Moto News Wrap for March 1, 2016 by Darren Smart


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Australasian News
Yamaha Rising Star Rookies and Yamaha 85cc Cup

Following last week’s announcement of the internationally recognised junior support classes set to race alongside the MX Nationals in 2016, Yamaha Motor Australia has today announced their continued support for junior racing, with Yamaha taking naming rights to the Yamaha Rising Star Rookies and Yamaha 85cc Cup.

“Yamaha Motor Australia is excited to bring the junior categories back to the MX Nationals in 2016. Australia continues to produce world class junior riders and exposing them to high profile events like the MX Nationals will only fast track their development and profile,” said Yamaha Motor Australia’s Motorsport Manager Ray Howard.

American News
Short, Nicoletti and Hahn Injured in Pile-Up

There was a big crash in one of the 450 heat races at the Atlanta round of the AMA Supercross series when Andrew Short got cross rutted on a jump, took out Phil Nicoletti before shooting across the track and slam into Wil Hahn. All three riders were injured in the crash with Short suffering a mild concussion while Nicoletti looked to be favouring his left his knee and Hahn reportedly broke his collarbone. Surely Josh Grant can get a fill-in ride for one of these riders for the rest of the Supercross season.

GNCC Kicks Off

The AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series will kick off competition for the 2016 season on March 5-6 in Palatka, Fla. The Moose Racing Wild Boar GNCC will take place at the Rodman Plantation and our own Josh Strang will be on hand on the factory Husqvarna.

Hepler Back on the Gas Gas

Gas Gas Motos North America has signed former AMA National winner Broc Hepler to race selected 2017 National Enduros and some Full Gas Sprint Enduros with the support of John Barber and key sponsors Lunova, Spectro Oils and FMF Racing.


Soubeyras to Contest 250 West

After a controversial finish to his UK Arenacross campaign, Cedric Soubeyras will start his 2016 American adventure in Daytona this weekend with Team Bud Racing Monster Energy Kawasaki.

Cedric Soubeyras said, “I know that it’s a tough challenge, but I’m ready for it, and I don’t want to have any regrets in the future. I’m 26 years old; I was free of any contract so it was now or never to enter my American dream. I wanted to do what I like this year, as I’m not dreaming anymore when I race the French series. Bud Racing had no plans for the 250 East Coast, but we came to an agreement. I have raced several times in the USA in the past, but I never when I was physically at my best,. Of course I’m dreaming to get podiums, but I know that it will be very, very complicated.”

Euro News
Townley’s Tough Weekend
Ben Townley went 11-11 at Qatar
Ben Townley went 11-11 at Qatar

Kiwi Ben Townley went 11-11 for 11th outright at the opening round of the World Motocross championships held in Qatar last weekend – I will let Ben explain: “I went with the guy next to me and hit the gate. Stupid. I haven’t done that in years. The bright points were that we made a change overnight with the bike and then again between warm-up and the first moto and the guys nailed it. It was pretty good and we made progress. I felt like I had a lot of cobwebs and rust in the system and it was a really tough track for me to have my first race. It was so tricky and I think ‘treacherous’ would be a good word for it; there were literally potholes on the track. There are a lot of positives to take out of the first moto because I went from 21st to 10th on the first lap and I was able to ride with guys who were championship contenders. The second moto was just a cock-up. I went for the sighting lap and we had a ‘mechanical’. I had to use the back-up bike and it was a huge lesson for us as a whole team. Stefan said that in 18 years of racing he never had to use the back-up machine. So we learnt a lot.”

Kevin Strijbos (Front) and Ben Townley (Rear)
Kevin Strijbos (Front) and Ben Townley (Rear)
Courtney Duncan’s Stellar Weekend
Courtney Duncan
Courtney Duncan

JCR Yamaha rider Courtney Duncan completely dominated the opening round of the World Woman’s Motocross Championship held at Qatar last weekend. The Kiwi won the first race by more than 27 seconds and the second race by more than 28 seconds and according to Josh Coppins this is no surprise.

“To be honest, it’s what we expected,” said Coppins. “We expected big things from her and we prepared her well. We made sure she would be as ready as she could be. It was a big challenge for her to tackle her first WMX (Women’s World Championship) races, with a new bike and the huge distance to travel from New Zealand, and a lot was stacked against her.”

