— FIM MX1/MX2/MX3 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, ROUND 17, SEP 8, LIEROP, NETHERLANDS
— Simpson and Herlings win the last Grand Prix of the 2013 season
Lierop woke up this morning with a lot of rain, and although it stopped before the races started, all the MX1 and MX2 riders mentioned how difficult and demanding the track was today. However, these conditions were the perfect ones for Shaun Simpson to win the first Grand Prix of his career. In MX2 Jeffrey Herlings showed once again why he is called the king of the sand by winning the two heats and finish the season with another Grand Prix victory.
Frederick Van der Vlist put in his best performance of the year to take his first EMX125 ‘Final’ race win of the season. Following the Dutchman home was fellow Dutch rider Red Bull KTM Racings’ Davy Pootjes and Kemea Reytech V/d Laar Racing Team’s Cyril Genot. Meanwhile in the EMX250, Guillod Motorsports Valentin Guillod was crowned champion after winning his fifth EMX250 ‘Final’ of the year. Dutch duo Beursfoon MX Team’s Mike Kras and HSF Logistics JTX KTM Team’s Brian Bogers rounded out the top three.
JK SKS Gebeen Yamaha’s Shaun Simpson was one of the main protagonists of the weekend and all the MXGP paddock was cheering for the British rider when he crossed the finish line as the winner of the Grand Prix. Simpson rode two strong races and he admitted that today’s racing conditions were really favourable for him because he loves the sand and he does not mind riding with wet conditions as the ones today in Lierop. Simpson had really good starts in both heats, but while in the first one he rode with the front group most of the time and crossed the finish line second, in the final one he had to battle with Strijbos, Bobryshev, Desalle and in the last laps with De Dycker to finish third. With this overall victory Shaun Simpson has become the last MX1 GP winner in the history – in 2014 it will be called MXGP – and he explained that he feels very proud for that, as well as also for being the first British rider on the first step of the MX1 podium after Billy Mackenzie’s victory back in 2007.
The second overall position of the Dutch Grand Prix was for Rockstar Energy Suzuki World’s Kevin Strijbos thanks to his 2-2 result. The Belgian rider was a bit disappointed today because his goal for the weekend was moving up to the fourth position of the championship, which he did, but also winning the Grand Prix and he finished just one point behind Simpson. He admitted that he could not find the good feeling with the track today, especially in the second moto, and this is why he could not keep a good rhythm to ride for the victory in both races.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli was also a bit disappointed with his third overall position, because he wanted to close the championship with an overall victory. The Italian dominated the second race from beginning to end, but in the first one a problem on his back wheel forced him to finish fourth. Cairoli admitted that he rode safe the first minutes of the first heat because he was not sure how his body would react riding the 450cc, but after twenty minutes he started feeling confident and he got a good rhythm to catch Simpson. However, the Italian had already felt that there was a strange noise on his back wheel, and he was about to overtake Simpson for the lead, he lost the back wheel and crashed. Cairoli had to slow down but he was still able to finish the race fourth.
Honda World Motocross’ Evgeny Bobryshev had two really good starts today and he did his best to finish on the podium, but in the end he ended fourth ahead of Ken De Dycker. The Russian rode very strong laps in the beginning of the first race, but he made several mistakes which made him move from first to fourth. However, in the last lap he managed to overtake Cairoli and he finished third. In the second race Bobryshev was determined to make a strong moto, but after an excellent start in third, he dropped down to the sixth place. With two laps to go the Russian overtook Desalle and crossed the finish line fifth.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Ken De Dycker was fifth and fourth in today’s races and he obtained the overall fifth position of the Grand Prix, but he received the bronze medal for his third position in the MX1 championship. De Dycker explained that in the first race he could not find the good lines and he rode very slow during the whole moto, so they decided to make some changes in the suspension of his KTM for the second race. The Belgian had a bad start in the final race and he stalled the bike twice in the first lap, but he gave it all and moved up to the second place. However, he started making a lot of mistakes like in the first heat and he dropped down to fourth.
Tommy Searle had a bad start in the first race, but he did an incredible recovery from his initial seventeenth place to finish seventh. In the second race he obtained a strong eighth position to finish sixth overall. Gautier Paulin and the British rider exchanged the seventh position of the second race several times, but it was finally the French rider who crossed the finish line seventh, but the French rider had been ninth in the first race, so he was seventh overall. Paulin explained that he did not want to take many risks today, as he is very close to be again at his 100% and he wants to do well at the Motocross of Nations in two weeks time.
