—  FIM MX1/MX2 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
— ROUND 01 MONDAY APRIL 9 VALKENSWAARD, HOLLAND
— Weather: Overcast, rain
— Temperature: 8 degrees C
— Attendance: 23,000

The first motos of the GP of the Netherlands were run in dry conditions, but by the first half of the second MX2 race started raining heavily. However, Antonio Cairoli and Jeffrey Herlings succeeded in being on the first step of the podium and they handed KTM the first double victory of the season.

Antonio Cairoli has won the first GP comfortably, taking the lead in the beginning of the races and crossing the finish line with a significant advantage over his rivals. Clement Desalle was second in both heats while Steven Frossard went 3-3.

In the MX2 class Jeffrey Herlings could show once more his potential on the sand and he dominated both heats with great authority. Second was Joel Roelants and third overall was his teammate Tommy Searle.

– MX1

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Cairoli obtained two solid victories and he was very satisfied with his performance this weekend. The Italian admitted that yesterday had some problems with the settings of the bike but today everything went really well and in both motos he crossed the finish line with more than ten seconds advantage over the second classified.

The second overall position was for Rockstar Energy Suzuki World’s Desalle who finished second in both heats. The Belgian had really good starts in both motos, but when he got into the second place, Cairoli had already pulled a massive gap from Desalle and the Belgian had to settle down for the second position in both heats.

Monster Energy Yamaha’s Frossard was not really satisfied with his riding this weekend even finishing third overall. The French took the holeshot in the first heat, but he made several mistakes and he went out the track twice. However, Frossard managed to cross the finish line third and so he did in the second moto.

Kawasaki Racing Team’s Paulin was fourth overall in his debut in the MX1 class. He had a really good first race finishing fourth, but he was involved in a crash in the start of the second heat and he had to fight hard from behind. Paulin’s speed was really good and at some point he even overtook three riders in one lap. In the end he crossed the finish line seventh.

HM Plant KTM UK’s Strijbos has begun the 2012 season at the front, obtaining an overall fifth place. In the first race he got a really good start and he rode among the top sixth positions during the whole heat, but in the second moto, he struggled a little bit more. After the first laps, Strijbos found himself really comfortable and he moved from an initial tenth place up to the final fifth position.

De Dycker got a really solid weekend in his debut with KTM and he ended sixth overall. The Belgian got a comfortable fifth position in the first heat and in the second one he managed to ride fourth during six laps. However, Gonçalves overtook him and later on De Dycker made a mistake which made him go down to eighth. Finally the Belgian crossed the finish line sixth.

Gonçalves was only able to finish tenth in the first heat, but in the second one he felt much better and went from seventh to fourth and finished the GP in a seventh overall position. His teammate Bobryshev suffered a really heavy crash in the first moto, which cause him a small concussion and breathing difficulties because the bike hit heavily his chest. Luckily the Russian has nothing broken and he was able to go out in the second heat, but he was only twelfth. Bobryshev was seventeenth in the Grand Prix.

In his debut with Monster Energy Yamaha, Simpson finished eighth overall, ahead of Leok and Boog. Italian Philippaerts got a seventh place in the first heat, but in the second one he was involved in a crash after the start and his clutch lever was damaged, which made his riding really difficult. The Italian was able to finish the race in the fifteenth position, so he was eleventh overall.

Christophe Pourcel has been sick during the whole weekend and even if he took the holeshot in the second heat, he was only able to obtain an overall fourteenth position.

MX1 Race 1 top ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 40:34.863; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), +0:18.926; 3. Steven Frossard (FRA, Yamaha), +0:19.932; 4. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:31.610; 5. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), +0:35.025; 6. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, KTM), +0:39.092; 7. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), +0:52.810; 8. Xavier Boog (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:59.049; 9. Tanel Leok (EST, Suzuki), +1:01.702; 10. Rui Goncalves (POR, Honda), +1:09.215;

MX1 Race 2 top ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 41:14.597; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), +0:13.554; 3. Steven Frossard (FRA, Yamaha), +0:20.857; 4. Rui Goncalves (POR, Honda), +0:32.973; 5. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, KTM), +0:59.751; 6. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), +1:04.839; 7. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), +1:10.455; 8. Shaun Simpson (GBR, Yamaha), +1:12.160; 9. Christophe Pourcel (FRA, Kawasaki), +1:16.549; 10. Matiss Karro (LAT, KTM), +1:17.996;

