Paulin takes MX1 by storm, Kenny rocks a two-smoker and Herlings gets the better of Tommy in final MX championship showdown…

The final GP of the year in Fermo is a strange one with the entire top three from the MX1 class out of action for one reason or another – Antonio Cairoli’s mourning the death of his mother, Steven Frossard is still beaten up from his Gaildorf get off and Clement Desalle’s been MIA since dislocating his shoulder between the Czech and British GPs. Still, the battle for fourth is still alive with team Max Nagl and Team Honda team-mates Evgeny Bobryshev and Rui Goncalves all in the mix.

 

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A spanner is thrown in the works when Nagl breaks his scaphoid in practice, misses the qualifier and pulls out of the first moto in serious amounts of pain as MX1 debutante Gautier Paulin runs riot around the rock hard circuit beating fellow Frenchie Xavier Boog and Kevin Strijbos across the line – all names you wouldn’t have put money on to podium in MX1 at the start of the season.

 

Moto two sees Christophe Pourcel step up and take control ahead of Paulin, Jon Barragan, Strijbos, Boog and Goncalves which makes things interesting for the overall as behind Paulin there’s a three way tie for second with Pourcel edging out Barragan, Strijbos and Boog on the better second race result even though they all tied on 38 points.

 

In MX2 freshly crowned world champ Ken Roczen decides to race a 125cc two-stroke instead of his normal 250F machine which basically takes him out of the running for overall honours on the day since the oil burning machine is at such a disadvantage around the hillside Italian circuit. K-Roc’s team-mate wins the qualifier but he’s no match for Tommy Searle in moto one on Sunday as the Englishman picks up where he left off in Germany with a dominant race win ahead of Herlings and Arnaud Tonus.

 

Despite snatching an early lead in race two Tommy can’t repeat his first race feat as Herlings takes over mid distance before Tommy crashes letting the Dutchman pull out a huge lead. Tommy remounts for second ahead of Nico Aubin who’s come alive in the latter part of the year after signing for Thorpey’s new Honda team. Herlings takes the overall ahead of Tommy and Max Anstie whose 4-4 sticks him on the steps for the first time this year.

 

Results

MX1

1       Gautier Paulin     25+22=47

2       Christophe Pourcel      13+25=38

3       Jon Barragan      18+20=38

4       Kevin Strijbos      30+18=38

5       Xavier Boog        22+16=38

13     Shaun Simpson  0+12=12

21     Alfie Smith7+0=7

22     Tom Church        0+6=6

MX2

1       Jeffrey Herlings  22+25=47

2       Tommy Searle    25+22=47

3       Max Anstie18+18=36

4       Arnaud Tonus     15+20=35

5       Nico Aubin           15+20=35

9       Jake Nicholls       14+10=24

24     Jordan Booker    0+1=1

 

For full results and final championship positions log on to www.motocrossmx1.com

 

Rider comments

Jeffrey Herlings – MX2 2-1

“I had a small crash in the qualifying heat and even though I had a good start in the first race my riding was bad. But I got away well in the second moto and I managed to get past Tommy Searle. This year I was just 20 points off the title so I hope I can make it happen for KTM next season and follow in Ken’s footsteps.”

 

Tommy Searle – MX2 1-2

“My first race was good. Jeffrey (Herlings) was fast at the beginning of the race, but I had a couple of good laps and increased my lead to fifteen seconds. After that I think he slowed down to conserve some energy, so I did the same as we both knew the second race would be tough with the heat. The second moto I got a good start, my second holeshot this season, and I was happy with that. Jeffrey was behind me and he clearly had some good lines – I knew he was fast in some places, so, when he passed me just before the finish line, I tried to follow him but he put in some fast laps and made a gap. I also put in a couple of good laps to catch him up again but I couldn’t pass him; then I made a small mistake and fell on the ground. We were both pushing really hard after that, and it was not possible to close the gap as he was fast right until the end. For me it doesn’t make a big difference to win this GP or not – I had a good feeling on the bike and I’m really happy with the way I rode this weekend. That’s the main thing as I know that I can win, and we’ll have some nice races next season with Jeffrey. I know what we have to work on this winter. We have already been working on the start; we spoke with (Pro Circuit owner) Mitch (Payton) and he knows what we have to do. Mitch really wants to win the championship and I think our bike will be even better next season.”

 

Max Anstie – MX2 4-4

“After finishing fourth in six GPs this year I was really determined to end the season with my first podium, and I did just that. The entire weekend was nice – the weather was lovely, just like at my house in America, and I love Italy, the fans, the food, the pasta! I think this track was one of the best of the year, and on Saturday I had a really good qualification race so it was great to have a good starting position. I’ve been working hard on my starts and it paid off this weekend. I was fourth in the second race when I went off the track into the fence; it was tough but I came back from ninth to fourth again to get this podium overall ! I want to thank Monster, Pro Circuit, Kawasaki, CLS and all this guys who worked hard for this. I’ve learned so much this year with different people, countries, tracks and I can’t wait to be back next season.”

