It has been a crazy yet entertaining day of racing at the MXGP of Sweden, round 12 of the FIM Motocross World Championship where unique conditions put each and every rider to the ultimate test.
While the chewed up circuit was less rutty than we have come to expect from the FIM Motocross World Championship, it was fantastic to see a circuit that allowed the riders to embrace their creativity, race craft and challenged them to challenge themselves to choose lines that are less obvious.
Ultimate physical and mental condition is crucial to the making of a champion and both of our FIM Motocross World Champions, both Red Bull KTM Factory Racing riders, Antonio Cairoli and Jeffrey Herlings authenticated that today with their dominating performances on the tricky and demanding circuit in both races to extend their championship leads.
It is a bittersweet location here in Uddevalla for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli, who has left the bitter aspect in the dust with his impressive double race victory for the 70th Grand Prix win of his career.
Celebrating with a fender-bender wheelie down to the podium the popular Italian said “I’m very happy, I’ve been ill, so I didn’t expect a lot but I have started to feel better and better on the bike over the last week which let me push more while training. I hope to keep going like this and try to be on top every weekend.”
Surprise, surprise, Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jeremy Van Horebeek mounts the podium for the 11th time from a possible 12 this year.
Although he is yet to win a Grand Prix, the Belgian feels everything is going to plan as he moves up into second over all in the MXGP Championship standings, even though he admitted “It doesn’t feel so good to move up in the championship because another rider has crashed or hurt themselves, but it is what it is and the season is still long, so you don’t know what can happen but considering this is my second year in MXGP, I am pretty proud of what I am doing.”
He has known as a veteran of the class but Rockstar Energy Suzuki World’s Kevin Strijbos looks to be raising the intensity in each and every outing. This weekend the Belgian said “It was really good out there, I expected a little more after the first moto because I felt good out on the track, I had some good lines, but the second race I had sand in my goggles which made it really difficult to get close to Max (Nagl), but I am still really happy.”
Meanwhile Team HRC’s Max Nagl is making a solid return to racing, although the German appears to struggle to make passes after a bad start, but that could be down to lack of racing.
Nevertheless, a good start in race two, after finishing eighth in race one, saw the factory Honda rider bounce back for third landing in fourth overall for this Grand Prix.
CLS Kawasaki Monster Energy’s Tommy Searle is progressively improving and is starting to look hungrier for better results. A fifth and a sixth overall left the Brit rounding out the top five.
Bad luck struck Rockstar Energy Suzuki World’s Clement Desalle, who was right in the thick of the championship title chase, when he clipped the back wheel of his team-mate Strijbos heading into turn one, wiping out in spectacular style and getting pummeled by the rest of the field.
While we did see the tough Belgian get to his feet after a good five to ten minutes of laying in agony, he has gone to hospital to be thoroughly checked over.
While Red Bull IceOne Husqvarna Factory Racing’s surprise contender Dean Ferris made his come back to the FIM Motocross World Championship and while it didn’t go entirely to plan, some fast lap times throughout the sessions over the weekend proved the speed is there, he is just lacking experience and hours on the bike.
The Australian admitted “I’m looking forward to Finland where I can wipe the slate clean and try to improve things.”
MXGP Race 1 top ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 35:22.421; 2. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), +0:03.481; 3. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:07.712; 4. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), +0:11.653; 5. Steven Frossard (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:15.019; 6. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:37.196; 7. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), +0:39.063; 8. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), +0:42.436; 9. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Honda), +0:50.853; 10. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), +1:03.013.
MXGP Race 2 top ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 33:52.052; 2. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:04.201; 3. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Honda), +0:09.408; 4. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), +0:14.361; 5. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:22.638; 6. Davide Guarneri (ITA, TM), +0:38.631; 7. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), +0:40.791; 8. Matiss Karro (LAT, KTM), +0:42.619; 9. Steven Frossard (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:44.496; 10. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), +0:46.857.
MXGP Overall top ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 50 points; 2. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 42 p.; 3. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, SUZ), 40 p.; 4. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HON), 32 p.; 5. Tommy Searle (GBR, KAW), 31 p.; 6. Steven Frossard (FRA, KAW), 28 p.; 7. David Philippaerts (ITA, YAM), 25 p.; 8. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 25 p.; 9. Davide Guarneri (ITA, TM), 24 p.; 10. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), 22 p.