MX1 Overall top ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 50 points; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), 44 p.; 3. Steven Frossard (FRA, Yamaha), 40 p.; 4. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), 32 p.; 5. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, KTM), 31 p.; 6. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), 31 p.; 7. Rui Goncalves (POR, Honda), 29 p.; 8. Shaun Simpson (GBR, Yamaha), 23 p.; 9. Tanel Leok (EST, Suzuki), 22 p.; 10. Xavier Boog (FRA, Kawasaki), 20 p.;

MX1 Championship top ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 50 points; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), 44 p.; 3. Steven Frossard (FRA, Yamaha), 40 p.; 4. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), 32 p.; 5. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, KTM), 31 p.; 6. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), 31 p.; 7. Rui Goncalves (POR, Honda), 29 p.; 8. Shaun Simpson (GBR, Yamaha), 23 p.; 9. Tanel Leok (EST, Suzuki), 22 p.; 10. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), 20 p.;

MX1 Manufacturers: 1. KTM, 50 points; 2. Suzuki, 44 p.; 3. Yamaha, 40 p.; 4. Kawasaki, 32 p.; 5. Honda, 29 p.; 6. TM, 1 p.;

– MX2

For third time in a row, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Herlings went out with a double victory in front of the 23000 spectators that gathered together in Valkenswaard this weekend. The Dutch proved once again why he is known as the “King of the Sand” and he crossed the finish line with more than 54 seconds in the first race and 36 seconds in the second one.

Team Floride Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit’s Roelants impressed most of the paddock today with the overall second position. The Belgian admitted that he was a little bit too nervous in the first heat and he made a mistake in the start, but after some laps, he got really good rhythm and went from eleventh up to third. In the second heat he got a really good start and he overtook his teammate easily after the three first races and Roelants crossed the finish line second.

The third step of the podium was for Team Floride Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit’s Searle thanks to his second and third places. The British rider admitted that he was really satisfied with his performance today, as he is not a sand specialist rider, so he is now ready to go to Bulgaria to measure his speed with Herlings on the hard pack.

Fourth was KTM Factory Racing’s Van Horebeek after finishing fourth in both heats. The Belgian got a really solid first moto, but he started down to the twelfth position in the second heat. However, the Belgian rider found a good rhythm and moved up to fourth in the second half of the race.

His teammate Tixier completed the top five, so the three Factory KTM machines were in the top of the standings. It is the first season of Tixier in the Red Bull KTM Factory team and today has shown that he can be fighting for the top positions in the MX2 class. In Valkenswaard he went 6-7.

Nicholls, who was really good yesterday in the qualifying race, could only be sixth today. The Brit was fifth in the first heat, but a bad start in the second one made him give his best to move from an initial sixteenth position up to the fifth.

His compatriot Anstie was seventh in his debut with the Honda Gariboldi ESTA team and the two Rockstar Energy Bud Racing Kawasaki young French riders Teillet and Ferrandis were eighth and ninth respectively. Mel Pocock, who has been given the chance to race for Monster Energy Yamaha now that two of the official riders are injured, got a really good weekend and completed the top ten.

MX2 Race 1 top ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 39:38.886; ; 2. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:54.797; 3. Joel Roelants (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:59.601; 4. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, KTM), +1:49.941; 5. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), +1:55.350; 6. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), +2:06.414; 7. Alexander Tonkov (RUS, Honda), -1 lap(s); 8. Mel Pocock (GBR, Yamaha), -1 lap(s); 9. Valentin Teillet (FRA, Kawasaki), -1 lap(s); 10. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), -1 lap(s);

MX2 Race 2 top ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 39:23.774; ; 2. Joel Roelants (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:36.471; 3. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:55.418; 4. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, KTM), +2:09.242; 5. Max Anstie (GBR, Honda), +2:29.886; 6. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), -1 lap(s); 7. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), -1 lap(s); 8. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), -1 lap(s); 9. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), -1 lap(s); 10. Valentin Teillet (FRA, Kawasaki), -1 lap(s);

MX2 Overall top ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 50 points; 2. Joel Roelants (BEL, Kawasaki), 42 p.; 3. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), 42 p.; 4. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, KTM), 36 p.; 5. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), 29 p.; 6. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), 28 p.; 7. Max Anstie (GBR, Honda), 26 p.; 8. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), 24 p.; 9. Valentin Teillet (FRA, Kawasaki), 23 p.; 10. Mel Pocock (GBR, Yamaha), 22 p.;

MX2 Championship top ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 50 points; 2. Joel Roelants (BEL, Kawasaki), 42 p.; 3. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), 42 p.; 4. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, KTM), 36 p.; 5. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), 29 p.; 6. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), 28 p.; 7. Max Anstie (GBR, Honda), 26 p.; 8. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), 24 p.; 9. Valentin Teillet (FRA, Kawasaki), 23 p.; 10. Mel Pocock (GBR, Yamaha), 22 p.;

MX2 Manufacturers: 1. KTM, 50 points; 2. Kawasaki, 44 p.; 3. Honda, 30 p.; 4. Yamaha, 22 p.; 5. Suzuki, 19 p.; 6. Husqvarna, 16 p.;

– MX3

On Monday Valkenswaard´s paddock woke up to rainy day and weather forecast didn´t look better. MX3 closed this weekend full of racing and sandy track was very difficult after MX1 and MX2
riders. Even more heavy rain complicated MX3 Race two. Kevin Wouts became the overall winner of the GP of Valkenswaard.

