – “Not much to say. I tried today but it was too painful for me. I was very bad out of the gate. I wanted to aim for a good start but it was impossible from where I was. I will try to heal my finger as much as I can for the next weekend and we will see.”
The MX2 class of the FIM Motocross World Championship again saw the Monster Energy Yamaha team attempting to play a prominent role, this time at Kegums for the Grand Prix of Latvia and the eleventh round of seventeen on the schedule. Christophe Charlier, currently in a fine run of speed, form and confidence on the factory YZ250FM, scurried towards another top five finish and grabbed sixth position in the first moto while Dean Ferris gained the highest overall ranking of the factory quartet with eleventh place. Full praise must go to Bulgarian Petr Petrov who, with fourth spot in the final M2 ranking on his Kemea-Reytec Van De Laar YZ250F, secured a personal best.
Kegums presented a slightly different prospect compared to previous years. In what was a dry-run for the 2014 Motocross of Nations the wide and airy circuit was softer and rougher but still with that hard and distinctive base. Small, punishing bumps made technical sections even tougher to handle and combined with high speed created a sapping challenge for the Grand Prix elite.
Charlier had a mediocre start in the first moto and had to focus on gaining ground and slowly moving up positions to grasp sixth. His second race was practically over before it began as a crash when he landed off line and in some loose terrain propelled the Corsican over the bars and left him dazed and adrift of the pack. Another fall later in the moto meant his brave efforts to continue would result in one point for twentieth.
Dean Ferris had a mechanical problem in the qualification heat that meant a low gate entry for Sunday’s motos. A disappointing first race – by the Australian’s own admission – culminated in eighteenth position and could only be improved in the second affair. Ferris, on his first visit to Kegums, motored to seventh for a reasonably positive end to the weekend.
It was a case of ‘what could have been…’ for European Champion Mel Pocock. The Briton had won both motos at a wet Kegums last summer as part of his EMX250 dominance and led the battle for fifth position for almost half of the first race today. A small mistake led to a spectacular spill from which the twenty year old was lucky to escape unharmed. ‘119’ tried to recover his YZ250F but a damaged gear lever ended his participation. Pocock was held up at the start of the second sprint and a midpack slot on the first lap turned into twelfth position by the chequered flag. Maxime Desprey classified fourteenth in Moto1 but a misjudgement with his set-up curtailed his involvement in the second race.
In the MX2 world championship table Charlier is still the top YZ250F runner with 4th place and needs to work on a 31 point deficit to rise into the top three. Ferris is 6th and also 31 adrift of pushing to 5th while Pocock and Desprey hold 12th and 16th respectively. Hyvinkaa will be the site of round twelve next weekend with the FIM competition encompassing a Grand Prix of Finland for the first time since 2000.
Christophe Charlier – “The first moto was OK in that my speed was good and I could do what I wanted on the bike on a difficult track. The start was not ideal but I was happy with how it went. I wanted better in the second moto but going up the waves I went slightly off line and landed in a really soft patch. The bike just stopped and threw me off. I struggled to stand up and was worried because I was seeing stars. It took me a while to recover and go again and I just tried to finish the race from there.”
Dean Ferris – “Not the best weekend but it seems like the regular story lately. I know this deep into the season it is not good to still be looking for things to improve but anyway what happened on Saturday is part of racing. It didn’t give me the best opportunity to get starts but the first moto was terrible and maybe the worst race I have ridden in my life. I was quite good in the second and came from quite far back and was strong. We have to keep on moving forward. This was my first look at this track and I think it was the roughest we’ve had this year. Normally I should excel on this so I’m a bit disappointed.”
Mel Pocock – “I was pumped about my start and in that first moto I was riding like I know I can. Like I said to the team, my speed is good and I know I can do that pace. I train hard and I ride hard; I just don’t know why I cannot hang-it-out for the last fifteen minutes. I made a little mistake that led to a big crash. I wasn’t riding out of my depth or felt out of control at all. I got away with the crash anyway, so I have to feel grateful for that. I made a good start in the second race but there was a big shunt in one of the corners and I got badly held up. I couldn’t make the passes I wanted to as the track was too heavily watered. The track was gnarly today.”
