Assen MXGP

The raucous crowd created a spine-tingling atmosphere at the historic Dutch TT Circuit, Assen, for round sixteen of the FIM Motocross World Championship, where Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Clement Desalle and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings topped the box in their respective classes.

Things couldn’t get any crazier than they did at the MXGP of The Netherlands. From Mother Nature unleashing her fury with an epic thunderstorm which was so gnarly it’s practically indescribable, to Jeffrey Herlings being beat fair and square in the sand, to Tim Gajser DNF’ing, to Jorge Prado finishing in the top three on his MX2 debut, the list goes on.

Assen was also the host of the FIM Veteran Motocross World Cup where Sweden’s Mats Nilsson successfully defended his crown with a double moto victory ahead of Holland’s own Ton Van Grinsven, while another Swede in the form of Robert Forsell rounded out the top three.

MX1

Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Clement Desalle didn’t just want to get the monkey off of his back. He wanted to throw it at the wall, which he finally managed to do this weekend with his first grand prix win since the MXGP of Germany 2014. “Finally I am back on top of the box,” he said, “it’s really special, especially in the sand because while I know I can ride in the sand, a lot of people don’t believe it so much, so I am happy to do it here.”

MXGP 2016 Assen - Clement Desalle
MXGP 2016 Assen – Clement Desalle

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli is renowned for his ability to find good lines no matter how treacherous the track conditions are, and we were reminded of that as he used his craftiness to win the final race of the day, which paired with his fourth in race one, landed him on the second step of the podium.

MXGP 2016 Assen - Cairoli
MXGP 2016 Assen – Cairoli

While it wasn’t an overall victory for the eight-time world champ, in many ways it was the biggest achievement of the day since he clawed back a whopping 34 points on the championship leader, Tim Gajser, which means the championship will at least live another week. Tony now trails Tim by 65 points, so is the title still possible? “Anything is possible,” he said, “there are still 100 points left in the championship, we know it’s difficult but we want to win so we will see what the others do, that’s all we can do.”

MXGP 2016 Assen
MXGP 2016 Assen

Speaking of the championship leader, Honda Gariboldi’s Tim Gajser, he didn’t look as bummed as you would expect considering he lost 34 points today. Instead he took a realistic approach and said, “I’m disappointed, but it’s motorsport and things like this can happen at anytime. I just need to learn from everything that happened today.” Gajser finished eighteenth overall after struggling to keep the bike on two wheels in race one, and failing to finish race two after he caught an edge in the wave section and was chucked off his bike, which ended up in the fence with a broken throttle housing and a dangling front brake.

It was an epic day for the Dutch hero Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Glenn Coldenhoff who achieved a bunch of firsts this weekend. The Hoff landed on the box for the first time this season, with his last podium appearance being right here in Assen. He also took his first Fox Holeshot of the year and set the fastest lap of the day for his first point in the Tag Heuer fastest lap competition. “It was an amazing weekend, I really enjoyed it and I’m happy I made it, and also for the fans” he said.

MXGP 2016 Assen - Cairoli and Coldenhoff
MXGP 2016 Assen – Cairoli and Coldenhoff

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Max Nagl rode to the conditions today and was one of very few riders to stay up right. As a result, he finished fourth overall.

MXGP 2016 Assen - Max Nagl
MXGP 2016 Assen – Max Nagl

Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jeremy Van Horebeek and Wilvo Virus Performance KTM’s Shaun Simpson rounded out the top six in that order, although both results don’t reflect the way they were riding today.

MXGP 2016 Assen - Jeremy Van Horebeek
MXGP 2016 Assen – Jeremy Van Horebeek

Van Horebeek was on the cable and had a podium finish in sight before his spectacular crash, right over the ‘bars in the wave section, the same place Tim binned it, while Simpson tangled with Team HRC’s Gautier Paulin in race two after cleaning everyone up in the first race for his first race win of the season.

