The 2018 Motocross World Championship saw Round 16 take place in Switzerland, with KTM’s Jeffrey Herlings and Jorge Prado continuing their domination, further extending their championship leads.
The Schweizer Zucker circuit in Frauenfeld-Gachnang hosted offers a technical and rutted surface tested the best riders while tens of thousands of fans showed up to see the event and were some of the loudest and most enthusiastic fans seen so far this season.
The FIM Motocross World Championship was joined by the European Championship with the EMX125 and EMX250 where Tom Guyon and Mathys Boisrame took the respective overall wins.
MXGP Race 1
MXGP Race 1 kicked off with a Fox Holeshot from Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli but he lost out coming into to turn two where Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Clement Desalle took over the lead.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings then managed to take the lead from Desalle before completing the first lap while Cairoli ran 4th behind Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP’s Romain Febvre.
Glenn Coldenhoff, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Teammate of both Cairoli and Herlings was 5th with the local superstar Jeremy Seewer on his Wilvo Yamaha Official MXGP bike in 6th.
Rockstar Energy Factory Racing’s Gautier Paulin was the next rider in the running order but his teammate Max Anstie was in 30th position after banging bars with Herlings down the start straight and going off the track.
Anstie was already up to 15th by the time the first official lap was recorded. Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Julien Lieber and Team HRC’s Tim Gajser collided on the first lap and were also left to fight through the field.
Gajser was able to gain positions throughout the race from 31st on lap one to 12th at the finish but Lieber would have to pull into Pit Lane to repair the damage suffered to his Kawasaki. Lieber rejoined in 36th but only rebounded to finish in 30th.
At the front Cairoli struggled to find a way past Febvre and started to push the issue eventually taking over 3rd on lap 5 but while trying to catch Herlings the Sicilian made a rare mistake and stalled the bike up the face of the wall jump sending him over the bars and out of 3rd.
With his bike and body clearly banged up Cairoli rejoined in 7th behind Paulin but took 6th from the Frenchman 2 laps later. Paulin who looked to have lost his focus and rhythm earlier mounted a charge to pass Cairoli back on 13 along with his resurgent teammate Anstie.
Anstie not only took 7th from Cairoli but continued into 6th past his teammate to cap off an amazing comeback through the field. Across the finish Herlings won by 4.8 seconds over a much improved Desalle whom Herlings nearly lapped in Lommel with Febvre 3rd, Coldenhoff 4th, Switzerland’s Jeremy Seewer in 5th.
MXGP Race 1 Top Ten
Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 34:48.985;
Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:04.858;
Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:22.604;
Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:32.224;
Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:35.436;
Max Anstie (GBR, Husqvarna), +0:54.059;
Gautier Paulin (FRA, Husqvarna), +0:59.626;
Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +1:03.860;
Shaun Simpson (GBR, Yamaha), +1:05.416;
Kevin Strijbos (BEL, KTM), +1:07.702.
15. Todd Waters
MXGP Race 2
Race 2 was off to a much less dramatic start when Julien Lieber took his first Fox Holeshot in his MXGP career with his teammate Desalle taking the lead on the exit of turn 2. Febvre had another good start in 3rd with Cairoli 4th and the iFly JK Racing Yamaha of Ivo Monticelli in 5th.
Herlings quickly took 5th from Monticelli while Febvre took second from Lieber who tried to fight back but instead missed his line and lost spots to both Cairoli and Herlings. Monticelli then went down, with help from Gajser, and took Paulin with him.
Herlings then took 3rd from Cairoli and Gajser pushed the reigning champ back another spot to 5th. Herlings was quick to take second from Febvre but then struggled to get past Desalle. Herlings’ attempts to take the lead were at first unsuccessful which encouraged Febvre.
Putting in a pair of fast laps Febvre was all over the rear wheel of Herlings but couldn’t find a passing spot. Herlings sensing the pressure responded by making a pass stick on Desalle stick and growing a second and a half gap in less than a lap.
Febvre also passed Desalle and did so with much less effort than Herlings but never the less the “Bullet” continued to check out up front. Desalle dropped another spot to Gajser who caught the Belgian off guard and sent the #25 over a berm.
