A firmer and choppier Mantova was a curious beast today as it inaugurated the 12th round of the FIM Motocross World Championship.

The strange combination of rolling bumps and rugged choppy sections, on a track that used to be a lot sandier, was the challenge, a challenge Team HRC’s Evgeny Bobryshev and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings were up for as they went pole in their respective classes at the FULLBACK MXGP of Lombardia-Italy.

Meanwhile, the fifth round of the FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship took place with Italy’s sweetheart and defending WMX world champion, MXFontaRacing Syneco’s Kiara Fontanesi, taking her first race win of the season.


The sixth round of the European Championship EMX125 presented by FMF Racing also got underway with KTM Silver Action’s Stephen Rubini claiming his sixth race win of the season, while Bud Racing Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Darian Sanayei continues to chomp away at the EMX250 championship lead of Bodo Schmidt Motorsports Thomas Kjer Olsen, with a win at round eight of the series.


Team HRC’s Evgeny Bobryshev and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Max Nagl got this one going as they went bar-to-bar into turn one ahead of the red plate holder Honda Gariboldi’s Tim Gajser.

Bobryshev nailed it around the outside, while Nagl backed off, went tight, and somehow slung shot out of the turn with enough pace to rail around the outside of Bobby at turn two.

Bobby, who had the first gate pick after he set the fastest lap in Timed Practice, knew he couldn’t let Nagl get away and instantly started a brawl with the Husky rider. After throwing a wheel in on Nagl at every opportunity, at least for the first three laps, the German finally succumb to the pressure of the Russian and let him go.

As Bobby inched away, Gajser got the itch and started giving Nagl grief before passing him with a signature scrub. Nagl isn’t a rider who is too fussed about winning qualifying races when third pick of the gate is not that bad, just sat back and let them go.

Meanwhile, Team HRC’s Gautier Paulin spent the best part of the first few laps bashing bars with Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jeremy Van Horebeek before fading back to sixth. Van Horebeek rode strong to finish fourth ahead of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Glenn Coldenhoff, who is more than worthy of a mention today with fifth place being his best qualifying race result of the season and in addition to that, he blew everyone away when he set the fastest time of the day in Free Practice.

MXGP Qualifying Race Top Ten: 1. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), 25:12.128; 2. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:03.172; 3. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Husqvarna), +0:17.077; 4. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:22.980; 5. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:29.564; 6. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Honda), +0:32.885; 7. Jordi Tixier (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:37.108; 8. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:43.967; 9. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), +0:48.245; 10. Valentin Guillod (SUI, Yamaha), +0:52.092.


Every rider’s worst nightmare is going down at turn one, which is exactly what last years’ MX2 grand prix winner Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Max Anstie did when he folded the front end in the loam at turn two, causing a massive pile-up.

Both of Anstie’s team-mates Conrad Mewse and Thomas Covington were caught in the wreck, as were two riders battling for the spot of vice-world champion, Team Suzuki World MX2’s Jeremy Seewer and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pauls Jonass. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings managed to avoid it but was still affected by the mess, which left him well outside of the top 10.

Escaping the carnage, Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Dylan Ferrandis led the way, at least for a couple of corners, before fellow Frenchman Kemea Yamaha MX Official team’s Benoit Paturel snuck up the inside of him. That wasn’t something that Ferrandis was too happy about, it brought the ‘honey badger’ out in him and he ruthlessly put the squeeze on the Yamaha rider to take back the lead one lap later.

Thanks to the little ‘Bonjour’ from Ferrandis, Paturel went wide and fell back to second before stacking it all on his own right after the finish line jump on lap three.

Temperatures soared well above 30 degree’s Celsius as Herlings and Seewer continued to turn up the heat on their charge through the pack, while Wilvo Standing Construct Yamaha Official MX2 Team’s Aleksandr Tonkov rode cool, calm and collected in second ahead of the home soil star, TM Factory Racing Team’s Samuele Bernardini and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s rookie Davy Pootjes.

It’s been said before, Jeffrey Herlings is 100 per cent from another planet, especially in the sand, so it wasn’t surprising to see him knocking on the door of the top five before the end of lap three. The Bullet, as he is otherwise known, made light work of his young team-mate Pootjes before doing the same thing to Bernardini and Tonkov in the laps that followed.

With two minutes plus two laps to go, Ferrandis had a comfortable 10 second lead and looked to be on his way to defeating Herlings in the sand, which is something that has not been done in a very, very, long time. But as we all know, it’s not over till the chequered flag is waved and Ferrandis robbed himself of the win with a silly mistake.

Herlings inherited the lead with two laps to go and ran away for his ninth qualifying heat victory of the season. Ferrandis regrouped for second ahead of Tonkov, Seewer and Pootjes.

MX2 Qualifying Race Top Ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 25:23.996; 2. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:06.007; 3. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, Yamaha), +0:20.402; 4. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Suzuki), +0:23.097; 5. Davy Pootjes (NED, KTM), +0:26.732; 6. Brian Bogers (NED, KTM), +0:27.470; 7. Michele Cervellin (ITA, Honda), +0:39.878; 8. Samuele Bernardini (ITA, TM), +0:43.735; 9. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), +0:45.781; 10. Alvin Östlund (SWE, Yamaha), +0:57.651.