In the morning the MX3 riders were prepared to start their first race of 2012 season. Everybody was focused on the first corner. Kevin Wouts semmed to be in a perfect condition. From start
he pushed hard, but he finished second. He wasn´t able to catch his compatriot Yentel Martens. Heavy rain during Race made the track rougher and Yentel Martens obtained only the fifth
place. On the other hand, Kevin Wouts had no problems riding with the rain, he was the fastest and he managed to be on the top of podium.

Yentel Martens: „It looks good, when I was second in qualifying. In the race one I rode without mistakes and it brings me a great victory. Second was not as good, weather became worse and I
wasn´t be so fast. But in overall I am second, I am satisfied.“

Hillinger KTM MX-Racing Team rider Matthias Walkner was third overall. In the first race he was fast from the begining. Then he lost a couple of seconds and finished sixth.

Matthias Walkner: “I was fast, I was riding at my limit and then I lost all of my energy, I was too exausted and I couldn´t stay in the first positions. The Race 2 was completely different.
It was raining, I was fast and I had a good luck, when I won. My dream becomes a reality.“

Good result aslo achieved Polish rider Lukasz Lonka. In the Race 1 was he 5th and in the second race fourth, which brough him to the 4th place overall. Antti Pyrhonen was very motivated to become the 2012 MX3 World Champion, but this weekend wasn´t in his direction. Antti´s performance in Valkenswaard suffied only for fifth position.

Kim Lindstrom was very fast in the second moto and he finished 3, which gave him the final sixth position. Jamie Law from Great Britain was riding on his KTM very well. He defended successful from Swedish Sjobergs attacks in the second race MX3 of a day. The top ten was completed by Marvin Van Daele, Gunter Schmidinger and home rider Michael Hool.

This weekend 23,000 spectators made a really good atmosphere here in Valkenswaard and everybody is now thinking about next week´s round in Castelnau de Levis (France).

MX3 – Race 1 results: 1. Yentel Martens (BEL, Kawasaki), 35:10.956; 2. Kevin Wouts (BEL, Kawasaki), 35:19.074; 3. Ceriel Klein Kromhof (NED, Honda), 35:24.754; 4. Antti Pyrhonen (FIN,  Honda), 35:59.874; 5. Lukasz Lonka (POL, Honda), 36:02.243; 6. Matthias Walkner (AUT, KTM), 36:10.038; 7. Günter Schmidinger (AUT, Honda), 36.10.970; 8. Marvin Van Daele (BEL, Kawasaki),
36:12.302; 9. Jamie Law (GBR, KTM), 36:28.814; 10. Michael Hool (NED, TM), 36:29.327

MX3 Race 2 results: 1. Kevin Wouts (BEL, Kawasaki), 35:19.190; 2. Matthias Walkner (GER, KTM), 35:23.050; 3. Kim Lindstrom (SWE, Kawasaki), 35:51.909; 4. Lukasz Lonka (POL, Honda), 35:53.486; 5. Yentel Martens (BEL, Kawasaki), 36.10.441; 6. Jamie Law (GBR, KTM) 36:42.341; 7. Rasmus Sjoberg (SWE, Honda), 36:43.152; 8. Antti Pyrhonen (FIN, Honda), 36:45.048; 9. Michael
Hool (NED, TM), 36:50.373; 10. Marvin Van Daele (BEL, Kawasaki), 36.57.727

MX3 Overall: 1. Kevin Wouts (BEL, Kawasaki), 47 pts; 2. Yentel Martens (BEL, Kawasaki), 41 pts; 3. Matthias Walkner (GER, KTM), 37 pts; 4. Lukasz Lonka (POL, Honda), 34 pts; 5. Antti Pyrhonen (FIN, Honda), 31 pts; 6. Kim Lindstrom (SWE, Kawasaki), 30 pts; 7. Jamie Law (GBR, KTM), 27; 8. Marvin Van Daele (BEL, Kawasaki) 24 pts; 9. Gunter Schmidinger (AUT, Honda), 24 pts ; 10. Michael Hool (NED, TM), 23 pts

– WMX

On Monday Valkenswaard´s paddock woke up to rainy day and weather forecast didn´t look better. Women started first in morning Race two. Sandy track was a little bit wet and more difficult to racing as yesterday. Chiara Fontanesi, Race one winner, was ready to repeat her performance.

