Moto News Wrap for March 3, 2015 by Darren Smart
Australia’s best off-road racers got their arses kicked by living legend Mike Brown at round 2 of the InsureMyRide EnduroX Series held at Eastern Creek last weekend. The 44-year-old former AMA Motocross Champion scored maximum points and takes a commanding lead into the final round scheduled for Calder Park in Victoria on the 15th of March.
This is cool. Former Australian Motocross and Supercross Champion, Daniel Reardon, will return to full time racing in 2015 after securing a ride with the factory CDR Yamaha team. The 28-year old Queenslander is back on the bike and according to all involved is looking smooth and fast.
Jimboomba is a small town on the West side of Brisbane and last Saturday night the locals got a taste of top class Stadium Motocross and it was young Nathan Crawford who won the MX2 class ahead of Joel Rizzo and Nicholas Sutherland while Damien Harrison dominated the MX1 class ahead of Ricky Kalisz and Matt Haworth.
Australian Speedway racer Darcy Ward has been given a 10 month suspension after failing a Alcohol related test on the 17th of August in 2014. Its taken ages but the FIM have officially handed down the penalty that starts from the date of ruling on the 25th of February 2015, though Ward will be eligible to race again from the 27th of June with the provisional suspension time being credited against period of sanctioning.
After whipping the crowd into a frenzy by riding a KX250 2-stroke during the Opening Ceremonies, Chad Reed qualified in 9th at Atlanta 2, won his heat race over ‘good mate’ Eli Tomac and was sitting in second in the main event before almost crashing on the 2nd lap. Reed dropped well outside the top ten but caught up to 7th place by race end. Chad is on it….and he is a former winner and loves Daytona which is on next weekend.
Reed wrote this on Twitter: ‘Gotta look at the positives for @twotwomotorsports boys… Heat win & semi win. 6th place is season best for @joshgrant33 – @crtwotwo crashed while in 2nd ended up 7th. Always hard to swallow when u put yourself in good position and u don’t capitalize on it but the team know where they should be and we’ll go after it again next week – #22 #33 @discount_tire #ttwotwomotorsports’
Taylor Potter made it to the night program with the 34th fastest time in qualifying but ended up three laps behind the leaders in his heat before not starting the LCQ. Potter is in struggle mode right now and despite promising to keep everyone up to date via his web site there hasn’t been any new information since Feb 1 – likewise with his FB page…..
On the other hand, Ryan Dungey is on fire right now and after his win at Atlanta 2 the KTM rider has a 30 point lead over Trey Canard while his teammate Marvin Musquin pulled off another wire-to-wire win in the 250SX class to increase his championship lead over Jeremy Martin. See the full Report and Results from Atlanta below.
Female racer Vicky Golden had her third crack at making the night program of the 250SX class at Atlanta 2 and the result was slightly better than last week. Golden qualified 51st out of 58 hopefuls with the best time of 1:07.152, almost four second slower than the 40th placed rider (the top 40 make it to the night program) and 12 seconds per lap slower than the fastest qualifier, Marvin Musquin (55.125). If she ever makes it to the main event she will be lapped at least three times……
Recent Aussie visitor Chris Plouffe had a monster crash during his qualifying heat at Atlanta and is recovering in a local hospital as we speak – he posted this on FB recently: ‘Hey everyone I wanted to give you an update. I am out of surgery and the whole surgery went well. I’m now in my own room recovering but I’m in a lot of pain. I want to clear up my injuries for everyone, Broken left collarbone, multiple broken ribs, chipped T2 vertebrae, and shattered T10 vertebrae. I had two rods from my T8 to my T12 and 8 screws put in my back to support my back. I am very thankful for the amazing team of doctors and surgeons here at Grady Memorial Hospital that have been taking care of me since Saturday and also I’m very thankful I had the Asterisk Medical Unit doctors helping me at the track. Thank you everyone for all the love and support during this real tough time. All the love and support is keeping me strong through this.’
WOW!! The opening round of the World Motocross Championships held in Qatar last weekend was an absolute cracker!! Husqvarna’s Max Nagl smashed everyone in the MX1 class while KTM’s Jeffrey Herlings showed amazing composure on the track to take out the MX2 class.
As for Todd Waters and Dean Ferris the results were up and down. Todd went 15-13 over the two races for 14th outright while Ferris started both motos inside the top ten only to have small mishaps for 23-17 finishes for 20th outright.
Ryan Villopoto had a shocker at Qatar – but it wasn’t all his doing. In race one his KX didn’t even get off the line (no, he didn’t stall it – it was a bike problem) and in the ensuing battle to the front the Yank crashed twice to end up in 9th. In the second moto RV was looking at moving into the top five when his rear brake let go to end up in 8th place….RV has the speed, he just needs his bike to show more reliability…will the KRT be getting a harsh word from RV during the week? You Bet!!