Maxime Desprey – “A hard weekend for me. I was too far on the outside and had a bad start in the first moto. I was eighteenth on the first lap and finished fourteenth, so not too bad but I wanted more. In the second moto my shock was too soft and the bike was moving around so much so I did not finish the race. It is very hard to ride at Kegums. My feeling overall was pretty good but we had that problem in the second race.”
— Kawasaki Report
Dylan Ferrandis of Rockstar Bud Racing Kawasaki finished sixth overall in the eleventh round of the FIM MX2 Motocross World Championship at Kegums in Latvia.
The French teenager had set third fastest time during the practice sessions, but crashed during the qualification race and had to be content with twenty-second choice of start gate for the GP motos. Suffering from arm pump in his forearms he raced on the edge of the top ten all moto to finish twelfth, but settled quickly into a better rhythm in race two for a strong ride to sixth place in the moto and the GP. Dylan now sits just eleventh in the championship standings, just two points away from the top ten.
Although he had never raced on the sort of track he faced in Latvia Bud teammate Jason Clermont had his best GP result to date. Taking a great start he maintained eighth place for most of the first moto before the demanding track forced him to surrender two places to more experienced rivals in the closing laps and another determined ride in race two which took him from an initial eighteenth to fourteenth at the finish earns Jason the first-ever top ten GP ranking of his short GP career.
Alessandro Lupino of Team CLS Kawasaki Monster Energy Pro Circuit was optimistic of a successful GP outing in Latvia after earning seventh choice of gate, but a difficult first lap in the opening race left him in seventeenth place; a strong ride saw him advance to ninth at the finish. After a much better start in the second race the Italian quickly moved forward to second place before suffering a heavy crash which initial examination suggest has left him with a hematoma in his left leg. Despite the resultant zero score he has retained eighth place in the championship standings.
Dylan Ferrandis: “I was happy with my lap times on Saturday with a third position, but in the qualifying race I crashed after a few laps when I was in the top ten. I fell on my shoulder, but recovered to finish twenty-second. My starts were pretty good from this position on Sunday, but in the first heat I got arm pump and didn’t felt comfortable. The second start was much better and I found a better rhythm to finish sixth, my best result since the French GP.”
Jason Clermont: “It was a great weekend for me, even if it was difficult on Saturday as I had previously never ridden on a track like this one. I had a good gate for the race, and I got a great start in the first moto; I held eighth place for most of the race, but in the last three laps I felt tired and lost two positions. The second race was more difficult; the track was faster and my start was not as good but I’m happy with this tenth place overall, especially as the sand track here is so different to anything I have ever raced at home in France.”
Alessandro Lupino: “I’m disappointed with my result today, particularly with the big crash I had in the second race when I was in second position. I missed the line and I can’t remember anything after that; all I know is that my leg was very painful after the crash. The ultrasound showed that there is a big hematoma to my left leg but I will have further examinations this week. It’s a shame as I had the speed for a top five this weekend, but I can’t complain too much as I didn’t break any bones in this big crash.”
Gautier Paulin, Jeremy Van Horebeek and Tommy Searle each finished in the top six for Kawasaki in the Latvian round of the FIM MX1 Motocross World Championship at Kegums.
Gautier Paulin of the Kawasaki Racing Team had high expectations of returning to the podium in the eleventh round of the series after he had finished a strong third during the qualification race the previous day, but an unfortunate incident at the start of the opening moto when he touched with another rider as they entered the first turn together in front of the pack left the Frenchman on the ground. After a strong ride back through the pack to finish fifth the KRT team leader initially found the going tough in race two as it took him some time to find the best lines in rapidly changing conditions, but a strong showing in the closing laps secured fourth place both in the moto and overall on the day as well as maintaining his second place in the championship standings.
Jeremy Van Horebeek matched the scoreline of his KRT teammate Paulin to be ranked fifth overall in the GP from 4-5 moto finishes. The Belgian rode strongly and consistently all day to race amongst the top five throughout both motos and this strong showing has taken him to within one point of seventh place in the championship standings as he recovers from a difficult start to the season when injuries restricted his scoring potential.