Today start was less complicated, without troubles and first corner looked as we expected. Three fastest girls of weekend: Lancelot, Fontanesi and Laier were ready to fight and show what they really can do. Lancelot was in the front only for a couple of minutes, then Chiara Fontanesi took the lead. Until the end of race she made a nice lead and she was able to get the first win of 2012 WMX Championship.

Chiara Fontanesi: “I am very satisfied, I won, so everything is now OK. If I am ready to win in France? Yes, I think, that will be harder to win there. I tis completely different type of track and for me it is better to ride in a sand. But I hope, that I´ll win.“

Stephanie Laier and Livia Lancelot were catching up, but Livia was at quicker than Laier who is on her brand new Kawasaki. Stephanie, last year champion was third overall but she was satisfied with her performance today.

Behind first three riders the gap was really big and nobody could catch the leaders. But here was very fast group behind, too. Swedish trio: Sandra Adriansson, Sara Pettersson, Frida Oslund with home rider Britt Van Der Wekken who was fighting to improve one position. Sara Pettersson was the most successful from all, she obtained the fourth place.

Home rider Britt Van Der Wekken with a big support from spectators was seventh position in the middle of race. In last three laps she got up to fifth, but her compatriot Marianne Veenstra was very fast from the back. Marianne started not very well. When the another were getting slower, she pushed harder and with one lap to go she took Britt over and finished 5th.

Seventh position was for Swedish girl Frida Stlund. She had the same tempo for all the time and German rider Natalie Kane was attacking her at every opportunity, but unsuccessfully. Another home rider Nina Klink and German Anne Borchers completed the top ten.

WMX – Race 1 results: 1. Chiara Fontanesi (ITA, Yamaha), 26:38.719; 2. Stephanie Laier (GER, Kawasaki), 26:44.055; 3. Livia Lancelot (FRA, Kawasaki), 26:47.918; 4. Natalie Kane (GBR, KTM),  27:57.855; 5. Sara Peterson (SWE, KTM), 28:00.210; 6. Britt van der Wekken (NED, Honda), 28:00.496; 7. Frida Oslund (SWE, Honda), 28:31.481; 8. Nina Klink (NED, KTM), 28:36.749; 9. Marianne
Veenstra (NED, KTM), 28:38.317; 10. Sandra Adriansson (SWE, Kawasaki), 28:42.911

WMX Race 2 results: 1. Chiara Fontanesi (ITA, Yamaha), 25:12.264; 2. Livia Lancelot (FRA, Kawasaki), 25:21.934; 3. Stephanie Laier (GER, Kawasaki), 25:31.380; 4. Sara Pettersson (SWE, KTM), 26:19.600; 5. Marianne Veenstra (NED, KTM), 26:49.023; 6. Britt Van Der Wekken (NED, Honda), 26:49.972; 7. Frida Oslund (SWE, Honda), 27:10.661; 8. Natalie Kane (GBR, KTM), 27:21.923; 9.
Nina Klink (NED, KTM), 27:24.956; 10. Anne Borchers (GER, Suzuki), 27:31.455

WMX Overall: 1. Chiara Fontanesi (ITA, Yamaha), 50 pts; 2. Livia Lancelot (FRA, Kawasaki), 42 pts; 3. Stephanie Laier (GER, Kawasaki), 42 pts; 4. Sara Pettersson (SWE, KTM), 34 pts; 5. Natalie Kane (GBR, KTM), 31 pts; 6. Britt Van Der Wekken (NED, Honda), 30 pts; 7. Marianne Veenstra (NED, KTM) 28 pts; 8. Frida Oslund (SWE, Honda), 28 pts; 9. Nina Klink (NED, KTM), 25
pts; 10. Anne Borchers (GER, Suzuki), 19 pts

– Red Bull KTM Report

KTM’s Cairoli and Herlings win MX1 and MX2 GPs at Valkenswaard

Red Bull KTM factory riders Tony Cairoli and Jeffrey Herlings both launched their bids for 2012 World Championship titles in MX1 and MX2 respectively on Easter Monday at the first GP of the 2012 World Championship season in Valkenswaard.

