— FIM MX1/MX2 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND 10 SUNDAY JULY 15 KEGUMS, LATVIA
— Weather: Changeable, showers / Temperature: 16 degrees C / Attendance: 21,000
— Cairoli grabs back red plate as Roelants toasts maiden victory

The MXGP of Latvia will remain in the memories of many, especially for Antonio Cairoli, who was back on the top of the podium and recuperated the red plate, Ken De Dycker because he obtained the maiden podium of the season and Kevin Strijbos, whose last heat win was back five years ago. This weekend will be also especially remembered by Joel Roelants after obtaining his maiden Grand Prix win and Jordi Tixier for his first ever MX2 podium.MX1

However, it will be a weekend to forget for others; In MX1 Clement Desalle made numerous mistakes, which made him finish sixth and lose the red plate. Whereas in MX2 Jeffrey Herlings got a DNF in the second race when his KTM stopped, and Tommy Searle could not finish any of the heats due to mechanical problems.

The second race of the UEM EMX250 took place this morning and Mel Pocock went out with the win again and he obtained his second round victory of the season. Second on the podium was Stefan Olsen and third was Mike Kras. It was a difficult weekend for Jeremy Seewer, who was only able to finish sixth overall.

MX1
The day started really good for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli, who took the holeshot of the first race and dominated it easily until the chequered flag. But things changed in the second moto when he had a big crash when leading and he dropped down to fifth. The Italian damaged his left wrist ligament in the crash, but he was able to move up to second and win the Latvian Grand Prix and he recuperated the red plate.

His teammate Ken De Dycker had one of the best weekends of the season by finishing second overall thanks to his 2-3 result. It is the first podium of the Belgian this season and he admitted that he is very satisfied to have been able to hand his team Red Bull KTM Factory Racing this result and he expects to finish on the rostrum more times this season.

It was a very special weekend also for Kevin Strijbos, not only for being on the third step of the podium, but also for wining the second heat. The last time the Belgian rider won a race in the FIM Motocross World Championship was back in 2007 during the Grand Prix of the Netherlands in Lierop, so it was a great feeling for the Belgian to cross the finish line first once again after such a long period of time. Strijbos felt really comfortable in the second race because the track was muddy, but he admitted that he struggled a lot in the first one because it was too fast for him. In fact, he was really surprised to be on the podium because he had only been able to finish tenth in the first race.

Honda Word Motocross’ Rui Gonçalves missed the podium this weekend being tight in points with Kevin Strijbos, but he is very satisfied for having proved that he is able to ride among the top MX1 riders. The Portuguese rider had already a good qualifying race yesterday and today he finished third in the first moto, but the rough conditions of the second race made him finish fifth.

Completing the top five was Gautier Paulin after finishing fourth and sixth in today’s races. The Kawasaki Racing Team rider started the day full of confidence because he had had a good qualifying race yesterday. In fact, he was able to finish fourth in the first heat, but the heavy rain between the motos made the track more demanding and although Paulin was able to ride second, he made three mistakes in one lap and he lost three positions. The French rider was recuperating his rhythm again when he made another mistake and had to settle down with the sixth place.

Clement Desalle had a tough weekend in Kegums and lost the red plate after finishing sixth overall. The Belgian rider crashed in the opening lap of the first moto and had to fight from the tenth position, but when he was moving up to seventh, he made a mistake again and was dropped to thirteenth; in the end Desalle was seventh. In the second race Desalle rode much better, but he crashed when he was second and crossed the finish line fourth.

Tanel Leok and Shaun Simpson had two consistent motos and they finished seventh and eighth respectively, whereas Evgeny Bobryshev, who finished fifth in the first race, crashed in the first lap of the second moto and had to push from the nineteenth position to finish eleventh and obtain an overall ninth place. Xavier Boog completed the top ten.

It was a disappointing weekend for Christophe Pourcel, who did not find himself comfortable on the Latvian track and he was only eleventh overall.

Home rider Augusts Justs finished nineteenth and obtained four valuable points.