Tommy Searle of Team CLS Kawasaki Monster Energy Pro Circuit was once again one of the fastest riders throughout the weekend but the Englishman suffered terrible bad luck. After being nudged off pole position in the closing seconds, he was knocked off by another rider during the qualification race for gate positions but showed terrific speed to recover to tenth place. His misfortune continued in the points-scoring races. In te opening moto another rider fell directly in front of him at turn one and he had to charge from last place to miss fifth place by a fraction of a second with a final lap more than two seconds faster than those set by any other rider during the final quarter of the race. In the second race he again moved forward quickly from an initial twelfth place to pull alongside the rider in third before once again another rider, this time a backmarker, stopped directly in his path and he surrendered two places with the incident to finish sixth in the moto and the GP overall, thus consolidating his current sixth place in the championship standings.
Gautier Paulin: “I got the holeshot in the first moto, but it was wet at the first corner and I lost some grip. Cairoli was on my right and he also slid; he touched me and I crashed but it was just a race incident. I was last when I rejoined the race and I came back to fifth; the track was pretty rough and I was happy with this performance. In the second race I didn’t have the best lines early on, but I eventually found them and had a good rhythm in the last ten minutes. I think a fifth and a fourth place on a difficult weekend in not so bad. We will continue to work and go to Finland with podium expectations.”
Jeremy Van Horebeek: “I can’t say that I’m disappointed with my results, but I was expecting a podium and once more I missed it! My first race was good; I had a strong rhythm, finished fourth, and was ready for the second one. My start was again pretty good and I chased Clement (Desalle) and Gautier (Paulin) in fifth for the entire race; if I could have passed them the podium would have been mine! It’s just a question of experience; I need to be stronger after twenty-five minutes as I’ve always two or three difficult laps at this period. But another top five is not so bad, I’m sure that this podium will come soon.
Tommy Searle: “I was really fast this weekend, but on Saturday during the qualifying race I got knocked off by Frossard and I had to come back from last to tenth. This weekend I was one of the fastest guys, easily fast enough to be on the podium but that didn’t happen. It was just bad luck but there’s a lot of positives with the team, with the bike and with myself so we are working in the right direction. In the second moto I had a bad start and came back to fourth; I passed Strijbos, Van Horebeek and Paulin and was ready to pass Desalle when a lapper stopped in a corner right in front of me and that cost me several positions.”
— Rockstar Energy Suzuki
More than 22,000 fans walked through the gate at the ample Kegums circuit for the Grand Prix of Latvia today and saw Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1’s Clement Desalle grab his eighth podium finish with third overall across the dark and rough terrain east of the capital city of Riga.
Desalle’s team-mate Kevin Strijbos was seventh at the fifth edition of the event and the second race in a three-week back-to-back spell that will also see the Belgian team heading further east to Finland in the next few days.
Kegums – slated to host the 2014 Motocross of Nations in 14 months’ time – blended hard-pack and small, lethal bumps with soft, sandy sections and a fast layout. The course was heavy on the motorcycles and the resilience of the Grand Prix stars while warm conditions also increased the physical difficulty.
After qualifying in fifth and sixth positions with their factory RM-Z450s, Desalle and Strijbos lined-up for the first of two 35 minute and two-lap motos; the former, searching for better form and a higher level of performance after a tricky run on Saturday, was immediately into third place behind Antonio Cairoli. The Belgian was stuck in a void of being unable to reach the reigning World Champion but carrying enough speed to safely keep ahead of Jeremy Van Horebeek. Desalle drew closer to the Sicilian at one stage but the intervention of some backmarkers re-established the gap. The 24 year old ran a similar race later in the afternoon. This time it was Ken De Dycker who was distant ahead and the Suzuki man also had to deal with the attentions of Tommy Searle until the Brit stalled his bike in a turn.
Two third positions put Desalle back on the podium and meant that he has only missed the top-three once in the last seven meetings. His Latvian efforts represented a gain of six points on Gautier Paulin in the MX1 standings and the margin to second spot now rests at just 18. Cairoli is 82 points adrift at the top.