Smarty’s Race Reports and Official Results from last Weekend


AMA Supercross Championship – Round 8 – Atlanta
Dungey won again and extended his points lead
Dungey won again and extended his points lead

Ryan Dungey took advantage of his Rookie teammate Marvin Musquin’s mistake of taking it for granted that James Stewart would get out of the way while being lapped to take another main event win while Martin Davalos has won the opening round of the 250 East Coast series ahead of Malcolm Stewart and Aaron Plessinger.

450SX Report

Ryan Dungey – Best Lap Time – 45.943: Dungey passed Anderson, Reed and Brayton on the first lap then sat on the rear fender of Musquin for the next 19 laps and it looked like the championship leader was going to have to settle for second place before the leading duo came to lap James Stewart and the cards fell Dungey’s way for another win. RD now has a 33 point lead in the championship over Roczen.

“I was wanting to make the pass happen, but Marvin [Musquin] was setting the pace out front. A really good one,” said Dungey, who now has a 24-race podium streak that dates back to last season. “I lost some ground and then would gain on him. It kept going like that. Unfortunately we [almost] got together there at the end, but that’s racing. He’s [still] a winner tonight. To run like that like as a rookie is impressive.”

AMA SX 2016 - Round Eight- Atlanta - 450 Podium
AMA SX 2016 – Round Eight- Atlanta – 450 Podium

Marvin Musquin – Best Lap Time – 45.783: Marvin rode 19 flawless laps and was just a few corners away from taking his maiden win when he came to lap James Stewart – the rest is history but there is nothing surer that Stewart should have just got out of the way, instead, he cost Musquin the win and if you watch the TV coverage Musquin’s mechanic gives Stewart a well-deserved spray after the race.

AMA SX 2016 - Round Eight- Atlanta - Ken Roczen and Marvin Musquin
AMA SX 2016 – Round Eight- Atlanta – Ken Roczen and Marvin Musquin

Here is what Marvin had to say. “Hey guys. To make it clear, I just wish that JS (James Stewart) would’ve let us go by earlier, like in the turn before the finish as he looked back at us. I made a mistake and came up short on the triple and I thought I was gonna land on him, that’s why I change line and got out of control.”

Chad Reed – Best Lap Time – 46.042: Chad finally got a decent start and was sitting in third behind Musquin and Brayton when Jason Anderson pushed Chad back to fourth but the Aussie blitzed the next set of whoops to re-pass Anderson then after Dungey pushed Chad back to fourth he followed the championship leader by Brayton to slot into third place which is where he finished – a great return to form and history will tell us that Reed score more points in the second half of the series so we can look forward to more top five finishes between now and Vegas.

Chad Reed finally got a start and put it to good use for third
Chad Reed finally got a start and put it to good use for third

“Disappointed the last few weeks, the last four weeks since Oakland really, to be honest,” Reed told RacerX. “I felt like we’re a podium guy. Just haven’t been riding. Kind of talked to myself and looked in the mirror this week and made changes to myself a little bit. A little bit to the bike and here and there but honestly it’s just me. I just want to give my 100 percent. Even though we’re on the podium I still don’t believe that that’s my 100 percent. When the track is tough like this, I’m still better than that. Those guys were right there and weren’t really doing anything amazing. So yeah, happy that I didn’t get my transponder clipped but still felt like there was a lot more in the tank.”

Davi Millsaps – Best Lap Time – 46.193: Despite riding with an injured thumb Milsaps took advantage of the crash between Anderson and Cole Seely to slot into fifth place then made his way around his teammate Brayton for fourth place for his best finish of 2016.

Justin Brayton – Best Lap Time – 46.731: Brayton is no stranger to good starts but he has a habit of dropping back to anywhere between 7th and 10th but this weekend Brayton hung tough and finished in 5th – his best finish of the year – he was helped by a bad start from Roczen and crashes by Anderson, Seely and Canard but that is beside the point – a top five is a top five.

Ken Roczen – Best Lap Time – 46.843: It just wasn’t Kenny’s night – a poor start was one issue but the Suzuki just wasn’t helping the cause with his best lap time a second slower than the Musquin/Dungey freight-train.

Jason Anderson – Best Lap Time – 46.843: Anderson got a little cute with Cole Seely in the tight right hander and paid the price when Seely clipped his rear wheel taking them both down – sometimes it’s best to just get on with the racing instead of trying to dick someone around on the track.