Aussie Meghan Rutledge finished third at the opening round of the WMX World Championships held at Qatar on the weekend – See the full report and results below.
Thankfully, round 15 of the 2015 FIM World Motocross Championship in Brazil has been cancelled and according to the FIM, the event was cancelled due to “very difficult financial situation in Brazil.” The hope around the paddock is that the replacement round will be in Europe.
Race Reports and Results from last Weekend
- – Monster Energy Supercross Championships – Round 9 – Atlanta
- – Amsoil Arenacross Championships – Round 7 – Kansas City
- – FIM SuperEnduro Championships – Round 5 – Brazil
- – InsureMyRide Enduro-X – Round 2 – Eastern Creek, Sydney
- – Kenda AMA National Enduro Series – Round 2 – Pelion, Sth Carolina
- – World Motocross Championships – Round 1 – Qatar
Monster Energy Supercross Championships – Round 9 – Atlanta
450SX Report: Weston Peick won his first SupercrossLive.com Holeshot Award of the season when the gates dropped on the 450SX Class Main Event. Discount Tire/TwoTwo Motorsports’ Chad Reed, who won last week’s race, followed Peick in second place with Dungey in third.
Reed made a pass on Peick during the opening lap, but Peick answered back and took over the lead. Reed almost crashed on Lap 2 and left the track only to re-join in 13th place. Team Honda HRC’s Trey Canard took over the number-three spot on Lap 5, and on the same lap, Dungey passed Peick for the lead.
In six of seven career starts in Atlanta, Dungey has six podium finishes and three wins. He now has 17 career wins and holds a 30-point lead in season standings. “With Marvin’s win [Musquin], it was perfect execution,” said Dungey. “The Honda boys were breathing on me, but I was able to put some distance between us as the race went on. Winning the Duel in the Dome is icing on top of a great race.”
“I hit the ground three rounds in a row before this, but this week I was there on the start,” said Tomac. “Just to be here on the podium is huge for me. Second place is great, and I will go after the number-one position, we look forward to Daytona now.”
Trey Canard had this to say after the race. “It’s not the way you want to do it, I wanted to get up there and run with Dungey but I just made mistake after mistake, then while in second I went a little long on a double and it shot me off the track to allow Tomac around me, but, I can’t be bummed with a podium so we just keep moving forward with it.”
Hats off to Broc Tickle who came from just inside the top ten to finish in fourth place ahead of Blake Baggett, Josh Grant and Reed who had this to say when interviewed by RacerX,” I lost the front, and to be truthful with you, I struggled a little bit all day with that. I kind of went against everything that I always do. Normally I like to kind of pick the bike apart, make a lot of changes. We felt good last week and we didn’t make a whole lot of changes from last week to this week. I just tried to trust the setting and something wasn’t right. There’s a reason why I chase the feeling.”
Ken Roczen is suffering badly from last week’s crash fest and battled on to finish in 8th place, Kenny should put his feet up and start getting fit for the AMA Motocross Nationals, his Supercross season is over.
Jason Anderson and Weston Peick were battling for 5th and 6th when Anderson side swiped Peick on a tight right hander taking the Yamaha rider down and forcing Anderson off the track who crashed while trying to re-enter the track. Both remounted and managed to get back into the top ten by race end.
450SX Class Results
- Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM
- Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda
- Trey Canard, Edmond, Okla., Honda
- Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Suzuki
- Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., Suzuki
- Josh Grant, Wildomar, Calif., Kawasaki
- Chad Reed, Dade City, Fla., Kawasaki
- Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Suzuki
- Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Husqvarna
- Weston Peick, Menifee, Calif., Yamaha
450SX Class Season Standings – After Round 9 of 17
- Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM, 199
- Trey Canard, Edmond, Okla., Honda, 169
- Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Suzuki, 156
- Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda, 137
- Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Husqvarna, 126
- Chad Reed, Dade City, Fla., Kawasaki, 124
- Cole Seely, Laguna Beach, Calif., Honda, 120
- Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., Suzuki, 115
- Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, KTM, 100
- Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Suzuki, 96
250 West Report: Musquin captured the Supercrosslive.com Holeshot Award in the Eastern Regional 250SX Class Main Event with Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Joey Savatgy on his rear wheel. As Savatgy ran into traffic, his teammate Arnaud Tonus took over the number-two position.
Harley-Davidson/Trail Jesters/SOB MX’s Jimmy Decotis quickly moved into third place on the opening lap. On Lap 3, last week’s winner, Jeremy Martin, advanced to second place, passing Tonus. Defending Eastern Regional 250SX Class Champion Justin Bogle put his GEICO Honda in third place on Lap 4.
Musquin gave KTM their first-ever win in Atlanta and the sixth win of his career. Musquin now leads the championship by seven points. “Once again, the start was key to getting up front,” said Musquin. “I proved in my Heat Race that if you don’t get a good start, you can’t win. I was bummed with my second-place finish last weekend, so I am really happy to get this win tonight.”