Strijbos enjoyed better starts but lamented a lack of attacking verve in the formative stages of the motos that would have taken him with Desalle and into podium contention. Shades of arm-pump blunted any aggression at spells during the first moto as he rode to sixth place; and although he improved for the second dash, he could not relegate Searle in the closing moments of the Grand Prix to earn the same ranking, eventually finishing seventh. The Belgian veteran is fifth in the 2013 MX1 standings and 79 points behind De Dycker.
Hyvinkaa will see the FIM Motocross World Championship roll into town for the first time this century next weekend.
Clement Desalle: “Yesterday I really did not have a good feeling on the track so we made some different settings on the bike and it was much better in the first moto. It was a positive step and also good that I stayed on two wheels because Saturday was a different story! I focussed hard on my riding today and could finish third. The two guys in front were a little bit faster. My start was better in the second moto and I pushed to get into third but Tony and Ken had a little gap and it was difficult to come back. I saw my speed was good and I was aware that a few guys were catching me in the last 10 minutes but I stayed concentrating on the lines and keeping consistent. Finishing third on the podium is pretty good but I’m still a bit disappointed that it cannot be better and I am not winning at the moment.”
Kevin Strijbos: “In one way today was good. The first and the second motos were actually the same and the starts were OK…but I was losing too much time in the beginnings of both. I feel like the results could be better. I was fourth at the beginning of the first moto and then Van Horebeek passed me. I made some mistakes and got some arm-pump. I had a few hard laps but then started to pick it up again. Sixth was OK, considering. I ran a bit wide out of the first corner in the next moto and then struggled to get that fast pace going in the first few laps. I was then by myself and it was pretty boring! I was running the same lap-times and couldn’t catch anyone. It was like I was just waiting for the race to finish! I tried to close to Searle in the last two laps but made mistakes and it wasn’t possible. My riding and cornering was better than the first moto but the biggest problem is the first 10 minutes. Next week will be a sand track I guess, and I’m good in that.”
— Honda Report
The FIM Motocross World Championship took up residence at the impressive Kegums circuit for the Grand Prix of Latvia and the eleventh round of seventeen in the series and saw Antonio Cairoli celebrate his seventh victory of the season in the premier MX1 class. Twenty-two thousand spectators (weekend figure) inhabited the banks around the flat and flowing layout fifty kilometres away from Riga and were able to look-on as Honda World Motocross team’s Evgeny Bobryshev took a step back to his potential on the CRF450R by scoring eighth position in the first moto.
In the first phase of being primed for the 2014 Motocross of Nations – the world’s biggest, oldest and most decorated motocross spectacle – in fourteen months time Kegums entertained its fifth grand prix event since coming to international prominence in 2009. The Latvian leaps combined areas of hard-pack ground littered with sharp bumps but also numerous corners of loose, almost sandy terrain.
Evgeny Bobryshev is still fighting a fitness battle with his right leg and being unable to follow his usual training programme is restricting the powerful Russian from being able to draw near to the leaders of the tough MX1 division. At Kegums the former British Champion made a top ten start and then completed an overdue steady and largely error-free performance to post his best race finish – eighth – since round three in Holland.
Sadly the twenty-five year old could not double-up in the second moto after a stone smashed through the radiator while he was recovering from a bad first lap position and he was forced to DNF the race.
Team-mate Max Nagl had a hard day and never gelled with the track on his way to recording ninth place overall with a scorecard of ninth and fourteenth. The German struggled physically with his energy levels and a stomach complaint. He followed Bobryshev in the first moto and was indecisive about overtaking his team-mate despite seeming to have a faster pace. In the second race his condition worsened and he only just made the finish after thirty-five minutes and two laps.
David Philippaerts steered his Gariboldi Honda CRF450R to eleventh overall. The Italian recorded twelfth and thirteenth places despite never being fond of the Kegums layout. The former world champion also endured a spell during the motos when he suspected his conditioning would not allow him to push any further but responded to register a consistent if unspectacular set of results.
The fitness and improvement of Alex Tonkov in the MX2 category on the CRF250R has been easy to chart since his explosive demonstration of form at the Italian Grand Prix last month. At Kegums, with pockets of Russian fans cheering the soon-to-be twenty year old onwards, the Esta Honda rider was again quick but a crash when he could not avoid the fallen Mel Pocock led to a damaged elbow. Another fall in the same moto ruled him out for the rest of the day.
