The FIM World Motocross Championship’s 12th Round is in the books and it was a challenging one. For the second week in a row racers had to deal with high temperatures but this time it was on a tricky and slick surface.
Lap after lap of bar to bar racing led to Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli and Suzuki World MX2’s Jeremy Seewer claiming victories via second race tiebreakers.
Unfortunately, Hunter Lawrence was missing from the MX2 class as a result of injuries sustained a few weeks ago. For Lawrence, he is giving time for his back to heal up after having a couple of compressed vertebrae, along with a small fracture.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli is proved he is one of the fittest riders out on the track for the second time in two weeks. Cairoli took the Fox Holeshot in race 1 but was eventually passed for the lead by his Red Bull KTM Teammate Jeffrey Herlings.
Herlings was keen to make a statement after coming up short in Ottobiano and did so in the opening race. However race 2 was all Cairoli, the 8 time champion took the lead early and gapped Herlings, giving himself the opportunity to focus on the task at hand.
Cairoli won race 2 taking the overall, grabbing the 5th GP win in Portugal of his career but the first on a KTM.
“This is my first win here in Portugal with KTM so it is already important. It was a very difficult track and very bumpy and hot weather again. First moto I had a good start but Jeffrey was riding better in some parts of the track; I was struggling a bit and couldn’t follow him immediately but eventually found a better rhythm. I made a good gap in the second moto and could stay at the front to win the GP. I’ll keep training but also rest a bit now because we have passed the middle of the season. I will try and do my best in Loket but we are starting to control the championship and have a good lead so we have to ride smart.”
Herlings made a charge though, even putting in the fastest the lap of the race on his way to his third 2nd place finish in the last 3 races.
“It is a bit frustrating being second again and we were closer than we were last weekend but it is something to build and work on. We did some good things for the championship because only a few rounds ago I was almost 50 points back and now it is 5-or-something to second place: that’s quite impressive. So I’m happy for that and I didn’t lose points to Cairoli today. [Getting to] second in the championship will not be so bad and everyone has worked so hard in the team. To go 1-2 would be amazing for KTM. My starts were good again today by the way and we are getting better and better.”
Suzuki World MXGP’s Arminas Jasikonis put in the best weekend of his career so far, first winning Saturday’s Qualifying then following it up with his first ever overall podium. The young Lithuanian is also the first rider for his country to podium in the history of the Motocross World Championship.
“The second moto was really tough. I was again around fifth at the beginning after making a little mistake on an uphill. I ran most of the moto in fifth place, with Tim Gajser and Nagl in front of me and I knew that if Nagl stayed there I wouldn’t get the podium so I really put a big effort into this race. I had to finish in front of him and gave everything I had to make that happen. I made a really nice pass on Gajser and then a couple of laps later I got the pass on Nagl as well, doing what I needed to do for my first ever podium performance. I’d like to give a big thanks to the team, they have done such a great job to help me get here. Thanks to Paul my mechanic, thanks to Stefan and Harry Everts and everyone in the team who works so hard. I just hope this podium pays them back for all their effort. And thanks to my family and my girlfriend who always support me and believe in me, and all the fans who cheer me on. It means so much to get that support and I hope now that this is the start of even better things to come for me in the Suzuki World MXGP team.”
2015 MXGP World Champion, Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Romain Febvre, is turning his season into the right direction with a 4th overall in Portugal. Febvre has struggled this year but had a good start in race one scored him 5th.
It was a different story in race 2 as he was 11th on lap one he put his head down and by the final laps found himself just behind Team HRC’s Tim Gajser in 5th.
“The racing was good, but in both moto’s I didn’t have a good start. In the first race, my start was not so bad but I got arm pump in my right arm, so I had to slow down a little bit and catch my breath in order to relax the arm. It was okay, but I didn’t ride like I know I can. In the second race, I missed my start completely, I was outside of the top fifteen. I rode good, but I used all of my energy to get back to fourth, so overall, I just need a better start.”
Febvre not only passed Gajser but he made a pass on Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Max Nagl one lap later. The pass on Nagl tied the two in points after Nagl’s 5th in race 1, but the better race 2 took the better overall result of 4th for Febvre.
