A freezing Valkenswaard welcomed riders and fans to the third round of the FIM Motocross World Championship in the Netherlands.

Snow flurries and at times sub-zero temperatures made practice and qualifying a challenge for all – very much a world away from the sweltering heat of round two in Thailand. And of course that wasn’t the only difference from the previous MXGP as the format returned to the more familiar – and for some – more comfortable two motos for each class.

MX1 class

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Evgeny Bobryshev powered to a holeshot at the start of the first moto ahead of Tony Cairol and factory Honda team-mate Max Nagl. Cairoli seized the lead before the end of lap-two and settled down to control the race. Ken De Dycker moved his way through the pack and began to close on Cairoli before making a pass and holding the lead for several laps. Keeno then crashed hard on part of the track that was in shade and the sand was still frozen and very slippery. Cairoli slipped by and settled down to take the comfortable victory, hitting the flag with almost six seconds advantage over Bobby and Big Ken.

Bobryshev yanked the holey again in race two but it was de Dycker’s time to shine. He took the lead 21 minutes into the moto and managed to hang on right to the end despite a hard charge from Cairoli in the closing laps. Second place in the race was enough to give Cairoli the GP victory – the 56th of his amazing career and his fifth consecutive on the Valkenswaard circuit.

MX2 class

Jeffery Herlings didn’t get off the line well in qualifying and perhaps eager to show his now legendary sand riding skills he pushed – a little too hard maybe – and crashed hard before remounting and powering through to a 10th place finish. Not too much drama but Herlings was later disqualified when he was deemed to have received outside assistance. Perhaps the decision was a little harsh as it’s not likely he asked for the help from his home fans – they probably just couldn’t help themselves.

That little bit of help turned into a gate 40 start and even for Herlings – an uphill battle for the overall podium.

Jordi Tixier took the holeshot in race one and took the lead. Team-mate Herlings quickly worked his way up to third behind Tixier and Max Anstie but the team’s French rider hung stubbornly onto the lead. Then on lap 10 the ‘King of Sand’ pounced before building an impressive 11-second lead.

Herlings had an even bigger challenge in the second race of the day starting 23rd as Tixier again took the holeshot. And while Herlings battled through the traffic with his unbelievable confidence, his team-mate stretched his lead at the front of a train of around five KTM riders. Herlings moved into second place with eight laps to go but Tixier was still six seconds in front. The Dutch rider put down the hammer and caught his team-mate with three laps to go and charged his way to the flag and yet another superb victory. While everyone is accustomed to stunning rides by Herlings in the sand, it was also a huge ride for Tixier.

Herlings has now won four years in a row at Valkenswaard – each time with double moto wins. Just a thought but perhaps Jeffrey should have to start from the last gate for every moto – it sure made it fun to watch.

British riders were hopeful of a better weekend than the flyaway rounds of Qatar and Thailand where only Max Anstie and Jake Nicholls brought home a good tally of championship points.

Wilvo Nestaan JM Racing KTM’s Jake Nicholls was vocal in his dislike of the overseas format and it was soon clear that he was enjoying the return to the separate motos.

In the first moto Nicholls got off the line well and was pushing hard. By lap five he had passed Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe’s Julien Lieber and Glen Coldenhoff (Standing Construct KTM) for fourth place.

Filled with confidence from moto one Nicholls blasted out of the gate in moto two putting himself in third behind Tixier and Coldenhoff and by lap five had taken second. Herlings would of course come charging past on his way to the win but the British rider kept it smooth and held third to grab himself his first GP podium finish. Jake dedicated his podium finish to Rhys Loram, the son of former World Speedway Champion, Mark Loram and also thanked former DBR bike tester Tony Marshall for all the help and advice he’s offered over the years.

Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe’s Max Anstie blasted out of the gate and got inside the top six in the first moto. Anstie’s pace was steady, holding second for the first five laps of the race and eventually finishing third. The second moto start saw Anstie striving towards sixth position passing Elliott Banks-Browne on the way. Mad Max couldn’t catch the riders in front and just missed the podium by three points.

Monster Energy Yamaha’s Mel Pocock had two smooth motos finishing 10th and then ninth. But Elliott Banks-Browne had fork problems in race one which saw him DNF before a much-improved second moto where he eventually finished seventh.

Next round is the GP of Italy at the mountainous Arco di Trento on April 14.

Valkenswaard GP 2013 video

More detailed 2013 Valkenswaard Results here

MX GP Valkenswaard Results 2013

 

MX1 Overall

 

Pos

Nr

Rider

Bike

Race 1

Race 2

Total

1

222

Cairoli, Antonio

KTM

25

22

47

2

9

de Dycker, Ken

KTM

20

25

45

3

777

Bobryshev, Evgeny

Honda

22

18

40

4

22

Strijbos, Kevin

Suzuki

14

20

34

5

12

Nagl, Maximilian

Honda

15

15

30

6

21

Paulin, Gautier

Kawasaki

16

14

30

7

25

Desalle, Clement

Suzuki

13

16

29

8

40

Leok, Tanel

Honda

18

10

28

9

100

Searle, Tommy

Kawasaki

11

12

23

10

999

Goncalves, Rui

KTM

8

13

21

 

MX1 World Championship Standings after 3 rounds

 

Pos

Nr

Rider

Nat.

Total

1

222

Cairoli, A.

ITA

142

2

25

Desalle, C.

BEL

116

3

9

de Dycker, Ken

BEL

115

4

21

Paulin, G.

FRA

108

5

22

Strijbos, K.

BEL

89

6

777

Bobryshev, E.

RUS

87

7

100

Searle, Tommy

GBR

87

8

999

Goncalves, Rui

POR

73

9

40

Leok, Tanel

EST

61

10

34

Roelants, Joel

BEL

58

 

MX2 Overall

 

Pos

Nr

Rider

Bike

Race 1

Race 2

Total

1

84

Herlings, Jeffrey

KTM

25

25

50

2

911

Tixier, Jordi

KTM

22

22

44

3

45

Nicholls, Jake

KTM

18

20

38

4

14

Anstie, Max

Suzuki

20

15

35

5

259

Coldenhoff, Glenn

KTM

16

18

34

6

59

Tonkov, Alexander

Honda

10

13

23

7

119

Pocock, Mel

Yamaha

11

12

23

8

221

Ratsep, Priit

KTM

12

10

22

9

76

Rauchenecker, Pascal

KTM

8

11

19

10

461

Febvre, Romain

KTM

0

16

16

 

MX2 World Championship Standings after 3 rounds

 

Pos

Nr

Rider

Nat.

Total

1

84

Herlings, J.

NED

150

2

911

Tixier, Jordi

FRA

101

3

461

Febvre, Romain

FRA

98

4

259

Coldenhoff, G.

NED

97

5

17

Butron, Jose

ESP

74

6

14

Anstie, Max

GBR

72

7

23

Charlier, C.

FRA

71

8

111

Ferris, Dean

AUS

69

9

45

Nicholls, Jake

GBR

64

10

33

Lieber, Julien

BEL

62

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