Jeremy Van Horebeek was eighth overall and Clement Desalle was only able to finish ninth ahead of home rider Rick Satink.
MX1 Race 1 top ten: 1. Shaun Simpson (GBR, Yamaha), 41:15.958; 2. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), +0:21.348; 3. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:41.170; 4. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:58.008; 5. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), +1:12.295; 6. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, Kawasaki), +2:00.071; 7. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +2:10.185; 8. Joel Roelants (BEL, Yamaha), +2:18.160; 9. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), +3:12.542; 10. Marc de Reuver (NED, Honda), -1 lap(s);
MX1 Race 2 top ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 41:26.990; 2. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), +0:53.200; 3. Shaun Simpson (GBR, Yamaha), +1:00.939; 4. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), +1:12.036; 5. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +1:13.573; 6. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), +1:18.145; 7. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), +1:30.775; 8. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +1:41.253; 9. Tanel Leok (EST, TM), +1:55.460; 10. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, Kawasaki), -1 lap(s);
MX1 Overall top ten: 1. Shaun Simpson (GBR, YAM), 45 points; 2. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, SUZ), 44 p.; 3. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 43 p.; 4. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 36 p.; 5. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), 34 p.; 6. Tommy Searle (GBR, KAW), 27 p.; 7. Gautier Paulin (FRA, KAW), 26 p.; 8. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, KAW), 26 p.; 9. Clement Desalle (BEL, SUZ), 24 p.; 10. Rick Satink (NED, YAM), 18 p.;
MX1 Championship top ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 761 points; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, SUZ), 671 p.; 3. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), 607 p.; 4. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, SUZ), 553 p.; 5. Gautier Paulin (FRA, KAW), 539 p.; 6. Tommy Searle (GBR, KAW), 487 p.; 7. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, KAW), 431 p.; 8. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 348 p.; 9. Shaun Simpson (GBR, YAM), 316 p.; 10. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HON), 314 p.;
MX1 Manufacturers: 1. KTM, 788 points; 2. Suzuki, 719 p.; 3. Kawasaki, 649 p.; 4. Honda, 538 p.; 5. Yamaha, 367 p.; 6. TM, 254 p.;
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings received the FIM Gold Medal today in front of his home crowd and he was also able to go home with another overall victory after winning both heats. The Dutch rider led the first race from beginning to end, but in the second one he crashed during the fifth lap and he dropped down one position. Herlings admitted that he hit his injured shoulder and he struggled a lot to recuperate his rhythm, but towards the end of the race he started feeling better and he succeed to overtake Glenn Coldenhoff and win the race.
Rockstar Bud Racing Kawasaki’s Dylan Ferrandis was back on the podium this weekend after finishing second and third in today’s races. The French rider had already had a good qualifying race in fourth yesterday and today he was focused in racing two consistent motos with no mistakes and he was very satisfied with his third overall position.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jordi Tixier rode all the weekend with some pain on the wrist he injured in Matterley Basin two weeks ago and he admitted that he struggled holding his bike properly after the first twenty minutes of the races. In the first one he was able to ride a consistent race in third, but in the second one he had a big crash and twisted the wrist again. In the end Tixier crossed the finish line fourth and ended third in the Grand Prix.
Kemea Reytec v/d Laar Yamaha’s Petar Petrov was looking forward to racing the Dutch Grand Prix because he loves riding on the sand and he knew he had some possibilities to finish even on the podium. In the first race he had a bad start and he was down in the thirteenth position in the first lap, but he made an impressive recovery and crossed the finish line fourth. In the second race he rode fourth during the first few laps, but he could not stop Tixier to overtake him and he dropped down to fifth, which gave him the fourth overall position of the Grand Prix.
The fifth overall position was for Wilvo Nestaan JM Racing KTM’ Romain Febvre thanks to his 6-7 result. It was a very difficult Grand Prix for the young French rider but he managed to ride two consistent motos and ended among the top five best MX2 riders, ahead of Dean Ferris. Christophe Charlier and Alexandr Tonkov.
Home rider Glenn Coldenhoff was very disappointed with his ninth overall result, because he finished second in the second heat, but a mechanical problem forced him to retire from the first race. Jake Nicholls completed the top ten.
José Butrón had a very hard weekend and was only able to finish sixteenth overall, but he was very satisfied to finish third in the championship and become the most successful MX2 rider in Spain.