James Stewart – Best Lap Time – 48.357: Oh dear, what can I say. Forget the fact that Stewart spent most of the main event running around doing lap times that were two to three seconds per lap slower than Musquin and Dungey, the ‘World’s Fastest Soil Tester’ then completely blew any credibility he had as racer by repassing race leader Musquin on the last lap in the triple-triple section causing Musquin to take evasive action and spew off the track – and more importantly losing the lead to Dungey.

Stewart returned to racing and made a fool of himself
Stewart returned to racing and made a fool of himself

Rule number one of any racer, be they a weekend warrior or a seasoned pro – don’t EVER get in the way of a racer who is lapping you but like his brother Malcolm, James has absolutely no peripheral vision when on the track and I am sure there is a huge IQ drop the moment James in particular puts a helmet on.

450SX Main Event: 1. Ryan Dungey. 2. Marvin Musquin. 3. Chad Reed. 4. David Millsaps. 5. Justin Brayton. 6. Ken Roczen. 7. Jason Anderson. 8. Justin Bogle. 9. Christophe Pourcel. 10. Cole Seely. 11. Eli Tomac. 12. Weston Peick. 13. Mike Alessi. 14. James Stewart. 15. Vince Friese.

450SX Championship Standings: 1. Ryan Dungey 191. 2. Ken Roczen 158. 3. Jason Anderson 145. 4. Cole Seely 134. 5. Chad Reed 132. 6. Eli Tomac 129. 7. Marvin Musquin 114. 8. David Millsaps 103. 9. Justin Brayton 98. 10. Jacob Weimer 77. 11. Christophe Pourcel 64. 12. Trey Canard 62. 13. William Hahn 56. 14. Weston Peick 49. 15. Mike Alessi 48.

AMA SX 2016 - Round Eight- Atlanta - 450 Podium
AMA SX 2016 – Round Eight- Atlanta – 450 Podium


250SX Race Report
AMA SX 2016 - Round Eight- Atlanta
AMA SX 2016 – Round Eight- Atlanta

Shane McElrath grabbed the holeshot but ran wide and spewed off the track to crash through the tuff blocks. Martin Davalos was up the inside of McElrath and slipped into the lead ahead of Darryn Durham and Malcolm Stewart.

Stewart and Tyler Bowers swept by Durham for 2nd and 3rd and just as Stewart was closing in on Davalos for the lead he struck McElrath’s KTM which was down in the sand section but here is the curious thing – McElrath had been laying on the track and trying to pick his KTM up for quite some time and Davalos had no trouble avoiding the incident yet Stewart rode straight into the KTM – THEN, a lap or so later McElrath was slowly making his way up the main straight about to pull in for the night when Stewart blasted into the straight and almost hit him again so here is my question – do the Stewart brothers have a peripheral vision problem because they hit stuff and get into the road of people around them like no other riders on the circuit.

Anyway, Davalos took the win in cruise mode with Stewart finishing second ahead Aaron Plessinger, Jeremy Martin, Justin Hill, RJ Hampshire, Durham, Bowers, Alexander Frye and Jimmy Albertson.

Davalos got the win on his new Husky
Davalos got the win on his new Husky

“The last year and a half has been really tough for me,” said Davalos. “I’m just happy to be out there. I got a good start and I was able to just log in 15 solid laps. It got a little hectic towards the end with lappers, but I’m so happy to finally be back up here [on the podium].”

“I felt good in the main event all the way around,” Malcolm Stewart told RacerX. “I just had a bonehead move. I clearly did not see him [Shane McElrath] at all. I felt like as soon as he picked his bike up and I was already committed, I was like, oh boy. Oh well. It is what it is. I felt like I came back pretty strong actually once I got back going. It is what it is. That’s just racing. You got to watch out for things like that and I let my guard down and I didn’t even see it. I kind of needed to look ahead instead of worrying about what’s in front of me. But last year my first race I got twenty-second. This year I got second. So the season ain’t over with. This is the first one. Of course obviously I’m going to be mad and upset because I kind of felt like I kind of gave that race away, but you can’t win them all. So hopefully just take it from here on out and learn my lesson to dodge some riders as much as possible and just ride my own race.”