Yamalube/Star Racing/Yamaha’s Martin finished second, while Bogle finished third for the second consecutive weekend. “I made some passes in the early part of the race to get up front,” said Martin. “I tried to run Marvin [Musquin] down but he was the better man tonight.”
Pro-Circuit Kawasaki’s Arnaud Tonus started the main event in second place and was holding pace for the first half of the moto but fell back to 7th by race end.
Eastern Regional 250SX Class Results
- Marvin Musquin, Corona, Calif., KTM
- Jeremy Martin, Millville., Minn., Yamaha
- Justin Bogle, Cushing, Okla., Honda
- Joey Savatgy Thomasville, Ga., Kawasaki
- James Decotis, Peabody, Mass., Honda
- Martin Davalos, Corona, Calif., Husqvarna
- Arnaud Tonus, Aire-la-Ville, Switzerland, Kawasaki
- Anthony Rodriguez, Cairo, Ga., Yamaha
- RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Honda, Honda
- Luke Renzland, Hewitt, N.J., Yamaha
Eastern Regional 250SX Class Season Standings – After Round 3 of 9
- Marvin Musquin, Corona, Calif., KTM, 72
- Jeremy Martin, Millville., Minn., Yamaha, 65
- Justin Bogle, Cushing, Okla., Honda, 62
- Joey Savatgy Thomasville, Ga., Kawasaki, 54
- Martin Davalos, Corona, Calif., Husqvarna, 45
- Matt Lemoine, Pilot Point, Texas, Kawasaki, 39
- Vince Friese, Cape Girardeau, Mo., Honda, 38
- Arnaud Tonus, Aire-la-Ville, Switzerland, Kawasaki, 38
- RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Honda, Honda, 38
- Anthony Rodriguez, Cairo, Ga., Yamaha, 34
Amsoil Arenacross Championships – Round 7 – Kansas City
Matt Goerke has closed to within a point of teammate Jacob Hayes after winning the Amsoil Arenacross overall last night in a tie-breaker over Gavin Faith. Goerke’s second win of the season—and a bad night from Hayes—has brought the former BTOSports.com KTM rider to the cusp of the leading the championship.
In West Region Lites, Steven Mages went wire-to-wire for his second win of the season. Dave Ginolfi and Scott Zont finished out the podium. Veteran Daneiel Blair finished sixth and still hold the points lead over Brandon Glenn.
Arenacross Class Results – Overall (Main Event Finishes)
- Matt Goerke, Temecula, Calif., Kawasaki (3-1)
- Gavin Faith, Fort Dodge, Iowa, Husqvarna (1-2)
- Kyle Regal, Grand Prairie, Texas, Husqvarna (2-3)
- Bobby Kiniry, Holland Patent, N.Y., Yamaha (6-4)
- Steven Mages, Sardinia, Ohio, KTM (9-5)
- Travis Sewell, Westville, Ind., KTM (7-6)
- Gared Steinke, Temecula, Calif., KTM (8-7)
- Jacob Hayes, Liberty, N.C., Kawasaki (4-12)
- Dave Ginolfi, Boston, N.J., KTM (10-9)
- Chris Blose, Phoenix, Ariz., Kawasaki (5-15)
RMATV/MC Head 2 Head Challenge Results
- Matt Goerke, Temecula, Calif., Kawasaki (2 points)
- Jacob Hayes, Liberty, N.C., Kawasaki (1 point)
- Kyle Regal, Grand Prairie, Texas, Husqvarna (1 point)
- Chris Blose, Phoenix, Ariz., Kawasaki (1 point)
- Gavin Faith, Fort Dodge, Iowa, Husqvarna (1 point)
- Steven Mages, Sardinia, Ohio, KTM (1 point)
- Gared Steinke, Temecula, Calif., KTM (1 point)
- Cory Green, Nowata, Okla., Suzuki (1 point)
Western Regional Arenacross Lites Class Results
- Steven Mages, Sardinia, Ohio, KTM
- Dave Ginolfi, Boston, N.J., KTM
- Scott Zont, Algonquin, Ill., KTM
- Cody VanBuskirk, Harvard, Ill., KTM
- Brandon Glenn, Mesquite, Texas, KTM
- Daniel Blair, Lodi, Calif., KTM
- Jake Locks, Dixon, Calif., KTM
- Benjamin Nelko, Aliquippa, Pa., KTM
- Tanner Moore, Auburn, Kan., KTM
- Clay Elliott, Buford, Ga., KTM
Arenacross Class Points (Race 10 of 20)
- Jacob Hayes, Liberty, N.C., Kawasaki – 259 (5 Main Event wins)
- Matt Goerke, Temecula, Calif., Kawasaki – 258 (3 Main Event wins)
- Kyle Regal, Grand Prairie, Texas, Husqvarna – 250 (3 Main Event wins)
- Bobby Kiniry, Holland Patent, N.Y., Yamaha – 212 (1 Main Event win)
- Steven Mages, Sardinia, Ohio, KTM – 199 (1 Main Event win)
- Travis Sewell, Westville, Ind., KTM – 198
- Chris Blose, Phoenix, Ariz., Kawasaki – 190 (4 Main Event wins)
- Gavin Faith, Fort Dodge, Iowa, Husqvarna – 163 (3 Main Event wins)
- Gared Steinke, Temecula, Calif., KTM – 158
- Willy Browning, Pleasantville, Ohio, KTM – 156