With six rounds remaining the MX1 standings still show Nagl in seventh place. ‘12’ needs forty-six points for further progress up the list while Bobryshev was able to bag some numbers after his double DNF last week in Sweden. ‘777’ is fourteenth and has a gap of five to Shaun Simpson just ahead. David Philippaerts holds eleventh while Tonkov retains thirteenth in the MX2 ranking.
Hyvinkaa will stage the Grand Prix of Finland next weekend and will be the first time the country welcomes the FIM Motocross World Championship since 2000.
Evgeny Bobryshev: Race Result: 8th/DNF Championship position: 14th
“I was happy to finish the first race; no crashes, no mistakes. I was excited for the next moto and felt good physically. Everybody was pushing each other at the start and I got smashed into which meant I was far behind and outside of the top ten. I managed to find my way to eighth and was catching Strijbos. I had really pushed hard at the beginning so I needed to back-off for a few laps but getting towards the end I was planning to attack Strijbos when we had that technical problem. I have to thank the whole team because we are going through this bad luck together. I am putting my head together and my confidence is coming back. I haven’t been able to train during the week because of my leg and this makes you feel unprepared and you end up struggling. I just want to be consistent now and slowly build it all up again.”
Max Nagl Race Result: 9th/14th Championship position: 7th
“It’s been a bad weekend for me. In the first heat I had a poor gate jump but I managed to come out okay in the first corner with a nice turn on the inside. I was behind Bobby, and maybe in the beginning I was a bit faster but I was a little too careful in trying to pass him as it’s difficult to make it stick without touching or block passing. I didn’t want to hit him or crash as that would be really bad for the team, so I stayed behind and I really lost my rhythm. I was riding badly, which meant I got really, really tired. I didn’t recover physically for the second heat and although the gate jump was better I got pushed really far out in the first turn. I was right at the back but my riding was good and I passed a lot of guys. Halfway through the moto I hit a wall; I was completely empty and I just had to survive the race. I was so finished that I was even passed on the last lap. I almost threw up in my helmet because I was feeling so sick. I don’t think it’s the food but it started on Friday evening when I had some stomach pain. I take a lot of supplements, so maybe we need to reduce that a bit but I’m just really disappointed about today.”
David Philippaerts: Race Result: 12th/13th Championship position: 11th
“Not an easy race and difficult for me. I didn’t start very well and had to come back from positions outside of the top ten. In the first moto I just took the lines and pace that was the best for me. In the second I had a dip physically in the middle of the race but I focussed and felt better later on. I passed Nagl on the last lap and also set my fastest time; that was good and I’m happy with my condition. We need to work a bit on the bike but I believe it will be possible to push the whole of the next GP. We will see what can happen in Finland. The track is new for everybody and should be more sandy.”
— Qualifying – FIM MX1/MX2 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, ROUND 11, SUNDAY JULY 7, ZELTA ZIRGS, KEGUMS, LATVIA
— De Dycker and Herlings qualify first in Kegums
The Latvian track of Zelta Zirgs hosted today the MX1 and MX2 qualifying races, as well as the Semi Finals of the EMX125 and EMX250 European championships. Ken De Dycker obtained his second pole position of the season in front of Antonio Cairoli and Gautier Paulin, while Jeffrey Herlings dominated his race almost since the beginning. Jordi Tixier and Glenn Coldenhoff were second and third respectively.
In the EMX125 Wilvo Nestaan JM Racing KTM’s Pauls Jonass dominated once again taking the holeshot and leading the qualifying heat from start to finish. Calvin Vlaanderen was second and Frederik Van Der Vlist completed the top three.
In the EMX250 group one, the current red plate holder Guillod Motorsports’ Valentin Guillod took an easy victory due to an error from his closest challenger Standing Construct KTM’s Damon Graulus. Finishing second was local hero Karlis Sabulis ahead of Brian Bogers in third.