AMA SX 2016 - Round Eight- Atlanta - 250cc Podium
AMA SX 2016 – Round Eight- Atlanta – 250cc Podium

“Tonight went great,” Plessinger told RacerX. “It was everything I could ask for except winning I guess. I got off to kind of a not really good start. I think I was ninth coming across the first lap. I pushed all the way until the end and ended up third. I think I was catching Mookie at the end, but unfortunately not enough laps to catch him.”

250SX Main Event with Points after Round 1 of 9: 1. Martin Davalos – 25.2. Malcom Stewart – 22. 3. Aaron Plessinger – 20. 4. Jeremy Martin – 18. 5. Justin Hill – 16. 6. RJ Hampshire – 15. 7. Darryn Durham – 14. 8. Tyler Bowers – 13. 9. Alexander Frye – 12. 10. Jimmy Albertson – 11. 11. Mathew Bisceglia – 10. 12. Dakota Alix – 9. 13. Benny Bloss – 8. 14. Gannon Audette – 7. 15. Marshal Weltin – 6.


UK Arenacross Championship – Final Round – Wembley

After eight rounds of intense racing the final Pro Class main event for the 2016 UK Arenacross Championship was always going to be tense but the hostility that Thomas Ramette bestowed upon championship leader Cedric Soubeyras reached a new low in motorsport and at the time of writing the governing body MC Federation was considering penalties that could change the winner of the series.

It was Britain’s Matt Bayliss who scored the holeshot with Ramette, Soubeyras and Adam Chatfield in close succession but it was the championship leaders in Ramette and Soubeyras who soon broke away with Chatfield moving into third and it wasn’t long before the two championship contenders starting clashing leaving Chatfield to move to the lead and the eventual win ahead of Ramette and Harri Kulas BUT when the placing were announced Ramette was relegated to fourth (with no press release to reason why).

So, after a controversial 14-lap final, Ramette is (for the time-being) the first-ever back-to-back Arenacross Pro champion whilst Cedric Soubeyras took the runners-up position in the series after a collision with Ramette left the Yamaha rider on the ground and to eventually finish the race in 11th position.

Ramette may or may not have won the UK Arenacross Championship
Ramette #1 may or may not have won the UK Arenacross Championship

“I was in the right place at the right time to take advantage and I wasn’t about to let that opportunity go,” said Chatfield. “I knew Ramette and Soubeyras were involved in their own battle and I didn’t need to be a part of that. The early part of the season was a bit of a struggle for me but it’s come good over the past three races with a third, second and now first – it’s brilliant to end the championship. I’ve been working hard with my trainers Paul Ryman and Tommy Bridewell and it has paid off. I really do need to thank the boss Dave Thorpe for his faith in me and my mechanics Gary and Big John. It’s all about teamwork.”

An ecstatic Thomas Ramette enthused; “It’s awesome to be the first back-to-back Arenacross Pro champion. There was a lot of tension in the race. I was leading Soubeyras and then he passed me but I passed him right back and held my line. There was some blocking in places which have been almost like normal this year. It is a good feeling to have won the championship and be able to reward my team for all the hard work they have put in to support me.

The MC Federation released this statement: “It’s our duty to ensure the riders and teams both adhere to the rules and safety we set out as the licensing body for the Arenacross series” explains MC Federation manager Roy Barton. “It’s clear that some of these rules were clearly and blatantly ignored during last night’s event at Wembley and we will be punishing riders and teams consistently in line with these rules”. Series promoter, Matt Bates was also keen to make certain points clear: “There’s a very thin line between riding hard and riding without any care for the safety of other riders and this can’t continue. The MCF will decide if there are punishments due, but in my opinion, as much as the excitement level in the Arena was incredible, the reality is that the outcome could have been disastrous whilst the example this sets to our younger riders is terrible”.