“Overall, it’s been a very positive weekend and I’m happy about that. Getting good starts in qualifying and both final motos I could get a good race pace and do my own races. Earning second in qualifying got me a good gate pick for Sunday’s final motos. My riding was very good in race one. I started off well and managed to stay close to the leading group for fourth at the line. I got another good start in moto two and pushed hard for the overall podium. I really wanted to get on the podium this weekend but with 10 minutes to go in moto two I felt physically tired. It’s disappointing I couldn’t get on the podium but I’m happy the speed was there. We now have three weeks off and I want to take advantage of that to focus on getting even stronger physically for the second half of the season.”
Meanwhile Gajser continued to improve his result after returning from injury, aside from 8th and 6th for 6th overall the Slovenian also took the race 2 Fox Holeshot.
Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Clement Desalle had a hard fought battle in race one against Romain Febvre where in the end Febvre prevailed. Race 2 started with a crash for Desalle but he managed to come from near last to finish 10th for 8th overall.
“I already had some troubles during the qualifying race on Saturday; at the start of the race I was coming pretty carefully into the first corner, but a few metres after the corner my rear wheel slid out and I crashed. It seems strange as I wasn’t pushing so hard, maybe someone hit my rear wheel, I don’t know but it meant that I qualified only fourteenth. In the first race I managed to get a decent start from this gate to hold fifth place initially and finally I finished sixth; the last part of the race was tough as it was again very hot this weekend, but between the races I recovered pretty well. But at the second start another rider crashed directly in front of me and took me down; I recovered to tenth after starting last. For sure I’m not happy with the overall result as on a track like this one I could have score many more points. To be positive I can say that with the team we know what we will work on during the summer break to continue to improve our set-up; I also know what to do during the next three weeks but at first I need a few days to recover from this weekend as I hurt a finger and some ribs in the crash on Saturday.”
MXGP Race 1 Top Ten
Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 35:13.457
Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:01.280
Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, Suzuki), +0:29.696
Maximilian Nagl (GER, Husqvarna), +0:35.385
Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:43.826
Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:46.739
Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:48.261
Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:49.745
Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), +0:50.982
Max Anstie (GBR, Husqvarna), +1:01.698
MXGP Race 2 Top Ten
Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 35:28.572
Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +0:01.768
Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, Suzuki), +0:38.744
Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:44.893
Maximilian Nagl (GER, Husqvarna), +0:46.220
Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:48.694
Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), +0:54.499
Max Anstie (GBR, Husqvarna), +0:56.119
Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +1:00.122
Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +1:01.602
MXGP Overall Top Ten
Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM) – 47 points
Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM) – 47
Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, SUZ) – 40
Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM) – 34
Maximilian Nagl (GER, HUS) – 34
Tim Gajser (SLO, HON) – 28
Arnaud Tonus (SUI, YAM) – 26
Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW) – 26
Max Anstie (GBR, HUS) – 24
Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON) – 22
MXGP Championship Top Ten
Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 478 points
Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 387
Gautier Paulin (FRA, HUS), 383
Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 382
Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 310
Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 309
Maximilian Nagl (GER, HUS), 289
Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 267
Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 267
Arnaud Tonus (SUI, YAM), 253
MX2 was the first overall decided by the second race tiebreaker and Suzuki World MX2’s Jeremy Seewer edged out Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pauls Jonass.
In a season that has become a battle of not only race wins but strategy and mental fortitude Jonass leads the way but Seewer is looking to shift the momentum and has done so the last two races.
Seewer had a less than perfect start in race 1 but he did a remarkable job coming from 6th to finish second. The deciding moment of the overall surprisingly came on the final lap of race 1 when Seewer made the pass for second. The second place allowed him to take the overall from Jonass in race 2.
“It was an amazing weekend, I won two GPs in a row and this was definitely one of the best GP wins so far. It certainly wasn’t easy and took a lot of hard work, especially when I was battling with Jonass, my title rival. I’m just really happy with how my second moto went; I had a better start and I could follow the two in front and I could find some good lines and make the difference that I was looking for yesterday. The start in the first moto wasn’t that great, not quite enough for me to be able to follow the top two as a gap started to appear. Luckily, I could make the pass on Thomas Covington on the last lap, which gave me the second place that allowed me to win the overall. I’m really happy with how the RM-Z250 performed today. We had to make some changes from yesterday because the track is quite special here and we had to adjust the bike to the track. Now I get to look forward to the next GPs; I like Loket, I like Lommel as it’s where I mostly live now and of course it’s going to be awesome for the third GP when we head to my home country of Switzerland. I’m really excited to keep this momentum going as I fight for the MX2 championship.”