Western Regional Arenacross Lites Class Points (After Race 3 of 9)
- Daniel Blair, Lodi, Calif., KTM – 41
- Brandon Glenn, Mesquite, Texas, KTM – 36
- Cody VanBuskirk, Harvard, Ill., KTM – 26
- Mason Wharton, Brush Prairie, Wash., Kawasaki – 17
- Chase Marquier, Newcastle, Okla., Honda – 13
- Jake Locks, Dixon, Calif., KTM – 13
- Travis Bannister, Calhan, Colo., Honda – 12
- Josh Struebig, Crown Point, Ind., KTM – 12
- Dalton Oxborrow, Lehi, Utah, Kawasaki – 11
- Clay Elliott, Buford, Ga., KTM – 11
FIM SuperEnduro Championships – Round 5 – Brazil
The Orange Army was in full battledress at the fifth and penultimate round of the FIM SuperEnduro championship in Belo Horizonte, Brazil on Saturday night with KTM riders sealing the first four places in the Prestige Class of the competition.
The win went to KTM USA’s Cody Webb followed by Britain’s David Knight, championship point leader Taddy Blazusiak of Poland and Jonny Walker, the two Red Bull KTM factory riders.
The evening started well with Walker, Knight and Webb at 1-2-3 in the Superpole but Blazusiak finished fifth after going down in the fire pit obstacle.
Then Walker looked in hot form when he grabbed the holeshot in the first race only to be nudged out by Knight to open the way for Webb to slip through. While Walker and Knight had their bikes on the ground, Webb went on to take a commanding 20 second lead on the track that was tight and technical and left no room to breathe. Walker recovered to finish second and Blazusiak finished in fourth place behind Knight.
Riders started in reverse order for the second of three races and again Walker was in charge and finished ahead of Webb and Blazusiak in the one time out on the track that was relatively incident free.
Then it was 100 percent action in the final race when Walker high-sided in the first turn and crashed into Webb, only to see Knight grab the advantage and go on to lead every lap. Blazusiak recovered well from a fifth place start and quickly moved into second around the incident with Walker and Webb. He carried second place to the flag. Meanwhile Webb charged his way from last place into third but Walker’s problems only compounded when his rear wheel skidded into one of the stands and snagging a banner. He was unable to get it free unaided but was then disqualified for outside assistance, spoiling a potentially good night out.
Webb was happy with his win, saying: “After getting so close numerous times for the overall victory it feels great to have finally got my first win in SuperEnduro. Coming into the final race I was tied on points with Walker for the overall but then we crashed in the first corner. I got going again but crashed a second time. Somehow I managed to claw my way back to the third and it was enough for the overall.”
Blazusiak, who is on the cusp of taking the title, said his main focus for the night was to stay safe. “I knew the other guys were hungry to win and I didn´t want to get dragged into the fight and so I set a pace for myself that I was comfortable with. I rode three good races and managed to still get on the podium. But most importantly I’ve got a 42-point lead entering the final round in France.”
Understandably Walker was bitterly disappointed after being close to his first overall victory: “I’m gutted to have lost out on winning my first overall victory. I’ve been really ill in the build-up to tonight and wasn’t at my best but still managed to get a good result in race one and then win race two. It was all on the line for the overall in the final race and unfortunately I crashed with Cody in the first turn. I then got a trackside banner stuck in my wheel – locking it up. I couldn’t get it out alone and outside assistance resulted in being disqualified. It’s been a bad end to what should have been a great night.”
Overall Round Results: 1. Cody Webb – 53 Pts. 2. David Knight – 50 Pts. 3. Taddy Blazusiak – 45 Pts. 4. Jonny Walker – 40 Pts. 5. Alfredo Gomez – 33 Pts. 6. Dani Gibert – 29 Pts. 7. Mario Roman – 29 Pts. 8. Paul Bolton – 28 Pts. 9. Daniel McCanney – 22 Pts. 10. Romulo Bottrel – 7 Pts.