Pro Main Event

1. Adam Chatfield #407 Buildbase Honda, 25.900

2. Florent Richier #2 LPE Kawasaki, 26.579

3. Harri Kullas #151 MVR-D Husqvarna, 25.54

4. Thomas Ramette #1 SR75 Molson Racing Suzuki, 25.729

5. Matt Bayliss #4 Wooldridge Demolition, 26.153

6. Shane Carless #68 Shocktech Honda, 27.092

7. Julien Bill #25 SJR Kawasaki, 26.594

8. Cyrille Coulon #5 SR75 Molson Racing Suzuki, 26.449

9. James Dunn #200 Hitachi Revo Husqvarna, 26.813

10. Jason Clermont #817 LPE Kawasaki, 25.978

11. Cedric Soubeyras #120 Geartec Yamaha, 25.658

Pro Championship

1. Thomas Ramette #1 SR75 Molson Racing Suzuki, 222 points

2. Cedric Soubeyras #120 Geartec Yamaha, 197 points

3. Cyrille Coulon #5 SR75 Molson Racing Suzuki, 183 points

4. Adam Chatfield #407 Buildbase Honda, 177 points

5. Florent Richier #2 LPE Kawasaki, 147 points

6. Matt Bayliss #4 Wooldridge Demolition, 138 points

7. Fabien Izoird #871 LPE Kawasaki, 128 points

8. Jack Brunell #155 SJR Kawasaki, 127 points

9. Angelo Pellegrini #941 Buildbase Honda, 100 points

10. Harri Kullas #151 MVR-D Husqvarna, 86 points


SuperEnduro World Championship – Round 4 – Brazil

Three hard fought finals and three deserving winners in Cody Webb, Jonny Walker and  Colton Haaker at round four of the SuperEnduro World Championships held in Brazil last weekend with Webb taking the overall by one point over Walker and two points over Haaker.

“It all came down to the last corner for the overall and I managed to get by Jonny Walker for the win,” said Webb. “I felt like I was riding well, but I made it hard on myself with too many mistakes, I guess we’re all just pushing so hard that it’s so easy to crash. We’ve got a weekend off now and then it’s the final two rounds back to back so everything is still to play for.”

SuperEnduro Podium
SuperEnduro Podium

Walker is now nine points clear at the head of the championship standings with events in the Czech Republic and Spain remaining. “It was a close night of racing between Cody (Webb), Colton (Haaker) and myself and I’m satisfied with third overall. I rode safe and the most important thing was that we managed to maintain the lead in the series. The track in Brazil was more like an American EnduroCross track, at least compared to what I’m used to. I believe that’s one reason both Cody and Colton were so strong – they both raced well. In the opening race I rode a bit tense and just couldn’t challenge the top two guys. Then in the second final I focused on my own race and was happy to get the win. Coming into the final race I thought I could get second and still challenge for the overallwin. It all came down to the very last lap. I got caught behind a lapped rider and lost a lot of time. Cody got me in the last corner, which is a little disappointing. I finished third in the final race so lost the overall by two points. I’m still leading the championship and I’m looking forward to the next two rounds back on European soil.”

“I had a good night,” said Haaker. “I’m pleased with how I rode, especially in the final race. I was right there with Cody Webb and Jonny Walker so that was really good and I started jumping the log pit too, which no one else was doing. Tonight was definitely the best I’ve ridden all season so I just want to keep that going now for the final two rounds and end the series strong.”

Overall Classification: 1. Cody Webb (KTM) 55pts; 2. Colton Haaker (Husqvarna) 54pts; 3. Jonny Walker (KTM) 53pts; 4. Taylor Robert (KTM) 36pts; 5. Alfredo Gomez (KTM) 33pts

Final 1: 1. Cody Webb (KTM) 11laps, 07:01.955; 2. Colton Haaker (Husqvarna) 07:12.161; 3. Jonny Walker (KTM) 07:44.152; 4. Mario Roman (Husqvarna) 10 laps, 07:02.064; 5. Alfredo Gomez (KTM) 07:13.320

Final 2: 1. Jonny Walker (KTM) 11 laps, 07:09.773; 2. Cody Webb (KTM) 07:11.881; 3. Colton Haaker (Husqvarna) 07:13.420; 4. Taylor Robert (KTM) 07:35.844; 5. Alfredo Gomez (KTM) 07:44.616

Final 3: 1. Colton Haaker (Husqvarna) 11 laps, 06:56.128; 2. Cody Webb (KTM) 07:04.378; 3. Jonny Walker (KTM) 07:07.948; 4. Taylor Robert (KTM) 07:17.613; 5. Alfredo Gomez (KTM) 07:29.374

Championship Standings (After Round 4): 1. Jonny Walker (KTM) 212pts; 2. Cody Webb (KTM) 203pts; 3. Colton Haaker (Husqvarna) 188pts; 4. Alfredo Gomez (KTM) 142pts; 5. Taylor Robert (KTM) 141pts

New Zealand Motocross Championships – Round 2 – Flipps MX Park, Himatangi

Dean Ferris has won the second round of the New Zealand Motocross Championships held at Flipps MX Park, Himatangi last weekend but it was by just one point over fellow Aussie Todd Waters who in turn jumped to second in the championship points with two rounds remaining.