Jonass was impressive in both races starting with his pass for the race 1 lead on Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thomas Covington. Jonass took the lead on 10 of 17 and held it until the finish. Covington on the other hand was the rider who was passed by Seewer on the final lap.
“It’s been another positive GP and I’m pleased with my results in Portugal. Once again I showed the speed is there to battle for victory and that’s really important for the rest of the championship. To be honest I felt quite comfortable in this track. I started off the weekend with a win in the qualifying moto and that was a good psychological booster for the final motos. Despite the heat I had two good motos. In moto one I got the lead early and managed to stay up front for a few laps before settling for third. Then in moto two I got the holeshot and was able to lead for the first part of the race. Being in the lead felt quite good to be honest. By the end of the second moto I felt a bit tired. I guess all the travelling and the heat in Portugal took a toll on me so I had to settle for third again. I’m looking forward to coming back even stronger in Loket.”
Race 2 it was again the same three up front early with a Fox Holeshot for Covington and an improved 3rd place start for Seewer. Jonass wasted no time getting by Covington and by the second half of the opening lap was in the lead. Seewer first set his sights on Covington who he passed on lap 5.
“We didn’t gain anything and we didn’t lose anything. I was happy with the first moto and my riding this weekend. I got a pretty good start and had a nice battle with Thomas and was satisfied with the win. I started well again in the second race and was leading for a long time but Jeremy came past and I was a bit disappointed about that, anyway, the points gap is still the same in the championship. We have a three-week break now and I’m looking forward to that. We have a lot of progress to make. We’ll get some hard work done with the team.”
It wasn’t until 7 laps later that Seewer found the back wheel of Jonass and when he did Seewer made a smart pass to make sure Jonass couldn’t retaliate. Seewer take race 2 and the overall followed by Jonass and Covington.
“It’s good to be on the podium again, I’ve been inconsistent in the past with one good race then one bad so it’s good to see that coming along. I never found the rhythm but it’s good to be on the podium and put the American flag up there on the 4th of July weekend.”
Behind the top three overall finishers was Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thomas Kjer Olsen and Kemea Yamaha’s Official MX Team’s Benoit Paturel.
Olsen had a solid race 1 where he battled in the top 5 and came out fourth but 34 seconds off the leaders. Olsen’s race 2 kicked off with a 8th place start but ended with fifth after progressing the #19 forward.
“The speed was there this weekend but a few mistakes didn’t allow me to fight for the top three. Overall, I’m satisfied with how things went in Portugal. I had a good qualifying race for fourth. Then I got a good start in the first moto and was able to claim fourth. My start in moto two was not that good. As I was trying to make my way through the pack I got together with another rider and that made me lose a bunch of time. Luckily I still had time to push so I gradually made my way back to fifth. It’s good that we salvaged some good points for the championship. The series is still long and anything can happen. We’re still third in the championship and I will keep working hard to finish the season on a high.”
Paturel made the weekend hard on himself after crashing in qualifying gave him horrible gate picks for today. The Frenchman is known for bad starts and lining up from the far outside didn’t help as he was 13th on lap 1 of race 1 and 14 on the first lap of race 2.
Luckily for Benoit he is well versed in battling through the field as he did so again today finishing 6th and 4th for 5th overall.
LRT KTM’s Julien Lieber took 5th in race one after fighting for position with Olsen and others but would not finish race 2 result in 14th overall and only 16 championship points.