Championship Standings After Round 5 of 6: 1. Taddy Blazusiak – 272 Pts. 2. David Knight – 231 Pts. 3. Cody Webb – 227 Pts. 4. Jonny Walker – 218 Pts. 5. Alfredo Gomez – 173 Pts. 6. Paul Bolton – 126 Pts. 7. Mario Mario – 121 Pts. 8. Daniel Gibert-Gatell – 110 Pts. 9. Daniel McCanney – 102 Pts. 10. Kyle Redmond – 94 Pts.
The series wraps up in France at Cahors/Parc des Expositions on March 14, 2015.
InsureMyRide Enduro-X – Round 2 – Eastern Creek, Sydney
Mike Brown has cleaned up at the second round of the InsureMyRide EnduroX Series held at Eastern Creek last weekend. Brown took maximum points ahead of Tye Simmonds and Josh Green and is already 29 points in front of Green in the championships with just one round to go.
Brown was wrapped with his performance, so much so that you could hardly shut him up on the podium. “It’s great to get three wins! That’s what I’m out here for, I love winning, but I’m having fun which is the main thing.”
“I’m pretty stoked, that’s for sure,” said Simmonds. “I had an even bigger crash than the one in Brisbane, I couldn’t believe it! I was riding over a big heap of loader tyres on the first lap of the heat race and I just came in pretty quick and dropped the front end and yeah, game over, out the front I went.”
Overall Round Results: 1. Mike Brown – 75pts. 2. Tye Simmonds – 60pts. 3. Josh Green – 58pts. 4. Toby Price – 52pts. 5. Stefan Granquist – 50pts. 6. Daniel Sanders – 44pts. 7. Mitcham Harper – 42pts. 8. Tom Mccormack – 38pts. 9. Peter Boyle – 35pts. 10. Lachlan Stanford – 34pts.
Championship Standings After Round 2 of 3: 1. Mike Brown – 147pts. 2. Josh Green – 118pts. 3. Toby Price – 109pts. 4. Tye Simmonds – 98pts. 5. Daniel Sanders – 97pts. 6. Mitcham Harper – 87pts. 7. Tom Mccormack – 85pts. 8. Lachlan Stanford – 76pts. 9. Peter Boyle – 73pts. 10. Dylan Rees – 72pts.
The third and final round of the 2015 InsureMyRide Enduro-X Nationals heads to Calder Park in Victoria on the 15th of March.
Kenda AMA National Enduro Series – Round 2 – ‘The Sandlapper National Enduro’ – Pelion, South Carolina
After a disappointing finish at the opening round of the series one month ago, Andrew DeLong came out with guns blazing at round two of the 2015 Kenda AMA National Enduro Series – the Sandlapper National Enduro – in Pelion, South Carolina, this weekend, taking an impressive win over a stacked field of pros in a rain-soaked race, justifying the number one plate he claimed last year when he won the 2014 national title.
“I had a point to prove, because I didn’t like getting eighth at the first round of the series,” said the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing-backed DeLong. “This is where I want to be – on top of the podium – and I was able to make it happen.”
DeLong won four of the six tests over the 77-mile, tight and sandy course and beat out FMF/KTM’s Kailub Russell by one second shy of a full minute.
“Today was a good day,” said DeLong. “I actually made quite a few mistakes in the beginning, but in the end all my lines flowed pretty good and once I finally got going it was just one of those days when everything clicked.”
Russell just missed winning the fifth test by two seconds, but turned the second-fastest time in three different tests to earn second overall.
“I’m always bummed when I can’t win a race,” said Russell. “The track was slick and there are definitely a lot of things that could have happened but I managed to stay up and finish on the podium.”
Russell moved into the lead in the series standings with his runner-up finish, and now sits seven seconds ahead of DeLong in the standings.
Third place went to N-Fab/AmPro Yamaha’s Grant Baylor, who was also making amends for a poor race at the opening round of the series. Baylor posted the fastest time in the third and fourth tests and was solid in the remaining tests. “I just tried to keep it on two wheels and be consistent and I guess it paid off,” said Baylor.
Four-time national enduro champ Russell Bobbitt was consistent throughout the day, going third, second, fourth, fourth and third in five of the tests, but in the second test he suffered a mechanical problem and lost roughly 1 minute-and-30-seconds, finishing the test with a time that was 16th fastest.
“I felt really good today,” said Bobbitt. “We just had a mechanical issue on test two that cost me some time and I wasn’t able to fully rebound from that. I’m glad to remain consistent and still be able to salvage a top five result.”
Sixth was Josh Strang, the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing-backed Aussie struggled with issues with his goggles and was not pleased with his finish. Meanwhile, Beta USA’s Cory Buttrick put his 300RR into seventh place after a solid ride in the rutted sandy loam.
Round one winner, Steward Baylor, made an amazing ride to finish eighth. The MotoTech/FLY Racing KTM rider had surgery on Thursday to repair a broken collarbone, which required a plate and 12 screws. Refusing painkillers after the surgery because he wanted to keep a clear mind, Baylor was in obvious pain during his courageous ride.