MXGP 2016 Assen - Gautier Paulin
MXGP 2016 Assen – Gautier Paulin
MXGP Race 1 Top Ten
  1. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 34:23.278
  2. Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:08.511
  3. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:15.649
  4. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:16.595
  5. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:32.529
  6. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Husqvarna), +0:35.717
  7. Rui Goncalves (POR, Husqvarna), +0:42.884
  8. Jordi Tixier (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:49.112
  9. Tanel Leok (EST, KTM), +0:56.148
  10. Valentin Guillod (SUI, Yamaha), +1:00.466
MXGP Race 2 Top Ten
  1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 34:18.739
  2. Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:02.106
  3. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:03.267
  4. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Husqvarna), +0:05.370
  5. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:24.762
  6. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:34.969
  7. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, Suzuki), +0:37.170
  8. Tanel Leok (EST, KTM), +0:57.508
  9. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:59.272
  10. Jordi Tixier (FRA, Kawasaki), +1:05.532
MXGP 2016 Assen
MXGP 2016 Assen
MXGP Overall Top Ten
  1. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 44 points
  2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 43 p.
  3. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 40 p.
  4. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HUS), 33 p.
  5. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 31 p.
  6. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 30 p.
  7. Tanel Leok (EST, KTM), 25 p.
  8. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KAW), 24 p.
  9. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 23 p.
  10. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 22 p
MXGP Championship Top Ten
  1. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 653 points
  2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 588 p.
  3. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HUS), 542 p.
  4. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 522 p.
  5. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 494 p.
  6. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 477 p.
  7. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 347 p.
  8. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 342 p.
  9. Valentin Guillod (SUI, YAM), 326 p.
  10. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 307 p.
MXGP Manufacturers
  1. Honda, 689 points
  2. Yamaha, 628 p.
  3. KTM, 617 p.
  4. Husqvarna, 557 p.
  5. Kawasaki, 453 p.
  6. Suzuki, 337 p.
MX2
MXGP 2016 Assen - MX2
MXGP 2016 Assen – MX2

“It was a nightmare!” were the first words that came out of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlingsmouth at the Press Conference today despite taking his thirteenth grand prix win of the season, and the sixtieth of his career. Yes, sixty as in six-zero, 60, grand prix wins at the tender age of twenty-one years old. The Bullet did look a little bit rusty today, and it definitely was a shock to the system for almost every single fan to see him lose a race in the sand. Turns out he is human after all!

MXGP 2016 Assen - Jeffrey Herlings
MXGP 2016 Assen – Jeffrey Herlings

A lifetime in the shadow of fellow Dutchman Jeffrey Herlings, Brian Bogers packed a torch this weekend and outshone The Bullet in race one when he came from dead last after eating it at turn one, to challenge his fellow countryman for second place, and most impressively set the fastest lap of the race. In race two, the HSF Logistics Motorsport KTM rider put in yet another solid ride which landed him on the second step of the podium for the second time this season.

MXGP 2016 Assen - Jeffrey Herlings and Jorge Prado
MXGP 2016 Assen – Jeffrey Herlings and Jorge Prado

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jorge Prado looks like he is THE name to watch over the next couple of years. He’s got that special kind of talent that doesn’t come along every day, even Jeffrey Herlings said so, “I’m not surprised to see Jorge here, he is an amazing talent, the same like myself and Roczen when we were his age.”

MXGP 2016 Assen - Covington
MXGP 2016 Assen – Covington

It was a random day for Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing with their American star Thomas Covington proving ‘impossible’ is nothing when he beat the Sand King, Herlings, in race one but binned it in race two and struggled to regroup thereafter. Max Anstie almost pulled his seventh Fox Holeshot of the season in the opening race of the day but hit a wet patch, which was so deep it stopped him dead, despite the fact he was full throttle at the time. While his bike stopped, his body didn’t and he slid forward, hit the ‘bars and did the most epic slow-mo face plant of the season. Covington finished sixth while Anstie logged enough points for fourth.

MXGP 2016 Assen - Max Anstie
MXGP 2016 Assen – Max Anstie

In addition to Prado’s exploits, the performances of Bodo Schmidt Husqvarna’s Thomas Kjer Olsen and TeamSuzuki World MX2’s Bas Vaessen adds to the argument that the European Championship EMX250 series’, which is run along side the premier championships, MX2 and MXGP, is the breeding ground of future champions. Vaessen was phenomenal is race one, footing it with Herlings in a race-long battle for third before crashing with one lap to go. Kjer Olsen, the EMX250 champion, put in two top five rides for fifth overall.