MX1 Race 1 top ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 40:10.291; 2. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), +0:14.660; 3. Rui Goncalves (POR, Honda), +0:19.982; 4. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:25.045; 5. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:29.425; 6. Tanel Leok (EST, Suzuki), +0:30.185; 7. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), +0:48.051; 8. Shaun Simpson (GBR, Yamaha), +0:49.206; 9. Christophe Pourcel (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:50.222; 10. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, KTM), +0:50.592;

MX1 Race 2 top ten: 1. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, KTM), 40:41.137; 2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:09.646; 3. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), +0:14.187; 4. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), +0:21.801; 5. Rui Goncalves (POR, Honda), +0:23.040; 6. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:34.385; 7. Tanel Leok (EST, Suzuki), +0:40.746; 8. Shaun Simpson (GBR, Yamaha), +0:51.920; 9. Xavier Boog (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:54.297; 10. Marc de Reuver (NED, Kawasaki), +1:20.375;MX2

MX1 Overall top ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 47 points; 2. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), 42 p.; 3. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, KTM), 36 p.; 4. Rui Goncalves (POR, Honda), 36 p.; 5. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), 33 p.; 6. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), 32 p.; 7. Tanel Leok (EST, Suzuki), 29 p.; 8. Shaun Simpson (GBR, Yamaha), 26 p.; 9. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), 26 p.; 10. Xavier Boog (FRA, Kawasaki), 22 p.;

MX1 Championship top ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 392 points; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), 380 p.; 3. Christophe Pourcel (FRA, Kawasaki), 357 p.; 4. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), 348 p.; 5. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), 299 p.; 6. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, KTM), 279 p.; 7. Xavier Boog (FRA, Kawasaki), 258 p.; 8. Tanel Leok (EST, Suzuki), 230 p.; 9. Rui Goncalves (POR, Honda), 219 p.; 10. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), 212 p.;

MX1 Manufacturers: 1. KTM, 442 points; 2. Kawasaki, 427 p.; 3. Suzuki, 391 p.; 4. Yamaha, 302 p.; 5. Honda, 291 p.; 6. TM, 58 p.;

MX2

Team Floride Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit’s Joel Roelants proved that he is back 100% after obtaining his maiden MX2 podium this weekend in Latvia. In the first race Roelants started fifth but he found really good lines and he was leading the heat already in lap eight. In the second moto the Belgian rider decided to enter the pitlane to change his goggles because he was having problems to overtake Anstie who was riding fourth. Once Roelants was out again, he easily overtook the British rider and climbed up to the second position, which gave him the overall win.

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeremy Van Horebeek was a little bit disappointed for having missed the overall victory because he felt really comfortable on the Latvian track. The Belgian rider dominated from beginning to end the second moto, but in the first one Van Horebeek crashed with Jose Butrón while they were fighting for the first position and the Belgian was only able to cross the finish line third.

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jordi Tixier was visibly moved after crossing the finish line of the second moto third and realizing that he was third overall of the Latvian Grand Prix. The French rider was fifth in the first race and he then had a really good start in the second moto and he managed to keep the third position until the chequered flag.

It was also a really good weekend for Glen Coldenhoff, who finished fourth overall thanks to his 8-5 result. It has been one of the best results for the Nestaan JM Racing KTM rider, who has moved from thirteenth to eleventh in the point standings after this weekend.

The fifth overall position was for Diga Racing KTM’s Jose Butrón; the Spanish rider took the holeshot of race one and he was able to lead the race for seven laps, but he could not keep the rhythm and crossed the finish line sixth. In the second moto he did not have such a good start and had to fight from his initial twelfth position to finish seventh.

Max Anstie had a difficult first race, where he was only able to finish fourteenth due to several mistakes he made during the heat. However, in the second moto he finished fourth even after crashing when he was riding fifth. In the end, Anstie finished sixth overall.

Jeffery Herlings started from the outside today because he got a DNF yesterday in the qualifying race, but he had really good starts and he was able to ride among the top five already in the first laps of both motos. The Dutch rider finished second in the first race, and while he was riding second in the second moto, his KTM stopped and had to pull out the race. Herlings was seventh overall, but he is still leading the MX2 standings with 41 points advantage over Tommy Searle.

Arnaud Tonus made a mistake in the first race while he was riding sixth and he was only able to cross the finish line in the ninth position. In the second race Tonus crashed again in the opening lap, but he was able to finish ninth, which gave him the overall eighth position.

Romain Febvre was eighth overall and Jens Getteman completed the top ten.

Dylan Ferrandis was tenth in the first moto but he got DNF in the second one, which made him finish fifteenth overall.Roelants

Christophe Charlier has not felt fully fit this weekend and he has had some problems with his shoulder again. However, he managed to finish eighteenth overall.