Desalle managed to stay on 2 wheels and rejoined the track quickly but Gajser was already pulling away. Cairoli meanwhile was clearly fighting through pain to keep his championship hopes alive and lost 5th to Anstie.
At the finish Herlings won by 14 seconds over Febvre, Gajser, Desalle, Anstie, and Cairoli. The championship lead of Herlings now extends to 58 points over Cairoli whose condition at the moment remains unknown.
“It is pretty amazing to go 1-1 on what is a tough track for me. It was not easy, so I have to give-it-up to Red Bull KTM for the great bike and the great work those guys are doing. Only four races to go and we did good things for the championship this weekend. To win at this level and to go against guys like Tony, a nine times world champ, and all the others you have to be 100% physically and mentally and not be worrying about anything. It is hard but if you are winning then it’s worth it.”
“This weekend was really great! To start at the front is much easier, I knew I had the speed and I have had the speed all weekend long… I’m looking forward to next week.”
“It was a really good weekend; I got three good starts and rode consistent in both GP motos. In the first race I got a good start and after Jeffrey (Herlings) passed me I rode my own race to finish a close second. In the second moto I had a good speed and led the race for a couple of laps. I was thinking about a possible win but then I made a few mistakes and was passed by Jeffrey and Romain (Febvre). I’m not so happy with the second part of my race as Tim (Gajser) also passed me, but fourth was enough to secure my sixth podium of the year. Anyway the weekend was positive and my thanks to the team who are so close behind me and work so hard for us.”
“The weekend started good with the win in the qualifying race and I felt good with the track but my start was not that great in the first moto. When I saw Jeffrey had the lead I pushed hard and I knew I had to stay with him to have the chance to win. I passed some guys, reached Febvre and then Desalle and arrived a little bit too fast in one section and I stalled the bike. I went over the bars and felt something immediately with my knee. It felt weird and my handlebar was bent and my front brake was broken. It was difficult to keep the rhythm after that. I had some ice in the break and the knee was not 100% and I didn’t know what to expect in the second moto. The start was OK and I could run with the guys in front for twenty minutes but then became a bit tired because I was riding in a strange position. I dropped to sixth, which was still OK but the priority now is to check the knee and hopefully I can finish the season without any problems.”
Todd Waters regained his points scoring form and while he will also be a little disappointed not to have scored more, the hot weather and rutted line choices made it a battle for survival later in the day for the Australian.
“Yesterday’s qualifying race was not good, so the poor gate pick did not help. I woke up this morning and I was motivated to do everything I could to make a difference. We were battling around the top-15 in both races – despite not so great starts – and whilst in the first race I was able to maintain the position until the end, in the second one my form faded out towards the end. Nevertheless, we made some baby steps and my feeling with the bike has improved a little bit, so the goal is to continue in this direction and keep improving in the next two rounds.”
MX2 Race 1 started with a Fox Holeshot from Jorge Prado and an impressive 2nd place start from Anthony Rodriguez. Pauls Jonass managed to take 2nd quickly from Rodriguez but Thomas Covington had a much more difficult time getting past the Venezuelan.
Michele Cervellin had a great start to the race as well and ran 5th behind Covington on lap 1. Cervellin however dropped a spot to Honda 114 Motorsport’s Hunter Lawrence on lap 2.
New recruit to the F&H Racing Team, Marshal Weltin was in 7th before losing the spot to Calvin Vlaanderen but only a lap later the Honda of Vlaanderen had an electrical issue which left him with a DNF.
Stephen Rubini took the over the 6th spot from Vlaanderen for the next 3 laps before Ben Watson took the position after starting in 11th. Back at the front Jonass was the new leader with a pass on Prado.
Rodriguez held 3rd for the first 14 laps but lost the position with 3 laps remaining to Covington. Prado tried to catch Jonass and make a move for the race win but instead made a mistake and had to settle with second. Jonass to the race win by 5.1 seconds with Prado 2nd, Covington 3rd, Rodriguez 4th, and Lawrence 5th.