Ferris managed 3-1-1 results over the three motos which was just enough to out-point Waters’ 1-2-2 scorecard while defending champion Cody Cooper lost ground and second in the championship with 2-3-3 results.

“I qualified fastest and felt good on the track,” said Waters. “But I just couldn’t nail down the starts. I won the first race and was all over Ferris in races two and three but just couldn’t get past him or make it stick. My corner entry speed was faster than his, but I had to brake mid-corner to avoid hitting him and this meant I lost momentum again. It was pretty frustrating actually.”

Ferris now has a 14 point lead over Waters with two rounds remaining.

MX1 Round Results

1. Dean Ferris – 70 Pts

2. Todd Waters – 69 Pts

3. Cody Cooper – 62 Pts

4. Scott Columb – 52 Pts

5. Brad Groombridge – 50 Pts

6. Hamish Harwood – 44 Pts

7. Daryl Hurley – 43 Pts

8. Kieran Scheele – 38 Pts

9. Campbell King – 34 Pts

MX1 Championship Standings

1. Dean Ferris – 145 Pts

2. Todd Waters – 131 Pts

3. Cody Cooper – 126 Pts

4. Scott Columb – 101 Pts

5. Brad Groombridge – 97 Pts

6. Hamish Harwood – 93 Pts

7. Daryl Hurley – 81 Pts

8. Kieran Scheele – 66 Pts

9. Campbell King – 65 Pts

10. Dylan Miles – 61 Pts


As you would expect the MX2 class was full of action but when the dust settled it was Hamish Harwood who came away with the overall with 1-2-1 moto finishes ahead of Aussie Jed Beaton who managed 4-1-2 over the three motos while third place went to Ethen Martins with 6-3-3 results.

Harwood now has a 17 point lead over Beaton with two rounds remaining.

MX2 Round Results

1. Hamish Harwood – 72 Pts

2. Jed Beaton – 65 Pts

3. Ethan Martens – 55 Pts

4. Cohen Chase – 54 Pts

5. Micah McGoldrick – 48 Pts

6. Hadleigh Knight – 43 Pts

7. Joel Wightman – 37 Pts

8. Sam Greenslade – 35 Pts

9. Trent Collins – 31 Pts

10. Logan Blackburn – 28 Pts

MX2 Championship Standings

1. Hamish Harwood – 139 Pts

2. Jed Beaton – 122 Pts

3. Hadleigh Knight – 104 Pts

4. Ethan Martens – 103 Pts

5. Micah McGoldrick – 97 Pts

6. Cohen Chase – 95 Pts

7. Joel Wightman – 76 Pts

8. Logan Blackburn – 74 Pts

9. Kayne Lamont – 74 Pts

10. Sam Greenslade – 60 Pts

The second half of the Kiwi motocross calendar takes riders to the undulating Rotorua Motorcycle Club’s track for round three on March 13th, with the fourth and final round set for the famous Digger McEwen Motocross Park facility, on the outskirts of Taupo, on March 20th.

World Motocross Championships – Round 1 – Qatar
MXGP Race Report
World MX 2016 - Round One - Qatar - Max Nagl
World MX 2016 – Round One – Qatar – Max Nagl

Gariboldi Honda rider Tim Gajser has won the opening GP of the 2016 MXGP season at the Grand Prix of Qatar. The 19 year old scored 1-1 results to shock the world in his MXGP debut. Second overall was Romain Febvre with 3-2 and third Evgeny Bobryshev with 2-3.

Moto 1: Bobryshev took an early lead followed by Gajser, Coldenhoff, Van Horebeek, Cairoli, Febvre, Paulin, Simpson, Guillod and Nagl while Townley was back 15th after hitting the start gate but it wasn’t long before the Kiwi was knocking on a top ten position.