MX2 Race 1 top ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 41:24.973; 2. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:24.222; 3. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), +0:32.428; 4. Petar Petrov (BUL, Yamaha), +1:00.651; 5. Dean Ferris (AUS, Yamaha), +1:06.498; 6. Romain Febvre (FRA, KTM), +1:21.561; 7. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, Honda), +1:30.868; 8. Christophe Charlier (FRA, Yamaha), +2:22.185; 9. Kevin Fors (BEL, Yamaha), -1 lap(s); 10. Pascal Rauchenecker (AUT, KTM), -1 lap(s);
MX2 Race 2 top ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 41:23.154; 2. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:07.674; 3. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), +1:14.662; 4. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), +1:20.629; 5. Petar Petrov (BUL, Yamaha), +1:26.798; 6. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Kawasaki), +1:30.189; 7. Romain Febvre (FRA, KTM), +1:39.988; 8. Dean Ferris (AUS, Yamaha), +1:42.255; 9. Maxime Desprey (FRA, Yamaha), +1:49.656; 10. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Kawasaki), +1:56.247;
MX2 Overall top ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 50 points; 2. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, KAW), 42 p.; 3. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), 38 p.; 4. Petar Petrov (BUL, YAM), 34 p.; 5. Romain Febvre (FRA, KTM), 29 p.; 6. Dean Ferris (AUS, YAM), 29 p.; 7. Christophe Charlier (FRA, YAM), 23 p.; 8. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, HON), 23 p.; 9. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 22 p.; 10. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), 17 p.;
MX2 Championship top ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 742 points; 2. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), 607 p.; 3. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), 518 p.; 4. Christophe Charlier (FRA, YAM), 490 p.; 5. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 472 p.; 6. Dean Ferris (AUS, YAM), 463 p.; 7. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), 424 p.; 8. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, KAW), 330 p.; 9. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, KAW), 329 p.; 10. Max Anstie (GBR, SUZ), 320 p.;
MX2 Manufacturers: 1. KTM, 835 points; 2. Yamaha, 640 p.; 3. Kawasaki, 498 p.; 4. Honda, 351 p.; 5. Suzuki, 346 p.; 6. TM, 72 p.; 7. Husqvarna, 1 p.;
MXGP BENELUX – QUICK FACTS
Circuit length: 1750m
Type of ground: sand
Temperature: 25° C
Weather conditions: changeable, cloudy and sunny in the afternoon
Crowd attendance: 18000
— MX3 in Slovakia
The sun came out to greet the ninth and final round of the 2013 FIM MX3 World Championship. Lining the fences, thousands of Slovakian fans came to see their MX3 heroes in action as they went to war for their final MX3 championship rankings. Finishing the season on a high Orion-RS Petrol Team’s Frantisek Smola took his first 2013 MX3 round victory while GST Berlin Racings Christian Brockel put in his best ride of the year for second with Estonian Gert Krestinov rounding out the top three.
Race one started in dramatic fashion with a huge pile up in turn one which took down yesterday’s top qualifier Pier Filippo Bertuzzo, Spaniard Txomin Arana and the championship points leader UFO racing MX Teams’ Klemen Gercar. While those riders remounted, Hillinger KTM MX Racing Team’s Matthias Walkner was granted the holeshot and went on to win the race unchallenged. Meanwhile, the race for second was hot; Czech duo Orion-RS Petrol Team’s Frantisek Smola and RSC BUKSA / Ados Team’s Martin Michek – both top five in the championship standings – were eager to make as many points as possible on the red plate holder Gercar. It was a race to the finish, but in the end it was RSC BUKSA / Ados Team’s Martin Michek who took second, three seconds ahead of fellow Czech Orion-RS Petrol Team’s Frantisek Smola. Despite a huge attack from Gert Krestinov, KTM GST Berlin Racings Christian Brockel held tight on for fourth, forcing Krestinov to settle for fifth.
Coming into the last race of the year there was a lot of anticipation in the air as only five points separated UFO Racing MX Team’s Klemen Gercar and RSC BUKSA / Ados Team’s Martin Michek. Hauling right from the start was RSC BUKSA / Ados Team’s Florent Richier; the Frenchman Richier took the holeshot and ran away from the field for his second MX3 race victory of the year. Following in the wake of Richier was Orion-RS Petrol Team’s Frantisek Smola, who couldn’t match the pace of the flying Frenchman, but did enough to cross the finish in a comfortable second. Meanwhile KTM GST Berlin Racing’s Christian Brockel and Estonian Gert Krestinov were caught in another familiar battle when the Estonian found himself once again trying to find a way around the German. Just like race one, Brockel managed to hold off Krestinov and finish the race in third. Krestinov came home in fourth, four seconds ahead of yesterday’s top qualifier Pier Filippo Bertuzzo in fifth. The red plate holder Klemen Gercar was sixth and Martin Michek was seventh.