MX2 Race 1 Top Ten
Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 34:12.844
Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Suzuki), +0:01.767
Thomas Covington (USA, Husqvarna), +0:02.700
Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:34.420
Julien Lieber (BEL, KTM), +0:38.345
Benoit Paturel (FRA, Yamaha), +0:40.144
Brian Bogers (NED, KTM), +0:44.133
Ben Watson (GBR, KTM), +0:51.100
Brent Van doninck (BEL, Yamaha), +0:53.761
Anthony Rodriguez (VEN, Honda), +0:58.934
MX2 Race 2 Top Ten
Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Suzuki), 34:25.343
Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), +0:03.900
Thomas Covington (USA, Husqvarna), +0:23.396
Benoit Paturel (FRA, Yamaha), +0:27.102
Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:39.413
Brian Bogers (NED, KTM), +0:48.293
Brent Van doninck (BEL, Yamaha), +0:52.955
Anthony Rodriguez (VEN, Honda), +0:57.398
Michele Cervellin (ITA, Honda), +1:04.117
David Herbreteau (FRA, Kawasaki), +1:05.952
MX2 Overall Top Ten
Jeremy Seewer (SUI, SUZ), 47 points
Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 47
Thomas Covington (USA, HUS), 40
Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 34
Benoit Paturel (FRA, YAM), 33
Brian Bogers (NED, KTM), 29
Brent Van doninck (BEL, YAM), 26
Anthony Rodriguez (VEN, HON), 24
David Herbreteau (FRA, KAW), 20
Iker Larranaga Olano (ESP, HUS), 20
MX2 Championship Top Ten
Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 501 points
Jeremy Seewer (SUI, SUZ), 463
Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 377
Benoit Paturel (FRA, YAM), 363
Julien Lieber (BEL, KTM), 355
Thomas Covington (USA, HUS), 303
Brian Bogers (NED, KTM), 241
Jorge Prado Garcia (ESP, KTM), 233
Brent Van doninck (BEL, YAM), 221
Hunter Lawrence (AUS, SUZ), 199
Michele Cervellin (ITA, HON), 187
European Motocross Championship (EMX)
The MXGP of Portugal has crowned many round winners and the first riders to stand atop of the podium in Agueda were those of the European Championship classes of EMX250 and EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing.
In EMX250 the overall was taken by the American BUD Racing Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Tristan Charboneau and in EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing it was Gianluca Facchetti.
BUD Racing Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Tristan Charboneau started the weekend by qualifying with the fastest time to earn the first gate pick. The gate choice proved valuable as he would strong in both races. Charboneau led every lap of the weekend to put in the perfect result and in dominant fashion.
“What a weekend! One, one, one, nothing could be better this weekend! Honestly it was a difficult track, you just needed to take it easy, find the traction, use the bumps stuff like that. It’s a great weekend for Americans as my teammate Marshal is also on the podium, awesome; I can’t feature a better weekend! Both holeshots helped me for sure, then I didn’t make any mistakes; in Russia I won one moto but it was a muddy race, this time the conditions were more normal and it’s great to finally win a round of the series.”
The Italian rider, Yamaha SM Action’s Simone Furlotti, also had identical race results as he finished 2nd in each. In Saturday’s race 1, Furlotti started 4th but had a strong mid race passing 2 riders in 2 laps. Race 2 he again first crossed the finish 4th but his charge came early in the race making his 2 passes on lap 2 and 3.
With his consistent result and 2nd overall, Furlotti takes the points lead from Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Morgan Lesiardo. Lesiardo in fact had a weekend he would prefer to forget with a 13th and 12th taking 10th overall.
Charboneau’s American teammate, BUD Racing Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Marshal Weltin was comfortable on the Agueda circuit putting in two 3rd place finishes for 3rd overall.
In race 1 he would chase his teammate for two laps while in second until being passed on lap 3 and again on lap 7 before fighting his way back into 3rd. Although in race 2 he didn’t see the same luck, off of the start, he battled his way forward passing several to get into third.
Honda Redmoto’s Mathys Boisrame struggled in the heat last weekend but made a strong recovery this time around to take fourth overall with 4-4 scores. The Frenchman, still dealing with exhaustion of last week, eventually fell off the pace after strong racing took him up to 3rd during race 1 and 2nd in race 2 before falling back to 4th.
F&H Racing Team’s Ruben Fernandez was in a heated battle with Boisrame the majority of race 2, swapping between positions 3 and 4, he eventually finished 1 spot behind Boisrame with a fifth. Combining his 5th with 9th in race 1 he scored 28 points and took 5th overall.
Aussie Caleb Grothues took 24th in Race 1 and 22nd in Race 2.