MXGP 2016 Assen - Bas Vaessen
MXGP 2016 Assen – Bas Vaessen
MX2 Race 1 Top Ten
  1. Thomas Covington (USA, Husqvarna), 36:09.602
  2. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +0:21.780
  3. Brian Bogers (NED, KTM), +0:22.221
  4. Lars van Berkel (NED, Husqvarna), +0:42.129
  5. Benoit Paturel (FRA, Yamaha), +0:45.426
  6. Iker Larranaga Olano (ESP, KTM), +0:56.001
  7. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +1:01.428
  8. Max Anstie (GBR, Husqvarna), +1:03.254
  9. Bas Vaessen (NED, Suzuki), +1:21.887
  10. Petar Petrov (BUL, Kawasaki), +1:32.916.
MX2 Race 2 Top Ten
  1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 34:07.512
  2. Jorge Prado Garcia (ESP, KTM), +0:34.735
  3. Brian Bogers (NED, KTM), +0:37.375
  4. Max Anstie (GBR, Husqvarna), +0:45.073
  5. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:58.943
  6. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, KTM), +1:07.701
  7. Samuele Bernardini (ITA, TM), +1:15.245
  8. Bas Vaessen (NED, Suzuki), +1:16.572
  9. Brent Van doninck (BEL, Yamaha), +1:18.937
  10. Benoit Paturel (FRA, Yamaha), +1:39.988.
MXGP 2016 Assen - MX2
MXGP 2016 Assen – MX2
MX2 Overall Top Ten
  1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 47 points
  2. Brian Bogers (NED, KTM), 40 p.
  3. Jorge Prado Garcia (ESP, KTM), 31 p.
  4. Max Anstie (GBR, HUS), 31 p.
  5. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 30 p.
  6. Thomas Covington (USA, HUS), 30 p.
  7. Benoit Paturel (FRA, YAM), 27 p.
  8. Bas Vaessen (NED, SUZ), 25 p.
  9. Lars van Berkel (NED, HUS), 25 p.
  10. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, KTM), 23 p.
MX2 Championship Top Ten
  1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 644 points
  2. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, SUZ), 568 p.
  3. Benoit Paturel (FRA, YAM), 460 p.
  4. Max Anstie (GBR, HUS), 447 p.
  5. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 403 p.
  6. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, KAW), 378 p.
  7. Petar Petrov (BUL, KAW), 351 p.
  8. Brian Bogers (NED, KTM), 349 p.
  9. Samuele Bernardini (ITA, TM), 341 p.
  10. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, YAM), 320 p.
MX2 Manufacturers
  1. KTM, 740 points
  2. Suzuki, 579 p.
  3. Kawasaki, 569 p.
  4. Yamaha, 552 p.
  5. Husqvarna, 549 p.
  6. TM, 341 p.
  7. Honda, 293 p.
Womens

The final round of the FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship took place this weekend at the historic Dutch TT Circuit, Assen, The Netherlands, where JCR Altherm Racing Yamaha’s Courtney Duncan validated her label as ‘the next big thing’, with yet another impressive round win, her third of the season.

What better way to wrap up a season than with a mudder, and not just any old mudder, we’re talking quicksand, sea-deep ruts that ate more than 30 seconds out of their lap-times. No kidding, the fastest lap in Race 1, which took place in vastly different conditions yesterday, was 1:46.814 by Courtney Duncan, while in Race 2, it was again Courtney Duncan but with a lap time of 2:23.441. The conditions were so brutal, Duncan and the local ace, Nancy Van de Ven lapped all the way up to third!

After dominating race one, JCR Altherm Yamaha’s Courtney Duncan proved just how widespread her skills are today with yet another outstanding performance. The Kiwi Girl has arguably the shortest legs in motocross, which makes mistakes extra costly with the ground being so far away. After leading the entire race and stretching out a 26 second lead, the New Zealander got pitched in the waves and went off the track. “I’m so gutted,” she said, “I had a lead of like 30 seconds, but I crashed and then went off the track and because it’s been built up, it was hard to get back on.”

With an enormous roar from the crowd, Nancy Van de Ven took the lead with two laps to go. The Dutch sensation managed to ride it home despite a hard charge in the eleventh hour by Duncan.  Van de Ven’s win was something special as it set off a wild celebration in the grand stand that made your hair stand on end.

There was no real shock to see the new world champion Livia Lancelot take no risk on her way to third place, while it was a bit of a shock to see the recently dethroned world champion, and one of the most successful female motocross riders in the world, MXFontaracing Syneco Honda’s Kiara Fontanesi, on the deck.

With mud being the great equalizer, Holland’s own Nicky Van Wordragen mastered the gnarly terrain to finish fourth ahead of Germany’s Kim Immgartz who also put in the ride of her life for fifth.

JCR Altherm Yamaha’s Courtney Duncan topped the box here in The Netherlands while Nancy Van de Ven had the Dutch flag raised above the second step. The newly crowned world champion, Team One One Four’s Livia Lancelot kept her perfect podium streak alive by finishing third overall.