 

Ken Roczen – MX2 5-dnf

“The first race was really good and I finished fifth. Then my start wasn’t as good in the second race and I came from way back to fifth place. Then I jumped into the ruts and it was very slick because it had been watered and I just couldn’t stay on the bike. My handlebars were bent so I couldn’t go on. For sure I’m a bit disappointed because I was on a good way to get on the podium.”

 

Arnaud Tonus – MX2 3-5

“The podium didn’t arrive this year and we were so close a number of times. Anyway I’m happy. It has been a pretty good season with fifth overall and I’ve been quite consistent. I’ve had a lot of fun with the team and the bike and we have a great relationship so I wanted to give it up to them, as well as my family and friends; it is because of them that I am here. I thought oh man when I went down in the second race. I came back well and had a great rhythm going. I was catching Max but I made another mistake. I gave all that I had but it wasn’t enough for the podium.”

 

Jake Nicholls – MX2 7-11

“A pretty good day really. We had a bit of trouble with the bike on Saturday just because of the heat but eventually I got a really good rhythm going. In the first race I was stuck behind Roelants who was struggling a bit and I just got sucked into the rhythm he was doing. It wasn’t a bad race but I knew I could do a lot better. In the second one I had a pretty average start and nearly went down in the corner. I was tenth entering the fourth lap when I hit a turn in neutral and lost the front. The heat got me and I lost my rhythm. It was an uphill battle from there. I’m really happy with eleventh in the championship, which is two positions better than last year and after missing four rounds. I hit the ground running when I came back and that was all to do with the hard work I did when I was injured. I was able to pick up at the speed and form I left off from last year and that’s what I aim to do for next season after a good winter of training ahead.”

 

Gautier Paulin – MX1 1-2

“For sure I am really happy and I didn’t really know what I could expect for my first MX1 GP. In the first race I made the holeshot and was on my own so I sent my rhythm and just rode out the moto. In the second it was really good fun to race with Christophe and we passed each other but the track was getting harder and harder with more bumps; normally it is smoother for the MX2 motos. It was my first race on the 450 and I knew I was winning the grand prix so I did not want to go crazy. I was riding safe. With Monster Energy Yamaha we did something special today.”

 

Christophe Pourcel – MX1 8-1

“On Saturday during the qualification race I had a pretty good start, but then I went a little bit wide in a corner after the downhill; my back wheel went outside the bump and the bike slid out. I crashed and, although I recovered to eleventh, I was afraid that might not be so good for the races. However my Kawasaki still got me to the first turn with the leaders in both motos. Usually I can find the good lines right away but in the first race I couldn’t find any! We made a lot of changes on the bike this morning and I didn’t feel comfortable so the only thing I could do was to finish the race and do my job. We changed the suspensions settings for the second moto – we put the same as for Gaildorf last week and the bike was so good! We must keep working at it as we have only been together for a few weeks but the team is working hard and it’s going better and better.”

 

Jon Barragan – MX1 4-3

“I was on the podium at the first round in Bulgaria and it’s great to end the season like this with another podium. This year I had many problems with my starts and I lost my confidence a little bit but we’ve been working hard and it has been coming together again better for the last few GPs. The start is now so much important, and this weekend I had my best ones of the season! Next weekend we’ll have a strong team for the Nations, with three good Spanish riders, and I’m really motivated for this race.”

 

Evgeny Bobryshev – MX1 7-16

“I cannot get on so well with the heat. I was making many mistakes and using so much energy. At the end I was barely doing the jumps, I was boiling in my helmet. I don’t have a great feeling about the race and the crash in the second moto, but I’m really happy with fourth in the championship. There was a chance to finish third, but that is the next step for me. It has been a long and tough season.”

 

Shaun Simpson – MX1 dnf-9

“I went on the sighting lap, but the bike was misfiring and I just made it back. It seemed to fire OK for the start, but then spluttered and I was kicking and kicking as the gate dropped. We got going, but I was missing some confidence in the bike and was a lap down. I decided to call it a day because it wasn’t running right and I was way down the field. We used the second bike for the next moto and I got a shocking start. I found a rhythm and gained some ground in the first laps, but I was a second or two off Boissiere. I think I ended up with fifteenth in the championship, but to be honest, fifteenth, thirteenth, twenty-first it doesn’t make any difference, it is not where I want to be. Onwards and upwards and hopefully we can wrap up the Belgian Championship before the season ends.”

 

Tom Church – MX1 dnf-15

“Not the best way to bow out but I didn’t like the track, too many jumps, maybe I am just too ‘old school’! I had an awful start in the first race and then crashed which bent up the bike. In the second I was able to get it together and managed a fifteenth for some points at least. It’s been a rollercoaster, I have to say but I’ve always tried to do my best and enjoy it.”

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