Gianluca Facchetti stood atop the podium for the first time in his European Racing career today. Facchetti took the overall after charging hard in race 1 to finish 3rd even after crashing twice, once while attempting to pass for the lead.
During race 2 he moved into the lead after only a few laps but then he made a mistake missing a corner and dropping back to second. By the end Facchetti found his way back into the lead scoring one point over second.
BUD Racing Monster Energy’s Brian Strubhart Moreau battled with Facchetti throughout race 2 after grabbing the holeshot. After being passed by Facchetti, Moreau rode consistent and even made it back by the Italian before eventually finishing 2nd in race 2 and the overall. Moreau maintains the red plate before heading to Lommel in 1 month.
Last weeks winner IceOne Racing Husqvarna’s Mikkel Haarup started the weekend the same as he finished the last when he won race 1. In race 2 however Haarup instead finished fourth after having to battle his way back from 6th due to a mistake whilst running 3rd. His 1-4 took the 3rd spot on the podium.
One rider who struggled in the previous round in Lombardia is Creymert Racing’s Kevin Horgmo. Horgmo went 5th and 36th in Italy but came back on a mission this weekend. He battled at the front of race 1 leading 5 laps before eventually dropping to 4th. In race 2 he started 3rd then dropped a position before taking it back with 4-3 scores he took 4th overall.
The last spot among the top 5 was taken by the Italian Emilio Scuteri. Scuteri took a 7th and a 6th scoring 29 championship points for 5th which ties his best race finish and gives him his best overall result of the season.
The Honda 150 European Championship riders gained more experience, as a challenging surface put the skills that they have acquired thus far to the test. The Portuguese circuit gave a lot of emphasis on throttle control.
Anton Nordstrom Graaf was unfazed by the testing conditions. A faultless outing allowed him to take advantage of an issue that Andrea Adamo encountered and claim his first victory of the season. That result, when paired with his runner-up finish from the first encounter, gave him the overall victory also.
The fact that Nordstrom Graaf adapted to the conditions as the race progressed was a large part of his success. The Swedish star recorded his fastest lap right at the end, along with the quickest time of the race in sector four, and now trails Adamo by eight points in the series standings. A puncture restricted Adamo in the second half of the race, hence why he had to settle for third and second overall on the day.
Adamo still led more laps than anyone else in the twenty-minute race, as he slid into first position entering turn two and immediately established an advantage of three seconds. Nordstrom Graff and Luis Outeiro still prevailed in the second half, despite that. Outeiro improved on his ranking from race one, much to the delight of those who travelled to Agueda, but now faces a deficit of nine points in the standings.
Kjeld Stuurman concluded a consistent weekend with another fourth place and occupied the same position in the overall classification. Toa Kishi took a step forward also to record a season-best finish of fifth. Lynn Valk, Nikolay Malinov, Magnus Vassgaard, Milan van de Bunte and Rasmus Moen completed the top ten.
Aussie Marcus Youngberry took 15th and 17th.
The CRF150R riders will undoubtedly face their toughest challenge yet at the beginning of August, as the third round of the Honda 150 European Championship will take place in the bottomless sand of Lommel. An additional training camp will take place prior to that to ensure that the riders have the tools to tackle the event.
Andrea Adamo – Honda EMX150 Championship Leader
“I had a good weekend. I had a good feeling with the track and my bike. I won the first race, but then during the second race I had a puncture. I am very happy, because I am the leader of the championship. Thank you to my sponsors and family.”
Gordon Crockard – Honda Europe Off-Road Manager
“We had a new winner, Anton Nordstrom Graaf! It was great to see. I think he deserved the win. Andrea Adamo was leading and it looked like the result was going to be the same as yesterday; he was strong, fast and looked good. Unfortunately, he received a rear-wheel puncture and lost two positions. Luis Outeiro was second place and I am very happy for him. I am sure that he felt a lot of pressure, he had a big fan club here. It was the first time that he has dealt with that situation. I was pleased with everyone, as they all did very well. We had a different winner, but it was not Andrea’s fault really. That was sad to see, but it was fantastic that Anton was awarded the win for being the first guy over the line. That is what it is all about.”
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