Gajser passed Bobryshev on lap and pulled away immediately so at the end of 10 laps Gajser has a fve second lead over Bobryshev who in turn was looking comfortable ahead of Febvre, Van Horebeek, Cairoli, Coldenhoff, Simpson, Paulin, Strijbos, Searle, Nagl and Townley.

Gajser took the chequered flag seven seconds to Bobryshev with Febvre a further 12 seconds back but well ahead of Van Horebeek, Simpson, Cairoli, Coldenhoff, Strijbos, Searle, Paulin and Townley

Moto 2: Bobryshev, Paulin and Gasjer led the pack through the sweeping first turn ahead of Febvre, Cairoli, Van Horebeek, Searle, Nagl, Simpson, Charlier, Potisek, Townley, Butron, Strijbos and Coldenhoff but it all turned to poo for Paulin early on lap one when his Honda expired for the day.

Gajser took the lead from Bobryshev before the first lap was finished and cleared out to a comfortable win ahead of Febvre, Bobryshev, Cairoli, Van Horebeek, Nagl, Simpson, Searle, Strijbos, Coldenhoff and Townley.

Tim Gajser: “Actually I didn’t expect this before this weekend! I expected to do well, but not to get my first 1-1 so I’m really happy about that. All weekend long I have been feeling so good here, and I was riding smart and with good lines and just felt comfortable, like I was riding in training. It’s the perfect way to start the season, and maybe a nice birthday present for my mother! I feel so well on the 450, and I’ve been feeling very relaxed and with no pressure before this weekend. I’ve been waiting all winter for this race, and it’s just amazing to start like this.”

World MX 2016 - Round One - Qatar - Evgeny Bobryshev and Tim Gajser
World MX 2016 – Round One – Qatar – Evgeny Bobryshev and Tim Gajser

Romain Febvre: “I had a slow start in the first moto, maybe 6th, and it was difficult after that to chase. In the second moto I was feeling much better, but I jumped too far and lost the front end in a crash. I didn’t lose much time, but I did lose two places, which I had to try to catch up. We saw some progress here in Qatar, and hopefully we will see some more in Thailand.”

World MX 2016 - Round One - Qatar - Evgeny Bobryshev
World MX 2016 – Round One – Qatar – Evgeny Bobryshev

Evgeny Bobryshev: “We did a good job today and I’m really happy to start the season like this on the podium. The first race was pretty easy for me in second, but in the second race I had a small crash when I hit a stone that I didn’t see, but I came back to third place which I’m happy with. It’s a long season and this is just the first race but I’m happy with this weekend and feeling good. We’ve worked hard with Honda and HRC to put a good bike together over the winter so big thanks to the team that we’re starting this season in this way. I’d also like to say big congratulations to Tim for his win today – he rode really well.”

World MX 2016 - Round One - Qatar - Evgeny Bobryshev
World MX 2016 – Round One – Qatar – Evgeny Bobryshev

MXGP Race 1: 1. Gajser, Tim. 2. Bobryshev, Evgeny. 3. Febvre, Romain. 4. Van Horebeek, Jeremy. 5. Simpson, Shaun. 6. Cairoli, Antonio. 7. Coldenhoff, Glenn. 8. Strijbos, Kevin. 9. Searle, Tommy. 10. Paulin, Gautier. 11. Townley, Ben. 12. Nagl, Maximilian. 20. Desalle, Clement.

MXGP Race 2: 1. Gajser. 2. Febvre, Romain. 3. Bobryshev. 4. Cairoli. 5. Van Horebeek. 6. Nagl. 7. Simpson. 8. Searle. 9. Strijbos. 10. Coldenhoff. 11. Townley. 19. Desalle. 21. Paulin.

MXGP – Overall: 1. Gajser – 50. 2. Febvre – 42. 3. Bobryshev – 42. 4. Van Horebeek – 34. 5. Cairoli – 33. 6. Simpson – 30. 7. Searle – 25. 8. Strijbos – 25. 9. Coldenhoff – 25. 10. Nagl – 24. 11. Townley – 20. 16. Paulin – 11. 20. Desalle – 3.


MX2 Race Report
World MX 2016 - Round One - Qatar - MX2
World MX 2016 – Round One – Qatar – MX2

Red Bull KTM Factory rider Jeffrey Herlings has gone 1-1 for victory at the Grand Prix of Qatar. It was a pretty easy night for the Dutchman, although he did get some hurry up from Frenchman Dylan Ferrandis in the opening moto. Ferrandis finished second overall with 2-2 and third was Pauls Jonass with 3-3 scores.