It was also a difficult weekend for Zach Osborne; in the first heat the American did not have a good start and crashed when was trying to overtake Strijbos for the twelfth position. In the second moto he crashed again and he hit his head and as he was not feeling 100% confident to carry on, he decided to pull out the race.

It was a weekend to forget for Tommy Searle who had two DNF’s due to mechanical problems. In the first race there was a problem with one of the oil pipes of his Kawasaki and in the second moto he had a problem with the back tyre. Searle did not score any points this weekend, so the fight for the Title gets more completed than ever for the British rider.

MX2 Race 1 top ten: 1. Joel Roelants (BEL, Kawasaki), 39:26.119; ; 2. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +0:11.964; 3. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, KTM), +0:15.035; 4. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), +0:17.148; 5. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), +0:31.514; 6. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), +0:38.080; 7. Romain Febvre (FRA, KTM), +0:43.017; 8. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:44.453; 9. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), +0:46.327; 10. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), +1:03.649;

MX2 Race 2 top ten: 1. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, KTM), 40:08.550; ; 2. Joel Roelants (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:05.653; 3. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), +0:40.065; 4. Max Anstie (GBR, Honda), +0:45.920; 5. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:50.273; 6. Nikolaj Larsen (DEN, Suzuki), +1:45.706; 7. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), +1:49.834; 8. Jens Getteman (BEL, Suzuki), +1:53.832; 9. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), +2:01.686; 10. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Husqvarna), +2:05.292;

MX2 Overall top ten: 1. Joel Roelants (BEL, Kawasaki), 47 points; 2. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, KTM), 45 p.; 3. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), 36 p.; 4. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 29 p.; 5. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), 29 p.; 6. Max Anstie (GBR, Honda), 25 p.; 7. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 25 p.; 8. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), 24 p.; 9. Romain Febvre (FRA, KTM), 24 p.; 10. Jens Getteman (BEL, Suzuki), 21 p.;

MX2 Championship top ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 428 points; 2. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), 387 p.; 3. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, KTM), 375 p.; 4. Joel Roelants (BEL, Kawasaki), 310 p.; 5. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), 279 p.; 6. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), 255 p.; 7. Max Anstie (GBR, Honda), 224 p.; 8. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), 197 p.; 9. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), 190 p.; 10. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Husqvarna), 183 p.;

— Yamaha Report

Monster Energy Yamaha’s Shaun Simpson continued to build on his recent run of consistent speed and form and walked away from Kegums and the Grand Prix of Latvia with eighth position overall for the tenth round of sixteen in the FIM Motocross World Championship.

The Scot pushed for fourth place on his factory YZ450FM across the fast and loose sandy soil on Saturday during the Qualification Heat but a small mistake on the final lap saw him lose a slot and roll into the gate on a cold, windy and rainy Sunday with sixth spot.

The terrain was slippery, very bumpy and rough in sections while hard and ‘full-gas’ in others and demanded respect and concentration. In the changeable conditions that alternated sunshine and torrential showers – that affected the track even more – Simpson rode to two eighth positions in front of 21,000 weather-beaten spectators

The 24 year old almost secured seventh at the close of the opening race but an altercation with a backmarker on the penultimate circulation meant that Clement Desalle was able to relegate ‘24’. A bright launch in the second moto saw Simpson battling strongly for second place with Gautier Paulin until losing a bit of momentum in the final third of the race distance; a consequence of slight illness experienced since Saturday morning.

The former British Champion – flying solo in the works team after recent operations for Steven Frossard (knee) and David Philippaerts (wrists) – is 11th in the MX1 championship standings. Monster Energy Yamaha now head directly east for the inauguration of Semigorje as a venue for the Grand Prix of Russia (only the second FIM meeting this century in the country) next weekend.

Shaun Simpson: “I wasn’t feeling too great this weekend and after putting in a fast lap on Saturday I thought ‘this is going to be hard work’. My speed was good and the heat race went OK and I was happy with sixth for the gate. I didn’t get the best start in the first moto but was holding seventh until Desalle got me on the last lap. A backmarker majorly held me up and I was annoyed because I was working to keep him and Paulin behind. I was away well in the second moto and was behind Cairoli when he made a mistake and Paulin almost landed on him. It was really sketchy. I was doing well and pushing Paulin for second place and I felt OK but in the last fifteen minutes I just started getting a bit tired and couldn’t push any more. I couldn’t hold off Tanel [Leok] and finished eighth overall. It was a consistent day and the kind of results I was looking for at the beginning of the year but I guess after what happened in Sweden I was hoping for a bit more. I think after a small rest we can look forward to Russia.”