After a somewhat dramatic day, UFO Racing MX Team’s Klemen Gercar was crowned MX3 World Champion. RSC BUKSA / Ados Team’s Martin Michek finished in second overall for the year while last year’s world champion Hillinger KTM MX Racing Team’s Matthias Walkner dropped back to third.
MX3 Race one top 10: 1. Matthias Walkner (AUT, KTM), 34:42.380; 2. Martin Michek (CZE, KTM), +0:03.109; 3. Frantisek Smola (CZE, KTM), +0:06.189; 4. Christian Brockel (GER, KTM), +0:08.324; 5. Gert Krestinov (EST, Kawasaki), +0:12.234; 6. Matevz Irt (SLO, Suzuki), +0:17.577; 7. Klemen Gercar (SLO, Honda), +0:21.513; 8. Martin Zerava (CZE, Suzuki), +0:28.414; 9. Petr Bartos (CZE, KTM), +0:35.247; 10. Levy Batista (FRA, KTM), +0:51.904;
MX3 Race two top 10: 1. Florent Richier (FRA, KTM), 34:36.379; 2. Frantisek Smola (CZE, KTM), +0:05.569; 3. Christian Brockel (GER, KTM), +0:10.604; 4. Gert Krestinov (EST, Kawasaki), +0:11.579; 5. Pier Filippo Bertuzzo (ITA, Yamaha), +0:15.437; 6. Klemen Gercar (SLO, Honda), +0:16.548; 7. Martin Michek (CZE, KTM), +0:17.772; 8. Matthias Walkner (AUT, KTM), +0:18.223; 9. Levy Batista (FRA, KTM), +0:27.670; 10. Petr Bartos (CZE, KTM), +0:27.988;
MX3 Round of Slovakia top 10: 1. Frantisek Smola (CZE, KTM), 42 points; 2. Christian Brockel (GER, KTM), 38 p.; 3. Matthias Walkner (AUT, KTM), 38 p.; 4. Martin Michek (CZE, KTM), 36 p.; 5. Gert Krestinov (EST, KAW), 34 p.; 6. Klemen Gercar (SLO, HON), 29 p.; 7. Florent Richier (FRA, KTM), 25 p.; 8. Levy Batista (FRA, KTM), 23 p.; 9. Petr Bartos (CZE, KTM), 23 p.; 10. Martin Zerava (CZE, SUZ), 23 p.;
MX3 Championship overall: 1. Klemen Gercar (SLO, HON), 353 points; 2. Martin Michek (CZE, KTM), 347 p.; 3. Matthias Walkner (AUT, KTM), 321 p.; 4. Gert Krestinov (EST, KAW), 291 p.; 5. Frantisek Smola (CZE, KTM), 246 p.; 6. Christian Brockel (GER, KTM), 182 p.; 7. Petr Michalec (CZE, HON), 164 p.; 8. Pier Filippo Bertuzzo (ITA, YAM), 160 p.; 9. Petr Bartos (CZE, KTM), 140 p.; 10. Ludvig Söderberg (FIN, KTM), 119 p.
— Womens MX – Fontanesi World Champion and Rutledge Round Winner in Senkvice
It was a day of pride, guts and glory in Senkvice, Slovakia, for the sixth and final round of the FIM WMX World Championship. Bud Racing Kawasaki’s Meghan Rutledge proudly took her first ever WMX round victory, while Monster Energy Yamaha’s Chiara Fontanesi gritted through the pain for second with Rabbit Racing Kawasaki’s Stephanie Laier rounding off the podium in third.
The day started off with unfortunate circumstances for yesterday’s top qualifier HM Plant KTM UK’s Natalie Kane. The Irish lady, who was sitting second in the championship standings, couldn’t line up for race one due to being in hospital for a medical check up after injuring her chest in the warm up. So, when the gates dropped for race one, it was Rabbit Racing Kawasaki’s Stephanie Laier who took the holeshot with Bud Racing Kawasaki’s Meghan Rutledge hard on her tail. Before the end of lap one, the Australian Rutledge had found a way around the former World Champion Laier, and soon went on to lead every lap for her first race victory this year. Despite keeping Rutledge in her sights, Laier couldn’t do anything more and was forced to settle for second. Meanwhile Monster Energy Yamaha’s Chiara Fontanesi battled through the pain of her foot injury to take third place which was enough to be crowned World Champion for the second year in a row. The battle for fourth was raging as French Justine Charroux, Dutch Nina Klink and Norwegian Ganette Vage went to war for fourth. Despite the challenge, Charroux was the successor taking fourth forcing Klink and Vage to settle for fifth and sixth.
