Round 16 of the FIM Motocross World Championship couldn’t have started any better for Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe’s Glenn Coldenhoff who had the fans going mad as he dominated the qualifying race here at his home grand prix, MXGP of The Netherlands, to go pole for the first time this year. Meanwhile in MX2, Wilvo Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Harri Kullas put in a similar performance to qualify first in MX2.
The penultimate races in the European Championships EMX250 and EMX125 also took place at this insanely awesome track and venue today with Kemea Yamaha Yamalube’s Damon Graulus and KTM Factory Juniors Jorge Prado being victorious in their respective classes.
The FIM Veteran’s Motocross World Cup took place where Sweden’s Mats Nilsson edged out New Zealand’s Darryll King by one point for the overall while the defending champion Martin Zerava finished up third..
Flying the flag for The Netherlands, Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe’s Glenn Coldenhoff bought the grandstands to life when he pulled the holeshot and checked out for his first ever MXGP Qualifying Race win.
No prisoners were taken in the battle behind the young Dutchman as Yamaha Factory Racing Yamalube’s Jeremy Van Horebeek, Hitachi Construction Machinery Revo KTM’s Shaun Simpson and Team HRC’s dangerous duo of Gautier Paulin and Evgeny Bobryshev all went bar-to-bar. Simpson was the first to drop out of the scrap when he ran hot up the inside of Van Horebeek, clipped him and went down. Van Horebeek was punted off line, which allowed Paulin to capitalize and go through into second.
Paulin then fronted the battle for second but Van Horebeek remained relentless on his mission and eventually pulled the trigger through the waves and made a pass. Bobryshev, who had company in the form of Yamaha Factory Racing Yamalube’s Romain Febvre, put in a solid charge but burnt himself out in the process and ended up crawling home in sixth.
Meanwhile, Febvre kept Paulin honest and pushed him to the finish while Simpson mounted an impressive come back and rounded out the top five.
MXGP Qualifying Race Top Ten: 1. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, Suzuki), 24:09.280; 2. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:06.192; 3. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Honda), +0:07.504; 4. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:12.089; 5. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), +0:17.662; 6. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:24.581; 7. Tyla Rattray (RSA, Kawasaki), +0:37.423; 8. Dean Ferris (AUS, Husqvarna), +0:45.246; 9. Todd Waters (AUS, Husqvarna), +0:48.266; 10. Nathan Watson (GBR, Husqvarna), +0:50.780.
With the drop of the gate it was only a matter of seconds before the crowd was on their feet as Holland’s young star on the rise Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Davy Pootjes edged Wilvo Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Harri Kullas out for the holeshot. Heading into turn two, Pootjes slammed the door on Kullas and gapped it briefly. A lap or so in, Pootjes hard work went up in flames when he high-sided and handed Kullas the lead. Kullas then took charge and that was that. He rode as cool as a cucumber for his first ever qualifying race victory.
Behind the flying ‘151’ of Kullas, all heck was breaking loose with guys going down all over the show. Standing Construct Yamaha Yamalube’s title contender Valentin Guillod crashed spectacularly out of fourth on lap two which was then mimicked by Hitachi Construction Machinery Revo KTM’s Ben Watson who crashed out of second in the same place a few laps later. Standing Construct Yamaha Yamalube’s Julien Lieber was the next to fall victim to the gnarly track after running third for half of the race while Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe’s Jeremy Seewer rounded out the list of fallen riders when he tucked the front end and fell from second with three laps to go.
Bad starts made life difficult for Monster Energy DRT Kawasaki’s Max Anstie and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pauls Jonass, but both managed to find their flow to finish inside the top three with full credit going to Anstie who made an unreal charge at Kullas for the win but ran out of time.
Jonass rounded out the top three while Kemea Yamaha Yamalube’s Brent Van Doninck put his sand skills to good use for fourth while Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Thomas Covington was on his game today and finished fifth.
MX2 Qualifying Race Top Ten: 1. Harri Kullas (FIN, Husqvarna), 24:19.618; 2. Max Anstie (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:03.049; 3. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), +0:19.977; 4. Brent Van doninck (BEL, Yamaha), +0:23.484; 5. Thomas Covington (USA, Kawasaki), +0:32.505; 6. Brian Bogers (NED, KTM), +0:38.199; 7. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Suzuki), +0:39.541; 8. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:40.577; 9. Julien Lieber (BEL, Yamaha), +0:42.766; 10. Davy Pootjes (NED, KTM), +0:49.062