Pocock shines at Latvian Grand Prix
The Grand Prix of Latvia at Kegums represented the tenth round of sixteen in the FIM Motocross World Championship and for the MX2 division of Monster Energy Yamaha it was another encouraging meeting of results, performance and speed. Mel Pocock was able to dominate what was the second event of seven in the European EMX250 competition (the feeder series to MX-GP) by heading every practice session and comfortably winning both motos to extend his lead in the standings to 20 points on the YZ250F.

In the Grand Prix class both Zach Osborne and Arnaud Tonus had the pace to affect the upper areas of the final classification but both endured incidents of misfortune. The hard-packed sand of the circuit was rough in parts but home to some big and exciting jumps and the racing was close with rider mistakes largely determining the loss and gain of time and positions. The technical demands of the track increased after heavy rain Saturday night and several times on Sunday and the concentration levels of the racers had to remain optimum.

21,000 spectators were able to see Tonus finish eighth overall but only after suffering a smashed left eye on Saturday thanks to a rock that broke his goggles. The Swiss also hit to the watery mud at the beginning of the second moto on Sunday. Arnaud had some difficulty in finding a flow and effective speed but at least bagged points for two ninth positions after the pair of 35 minutes and 2 lap races.

Osborne was third, fourth and first fastest in the free practice, pre-qualification and warm-up sessions but slipped off his bike in the first corner of the qualification heat and had to work back from last to the sixteenth gate position. A bad start and another fall in the first moto on Sunday meant a similar scenario and he made the points with eighteenth. Another meeting with the mud in the second sprint caused ‘338’ to retire after banging his head but a sore neck was the only consequence.

Christophe Charlier was eighteenth overall and posted a best result of thirteenth in the second moto. The Frenchman struggled with the right shoulder he dislocated at the Grand Prix of France and the bumps and ruts were heavy work for the former European Champion.

The Grand Prix of Russia at the new site of Semigorje will take place next weekend for round eleven of the calendar.

Mel Pocock: “It couldn’t have gone better today. I took the holeshot in the first race and made a seven lead so I could control it from there. In the next one I wasn’t first at the start but moved up quickly in the opening few turns. I pulled away again and managed to sit there! I’m so glad my races were scheduled when they were! We missed the worst of the weather, which was horrendous. I’m so happy to win again and keep the red plate. Steve [Dixon, Team Manager] has put together such a good bike. My speed would put me in a good position in the MX2 GP and it’s good knowing I could be running with those guys…with a bit of luck it will be next year!”

Zach Osborne: “I had the speed all weekend: third in the free practice, fourth in the pre-qualification and fastest in warm-up this morning. I went down on the first turn of the qualification heat on Saturday and that kinda snowballed into what happened today. The first moto was really bad. I had a poor start and then fell on the second lap and came back from last again to eighteenth. In the second one I crashed on my own. It is disappointing. I have the speed and the fitness but to come away from here with only three points is frustrating.”

Arnaud Tonus: “In the first practice session I wasn’t so good on the bike but then I had a stone in the face. I had to stop and only managed ten minutes. In the second session I tried to get a rhythm going but it didn’t really happen for me all weekend to be honest. I did my best and dealt with a lot of arm-pump. On what was a bad weekend eighth is not a terrible result but I expect more from myself. Better form will come but it is taking a bit of time after the injuries. I want to do so well out there that sometimes I get down when I cannot show the rhythm and speed I make in training. I feel great on the Yamaha and need to do my best to put it all together and make it happen in the races.”

Christophe Charlier: “I’m struggling with power and strength in my shoulder. I want to open the gas but it is very difficult for me. When the track and conditions are more ‘normal’ I can make some good times but in the mud and bumps like these then I’m not racing where I want and need to be. We need to assess where we go from here.”

— KTM Report

There was plenty of Orange on the MX1 GP of Latvia in Kegums on Sunday when Red Bull KTM’s 5-times world champion Tony Cairoli sealed the GP victory ahead of teammate Ken de Dycker with third place going to HM Plant KTM rider Kevin Strijbos.

The team’s factory riders in the MX2 class, Jeremy van Horebeek and Jordi Tixier also did well to finish overall 2-3 in the GP while teammate Jeffrey Herlings surged ahead again 42 points in the championship and retains a firm grip on the coveted red plate.