Baylor’s teammate, Trevor Bollinger, brought his KTM home in ninth, while JCR Honda’s Chris Bach rounded out the top 10.
The 2015 Kenda AMA National Enduro Series resumes on March 22nd in Gainesville, Texas, for round three of the series.
Round 2 Results: 1. Andrew DeLong (Hus). 2. Kailub Russell (KTM). 3. Grant Baylor (Yam). 4. Russell Bobbitt (KTM). 5. Brad Bakken (Yam). 6. Josh Strang (Hus). 7. Cory Buttrick (Bet). 8. Steward Baylor (KTM). 9. Trevor Bollinger (KTM). 10. Chris Bach (Hon).
World Motocross Championships – Round 1 – Qatar
MX1 Report: We learnt a handful of things about Red Bull IceOne Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Max Nagl tonight. Firstly, he can start. The German pulled off two very impressive Fox Holeshots, which has given him the early advantage in the race towards the 10,000 Fox Holeshot purse. Secondly, he’s fit, fast and fierce – he led ALL thirty-six laps even despite the immense pressure from previous MXGP of Qatar winner Clement Desalle in race one. Thirdly, he is and will be a solid part of Husqvarna’s re-rise to FIM Motocross World Championship glory. And lastly, he is very humble, admitting he even surprised himself tonight.
“What can I say,” said Nagl. “This is the kind of perfect championship start everyone dreams of, it’s amazing that my season has started in this way. I’m so, so happy. Everyone in the team has worked so hard for this. We have to remember that this is only the first GP and that there are a lot of races ahead of us in the championship, but it’s a great start. I had two perfect races, but they were not easy. The track was really rough, especially in the second moto. You had to be completely focused all the time, it was so easy to make a mistake. Towards the end of the second race I started to get a little worried, because the track was really rough. My bike and suspension was incredible, and I know that helped me so much. Two wins is a great start for me and the team. Now we will keep working and soon begin our preparations for next weekend’s GP.”
Meanwhile the all-new super smiley version of Rockstar Energy Suzuki World’s Clement Desalle looked on form out on track tonight making some bold statements when he passed and pulled away from two of MXGP’s hottest players Antonio Cairoli and Gautier Paulin. Desalle said “I am really happy with my riding at the moment, I feel good in my body and also on the bike. In the morning I will go home because I think it will benefit me more to do this than it will to stay over in Thailand.”
Team HRC’s Gautier Paulin couldn’t be missed, not only because of his super bright Fox kit, but also because of his unique BMX style which happened to look even more awesome than usual on the man-made jumpy circuit here in Losail. While the Frenchman had a lot of fans backing him for the win this weekend, the strong Frenchman was satisfied with his 4 – 3 performance saying, “I’m really happy to start the season like this, it is always good to be on the box, actually on the top, but it is still a long season, so it is good to start with a third”.
What may come as a surprise to many, especially after his dominating performance in the Qualifying race yesterday, is the fact that Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli didn’t make the podium. “Third for me was good on a track that is not one of my favourites and that was hard and slippery and sketchy in some places. For sure I didn’t give my best but I controlled the race and the points are very important for the championship. I was a little tired in the second race from the medication I took before the first moto then I got a big stone on my arm and had some pain.”
It was a feeling of deja vu for Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jeremy Van Horebeek who put together two fifth place finishes for fifth overall just as he did in 2014. “It was the first GP and I was not really relaxed and I struggled to find a good setting because the track was really sketchy. I don’t like it at all. The design is very nice but there are many deep, square bumps. I struggled also with the starts and they were the key this weekend. I think I have the speed; it is not like the guys are pulling away from me. I was better in the second moto and the gap to the others stayed the same from the first lap. I could see the others ahead. I think I changed what could have been a bad weekend into a good one because I wasn’t comfortable out there. So, the same as last year and I will be ready to pull the trigger next week.”
Also representing Yamaha Factory Racing and more than worthy of a mention is MXGP class rookie Romain Febvre. “It was a pretty good first GP except that my starts were not that great. I was tenth on the first corner of the first race but I made some moves to seventh. I was stuck behind Shaun Simpson and it was really difficult to pass him. He made a mistake with three or four laps to go and I could get by. The result was good because the track was difficult with many sharp bumps. The grip varied and it was difficult to get a feeling with the bike. My start was worse in the second moto and I made a mistake by coming short on a double jump and almost crashed. I was really lucky. I was behind Villopoto for many laps and passed him. I think I used too much energy with Villopoto, which meant that I had nothing left to chase Strijbos. Anyway sixth overall with the new team, new bike, new class is positive and I’m happy.”
