A fantastic 102 gate drops later – if we include the qualifying heat races – and that’s a wrap on the 2014 FIM Motocross World Championship!
It has been one of the most compelling seasons ever. One that has gone down to the wire with Sunday’s – the 17th and final round of the series in Mexico – being the decider in the 2014 FIM MX2 World Championship, and one for bragging rights and bonuses for the lads in MXGP.
While the top four spots in MXGP were already set in stone coming in, with Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tony Cairoli being crowned MXGP World Champion last weekend in Brazil, and Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jeremy Van Horebeek wrapping up second with Rockstar Energy Suzuki World’s duo of Kevin Strijbos and Clement Desalle claiming third and fourth respectively. It was all about putting a cherry on the cake here at the final round.
And with the final waving of the chequered flag, that cherry was snatched up by the winner of the season opener, Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Gautier Paulin.
Meanwhile, the final round of MX2 will go down as one of the most dramatic finales in the history of the sport with all sorts of funanigans going down on track.
It wasn’t an easy day for anyone, but no team looked more anxious than Red Bull KTM Factory Racing as their team of MX2 heroes Jeffrey Herlings and Jordi Tixier went head-to-head for the MX2 world title.
While the reigning two-time FIM MX2 World Champion and early season dominator Jeffrey Herlings struggled through an immense amount of pain, riding with a broken femur, on the odd chance he may claim his third consecutive world title, it was not to be. Instead Jordi Tixier rose to the occasion and put in two incredible races to deservingly win the Grand Prix and more importantly claim his first ever FIM MX2 World Championship title.
He came into this season as a Grand Prix winner and he has gone out the same way. Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Gautier Paulin has been on the steady climb back from breaking his collarbone and thumb at the round of The Netherlands back in early May.
Since his return to MXGP at the round of Czech Republic in late July, the Frenchman, and captain of Team France for MXoN, has been showing ripples of brilliance ever since of which he authenticated with his hard fought victory here at the 17th and final round of the season.
It was almost yet another Max Nagl showcase as the Team HRC rider swooped in with that same dominating form he carried last weekend in Brazil. Out of the last six races, which includes the two qualifying heats, Nagl exceptionally blitzed the competition on five occasions with his only downfall being a slight fade in race two, which saw him succumb to the pressure of three of MXGP’s hardest chargers and finish fourth. Nevertheless, the Honda rider rounds out the season on the podium in second.
The 2014 FIM MXGP World Champion, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tony Cairoli would have loved nothing more than to wrap up the season with a victory, but he came up one point short. Because Paulin and Nagl tied on points for first, with Paulin taking the win with the best result in the final race, Cairoli uncorked his 14th bottle of bubbles this season in third.
Fourth place almost doesn’t do the effort of Rockstar Energy Suzuki World’s Kevin Strijbos any justice. The Belgian put in two remarkable rides, finishing on both occasions inside the top three. But like Paulin and Nagl, Strijbos ended up tying with Cairoli yet was bumped back to fourth with Cairoli being the highest place finisher in the second race.
Rounding out the top five, Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jeremy Van Horebeek did nothing more than he needed to do today as he nursed his injured ankle around the edgy hard pack circuit for his fifteenth top five finish of the season.
MXGP Race 1 top ten: 1. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Honda), 34:33.587; 2. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), +0:01.205; 3. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:28.257; 4. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:33.591; 5. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:42.340; 6. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), +0:48.044; 7. Steven Frossard (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:56.187; 8. Davide Guarneri (ITA, TM), +1:05.625; 9. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +1:08.100; 10. Matiss Karro (LAT, KTM), +1:08.721
MXGP Race 2 top ten: 1. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), 35:02.891; 2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:01.311; 3. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), +0:02.550; 4. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Honda), +0:03.762; 5. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:40.793; 6. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:43.944; 7. Davide Guarneri (ITA, TM), +0:45.281; 8. Steven Frossard (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:59.239; 9. Rui Goncalves (POR, Yamaha), +1:01.253; 10. Matiss Karro (LAT, KTM), +1:03.576
MXGP Overall top ten: 1. Gautier Paulin (FRA, KAW), 43 points; 2. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HON), 43 p.; 3. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 42 p.; 4. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, SUZ), 42 p.; 5. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 32 p.; 6. Tommy Searle (GBR, KAW), 27 p.; 7. Davide Guarneri (ITA, TM), 27 p.; 8. Steven Frossard (FRA, KAW), 27 p.; 9. Rui Goncalves (POR, YAM), 22 p.; 10. Matiss Karro (LAT, KTM), 22 p.
MXGP World Championship Classification Top Ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 747 points; 2. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 628 p.; 3. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, SUZ), 572 p.; 4. Clement Desalle (BEL, SUZ), 484 p.; 5. Steven Frossard (FRA, KAW), 419 p.; 6. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HON), 400 p.; 7. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 397 p.; 8. Gautier Paulin (FRA, KAW), 358 p.; 9. Davide Guarneri (ITA, TM), 297 p.; 10. David Philippaerts (ITA, YAM), 275 p.