With the goal of finishing the season on the podium, HM Plant KTM UK’s Natalie Kane was given the “OK” from the doctors and returned from the hospital for race two. Remarkably the brave Irish Lady passed the holeshot receiver Justine Charroux and went on to lead every lap for an unchallenged victory in race two. Meanwhile, the 2013 WMX World Champion, Monster Energy Yamaha’s Chiara Fontanesi had a good start and made a few good passes to finish second in race two for second overall. Meghan Rutledge rode a smart race to take third place resulting in her first ever WMX round overall. Rabbit Racing Kawasaki’s Stephanie Laier had to fight for fourth with Dutch rider Nina Klink, while it was close in the end, the former world champion Laier managed to edge out Klink, taking home fourth in race two.
After the six round series, Monster Energy Yamaha’s Chiara Fontanesi won four of the six rounds and was crowned 2013 WMX World Champion after race one today in Senkvice. Runner up went to Australian rookie Meghan Rutledge while former world champion Rabbit Racing Kawasaki’s Stephanie Laier finished the season in third.
WMX Race one top 10: 1. Meghan Kat Rutledge (AUS, Kawasaki), 25:38.634; 2. Stephanie Laier (GER, Kawasaki), +0:05.552; 3. Chiara Fontanesi (ITA, Yamaha), +0:30.447; 4. Justine Charroux (FRA, Yamaha), +0:36.201; 5. Nina Klink (NED, KTM), +0:46.177; 6. Genette Vage (NOR, KTM), +0:47.014; 7. Francesca Nocera (ITA, Suzuki), +0:47.478; 8. Anne Borchers (GER, Suzuki), +0:50.161; 9. Marianne Veenstra (NED, KTM), +0:52.220; 10. Virginie Germond (SUI, Suzuki), +1:06.921;
WMX Race two top 10: 1. Natalie Kane (IRL, KTM), 25:51.022; 2. Chiara Fontanesi (ITA, Yamaha), +0:15.459; 3. Meghan Kat Rutledge (AUS, Kawasaki), +0:24.592; 4. Stephanie Laier (GER, Kawasaki), +0:34.087; 5. Nina Klink (NED, KTM), +0:43.015; 6. Nancy Van De Ven (NED, KTM), +0:47.964; 7. Francesca Nocera (ITA, Suzuki), +0:48.578; 8. Genette Vage (NOR, KTM), +0:52.343; 9. Anne Borchers (GER, Suzuki), +0:52.862; 10. Virginie Germond (SUI, Suzuki), +0:56.392
WMX Round of Slovakia top 10: 1. Meghan Kat Rutledge (AUS, KAW), 45 points; 2. Chiara Fontanesi (ITA, YAM), 42 p.; 3. Stephanie Laier (GER, KAW), 40 p.; 4. Nina Klink (NED, KTM), 32 p.; 5. Francesca Nocera (ITA, SUZ), 28 p.; 6. Genette Vage (NOR, KTM), 28 p.; 7. Justine Charroux (FRA, YAM), 28 p.; 8. Natalie Kane (IRL, KTM), 25 p.; 9. Nancy Van De Ven (NED, KTM), 25 p.; 10. Anne Borchers (GER, SUZ), 25 p.;
WMX Championship overall: 1. Chiara Fontanesi (ITA, YAM), 287 points; 2. Meghan Kat Rutledge (AUS, KAW), 243 p.; 3. Stephanie Laier (GER, KAW), 232 p.; 4. Natalie Kane (IRL, KTM), 227 p.; 5. Nancy Van De Ven (NED, KTM), 173 p.; 6. Anne Borchers (GER, SUZ), 147 p.; 7. Justine Charroux (FRA, YAM), 135 p.; 8. Britt van der Wekken (NED, HON), 130 p.; 9. Francesca Nocera (ITA, SUZ), 109 p.; 10. Marianne Veenstra (NED, KTM), 109 p.;
— Yamaha Report
First and third positions in two exciting, emotional and celebrated races on the sand of Lierop in the Netherlands today meant that Shaun Simpson became the first British winner of an MX1 Grand Prix since 2007 and took his largely-stock JK Racing YZ450F to the top step of the podium in the FIM Motocross World Championship for the first time in his career. The 25 year old Scot is a long-time and popular member of the paddock and his superlative skill in the sand as well as refined set-up and feeling with his motorcycle meant he was an unbeatable force in the very last MX1 fixture before the category switches to ‘MXGP’ for 2014.