In the EMX250 group two there was a big battle for the lead between Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe’s Jeremy Seewer, HSF Logistics JTX KTM Teams Ceriel Klein Kromhof and KTM Scott Racing’s Brent Van Doninck, in the end it was Seewer who took the chequers forcing Klein Kromhof and Van Doninck to settle for the second and third positions.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Ken De Dycker obtained his second pole position of the season after crossing the finish line first ahead of his teammate Antonio Cairoli who was really close to overtake the Belgian in the last lap. De Dycker was down in the eighth position when he reached the first corner, but he managed to get a good rhythm and moved up to the lead when there was just one minute and two laps to go.
After the first corners of the qualifying race, red plate holder Antonio Cairoli was around the seventh position, but he gradually improved his rhythm and with four laps to go the Italian caught Gautier Paulin and Ken De Dycker who were fighting for the lead. As soon as his teammate overtook the French rider, Cairoli gave charge to Paulin and he overtook him with two laps to the end. The Italian also tried to pass De Dycker, but in the end the Belgian crossed the finish line first.
The third position was for Kawasaki Racing Team’s Gautier Paulin, who succeeded to take the holeshot and dominate the first stages of the qualifying race. The French rider saw De Dycker coming really fast from behind – as well as Cairoli a couple of laps after – and Paulin preferred not to take any risk and dropped down two positions. Paulin is confident for tomorrow and he hopes to be back on the podium after having missed it in Sweden last weekend.
His teammate Jeremy Van Horebeek was fifth after the first corner of the qualifying race and he managed to move up to third already in the first lap. However, the Belgian made a mistake when he was trying to overtake Evgeny Bobryshev and he dropped down three positions. Van Horebeek was able to recover really quickly from the crash and thanks to his good speed he managed to finish fourth ahead of Clement Desalle.
Rockstar Energy Suzuki World’s Clement Desalle obtained the fastest lap time in the pre-qualifying practice, but he struggled a little bit in the qualifying race. The Belgian was fourth after the start but he could not find a good rhythm to keep his position or to make any pass. Desalle finished fifth and he hopes to have a better feeling with the track tomorrow during the main races.
His teammate Kevin Strijbos was twelfth after the first corner, but once again he had really good speed and he finished sixth. Last year Strijbos was on the podium in Kegums, so he is looking forward to doing well tomorrow at the main races.
Evgeny Bobryshev, who is struggling with a lot of pain on his right leg, managed to start with the front group and he rode second during the first half of the race. The Russian could not keep the rhythm and in the end he crossed the finish line seventh ahead of Rui Gonçalves, who is back this weekend after undergoing a small operation on his right knee before Sweden.
Max Nagl was down to the last position when he reached the first corner because he was forced to shut off the gas when he wheelied over the gate. However, the German imposed an incredible rhythm and he battled all the way up to the ninth place.
Tommy Searle obtained the second best lap time in the pre-qualifying practice and he started with the front group in the qualifying race, but the British rider ran over Steven Frossard and they both crashed at the early stages of the race. Searle was able to go back to his Kawasaki and finished tenth, but Frossard was forced to retire after he dislocated one of his fingers.
Home rider Matiss Karro admitted that he is very excited to be back racing in his country and he hopes to hand his home crowd a good result tomorrow. Today the Latvian rider finished seventeenth and his compatriots Augusts Justs and Davis Ivanovs were nineteenth and twentieth respectively.
MX1 Qualifying Race top ten: 1. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), 24:09.982; 2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:00.343; 3. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:05.647; 4. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:12.680; 5. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), +0:16.714; 6. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), +0:17.942; 7. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:23.045; 8. Rui Goncalves (POR, KTM), +0:25.219; 9. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Honda), +0:27.077; 10. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:30.023.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings could not take the holeshot today, but after two laps he was able to overtake José Butrón and he quickly opened a big gap with the rest of the riders. Herlings crossed the finish line sixteen seconds ahead of the second qualified, Jordi Tixier, and he is determined to win both races tomorrow and add one more overall victory under his belt.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jordi Tixier was second after the start, but Herlings overtook him in the first corners of the race. However, once the Dutch rider passed Butrón, Tixier managed to overtake the Spanish rider and he opened a comfortable gap in the second place. Tixier rode a consistent race until the chequered flag and he is looking forward to obtaining two good starts tomorrow in order to finish on the podium once again.