As for Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Ryan Villopoto, it was just one of those events you just have to put down to experience. “I haven’t raced since May last year, and it wasn’t a good day but we scored points and that’s definitively something we have to work on. I never had a schedule like that one for a long time, but I’ve got to get used to that and all the rest, including how the gate drops, how they do everything. We struggled a little bit with the start today, a little me and a little the bike, but we came back and got points. We’ve definitively some work to do, but that’s part of it. We learned a lot this weekend and will be stronger at the next GP; we have to work on setup stuff, which make thinks a little bit easier. For me every time I went on the track this weekend things went better; in the second race I had some issues as my rear brake felt strange; I don’t know if it’s a rock or what, but it’s part of the deal. We can make some stuff this week, even if the team doesn’t go back home, and we will be better next weekend.”
MXGP Race 1: 1. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Husqvarna), 34:52.985; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), +0:01.221; 3. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:18.550; 4. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Honda), +0:24.809; 5. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:34.810; 6. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:42.395; 7. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), +0:47.295; 8. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:56.052; 9. Ryan Villopoto (USA, Kawasaki), +0:59.609; 10. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), +1:03.179. 15. Todd Waters. 23. Dean Ferris.
MXGP Race 2: 1. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Husqvarna), 35:00.295; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), +0:06.023; 3. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Honda), +0:08.752; 4. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:12.787; 5. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:17.740; 6. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), +0:24.676; 7. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:36.357; 8. Ryan Villopoto (USA, Kawasaki), +0:40.816; 9. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +1:03.294; 10. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, Suzuki), +1:07.182. 13. Todd Waters. 17. Dean Ferris.
MXGP Overall: 1. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HUS), 50 points; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, SUZ), 44 p.; 3. Gautier Paulin (FRA, HON), 38 p.; 4. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 38 p.; 5. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 32 p.; 6. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 29 p.; 7. Ryan Villopoto (USA, KAW), 25 p.; 8. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 25 p.; 9. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, SUZ), 24 p.; 10. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 21 p. 14. Todd Waters 14p. 20. Dean Ferris 4p.
MX2 Race Report: It was one of the biggest displays of emotion we have ever seen from Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings as he genuinely broke down in tears only moments after taking his second victory for a perfect start to the season. “You can’t believe what was going through my head on the last laps, I was seeing the craziest things”, the kid known as The Bullet said, “I have just had a lot of bad luck in the last months, struggling with my leg for a long time, seeing this doctor, that doctor, and onto the next doctor, but finally it’s okay and I can finally ride. Yeah, my riding wasn’t that great but for me it wasn’t even about that. I am just so happy to be here.”
The most impressive performance of the night had to be that of Standing Construct Yamaha Yamalube’s Julien Lieber. The tiny Belgian rode absolutely amazing in both races to stand on the FIM Motocross World Championship podium for the first time in his career. He modestly said, “It was definitely not easy for me this weekend, but in the race my riding was good and Dylan crashed in the second race, so I got third in the first race and could get second in the last race. I am looking forward to Thailand, I know it will be difficult to do the same but I will try my best and we will see.”
Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Dylan Ferrandis was undoubtedly making a MX2 title run this weekend as he charged unbelievably hard in both races for third overall. Race two in particular was gnarly for the Frenchman who bounced back from a gnarly crash adding a fourth place finish to his second place finish of moto one. The Frenchman then went on to inform during the press conference, “I am happy with today because I haven’t been riding that long because I had an operation on my shoulder after I crashed riding supercross. It was my second operation on that shoulder, so I am happy with return and my speed.”
Meanwhile Honda Gariboldi’s Tim Gajser wrapped up fourth despite having a horrendous crash in race two. Nevertheless, the Slovenian who is making a name for himself as a warrior, battled on to finish seventh which was in addition to his fourth in race one.
Rounding out the top five, Wilvo Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Aleksandr Tonkov wound out the night strong with a thrilling run at Julien Lieber in the final race for second, but couldn’t quite make it happen and was forced to settle for third.
“I’m pleased with the way this GP has ended,” said Tonkov. “It’s been tough and the track was really hard in places, but I feel like my speed was good and that my fitness was good. I’ve not been back on a bike for very long so I know I can get stronger and faster. The first moto started well but when I fell I dislocated my shoulder. It’s never happened to me before so I didn’t know what I’d done. I lifted my arm and it went back in and I managed to finish 10th. I wasn’t sure if I could start the second moto. We strapped the shoulder and I went for it. I felt good but the track was so unforgiving. I pushed hard and although I didn’t have any power in my arm I got third, which is great.”
Defending World Champion Jordi Tixier went 6-9. “Not so much to say about this first GP, it was not a good one for me and I’m very disappointed tonight. I had a good start in the qualifying race but Herlings pushed me down in the third corner, so I didn’t have a good gate for the races. Today I crashed; I’m not where I want to be after so much training this winter, but I hope next weekend will be a different story in Thailand.”