Both Cairoli on the KTM 350 SX-F and Herlings on the KTM 250 SX-F took double moto wins for maximum points in a display of near perfect riding in the soft wet sand of this Dutch circuit. It was also a solid day for the other riders in the factory team with Ken de Dycker of Belgium standing in for the injured Max Nagl finishing overall sixth. Herlings’ two MX2 teammates Jeremy van Horebeek and Jordi Tixier finished overall 4-5.

While Cairoli was his usual stylish self, the day perhaps belonged to Jeffrey Herlings, the Dutch teenager who put on a stunning display of sand riding at his home circuit at Valkenswaard. He was 51 seconds ahead of the field at the end of the first moto, lapping up to seventh place and 37 seconds ahead in the second moto, lapping up to sixth place. While the undisputed best sand rider in the World championship series, Herlings now has to put his head down and prove he is just as strong on other surfaces. It was the third season in a row that Herlings has won in Valkenswaard.

MX2 Jeremy van Horebeek of Belgium missed the podium by one place, he did well to be twice fourth on a surface that is not his favorite on a day when riders had to contend with stinging rain and restricted visibility. Valkenswaard was also good for the team’s rookie signing Jordi Tixier of France who exceeded his pre season desire to finish top ten over the first half of the 2012 competition. Tixier was 7-6 in the individual motos for overall fifth.

Cairoli turned in two near perfect motos on what he says is his favorite track to pick up yet another red plate for his collection and he had a chance to put his experience to the test in the second moto. He came out of the start in fourth place and quickly tucked behind settled into third on the back of Clement DeSalle and Steven Frossard. He then waited his chance to overtake them while they expended energy fighting against each other for the lead. Once Tony hit the front he stretched out the advantage and at the checkered flag he was a very comfortable 13.5 seconds ahead of the dueling pair that followed. Near the end of the second moto it also looked like DeDycker would finish overall fourth but finally finished with a 5-6 moto results and overall sixth, a result that satisfied the team.

Tony Cairoli: “I just rode a smart race with not so many mistakes. I had a good speed and also good fitness levels so everything was good to take the won. Riding in the sand is just fun for me and I don’t really get tired. Now I look forward to see what my speed is like on hard pack!”

Jeffrey Herlings: I knew was going to be fast and that no one could stay with me if I was riding well. But although I rode well my starts weren’t that good even if I managed to make up the ground I lost. I think in Bulgaria (next GP) if I ride well, stay healthy and make a good start I can there win too. We’ll do our best. I know the team is behind me. I have a good bike so it all comes down to me.”

KTM Head of Motorsport Pit Beirer was at Valkenswaard for the season’s opener and expressed satisfaction with the factory team’s results. “It was a difficult race, Valkenswaard in this condition,” he said, thanking the team for their efforts. “It was just the very first beginning, the very first step. The season will be long and its now important to stay concentrated. To have the GP winners in both classes is a great season opener. Let’s keep on pushing.”

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing MX1 Team Manager Claudio de Carli: “As usual I can say once again that we are a great team. It is only the first GP so now we have to keep on working. There can be difficult situations for us but we are strong and united and we will try to do out best again. We have also Ken (de Dycker) who is new since only one week. We tried to give him everything we could and we could already see great results great results from him.”

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing MX2 Team Manager Stefan Everts: “Jeffrey is in the lead with 50 points, we have Jeremy on fourth with 36 points and Jordi is fifth so three of the factory riders are in the top five and that’s a big plus to start the opening season. In MX1 we have Antonio with 50 and Ken now on sixth place with 31 points. Now we have a few days off to be fresh for Bulgaria and let’s kick ass there.”

– Rockstar Energy Suzuki Report

Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe started its FIM Motocross World MX2 Championship campaign with the latest versions of the formidable RM-Z250 machinery with Harri Kullas and Petar Petrov both attacking the tricky and rippled sand of the Valkenswaard circuit at Grand Prix of the Netherlands today.

The overall standings show the Finn and Bulgarian 13th and 19th in the MX2 category but the results hide stories of endeavour and courage. Despite an incredibly-impressive recent fitness test at the Ortema facility in Germany, Kullas discovered a mineral imbalance in his body last week that was causing fatigue. The youngster was able to take measures to correct the situation in the days leading up to Valkenswaard but he still had to face two cold, wet and lengthy races through the bumpy terrain. A poor start followed by an average one saw him battling to make ground through the pack and he posted finishes of 16th and 11th.

Petrov had picked up a sore left leg as a result of a practice accident during the week. Another fall in Sunday’s qualification heat hardly made race day any easier for the teenager. He gathered a hatful of positions thanks to an ambitious and gutsy trawl through the pack in the first moto to place 14th but was unable to improve later in the afternoon after catching green fencing in his back wheel and needing to enter the pit-lane for assistance in freeing-up the rear end of the Suzuki. He re-joined the fray but was forced out of action shortly after.