The final act of the 2013 FIM MXGP story took place on one of the hardest racing surfaces with the Lierop sand providing its usual physical and technical test. The bumps and berms of the terrain made difficult work for the riders who tried to maintain the highest rhythm possible with the minimum of mistakes.
Simpson, who has been catching the eye with some determined performances in recent rounds, pushed his way into second place during the qualification heat on Saturday and started to eat into Antonio Cairoli’s lead. The Scot made a few small errors and then settled on a personal best position for the start gate of the Grand Prix motos. On Sunday his good form continued. Two bright starts allowed him to be at the front of the field early and he attacked the terrain with a confidence and vigour that hardly anybody could match. A duel with Cairoli in the first moto was decided when the Sicilian fell with only two laps remaining.
Already overjoyed with his first moto victory in his third season in MX1 (and the second of his career after previously winning a race in the 2009 Grand Prix at Valkenswaard in MX2) Simpson roared away from the line in the second moto and his enthusiasm initially appeared to get the better of him as a small crash cost him the lead and put him down to eighth place. From there ‘24’ fought back and took part in a thrilling battle between five riders for second position and Simpson had to make sure of third place to ensure the overall win, which he did by beating Ken De Dycker.
Simpson’s achievement delivered Yamaha’s first win of 2013 and his 45 point haul pushed him up to 9th place in the championship standings for the year.
Joel Roelants rounded off his season and tenure with Monster Energy Yamaha with 12th place overall. The Belgian was anxious to complete a difficult first term in the premier category on a positive note and pushed as hard as he could on the factory YZ450FM to take eighth, despite a tumble, in the first moto. The second saw him suffer several crashes and he retired from the fray. Roelants rests 12th in the MX1 points table.
Simpson will now represent Great Britain at the 67th Motocross of Nations at Teutschenthal in Germany on September 28-29th with the international spectacle set to entertain 41 countries and fans from across the globe in the traditional season curtain-closer.
Shaun Simpson – “This is definitely the best day of my career so far. I have won a race in MX2 and had podiums but I’ve never been on the top step. I couldn’t believe it actually. I changed over to Yamaha mid-season and I knew exactly how to set-up the bike from last year. We used WP suspension, which I remember well from my MX2 days and since then we have improved my engine a lot. At the moment the bike is perfect for me, especially in the sand. There was a lot going on in that second race; I crashed on the first lap, went down to eighth got back and passed Desalle for second and then Ken came back at me. It was an exciting race. When I came over the finish line I still didn’t know if I had won the GP because my dad hadn’t put the pitboard out for two laps. I was thinking ‘come on! Get with the programme here!’. It was a hectic second moto and I still cannot really express what I’m feeling.”
Joel Roelants – “Not the best way to end the season because I crashed on the second corner of the first moto and then just tried my best to make it to eighth. My start was pretty good in the second Heat but I went down again. After that I could have crashed another twenty times. I couldn’t get going and when I wanted to push I felt like I had a sketchy moment. I was so far back I believed it was better to stop. It has been a tough year and I think the team were very honest with me. It is just a shame it couldn’t have been better.”
After a positive 2013 FIM Motocross World Championship in which he celebrated maiden moto victories and tallied more career podium results, Monster Energy Yamaha’s Christophe Charlier finally confirmed fourth position overall in the series today at Lierop for the seventeenth and final round. The Grand Prix of Benelux at the daunting sandy circuit was played out in front of 17,000 spectators and initially started under heavy showers and dark clouds but the weather eventually turned for blue skies and sunshine by the afternoon.
The effect of the rain on the track turned a normally bumpy and deceptive surface into an even trickier one where the slightest slip or misadventure saw GP riders eating sand. On this ruthless stage it was the efforts of Kemea Reytech van der Laar Yamaha’s Petr Petrov, Monster Energy Yamaha’s Dean Ferris and Charlier who caught the eye with top ten classifications.
Petrov in particular equalled a career-best result with fourth position overall on the YZ250F. A scorecard of 4-5 demonstrated not only his physical strength and prowess at 19 years of age but also his comfort in arguably the most demanding terrain experienced this season. The Bulgarian who is set for another campaign under the Belgian team awning and with the new 2014 YZ250F next year ended 2013 with 11th in the MX2 standings.