Moto 1: Ferrandis took the early lead in the opening MX2 moto, followed by Jeremy Seewer, Pauls Jonass, Davy Pootjes and Jeffrey Herlings but Seewer was in no mood to cop any roost and passed Ferrandis on the opening lap while Herlings made his way into third place and was on the back wheel of the Frenchman in no time at all.

World MX 2016 - Round One - Qatar - Ferrandis
World MX 2016 – Round One – Qatar – Ferrandis

Ferrandis made a great pass on Seewer during the second lap but was passed straight back which allowed Herlings to close on both but at the end of lap three Ferrandis was in the lead with Herlings looking for a way around and for the next 11 laps Ferrandis did a great job of keeping Herlings out of striking range until a small bobble saw Herlings move to the lead and eventual win by two seconds from Ferrandis with Jonass back in third ahead of Seewer, Tonkov, Petrov, Bernardini, Van doninck, Getteman, Anstie, Max and Covington

World MX 2016 - Round One - Qatar - Ferrandis
World MX 2016 – Round One – Qatar – Ferrandis

Moto 2: Ferrandis took the holeshot but was quickly passed by Herlings who swept around the outside leaving Ferrandis and third place Jonass to keep the rest of the high revving pack at bay and that is exactly what they did with the top three in Herlings, Ferrandis and Jonass remaining in that order for the entire moto with the only real mover in the pack being Van doninck who stormed from 13th out of the first corner up to fourth by moto end.

In the end Herlings cruised to his 48th GP victory. “I didn’t really feel I was riding like I should be this weekend except in the second moto, when I felt comfortable and could get the max out of my riding. This weekend we were winning but we didn’t dominate but in the last moto, we did. Now we go to Thailand, it’s going to be warm but I want to make the best of it. I feel physically and mentally strong and I didn’t feel threatened by Ferrandis in the first moto. I felt comfortable and strong right to the end and when I had the opportunity and the right moment to make the pass I did it.”

World MX 2016 - Round One - Qatar - Podium
World MX 2016 – Round One – Qatar – Podium

Dylan Ferrandis: “I was not really expecting such good results, even if I have the speed, as we didn’t do so much testing before this GP. Last week I raced an international in France and struggled with the bike, but everyone in the team spent many hours on the bike before coming here and it was great for everyone to get this podium ! We worked on the settings of the bike through the weekend and we saw the results. The track was dangerous on some sections and I had armpump in the first race and finished second. In the second race I got the holeshot but Jeffrey passed me; he took some risks but I didn’t want to make any mistake. I go back home this week to do some more testing with the suspension, and to prepare for the next round in Thailand.”

Pauls Jonass: “Maybe it was good that I didn’t ride any pre season races because I came here without any expectations. I wanted to do my best and to take some points and thought if I finish in the top ten it is already good. My (injured) thumb hasn’t been that good and last month I didn’t ride. I just rode three times the week before Qatar and that was tough. Already yesterday I felt good in the free and time practices.”

World MX 2016 - Round One - Qatar - Pauls Jonass
World MX 2016 – Round One – Qatar – Pauls Jonass

MX2 Race 1: 1. Herlings, Jeffrey. 2. Ferrandis, Dylan. 3. Jonass, Pauls. 4. Seewer, Jeremy. 5. Tonkov, Aleksandr. 6. Petrov, Petar. 7. Bernardini, Samuele. 8. Van doninck, Brent. 9. Getteman, Jens. 10. Anstie, Max. 11. Covington, Thomas.

MX2 Race 2: 1. Herlings. 2. Ferrandis. 3. Jonass. 4. Van doninck. 5. Seewer. 6. Petrov. 7. Tonkov. 8. Paturel. 9. Brylyakov. 10. Bernardini. 22. Anstie.

MX2 Overall: 1. Herlings – 50. 2. Ferrandis. 3. Jonass. 4. Seewer. 5. Van doninck. 6. Petrov. 7. Tonkov. 8. Bernardina. 9. Bogers. 10. Getteman. 11. Covington, Thomas. 12. Watson.

World MX 2016 - Round One - Qatar - Jeremy Seewer
World MX 2016 – Round One – Qatar – Jeremy Seewer