After his second win of the 2015 FIM Motocross World Championship and third in the last five MXGP events Red Bull IceOne Husqvarna’s Max Nagl is starting to gain increased credibility as a title contender this season.
The German has talked repeatedly of his happiness within the Finnish Belgium-based team owned by F1 driver Kimi Railkkonen and the set-up work done on the FC450 has helped him to better all-round speed.
In Qatar the 27 year old started brightly and won both motos before the end of the first lap. In Argentina last week he needed to come through from the midst of the top 10 and his overtaking prowess on Ryan Villopoto, Tony Cairoli and Clement Desalle showed a rider operating at a high level.
Nagl may have found a more flexible and efficient support structure to accommodate his talents and feel on the motorcycle (he is an avid fan of torque and a grunty motor) and now he knows he needs to keep his notorious propensity to injury away from the door to stand a chance of being in the ring come the next six months.
Nagl last finished as championship runner-up in 2009 but has had to cope with a myriad of physical and health problems in the interim, even a serious back injury in 2011/12 that almost put his career in the balance.
It is these ailments that have led to Nagl’s reputation as a fantastically fast rider but also one unlikely to see out a whole campaign. Max made a nod to the summary himself in Argentina when asked if he thought he might be able to look at Tony Cairoli’s MXGP crown with extra conviction after his positive start to 2015.
“This year I am feeling better than ever, let’s say, but the championship is long and the main thing is ‘no injuries’,” he said. “This is not always in our hands, so I really hope I can stay injury-free. I am working hard in the week to make my pace even better. We will try to continue in this way.”