Ferris in action at Lierop
Ferris encountered his first Grand Prix in the sand at Lierop. The Australian was distracted at times by a broken helmet peak in the first moto but battled hard to seal fifth place. In the next outing some juicy action with team-mate Maxime Desprey eventually ended with eighth position and slotted the Belgian GP winner into sixth overall for the day. Ferris was close at one stage to stealing fifth in the MX2 Championship from Glenn Coldenhoff but the Dutchman responded with the runner-up slot and enough points to keep ‘111’ in sixth for the year.
Charlier was seventh overall. The Corsican had been ill after the British Grand Prix two weeks before and lacked optimum track time in the sand coming to Lierop. He tried to set the best pace that he could muster on the YZ250FM and it was enough for eighth and eleventh on the day.
Maxime Desprey was luckless in one moto – the first – when two crashes forced his retirement with a damaged bike but the French rookie showed the level of his development and progression in his first Grand Prix season by fighting with Ferris in the second race and recording a top ten result with ninth; thus fifteenth overall and 16th for the year.
Mel Pocock was forced to the sidelines before the Grand Prix in the Netherlands due to his left knee injury that will require surgery and a period of convalescence prior to preparations for 2014 and another crack at the MX2 category. The 2012 European Champion closed the campaign with 14th in the series.
Charlier and Ferris will now look to their responsibilities for the French and Australian flags at the 67th Motocross of Nations – the biggest and most spectacular MX event of the year – in Germany at the Teutschenthal circuit at the end of the month.
Christophe Charlier – “I am quite happy but the track was very difficult today and I didn’t have a good feeling. I know it is a weak point of mine, and next season I need to do more sand riding and on terrain like this to improve; not only my ability but also the setting with the bike to be able to make the best result. I have finished the championship fourth. I wanted the top three but fourth is still OK and I want better in 2014. A big thanks to the team and my mechanic Manuel for this season. We have done some good work and we will go on from here.”
Dean Ferris – “My first sand race so I was pretty happy with the first moto and I was riding strongly in the second one and there was a freight train going on. It is a bit disappointing because I came within reach of fifth in the championship in the last moto. Coldenhoff is good in the sand, so he got it back. Anyway not bad for my first sand GP: I wanted to do better but I’m glad a long season has come to an end. In some ways I feel like I am a GP rookie. I only did five events last year and there was always going to be a lot to learn, I can be proud enough of sixth in the world championship and that win in Belgium.”
Maxime Desprey – “It was a good weekend and I could see that my work in the sand before the grand prix paid off. I was a bit tight and tense in the first moto and crashed twice but the second moto was much better. I had good pace and good lines and could actually enjoy some of the deep sand of Lierop!”
— Honda Racing
Honda World Motocross racer Evgeny Bobryshev concluded the season with a fourth overall finish today in the relentless Lierop sand to take eighth in the championship standings at the final round of the MX1 World Championship held in Benelux, The Netherlands.
After qualifying third yesterday, heavy rainfall doused the Lierop track overnight, and the MX1 competitors were greeted with a sloppy, wet circuit this morning, which meant the opening race was more challenging than usual, despite it warming up by lunchtime.
Bobryshev got another superb start and was third into the first turn, before taking the lead and pulling away from the field aboard his Dunlop-shod factory CRF450R. Kevin Strijbos soon hunted him down, and the duo tussled for a number of laps.
Shaun Simpson stormed through, followed by Antonio Cairoli, which demoted Bobryshev to fourth mid-race, but the Russian racer remained in contention with the leading group until the final part of the moto where a few mistakes saw him drop back. The Honda pilot was, however, able to take advantage of a mistake by Cairoli in the final lap for third place.
In the second moto conditions had changed, with the track drying considerably and huge holes appearing around the already gnarly circuit. Bobryshev wheelied over the gate and was quite far back from the pack down the start straight, but the Honda racer recovered well going into the first turn and he was up-to third by the second corner.
It was a tough race though and while Bobryshev battled with numerous riders,the Russian struggled to get into a rhythm and finished fifth by the chequered flag with a last lap push to pass Clement Desalle to secure fourth overall and move up-to eighth in the championship, despite missing a number of races. Shaun Simpson won the Grand Prix.
The Honda World Motocross team has one final event to take part in this year at the Motocross of Nations in Teutschenthal, Germany at the end of the month where both Bobryshev and Max Nagl, who is recovering from illness, are competing for their countries.