MXGP World Championship Classification Top Ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 527 points; 2. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 482 p.; 3. Clement Desalle (BEL, SUZ), 470 p.; 4. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, SUZ), 390 p.; 5. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 267 p.; 6. Steven Frossard (FRA, KAW), 265 p.; 7. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HON), 237 p.; 8. David Philippaerts (ITA, YAM), 210 p.; 9. Davide Guarneri (ITA, TM), 207 p.; 10. Gautier Paulin (FRA, KAW), 205 p.
MXGP Manufacturer: 1. KTM, 527 points; 2. Suzuki, 508 p.; 3. Yamaha, 482 p.; 4. Kawasaki, 437 p.; 5. Honda, 372 p.; 6. TM, 235 p.; 7. Husqvarna, 230 p.
Everybody, including his competition, continues to be left in awe of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings and his ability to ride a motorcycle.
Not only is Herlings dominating every MX2 race, he is also laying down the fastest lap times of the weekend against his future rivals in MXGP. Respect is coming in from all angles for the Dutch teenager as he proves each and every weekend he is the fastest man on the planet.
With MX2 world title number three fast approaching, the ridiculously talented KTM rider said “Yeah it was a great weekend, I feel stronger and stronger every week and keep dominating, so hopefully we can keep this rhythm going and hopefully win again next weekend in Finland and wrap the championship up in Loket.”
After seeing the doctor right before race two due to illness, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jordi Tixier decided to grit his teeth and race.
Tixier said “I had to push to ride because I knew I needed it for the championship and actually it was good I decided to ride because I managed to finish second on the day, so I am really happy about my weekend, it cannot be better.”
Seventeen-year-old Honda Gariboldi rider Tim Gajser is fast becoming a regular front runner as he uncorks yet another bottle of champagne after posting a second and sixth place score for third overall.
It’s so close he can almost touch it; Standing Construct KTM’s Valentin Guillod is forced to settle for yet another fourth. After a hard fought fourth in race one, the super talented Swiss rocketed out of the gate in race two to claim the Fox Holeshot.
Despite a good effort, the track was extremely gnarly and difficult to get traction. Any sense of urgency resulted in wheel spin, which saw the youngster drop back to fourth. Nevertheless, he will have another year in MX2 next year allowing each round this season to be written off as experience.
Rounding out the top five, Wilvo Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Romain Febvre’s result doesn’t reflect his speed today. The Frenchman was in fact the second fastest rider on the track, but was a little unfortunate when his third place finish is race one came undone with a gnarly crash in race two while battling for fourth. Despite the misfortune, hats off to Febvre who bounced back after biting the dust reasonably hard, for tenth.
MX2 Race 1 top ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 35:00.721; 2. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:43.692; 3. Romain Febvre (FRA, Husqvarna), +0:50.859; 4. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), +0:53.496; 5. Valentin Guillod (SUI, KTM), +0:54.640; 6. Julien Lieber (BEL, Suzuki), +0:55.972; 7. Christophe Charlier (FRA, Yamaha), +0:58.803; 8. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), +1:00.791; 9. Max Anstie (GBR, Yamaha), +1:01.535; 10. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Suzuki), +1:07.030.
MX2 Race 2 top ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 35:06.319; 2. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), +0:42.354; 3. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:45.082; 4. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, Husqvarna), +0:46.541; 5. Valentin Guillod (SUI, KTM), +0:49.060; 6. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:49.830; 7. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), +0:50.272; 8. Christophe Charlier (FRA, Yamaha), +1:01.822; 9. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Suzuki), +1:15.003; 10. Vsevolod Brylyakov (RUS, Honda), +1:18.202.
MX2 Overall top ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 50 points; 2. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), 40 p.; 3. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 37 p.; 4. Valentin Guillod (SUI, KTM), 32 p.; 5. Romain Febvre (FRA, HUS), 30 p.; 6. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, KAW), 29 p.; 7. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, HUS), 28 p.; 8. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), 27 p.; 9. Christophe Charlier (FRA, YAM), 27 p.; 10. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, SUZ), 23 p.
MX2 World Championship Classification Top Ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 544 points; 2. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), 409 p.; 3. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, KAW), 389 p.; 4. Romain Febvre (FRA, HUS), 388 p.; 5. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, KAW), 372 p.; 6. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 350 p.; 7. Valentin Guillod (SUI, KTM), 288 p.; 8. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, HUS), 284 p.; 9. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), 265 p.; 10. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, SUZ), 234 p.
MX2 Manufacturer: 1. KTM, 574 points; 2. Kawasaki, 477 p.; 3. Husqvarna, 404 p.; 4. Honda, 360 p.; 5. Suzuki, 354 p.; 6. Yamaha, 317 p.; 7. TM, 6 p.