The young FIM Motocross World Championship points table hold Kullas and Petrov in the same positions as their Grand Prix ranking. In two weeks time round two of sixteen will take place at Sevlievo for Petrov’s home event and the Grand Prix of Bulgaria.

Harri Kullas: “I’m not 100% fit at the moment but we have discovered why and it is a positive thing that we know I have been struggling with and we can put it right. I already felt better on Sunday compared to the weekend before. In the first race I had a terrible start and couldn’t push like I normally could. In the second I was a bit better out of the gate but became ‘parked’ in the second corner as all the riders bunched up. After that I was good in the beginning and made some passes but it wasn’t my normal level. Still I could take some points. I hope I can be in much better shape for Sevlievo.”

Petar Petrov: “I’ve had a really unlucky week. On Tuesday I crashed when I couldn’t avoid the bike of a slower rider and I had a lot of pain in my leg. I had physio all week but still I came here feeling uncomfortable. Sunday was difficult even though I had the 11th best time in pre qualification. I crashed in the qualification heat and hurt the same leg again which meant I was last in the gate. I rode OK in the first moto and came back from 39th to 14th without any goggles. I was in the top 15 at the start of the second moto and just touched the fence and got it caught in my rear wheel. I didn’t have any brake and had to pit to get it sorted. It was a not a great day but I will be strong in Bulgaria.”

Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1’s Clement Desalle picked up his first GP podium finish of the season today with second overall at a wet and windy Valkenswaard for the Grand Prix of the Netherlands and the opening round of 16 in the FIM Motocross World Championship.

The RM-Z450-mounted Belgian launched his GP campaign with a strong showing in front of 23,000 spectators at the bumpy and slick course. Although a sustained rain shower dispersed the public towards the end of the second of two 35 minute and 2 lap motos, Desalle had already danced in between the drops on his works motorcycle to score results of 2nd and 2nd to lift a trophy behind Antonio Cairoli and in front of Steven Frossard.

The 22 year old was a protagonist from the early stages of both races thanks to two bright starts and a smart but efficient pace that kept him in contention at the front of the pack. Desalle fought with Cairoli and Frossard in the first and the second sprints. The highlight was perhaps the intense spat with Frossard in race two and his successful plight to keep the Frenchman in his wheel tracks for the latter half of the duration. After a mishap in 2010 and fifth position in 2011 at Valkenswaard, Desalle has captured silverware from the word ‘go’ for his third attempt at the premier MX1 crown in ‘yellow’.

New team-mate Tanel Leok had a tough debut as a Suzuki factory rider. The Estonian is not 100% fit although any discomfort from his injured leg was not apparent in his resilient charge from the rear end of the field to 9th position in the first moto. Leok claimed that he struggled with bike fitness in the second race but his spirit was evident again and he manfully completed the race in 11th for 9th in the final MX1 classification.

With Desalle and Leok filling 2nd and 9th in the early Championship Standings the racers and the Belgian team will head next to Bulgaria (Sevlievo) and then Italy (Fermo) for rounds two and three in the coming three weeks.

Clement Desalle: “I’m satisfied because I feel good; I rode pretty safe and at my own speed. The pace was good, the track was bumpy and difficult, but it is not like Lommel. We had four categories this weekend and the track was managed for all that racing so there were not many bumps inside the actual corners. I gave the best I could and this is OK for the moment.”

Tanel Leok: “Already yesterday I had reinjured my leg and I found in the first moto I couldn’t attack the left corners and then in the second one my race fitness was not the best it could be because I haven’t been on the track all that much in the last weeks. I lost my goggles at the beginning…I need to heal-up because I know I can be much better. The results do not make me happy at the moment and so many things are wrong physically, so I know what needs to be done before the next race.”

– HRC Report

Honda World Motocross team’s Rui Goncalves posted results of tenth and a strong fourth to collect seventh position overall through the rain of the Grand Prix of the Netherlands at a rainy Valkenswaard to open the 2012 FIM Motocross World Championship. Both MX1 races were won by KTM’s Antonio Cairoli.

Goncalves struggled to find his rhythm on the CRF450R in the first moto of 35 minutes and 2 laps duration and across the rippled sand a short distance south of the city of Eindhoven. Goncalves nevertheless was able to secure a top ten finish on the factory machine and was determined for better in the second moto.

23,000 spectators weathered cold, windy conditions and heavy rainfall in the second half of the race schedule and watched the former MX2 vice-champion forge a more effective pace to catch and pass former GP winners Ken De Dycker and Kevin Strijbos. His finish of fourth place was his highest since the penultimate round of 2011 and the Grand Prix of Europe in Gaildorf, Germany.