Evgeny Bobryshev #777: 4th overall
“I came into this weekend looking for a podium, but the track was completely destroyed all day long. In the first race my rhythm wasn’t too bad, but a few crashes cost me a lot of time. I was behind the leading guys, but after a little crash I struggled to get back to the front, although I finished third. In the second race I was feeling strong and positive for the podium, but from the gate it just didn’t go to plan. I wheelied off the gate, although I recovered well to get into third place, but then I just wasn’t fast enough. I couldn’t find the rhythm and I wasn’t concentrating so well. Desalle passed me and I went back to sixth; I tried to follow, but it just didn’t go well, although in the end with a big push I passed Desalle back. It was difficult; Ken wasn’t so far away in the end, but to push on this track was really hard, as there were a lot of big bumps and holes everywhere, as well as the heavy sand. Anyway fourth is good, and we’ve been consistent recently. I’d like to say thanks to the team for always believing in me, the sponsors and my wife for their support, as they’ve helped me come back. I’m not yet 100%, but I’m looking forward to a holiday after the nations, as I need it, then I’m looking forward to working hard for next year.”
Lorenzo Resta: Honda World Motocross Team Manager
“We don’t know whether to be happy or disappointed with today’s result. If it had been in the middle of the season then for sure we would have been happy, but after three podiums in a row we obviously hoped for the same again. On a track like that, with the conditions the way they were, anything could have happened, and I think Bobby has shown he is really fast, as he was in the top three all weekend apart from the second moto. The track conditions were so dramatic in that second race that just finishing the moto was an achievement. I’m really happy with the way Bobby has been riding, as we’ve shown that without injuries and bad luck we can fight for the podium every race. Now the team looks forward for the future, but for sure we have two good riders that will work hard all winter to start next year even stronger. For me it was a special Grand Prix, because it’s my last race as the Honda World Motocross Team Manager; I want to thank Paolo Martin, all of the team and the staff at Honda Europe for the fantastic adventure that I’ve had in the last 10 years.”
— KTM Report
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings put injury behind him on Sunday and rose to the occasion to score a double victory at the Dutch Lierop track in front of his home crowd. Herlings 1-1 in the deep sand rounded off a top season where he secured his second MX2 world title with three rounds in hand.
Herlings was joined on the podium by teammate Jordi Tixier of France in third place, while in MX1, 2013 World Champion Tony Cairoli finished third with KTM teammate Ken de Dycker in fifth. Both Tixier and de Dycker had some injury issues that held them back on what was a very difficult Lierop track.
Cairoli, who settled his seventh world title at Matterley Basin UK in the previous round, opted to ride the KTM 450 SX-F machine instead of his usual KTM 350 SX-F. He finished fourth in the opening moto after some minor technical difficulties but had decisive win in the second moto, crossing the line 53 seconds ahead of second-placed Kevin Strijbos. The final GP result was very close when competition heated up between the five leading riders. Going into the last lap, Cairoli was in with a chance to finish second or third in the GP, depending on the outcome of the minor places. The eventual outright win by outsider Shaun Simpson was a popular one.
Tony Cairoli: “I was quite cautious at the beginning of the first race with the KTM 450, but then I really went for it in the second moto. I had my best lap times and the speed was good.”
Herlings performance on the badly cut up sand track was all the more remarkable because it was just three weeks after fracturing his shoulder blade at the Belgium GP. He had made a snap decision on Friday to race, even though doctors said he should be off the bike for six weeks. The wet and heavy track also played into his hands because he and other riders shied away from challenging jumps that would have jarred his injured shoulder.
Herlings won the opening moto by 24 seconds and quickly opened up a 12 second lead at the start of the second race before a crash trimmed his lead by eight seconds. He scrambled back in the action and put in some of his fastest laps in the closing stages.
Tixier, already second in the championship finished 3-4 on the difficult track. Spanish KTM rider Jose Butron, who is no friend of sand tracks finished back at sixteenth place but was still picked up enough points to finish third in the championship. “My goal for the season was top five so I am very happy to finish top three,” Butron said.
The final EMX title, for the EMX 250 class was also settled in Lierop and was won by Swiss KTM rider Valentin Guillod. “This weekend I showed everybody I can also ride in sand and I am very strong mentally and physically,” he said. KTM’s Pauls Jonass, already the EMX125 champion rode in the EMX 250 race this weekend and finished an excellent fourth.
The final round wrapped up another great year for the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team. As well as the MX1 & MX2 titles KTM was also top manufacturer in both classes.
The KTM factory riders now prepare for the Motocross of Nations at Germany’s Teutschental circuit the last weekend in September.