Standing Construct KTM’s Glenn Coldenhoff was back riding with the front riders today and he obtained a solid third position in the qualifying race. The Dutch rider was fourth behind Herlings after the start and after four laps Coldenhoff was able to overtake Butrón and he kept the third position until the end of the race.
Monster Energy Yamaha’s Christophe Charlier was fourth in the pre-qualifying practice, as well as in the qualifying heat. The French rider was down in the ninth position after the first corner, but he quickly moved up to fifth. Charlier admitted that he did not want to spend too much energies today, as tomorrow’s races are really important for him to try to move up to the third position of the championship. However, the French rider was able to overtake Alexandr Tonkov by the end of the race, so in the end Charlier obtained an eventual fourth position.
J-Tech ESTA Motorsports’ Alexandr Tonkov had a really good start and he fought for the fifth and sixth position with Charlier and Ferris during almost the whole race. The Russian was riding seventh behind Dean Ferris when the Australian was forced to pull out from the race due to a mechanical problem, so Tonkov moved up to sixth. With two laps to go the Honda rider succeeded to overtake Butrón and he crossed the finish line fifth.
José Butrón clinched another good start today and after taking the holeshot he led the first two laps. However, the Spanish rider could not keep the rhythm of the front group and with two laps to go he made a mistake and crossed the finish line sixth ahead of Alessandro Lupino. Jake Nicholls was eighth and Stefan Olsen and Petar Petrov completed the top ten.
The best Latvian rider in the qualifying race was Roberts Justs in sixteenth place.
MX2 Qualifying Race top ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 24:06.357; 2. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), +0:16.333; 3. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:22.495; 4. Christophe Charlier (FRA, Yamaha), +0:27.513; 5. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, Honda), +0:29.728; 6. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), +0:33.058; 7. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Kawasaki), +0:35.646; 8. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), +0:48.468; 9. Stefan Kjer Olsen (DEN, Honda), +0:49.781; 10. Petar Petrov (BUL, Yamaha), +0:51.618.
MXGP LATVIA – QUICK FACTS
Circuit length: 1540m
Type of ground: hard sand
— Rockstar Energy Suzuki Report
Warm sunshine and a rough and difficult Kegums circuit were the key ingredients to open the Grand Prix of Latvia and the 11th round of 17 in the FIM Motocross World Championship as Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1 duo Clement Desalle and Kevin Strijbos fought their own battles in qualification and finished the heat race with fifth and sixth positions respectively for the Grand Prix motos tomorrow.
The Latvian terrain was softer and sandier compared to previous years but the terrain was hard-pack underneath and therefore presented technical difficulties for the riders. Tyre choice – sand scoop or normal profile – and suspension settings were sources for contemplation.
Desalle, one of only two MX1 riders to win here, made a decent start in the 20 minute and two-lap sprint by diving into third position but struggled through one of the wave sections and was not able make an impact on the race, finally crossing the line in fifth. Strijbos wheelied too much off the start line and had to momentarily ease-off the gas, which affected his position for the first corner rush. A push back from outside the top 10 to sixth place was a positive return for his efforts.
More good weather and mid-20 temperatures are predicted for race day tomorrow.
Clement Desalle: “It was a struggle today. My start was not so bad. I made some mistakes in the beginning, after the first two laps, and then a big one that gave me quite a scare. I wasn’t riding so well and came home in fifth place. I think they have brought some sand onto the surface but it is still hard on the bottom and kicks you around. I did my best and will definitely try for better tomorrow.”
Kevin Strijbos: “We changed the bike a bit for the start and it was a bit more aggressive than I thought it would be off the line. I did a little wheelie and had to shut off which put me somewhere – I don’t know where. Tommy and Frossard crashed in front of me and that gave me another two positions. I was going good with my rhythm and I could push a little bit but not too much because near the end I could feel some arm-pump coming and had to slow down for a while, especially through the whoops here. Overall I think I can be happy. This is not my favourite track and I have never gone well here even though I had a good race last year in the rain. Anyway I will try to build on sixth position tomorrow. Everything is working well so I’m optimistic.”