MX2 Race 1 Top Ten
Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 35:26.036;
Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), +0:05.197;
Thomas Covington (USA, Husqvarna), +0:12.769;
Anthony Rodriguez (VEN, Yamaha), +0:16.499;
Hunter Lawrence (AUS, Honda), +0:19.838;
Ben Watson (GBR, Yamaha), +0:40.346;
Stephen Rubini (FRA, KTM), +0:56.347;
Marshal Weltin (USA, Kawasaki), +0:59.004;
Michele Cervellin (ITA, Yamaha), +1:03.162;
Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +1:21.726.
MX2 Race 2
Race 2 was started by the 21st Fox Holeshot of the season for Prado as he led Watson and Jonass. Vlaanderen was back in 4th and still relatively fresh after only completing 3 laps in race 1. Prado was quick to put in fast laps and was extremely strong at the start of the race while Jonass fought past Watson.
By the time Jonass was into 2nd Prado had grown a decent gap over the rest of the field. On lap 3 both Vlaanderen and Lawrence were also passed Watson and a battle between the Honda’s ensued.
Lawrence came out ahead of Vlaanderen on lap 8 as Watson came under threat of losing another spot to Olsen. Olsen took 5th from the Brit on lap 11 as Jonass started to catch Prado. Prado started to lose time but with 2 laps to go Jonass made a mistake on the entry of the waves losing not only momentum but the time he had previously gained.
At the finish Prado managed to fight through physical issues to hold on the lead and win by 4.7 seconds over Jonass, Lawrence, Vlaanderen, and Olsen.
“Pauls was riding really good in the first moto and with two laps I tried to push but made a small mistake and he pulled away. I had a problem with my breathing in the second moto and it was so hard, especially in the last laps through all those bumps where you need to be compact and strong to tackle them. But, we won, and didn’t lose any points so now onto Bulgaria. I won the 65cc European Championship at Sevlievo and I believe it will be good for me with all those uphills and downhills. We’ll see!”
“I was feeling really good this weekend and normally this is not my favourite track with those deep ruts but I was riding well. I managed to pass Jorge in the first race with ten minutes to go and that was good! In the second race I took too long to pass Watson and Jorge pulled a bit gap. I tried to close it but with two laps before the whoops I made a mistake and did a bit of Freestyle for the fans. Anyway, 1-2 results and it is nice to be back on the podium and going the right way again. For sure I still believe I can do it [defend his title] and it will be key now to show my best races. Everything can happen; there are eight motos and lots of points that can be won or lost. Our goal is to move to the MXGP class as champions.”
In the overall result for the GP, Prado took the win but tied in points with Jonass in second while Lawrence finished on the podium since the first round of the year at the MXGP of Patagonia in Argentina.
“Yea it was a good weekend right from the start when I set the fastest lap in free practice. I also led the qualification race for a few laps which was cool and nice to be out front again. Then in the first moto, I didn’t get a great start, coming around the second turn in about 12th position, but I worked my way through to fifth, however by that time the front guys were gone and I couldn’t catch them. The second moto had a bit of a better start and like the first race I went to work right away and made as many passes as I could. I found myself behind Vlaanderen for a good amount of the moto, but eventually made a pass on him to get third. This was good enough to land myself on the podium which I’m really happy about. A five-three isn’t too bad, especially as this is probably the first race that I’m feeling close to 100%. It’s good to be back!”
“My riding was good throughout the weekend, which I’m happy about. I had good speed and did my best for some good results, but on this kind of track it’s really hard to make up time. I also struggled with my starts in both motos and this is definitely a point I need to continue working on. With better starts I’m sure that we could have landed another podium result here in Switzerland. We’re now getting closer to the end of the season and I feel I am getting stronger and stronger. I am looking forward to racing in Bulgaria and Turkey these next two weeks.”
“This wasn’t the best weekend for me. In the opening moto I went down on the opening lap and then had to fight from the back of the pack. We’ve made a few changes on the bike and I felt better in the second moto. Despite not getting the best of starts I pushed hard and managed to get fifth. Overall, I’m satisfied with seventh overall and I am now looking forward to the next two GPs. Next weekend we’re going to Bulgaria and I really like the track there. I hope we can fight for some good results there.”