Livia Lancelot

“I got the job done, but this race was terrible! I got a good start, but Fontanesi passed me and after one lap I saw that I couldn’t follow Duncan and Fontanesi. I was so tense that I had the feeling that the bike was not running well, but in fact the bike was perfect and I was making so many mistakes. I knew that Van de Ven had a crash at the start, but I also realised that she would come back as I was riding so bad. I was third when I made a mistake behind a lapper; Papenmeier passed me and after that I couldn’t keep a good rhythm; I was faster than her in some sections, but couldn’t make a move. Van de Ven came back behind me and tried to pass me; I knew what she could do after what happened in Mantova, and in fact she crashed! But she was again behind me on the last lap; I knew that it would be tough but I never gave up as I wanted to secure the title today. I wanted to have a quiet night, and as I finished in front of her I secured the world title for the second time in my career, always with Kawasaki. I’ve been working hard for ten years now, and it was even harder this year as some young girls coming to the world Championship are really fast, but I knew that all my experience would help me, and today I got the reward for all these years of investment.”

MXGP 2016 Assen - Livia Lancelot
MXGP 2016 Assen – Livia Lancelot

Nancy Van de Ven made the podium six times with two rounds wins for second overall, while the 2009 vice-world champion, Larissa Papenmeier, made one podium appearance but was consistently knocking on the door of the top three, and finished third overall this season.

WMX Race 1 Top Ten
  1. Courtney Duncan (NZL, Yamaha), 25:12.799
  2. Kiara Fontanesi (ITA, Honda), +0:35.668
  3. Larissa Papenmeier (GER, Suzuki), +0:52.764
  4. Livia Lancelot (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:53.993
  5. Nancy Van De Ven (NED, Yamaha), +0:55.972
  6. Anne Borchers (GER, Suzuki), +1:38.964
  7. Nicky van Wordragen (NED, Kawasaki), +1:56.309
  8. Line Dam (DEN, Honda), -1 lap(s)
  9. Kimberley Braam (NED, Kawasaki), -1 lap(s)
  10. Lianne Muilwijk (NED, Honda), -1 lap(s).
WMX Race 2 Top Ten
  1. Nancy Van De Ven (NED, Yamaha), 26:08.066
  2. Courtney Duncan (NZL, Yamaha), +0:05.212
  3. Livia Lancelot (FRA, Kawasaki), +2:19.433
  4. Nicky van Wordragen (NED, Kawasaki), -1 lap(s)
  5. Kim Irmgartz (GER, Suzuki), -1 lap(s)
  6. Kimberley Braam (NED, Kawasaki), -1 lap(s)
  7. Anne Borchers (GER, Suzuki), -1 lap(s)
  8. Lianne Muilwijk (NED, Honda), -1 lap(s)
  9. Frida Östlund (SWE, Honda), -1 lap(s)
  10. Larissa Papenmeier (GER, Suzuki), -1 lap(s).
WMX Overall Top Ten
  1. Courtney Duncan (NZL, YAM), 47 points
  2. Nancy Van De Ven (NED, YAM), 41 p.
  3. Livia Lancelot (FRA, KAW), 38 p.
  4. Nicky van Wordragen (NED, KAW), 32 p.
  5. Larissa Papenmeier (GER, SUZ), 31 p.
  6. Anne Borchers (GER, SUZ), 29 p.
  7. Kimberley Braam (NED, KAW), 27 p.
  8. Kim Irmgartz (GER, SUZ), 26 p.
  9. Lianne Muilwijk (NED, HON), 24 p.
  10. Kiara Fontanesi (ITA, HON), 22 p.
WMX Championship Top Ten
  1. Livia Lancelot (FRA, KAW), 302 points
  2. Nancy Van De Ven (NED, YAM), 278 p.
  3. Larissa Papenmeier (GER, SUZ), 220 p.
  4. Kiara Fontanesi (ITA, HON), 214 p.
  5. Courtney Duncan (NZL, YAM), 196 p.
  6. Amandine Verstappen (BEL, KTM), 188 p.
  7. Anne Borchers (GER, SUZ), 164 p.
  8. Shana van der Vlist (NED, YAM), 125 p.
  9. Natalie Kane (IRL, KTM), 108 p.
  10. Britt Van Der Werff (NED, SUZ), 99 p.
MXGP 2016 Assen - Livia Lancelot
MXGP 2016 Assen – Livia Lancelot
WMX Manufacturers
  1. Yamaha, 323 points
  2. Kawasaki, 302 p.
  3. Honda, 258 p.
  4. Suzuki, 243 p.
  5. KTM, 221 p.
  6. Husqvarna, 56 p.