MXGP Manufacturer: 1. KTM, 747 points; 2. Suzuki, 690 p.; 3. Yamaha, 650 p.; 4. Kawasaki, 637 p.; 5. Honda, 550 p.; 6. TM, 338 p.; 7. Husqvarna, 326 p.
Regardless of everything else that has happened this season, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jordi Tixier was undoubtedly the deserving Grand Prix winner this weekend.
Silencing all his critics, the Frenchman rose to the occasion and placed a trio of performances that were nothing short of impressive. A flawless performance in race one saw the Frenchman answer to the pressure of fellow countryman Romain Febvre, while in race two he rebound from a crazy crash with Aleksandr Tonkov, which briefly placed a twist in the championship, to take third and a hard earned Grand Prix win which rewarded him with his first ever FIM MX2 World Championship Title, which he dedicated to his brother who was in a serious accident in France last weekend.
After a fifth in race one, Honda Gariboldi’s Tim Gajser rode immaculately in race two, taking full advantage of the carnage that had occurred between Tixier and Tonkov to claim his second race win of his career. With two race wins over the last two Grand Prix’ it looks like uncorking champagne is something the young Slovenian should get used to.
Standing Construct KTM is becoming well known for bringing out the best in young riders. Last year they took Glenn Coldenhoff to his first ever FIM MX2 podium, and now they have done the same with their latest star Valentin Guillod.
This weekend the super smooth Swiss rider sailed his way to third for his second podium finish of the season. With the final round of the MX2 series wrapped up, it’s onto the Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations for Guillod where he will join fellow Swiss sensations, Arnaud Tonus and Jeremy Seewer in the battle for the coveted Chamberlain Cup.
MX2 Grand Prix of Goias winner Wilvo Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Romain Febvre came out all guns blazing in race one, setting the fastest lap time of the race as he pushed the newly crowned MX2 World Champion, Jordi Tixier, all the way to the finish.
Despite his solid form in race one, in race two he got off to a bad start and struggled to find his feet meaning he would have to settle fourth at this Grand Prix. Febvre also heads home as the MX2 championship bronze medallist.
Meanwhile, CLS Kawasaki Monster Energy’s Arnaud Tonus has only just re-emerged into the class after breaking his shoulder at the Grand Prix of Germany and is already showing some progress. The Swiss rider, who will join Guillod on Team Switzerland at MXoN, finished sixth last weekend on his first appearance since his injury and managed to go one-up this weekend, rounding out the top five.
MX2 Race 1 top ten: 1. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), 34:58.342; 2. Romain Febvre (FRA, Husqvarna), +0:02.607; 3. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:04.721; 4. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Kawasaki), +0:14.118; 5. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:14.653; 6. Valentin Guillod (SUI, KTM), +0:15.999; 7. Julien Lieber (BEL, KTM), +0:25.354; 8. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, Husqvarna), +0:40.218; 9. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Suzuki), +0:51.118; 10. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), +0:57.231
MX2 Race 2 top ten: 1. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), 35:32.350; 2. Valentin Guillod (SUI, KTM), +0:06.292; 3. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), +0:07.614; 4. Julien Lieber (BEL, KTM), +0:08.616; 5. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, Suzuki), +0:09.615; 6. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Kawasaki), +0:10.445; 7. Romain Febvre (FRA, Husqvarna), +0:27.735; 8. Christophe Charlier (FRA, Yamaha), +0:29.789; 9. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Suzuki), +0:33.058; 10. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +1:05.672;
MX2 Overall top ten: 1. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), 45 points; 2. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 41 p.; 3. Valentin Guillod (SUI, KTM), 37 p.; 4. Romain Febvre (FRA, HUS), 36 p.; 5. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, KAW), 33 p.; 6. Julien Lieber (BEL, KTM), 32 p.; 7. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, SUZ), 25 p.; 8. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, SUZ), 24 p.; 9. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, KAW), 22 p.; 10. Kei Yamamoto (JPN, HON), 20 p.
MX2 World Championship Classification Top Ten: 1. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), 616 points; 2. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 612 p.; 3. Romain Febvre (FRA, HUS), 570 p.; 4. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, KAW), 533 p.; 5. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 528 p.; 6. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, KAW), 455 p.; 7. Valentin Guillod (SUI, KTM), 449 p.; 8. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, HUS), 397 p.; 9. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), 359 p.; 10. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, SUZ), 352 p.
MX2 Manufacturer: 1. KTM, 797 points; 2. Kawasaki, 651 p.; 3. Husqvarna, 586 p.; 4. Honda, 538 p.; 5. Suzuki, 488 p.; 6. Yamaha, 484 p.; 7. TM, 6 p.