In the MX1 class Cairoli recaptured his red plate to put his double DNF from Sweden last weekend firmly behind him. But he also crashed while in the lead of the second moto and immediately after the race complained of pain in his wrist.

Despite Cairoli’s untimely crash, one of many by riders on the wet and muddy track, it was a very solid outing for KTM’s Italian lead MX1 rider who has a good record of wins at Kegums. While usually at home on the sandy track, Cairoli had to contend with wet sand, standing water and very complex conditions, especially in the second moto. After a very dominant first moto where he controlled the race right from when the gate dropped, all indications were that the Italian was set to repeat it in race two. He flew out of the start gate and quickly took an early solid lead but eventually had to be content with having made a quick recovery from his crash to pick up the overall win.

Kegums also proved to be rewarding for MX1 teammate Ken de Dycker who managed to overcome his start problems of past races to finish 2-3 in the two motos for overall second to complete a very good day for the Red Bull KTM team.

Tony Cairoli: “I’m really happy about my riding the whole weekend, which as good apart from the last moto. I won the first race with a good gap but I had a scare after the crash in the second race when I was in the lead. I had some pain in both of my wrists when I stood up from the crash but I put my head down and tried to make passes. I was feeling confident but I didn’t know what to expect about my wrist and I hope with this little injury I can train good for next weekend in Russia.

Ken de Dycker: “For sure I am happy especially after Sweden where I crashed and hurt my hand, This week I took it easy and didn’t train and today I had a good start and no crashes. This weekend I have had two good results and also yesterday I rode well.”

Factory team manager Stefan Everts was also satisfied with the team effort saying: “In MX1 it was the big thing to have the red plate back with Tony. He was really strong in the first moto and just made one little mistake in the second. So we got the GP win and Ken also made his first podium this year and with Kevin Strijbos in third it was a whole KTM podium. We’re back in control so its been very positive.”

Strong performance from team’s MX2 riders
It was a great, if tough day for the KTM factory trio in MX2 with Jeremy van Horebeek pulling off a 3-1 result for overall second in the GP despite a crash in the opening race. He rode exceptionally well in the second moto and led right up to the closing laps but was then deprived of the final glory by a hard charging Joel Roelants, who had also won the opening moto. Teammate Jordi Tixier had reason to celebrate taking his first ever GP podium to finish in third place after a second race that had all riders on their guard. A massive downpour between the motos had left masses of standing water on the track and churned up the mud making visibility difficult and at the same time testing all the bike technology.

In fact the entire MX2 GP was pure drama, starting with Jeffery Herlings charging from dead last in both races after suffering a DNF with tire failure in Saturday’s qualifying. The Dutch teenager ripped through the field in an amazingly short time to put himself in contention in both races. He managed to pull off a second in the opening moto and was again second in the closing laps of race two when his bike slowed and he had to retire with mechanical problems.

Even though Herlings was deprived of points in the second moto, his points from the first race became even more valuable after a double DNF by his biggest rival for the MX2 title, Britain’s Tommy Searle. At the end of the day, Herlings had a strong grip on the red plate with 428 points with Searle still in second with 387. Third placed van Horebeek was the big points winner, closing down to within 21 points of Searle. Tixier is currently in fifth behind today’s winner Roelants.

Jeremy van Horebeek: “I am a bit disappointed not to win but I am happy to be second. I didn’t feel so good after the crash in the first moto but I was able to regroup and finish third. I got the holeshot in the second moto and I am very happy to finish first and be on the podium in second overall. It was a good weekend but I feel bad for Jeffrey (Herlings). I had problems last week and now he has problems this week but I suppose that’s racing. Now that I have got close to Tommy (Searle) again, I am super motivated for the rest of the season.”

Jordi Tixier: “It was a big emotion for me. I hadn’t thought about getting a podium this weekend but I was already riding very well on Saturday. There was a lot of rain before the second moto and the track was very wet but I made a good start and I wasn’t too far behind Jeremy (van Horebeek). This is my first ever podium and I hope to get another one really soon. I’ll stay cool and we will see what happens next.”

Jeffrey Herlings: “I had quite a bad start in the first moto but I came back to take second place. I could have won but I didn’t ride that great. Then in the second moto I was almost in the lead behind Jeremy (van Horebeek) when I felt the bike start to lose power. But regarding the battle with Tommy (Searle), its never over till its over. Today I came here with a lead of 16 points and I am leaving with 41.”