MX2 Race 2 Top Ten
Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 35:10.156;
Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), +0:04.721;
Hunter Lawrence (AUS, Honda), +0:10.128;
Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, Honda), +0:15.833;
Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:18.773;
Thomas Covington (USA, Husqvarna), +0:20.291;
Ben Watson (GBR, Yamaha), +0:26.271;
Anthony Rodriguez (VEN, Yamaha), +0:49.115;
Marshal Weltin (USA, Kawasaki), +0:51.889;
Michele Cervellin (ITA, Yamaha), +0:52.247.
MX2 Overall Top Ten
Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 47 points;
Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 47
Hunter Lawrence (AUS, HON), 36
Thomas Covington (USA, HUS), 35
Anthony Rodriguez (VEN, YAM), 31
Ben Watson (GBR, YAM), 29
Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 27
Marshal Weltin (USA, KAW), 25
Michele Cervellin (ITA, YAM), 23
Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, HON), 18
MX2 Championship Top Ten
Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 692 points;
Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 664
Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 519
Ben Watson (GBR, YAM), 482
Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, HON), 462
Thomas Covington (USA, HUS), 452
Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 346
Michele Cervellin (ITA, YAM), 314
Henry Jacobi (GER, HUS), 278
Hunter Lawrence (AUS, HON), 229
In EMX250 the race was first led by the round 1 winner in RedSand, Spain, Pierre Goupillon. Goupillon quickly lost the lead to Dylan Walsh and the lost another spot to Mathys Boisrame.
Walsh dealt with pressure from the red plate holder Boisrame on his Honda but the #172 fell on lap 2. Goupillon was back into 2nd but his teammate Brian Moreau took the spot on lap 8.
Mel Pocock was in 3rd for 3 laps after starting 4th but then dropped back 9th to finish the race. Michael Sander was in 4th until the last lap when he was passed by both Boisrame and Maxime Renaux. At the finish line Walsh scored the race win with Moreau 2nd, Goupillon 3rd, Boisrame 4th, and Renaux rounded out the top 5.
Today’s Race 2 started well for Mathys Boisrame who found himself in the lead by the end of the first official lap. Race 1’s winner Dylan Walsh was second for the first 3 laps recorded before Steven Clarke took the spot.
Jeremy Sydow was 4th before Josh Spinks took the position away on the same lap that Clarke took second from Walsh. Spinks also took a position from Walsh along with several other riders.
Moreau started the second official lap in 12th after his 2nd in Race 1. Moreau struggled to keep his bike upright and on two wheels falling multiple times throughout the race by miraculously managed to score a 7th.
The race was won by Boisrame who also took the overall while Clarke and Moreau rounded out the podium.
“I am very happy with how the weekend went. Yesterday I was fast, but I made some mistakes which I think cost me the chance of a win, however today I rode really well and got the race win and overall and extended my lead in the championship to 18 points.”
EMX250 Race 1 Top 10
Dylan Walsh (NZL, Husqvarna), 30:23.888
Brian Strubhart Moreau (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:00.184
Pierre Goupillon (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:02.321
Mathys Boisrame (FRA, Honda), +0:05.064
Maxime Renaux (FRA, Yamaha), +0:05.971
Michael Sandner (AUT, KTM), +0:06.404
Steven Clarke (GBR, Honda), +0:06.585
Martin Barr (GBR, Husqvarna), +0:07.353
Mel Pocock (GBR, Husqvarna), +0:08.785
Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, Yamaha), +0:11.523.
EMX250 Race 2 Top 10
Mathys Boisrame (FRA, Honda), 29:45.388
Steven Clarke (GBR, Honda), +0:05.312
Josh Spinks (GBR, KTM), +0:08.950
Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, Yamaha), +0:19.030
Jeremy Sydow (GER, KTM), +0:25.211
Mel Pocock (GBR, Husqvarna), +0:26.846
Brian Strubhart Moreau (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:30.580
Martin Barr (GBR, Husqvarna), +0:33.292
Filippo Zonta (ITA, Honda), +0:34.284
Pierre Goupillon (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:34.455.