Team-mate Evgeny Bobryshev demonstrated bravery and grit in Holland. The Russian stretched his right thumb on Saturday that left him with a painful and swollen hand. The 2011 German Grand Prix winner then suffered a crash in the first moto on holiday Monday and sustained a contusion to the hip as well as a heavy impact to the ribs and his shoulder. ‘Bobby’ was cleared to compete by the circuit medical staff and after taking a painkillers completed the second race in twelfth and bagged nine points.

LS Motors Honda’s Jonathan Barragan made his Grand Prix debut with the CRF450R and the Spaniard experienced contrasting motos. The former winner at Valkenswaard recently changed suspension supplier and was lacking decent testing time. The set-up was amiss for the multi Spanish champion in the first outing and he rode to seventeenth. Some changes and a decent start in the second affair produced a better performance and he was inside the top ten for the majority of the moto until a slip on a jump-face caused him to drop to thirteenth by the flag.

In the MX2 class another new Honda recruit, Honda Gariboldi-Esta’s Max Anstie guided his CRF250R to seventh in the final classification and the young Briton shone at the highest stage particularly in the second moto where he placed fifth.

Round two of sixteen will take place in two weeks (April 22nd) at Sevlievo for the Grand Prix of Bulgaria.

Rui Goncalves: Race Result: 10th/4th Championship position: 7th
“I was not myself in the first moto. I was riding a little bit tight and making a lot of mistakes and losing so much time in passing the lappers. I finished tenth and knew that in the second moto I needed to change something. I approached the race differently and felt better, even if I didn’t get such a great start. Halfway through the moto I got stronger and was consistent with my lap-times to finish fourth. I was happy with that and the team have worked really hard and I want to thank them all. The track was a bit different. It didn’t get as deep and rough as it usually does and was pretty slippery. You had to keep concentrated because it was tricky out there. I’ll go home now then ride some hard pack in France and continue to focus for the next GP.”

Evgeny Bobryshev: Race Result: DNF/12th Championship position: 17th
“The weekend started badly from Sunday and I don’t know why. Things were not going well from the free practice and I crashed and twisted my thumb. I had bad luck in the qualification heat when I went off the track and damaged the exhaust, so I was last in the gate. I had a big crash in the first moto and hit my chest, my side, shoulder and head and I couldn’t breath! My hip was really hurting and we made a medical examination and everything was OK, but there was a big contusion. The doctors left the decision up to me so I decided to go through the pain. The painkillers helped a bit, but through all the jumps and bumps it was really hard and I wanted to cry because of the pain. I don’t know what will happen in the rest of the races, but maybe the nine points I won today will help me in the championship…I hope so.”

Jonathan Barragan: Race Result: 17th/13th Championship position: 15th
“Quite a bad day, I’m not happy with the result, but this is mainly as a consequence of our recent change of suspension and we are missing time to get the setting as we want it. I couldn’t push any harder in the first moto and it was disappointing not being able to do any better. We had to make changes and we did, and thankfully they worked for the second. I could run at a better speed and I’m just a bit frustrated by that crash at the end. Anyway we have some work to do now and plenty of races ahead.”

– Yamaha Report

Frossard in fast form and makes podium appearance in Holland

After their impressive team presentation in front of international media and guests on Saturday evening Monster Energy Yamaha picked up their first silverware of the FIM Motocross World Championship at a grey, rainy and cold Valkenswaard for the Grand Prix of the Netherlands. Steven Frossard finished third overall on his YZ450FM and battled with Antonio Cairoli and Clement Desalle in both motos as the trio led the world through the slippery and rough Dutch sand.

Frossard jostled for pole position with reigning champion Cairoli on Sunday under bright skies but the weather took a turn for the worse on race day. Starting from third and fourth positions in the gates on their YZ450FMs Frossard, David Philippaerts and debutant Shaun Simpson, in thirteenth, got their Grand Prix campaigns underway watched by 23,000 spectators who braved the elements.

The 2011 MX1 vice champion set the pace in the first moto but couldn’t get comfortable with his rhythm and several mistakes allowed Cairoli through. Frossard swapped track space with Desalle in the second race and a better performance despite driving rain saw the Frenchman circulate in a smart and steady third position for a strong start to the six month competition.

Shaun Simpson rode well and confidently on his first Grand Prix outing as a Yamaha rider and on the YZ450FM. The Scot started badly in the opening sprint but cut a path through to eleventh place. A better launch in the second race positioned the former British Champion in the second half of the top ten and he was just pipped to seventh on the last lap. The 24 year old was eighth overall for an encouraging day.