Team boss Stefan Everts: “it was a really good weekend in MX2 and we are quite far ahead in the lead with 41 points. It was a pity what happened to Tommy (Searle) but Jeffrey also had a DNF in race two. That is part of our sport. We are still a technical sport and this can happen. That’s racing.

“Jeremy was close to winning his first GP but Joel Roelants rode very well today and I think he deserved to win it. Jerr got his first second place this year and made a lot of points on tommy and is now only 2 behind him. As for our youngster Jordi, it was his first podium and I am very happy and proud of him. We’ve worked hard and we have made quite good progress.”

— HRC Report

A chilly breeze and dark skies again clouded the 2012 FIM Motocross World Championship as round ten of sixteen was played out on the shallow, bumpy and loose dirt of Kegums for the Grand Prix of Latvia. Antonio Cairoli was able to triumph for the fifth time this season and Honda’s best representative on the CRF450R was Honda World Motocross team’s Rui Goncalves with fourth position overall in the premier MX1 class in front of 21,000 spectators.

The flat and compact track an hour outside the capital city of Riga provided a grooved, battered and relentless racing layout. The terrain was immensely demanding and aside from the bumps the slippery, hard terrain under the top layer of soil meant that Kegums was a surface that had to be respected.

Goncalves made a bright start to the weekend with an excellent launch from the gate in the qualification heat on Saturday and battled with Cairoli for pole position before finally notching a career-best with second place and second pick of slots in the gate for Sunday. The Portuguese rider was again a protagonist in the first moto of thirty-five minutes and two laps duration and after rainfall in the night had turned the track into a softer and slower challenge. The former MX2 vice champion captured third position for a best result so far in ‘12 and equalling his personal highest finish after two and a half seasons in MX1. His start in the second moto was not as efficient, but a run in the mid-top ten and a forceful push to the chequered flag was rewarded with fifth and a second top five classification.

In what was partly a ‘warm-up’ for his first home Grand Prix next weekend (there was a smattering of Russian race fans who had made the trip across the border) Evgeny Bobryshev opened the meeting with some of the fastest lap times in practice. ‘777’ then completed a lonely ride to fifth place in the opening sprint, but was less lucky in the second after hitting neutral down the start straight and then briefly slipping off the CRF450R later. ‘Bobby’ took eleventh to manage ninth in the MX1 listing by the end of the day.

Jonathan Barragan continued his quest to find past speed and form in his first season as part of the Belgian LS Honda crew. The Spaniard struggled on the sandy course and in the wake of a small injury that required attention in his native country and forbade any training laps from his Belgium base. Fighting to set an efficient pace all weekend ‘7’ was thirteenth at both times of asking for the same ranking overall.

In the FIM MX1 Motocross World Championship standings Goncalves heads the CRF450R pack with ninth place. Bobryshev is fifty-six points further back in twelfth and Barragan holds fourteenth position. With twenty-five points awarded for a race victory there is still plenty of mileage and twelve motos to run in the 2012 Grand Prix campaign.

The heat of the competitive MX2 class saw Gariboldi Esta’s Max Anstie throw his CRF250R around the jumps to sixth (with results of fourteenth and fourth) while team-mate Alexander Tonkov was sixteenth.

Round eleven of the FIM Motocross World Championship will take place at Semigorje next week for the Grand Prix of Russia and the first ever visit by the series to the venue almost 500km north-east of Moscow.

Rui Goncalves: Race Result: 3rd / 5th Championship position: 9th “I’m super-happy with the way things have gone this weekend and with the way I was able to put together two consistent motos. I knew it was important to get good starts and that’s what happened in the first race. I got into second and wasn’t so far from Tony for a while. He was definitely faster and starting to pull away and in the mid part of the moto I was making a few mistakes and had a small dip. Ken passed me for second, but I was happy enough with the way I was riding because I turned it around by the end of the race. I didn’t really repeat the start for the second moto and was bumping around with some guys through the first corner. It was a little bit of a mess and I stayed focussed on not getting too close to the guys unless I had to in order to avoid the roost and filling in the radiator. I kept consistent and made the passes when I had to. I really want to thank the team for the support they gave me, my family and also my girlfriend.”