EMX250 Overall Top 10
Mathys Boisrame (FRA, HON), 43 points
Steven Clarke (GBR, HON), 36
Brian Strubhart Moreau (FRA, KAW), 36
Dylan Walsh (NZL, HUS), 34
Pierre Goupillon (FRA, KAW), 31
Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, YAM), 29
Mel Pocock (GBR, HUS), 27
Martin Barr (GBR, HUS), 26
Josh Spinks (GBR, KTM), 24
Maxime Renaux (FRA, YAM), 20
EMX250 Championship Top 10
Mathys Boisrame (FRA, HON), 299 points
Mel Pocock (GBR, HUS), 281
Martin Barr (GBR, HUS), 246
Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, YAM), 222
Steven Clarke (GBR, HON), 219
Dylan Walsh (NZL, HUS), 216
Brian Strubhart Moreau (FRA, KAW), 209
Maxime Renaux (FRA, YAM), 168
Pierre Goupillon (FRA, KAW), 163
Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), 153
The penultimate round of the 125cc racing provided Thibault Benistant with the possibility to take the title via double race wins. However Benistant’s teammate Rick Elzinga returned from injury this weekend and offered no favors to his teammate.
Florian Miot led the first 2 laps on Saturday before Elzinga took the lead from the Frenchman. Raivo Dankers was the next to lead shortly but lost the spot to Tom Guyon. Guyon held the lead longer than anyone and more importantly all the way to the finish.
Dankers dropped another pair of positions before the race was over to finish 4th while Elzinga took second and Mattia Guadagnini scored 3rd. Red plate holder Benistant came away with 5th after starting in 3rd.
Race 2 was the first event on track this morning and the freshly water conditions were massively different than those of the afternoon prior. Regardless, Guyon was again strong and started the race in the lead which he held for the first 4 laps before Guadagnini surged past.
Running in 3rd the entire race Kjell Verbruggen from the Netherlands in his best ride of the season. Elzinga started the race 5th but moved to 4th with the other F4E Racing rider of Mario Lucas Sanz 5th.
At the finish it was a race win from Guadagnini over Guyon and Verbruggen but in the overall win went to Guyon for the first time in his career with 1-2 scores, while Guadagnini took 2nd with 3-1 results, and Elzinga rounded out the podium with a 2nd and a 4th.
“I’m really happy with my weekend, it’s my first race win and my first podium, I am now hoping for another podium in Assen.”
EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing Race 1 Top 10
Tom Guyon (FRA, KTM), 31:04.440
Rick Elzinga (NED, Yamaha), +0:06.662
Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, Husqvarna), +0:07.471
Raivo Dankers (NED, KTM), +0:10.661
Thibault Benistant (FRA, Yamaha), +0:11.422
Mike Gwerder (SUI, KTM), +0:11.627
Petr Polak (CZE, KTM), +0:14.300
Lion Florian (GER, KTM), +0:19.718
Filip Olsson (SWE, Husqvarna), +0:22.438
Florian Miot (FRA, KTM), +0:24.699.
EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing Race 2 Top 10
Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, Husqvarna), 31:04.748
Tom Guyon (FRA, KTM), +0:04.353
Kjell Verbruggen (NED, KTM), +1:06.779
Rick Elzinga (NED, Yamaha), +1:11.840
Mario Lucas Sanz (ESP, KTM), +1:18.000
Mike Gwerder (SUI, KTM), +1:18.593
Thibault Benistant (FRA, Yamaha), +1:19.573
James Scott (NZL, KTM), +1:25.774
Mirko Valsecchi (ITA, KTM), +1:34.807
Petr Polak (CZE, KTM), +1:45.094.
EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing Overall Top 10
Tom Guyon (FRA, KTM), 47 points
Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, HUS), 45
Rick Elzinga (NED, YAM), 40
Mike Gwerder (SUI, KTM), 30
Thibault Benistant (FRA, YAM), 30
Raivo Dankers (NED, KTM), 28
Mario Lucas Sanz (ESP, KTM), 25
Petr Polak (CZE, KTM), 25
Kjell Verbruggen (NED, KTM), 22
Filip Olsson (SWE, HUS), 20
EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing Championship Top 10
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