Philippaerts, on his first Grand Prix since last July, was pushing hard in the first moto and grabbed a decent seventh spot for his efforts. A crash through the busy set of turns at the beginning of the second race meant the Italian had to find space and time from the rear of the forty-strong entry. ‘DP’ made it to fifteenth for eleventh position for the Dutch curtain-raiser.

The fledgling standings reflect the final Grand Prix standings and with another two Grands Prix scheduled in April a better picture of the early MX1-GP story will be evident by the end of the month. Monster Energy Yamaha will have a free weekend before back-to-back events in Bulgaria and Italy.

Steven Frossard, 3rd: “I didn’t ride well in the first moto. I had a few good laps at the beginning but then I had some arm-pump and then pushed a bit too much. I don’t know how many mistakes I made! I went outside the track twice. I was very disappointed because I rode like I did a few years ago in MX2 by pushing too much. I turned the day around and I was happier after the second moto because I rode quite close to how I do in training. The track was strange. In the first moto some parts were very bad but then they were graded too much for the second.”

Shaun Simpson, 7th: “Coming into this weekend my goal was a top ten finish. I took eleventh in the first one and, unluckily, Paulin passed me on the last corner of the second otherwise I would have had seventh. Eleventh and eighth and seventh in the championship is not a bad way to start the championship. I think my starts could have been better and I showed in the second race that with a decent getaway I can hang ‘up there’. I’m strong at the beginning of the race and also at the end so now I need to work on that middle section a little bit. I’m looking forward to the hardpack in Bulgaria and Italy now. The team have done good work and I feel good on the Yamaha. In the last three weeks we have made a lot of great little changes and it has made the difference. The team atmosphere is good and I find myself wanting to get back to the truck and wanting to talk to people so I’m all smiles at the moment.”

David Philippaerts, 11th: “I didn’t feel good today and I’m not 100% physically. Those two bad starts did not help me. I broke the clutch in the second race crash. It has not been a perfect day but this is the first race of the season and the first GP for a long time for me. I think Bulgaria will be different both for the track and the condition. We will see what will happen. I’m not so happy with today but we will keep on working. The bike was really good here but the track was bumpy and is a bit special with its demands. The next couple of tracks are good for me so I will hope for better.”

Fontanesi wins Women’s class as Pocock shines in MX2-GP

The Grand Prix of the Netherlands saw a fantastic achievement by Chiara Fontanesi as the Italian won both motos to claim a dominant victory in the first round of the FIM Women’s World Championship. A dark and rainy Valkenswaard circuit saw Monster Energy Yamaha missing the on-track presence of Christophe Charlier, Zach Osborne and Arnaud Tonus, however current MX2 British Championship leader Mel Pocock was able to take his YZ250F to a personal best GP finish of 10th overall.

The opening foray of the FIM Motocross World Championship took place in front of 23,000 spectators and under a cold and wet climate but Fontanesi was unstoppable on her 2012 YZ250F and bounced across the Dutch sand to comfortably control both motos from start to finish. It was her second success in a row after having owned the final event of the 2011 calendar and installs her as a firm title candidate in the eight round series.

Pocock was drafted into the Monster Energy Yamaha world championship frame to bolster the Yamaha ranks in the category and get the factory machinery on the GP stage. The 20 year old was set for competition on the British and European scenes but demonstrated recent progressions with his riding and fitness by racing to a superb set of 8th and 12th place finishes; his best results at this level.

Hopefully Christophe Charlier will be given a green light towards the end of this week to try riding his YZ250FM for the first time since breaking a small bone in his right foot. The Frenchman could well be ready for a debut as a works rider in two weeks for the Grand Prix of Bulgaria. Fontanesi’s next appointment will be round two of the Women’s contest in France next weekend.

Chiara Fontanesi, 1st Women’s World Championship: “I wanted to get that red plate because last year I tried but couldn’t do it. The track was really nice and I love the sand, especially when it is like that. I have only been riding for a month now because I had a wrist injury but I am a bit more experienced. I am learning all the time and I am trying to be a bit more aggressive with my riding.”

Mel Pocock, 10th: “I think that was the best day of racing I have ever had. I almost holeshot the first race! I rode out of my comfort zone but I didn’t feel out of control. I made some good laps and went on for as long as I could to finish eighth. It was a mega ride and everyone was happy. The bike was unreal. I didn’t have such a good start in the second race but pushed up to seventh, Jake Nicholls passed me, so I rode the rest of the race out from there. Considering I haven’t been training forty minute motos because I didn’t think I would be doing the Grands Prix this early, I think I rode out of my skin and I’ve upped my game in practically every way.”