Evgeny Bobryshev: Race Result: 5th / 11th Championship position: 12th “Another bad weekend with the weather; we haven’t had any luck with it this year. I didn’t get a good jump out of the gate in the first moto so I was really squeezed into the first corner. I was around eighth and worked my way up. The four guys in front of me already had a big gap, but I was happy with fifth; it was the solid result I needed to get in the bag. I was looking forward to the second moto because I thought I had a chance of the podium and had a better launch from the gate but touched together with Strijbos down the start straight and I think his boot caught my gear lever and hit the bike into neutral. The bike just died and I lost some ground. After that I made some good moves and came from almost outside the top twenty to eighth. Near the end I had a crash when the bike hit a few big square bumps and I just lost the handlebar. I got ten points, but it was not what I was hoping for. I have a big week now and I’m very busy in the days before the Russian Grand Prix. We then head to the track and I hope I can get a good feeling to be able to make a nice race for all the fans.”

Jonathan Barragan: Race Result: 13th / 13th Championship position: 13th “To be honest it is quite a while since I trained in the sand or terrain similar to what we found here. It was a hard weekend. I was in Belgium two weeks ago, but hurt my knee and had to return to Spain and it meant nearly a fortnight without much training. I’m working hard but it took time to get into the rhythm with the soft stuff and I didn’t find the flow over these two days.”

— Rockstar Suzuki Report

Clement Desalle and Tanel Leok both came through showery and difficult race conditions at Kegums for the Grand Prix of Latvia in front of 21,000 spectators today, capturing sixth and seventh positions respectively for the 10th round of 16 in the FIM Motocross World Championship.

Kegums was rough and wet after rainfall during the night that managed to churn the thin layer of loose earth into a slower and more technical prospect compared to the fast and flat terrain on Saturday. The bumps that littered the surface caught out many riders and also placed stress on the race machinery.

Struggling with the slightly debilitating effects of a cold, Desalle set off from third place in the gate and although he was vying for a leading position on the first lap, endured a dramatic 35 minute and 2 lap moto with a brace of crashes and some brave manoeuvres. Seventh spot by the flag did not reflect the rapid Belgian’s speed. Torrential downpours between the motos increased the muddy state and rough demands of the track and Desalle was part of an entertaining four-rider battle for second position until a hefty fall through the waves section several laps before the finish saw him having to settle for fourth place with a damaged front wheel.

Leok set the second fastest lap-time in warm-up for an encouraging start to the day. The Estonian was more comfortable on the shifting circuit compared to the dry hard-pack of Saturday and some adjustments to his rear suspension and engine-mapping helped him improve his speed on the RM-Z450. A good start in the first race pushed Leok to sixth position and then he fought from a contrasting launch in the second moto to fight through to seventh spot.

Desalle came to Latvia with a three-point lead in the MX1 World Championship table and now leaves 12 points adrift but is still firmly in the title-chase with six rounds and 12 motos of racing remaining. Leok has moved to eighth overall and now just 28 points from moving up a further position.

Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1 will now head directly across the border and to Russia: A long drive to Semigorje through the country and east of Moscow will precede the circuit’s inauguration as a Grand Prix venue for round 11 of the series.

Clement Desalle: “The speed was there today but I made too many mistakes. I was not happy at all with my riding in the first moto; it was not fun and I didn’t take any pleasure from being out there. Normally the more fun I’m having on the bike then the better things seem to be! There were many big, hard bumps and I felt pretty knocked about – I was also sick coming to Latvia – but the track was the same for everybody. I had two crashes and finished seventh. It was not good but I came out of it without getting hurt. In the second moto I lost some places in the waves section but kept fourth and for a while I found it very hard to pass. When I got up to second I could see that Kevin Strijbos was very far in front. I made some ground and was pushing hard. I was riding well and not over the limit but then through the waves section my front wheel was a little bit more to the left than usual and I lost control. The back wheel hit hard and threw me over the bars and I broke the front wheel. I finished the race as best I could from that point. Today didn’t go as I expected and I have a bit of pain in my back after the crash but I did the best I could and we’ll look for better results from here.”

Tanel Leok: “My feeling was better than yesterday. We worked a bit on the bike and I could ride faster with the track. I was more comfortable. I struggled with the start in the second moto – I touched De Reuver and lost my balance – and had to come back from that but seventh was OK. To go sixth and seventh is not too bad actually but I know it still could have been better because my riding was quite good. I still need to work a little bit on my first laps but I made good progress in that second race. The track was a lot rougher and that helped.”