MX2 Race 1: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 33:51.825; 2. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:02.674; 3. Julien Lieber (BEL, Yamaha), +0:04.052; 4. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:11.387; 5. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Suzuki), +0:12.575; 6. Jordi Tixier (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:14.559; 7. Max Anstie (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:28.803; 8. Valentin Guillod (SUI, Yamaha), +0:29.400; 9. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), +0:36.823; 10. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, Husqvarna), +0:40.860
MX2 Race 2: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 33:56.613; 2. Julien Lieber (BEL, Yamaha), +0:02.731; 3. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, Husqvarna), +0:05.065; 4. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), +0:10.885; 5. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:11.093; 6. Valentin Guillod (SUI, Yamaha), +0:18.511; 7. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:20.689; 8. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Suzuki), +0:26.731; 9. Jordi Tixier (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:30.798; 10. Thomas Covington (USA, Kawasaki), +0:54.200
MX2 Overall: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 50 points; 2. Julien Lieber (BEL, YAM), 42 p.; 3. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, KAW), 38 p.; 4. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 32 p.; 5. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, HUS), 31 p.; 6. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 30 p.; 7. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, SUZ), 29 p.; 8. Valentin Guillod (SUI, YAM), 28 p.; 9. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KAW), 27 p.; 10. Thomas Covington (USA, KAW), 21 p.
WMX Race Report
Race 1: When the gates dropped for the first WMX race of the season it was the young Dutch sensation Nancy Van de Ven who had her Yamaha YZ250F pinned stretching out a couple of bike lengths to take a very convincing holeshot ahead of Monster Energy Kawasaki Bud Racing’s Meghan Rutledge and Yamaha MXFontaracing’s Kiara Fontanesi.
After making quick work of Rutledge, Fontanesi went on to make a run at Van de Ven for the lead. While the little Dutch rider did an amazing job at holding off the three-times FIM WMX World Champion Kiara Fontanesi for at least quarter of the race, it ended devastatingly when she was pitched off her bike in spectacular fashion through the wave section.
With Van de Ven going in one direction, and her bike in another, Fontanesi was forced off the track to avoid the carnage which allowed last year’s WMX round of Qatar dominator Meghan Rutledge and the 2008 FIM Women’s Motocross World Champion Livia Lancelot to take over the top two positions.
While racing the remainder of the race in the thick of a three-way battle for the lead, it was Lancelot and Fontanesi who were able to take advantage of Rutledge, who was struggling with suspension, to go one – two with only a couple of laps to go.
After making the passes, it was down to the former WMX champion and the defending champion to vie for the first twenty-five points of the season. While it was a well fought race, it was Lancelot who held strong to take a narrow win over Fontanesi. Rutledge rode a smart remainder of the race for third while Italian Francesca Nocera finished fourth and Norwegian Genette Vaage rounded out the top five.
Race 2: When the gates dropped for WMX race two it was Rutledge who was fired up leading the way around turn one ahead of Van de Ven, Larissa Papenmeier, Fontanesi and Lancelot.
Apparently, Fontanesi was in no mood to mess around and in one fell swoop she charged passed both Van de Ven and Rutledge to take over the lead. While Van de Ven was lucky to even walk away from her massive crash in race one, it was obvious her confidence hadn’t been knocked as she found a way around Rutledge for second.
The next to give Rutledge a hard time was none other than the super stylish Livia Lancelot who appeared to be in her groove as she styled it up around the jumpy circuit of Losail and launched her way into second.
With Fontanesi toting that same aggressive style she had back when she dominated the 2013 WMX championship, it seemed she had the race under control. Lancelot, on the other hand, had different ideas and was determined to redeem last year’s third place performance with a double victory here tonight.
Sure enough, Lancelot dropped the hammer, caught Fontanesi and forced the Italian into an error. With Fontanesi crashing, Lancelot took over the lead and stormed her way to the finish to wrap up a great night’s racing with a red plate and a perfect fifty point score.
Meanwhile Fontanesi made a quick recovery and managed to come home in second ahead of Van de Ven who rode impressive considering… Rutledge rode clever for fourth while the speedy German Larissa Papenmeier managed to round out the top five.
With the combination of points from both races, Team One One Four’s Livia Lancelot took the first WMX round overall of 2015. Yamaha MXFontaracing’s Kiara Fontanesi took second with Monster Energy Bud Racing Kawasaki’s Meghan Rutledge rounding off the podium in third.
WMX Standings After Rd1: 1. Livia Lancelot 50pts. 2. Kiara Fontanesi 44pts. 3. Meghan Rutledge 38pts. 4. Francesca Nocera 33pts. 5. Genette Vaage 30pts. 6. Anne Borchers 28pts. 7. Nancy Van De Van 25pts. 8. Amandine Verstappen 24pts. 9. Jessica Moore 23pts. 10. Justine Charroux 21pts.