Come rain or shine, we race! And what would a motocross world championship be without a mudder throwing a spanner in the works.
With rain hammering down on the hilly, pebbly, clay based track of Pietramurata, which is built at the base of the stunning Dolomite Mountains in one of the most beautiful areas of Italy, Trentino, Honda Gariboldi’s Tim Gajser and Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Dylan Ferrandis lit the candles in their respective qualifying races to lead the way into the main events tomorrow, round eight of the FIM Motocross World Championship.
The fourth round of the European Championship EMX250 also took place, as did the second round of the European Championship EMX125, presented by FMF Racing. In the premier amateur class, EMX250, the red plate holder Bodo Schmidt Motorsport’s Thomas Kjer Olsen extended his points lead with his third race win of the season, while Sahkar Racing KTM’s Jago Geerts did the same in the EMX125 class.
Whatever sprocket Honda Gariboldi’s Tim Gajser had on that Honda of his, it was perfect for this venue. The all-new championship leader kept his red plate clean with a massive holeshot and check out performance for his fourth qualifying race win of the season.
Chasing Gajser around turn one was last years MXGP of Trentino grand prix winner Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Max Nagl and Team HRC’s Evgeny Bobryshev who had company in the form of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tony Cairoli.
Egged on by the thousands of rowdy fans, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Cairoli plucked up the courage to hit an inside rut pinned and made an impressive pass on Bobryshev for third. Meanwhile, Nagl was ripping! He didn’t have anything for the rookie sensation, but nevertheless he managed to pull a healthy gap of eight seconds on TC222.
Team HRC’s Evgeny Bobryshev was chilling back in fourth before hearing a knock at the door. When he answered it was Team Suzuki World MXGP’s Kevin Strijbos who was there with friends in the form of the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing duo, Jeremy Van Horebeek and Romain Febvre. Bobryshev slammed the door in their faces and held on for fourth, which forced Strijbos to accept fifth.
Febvre, on the other hand, was cutting edge awesome on his way from outside the top 30 to pass his teammate, Van Horebeek, with two laps for go for sixth.
MXGP Qualifying Race Top Ten: 1. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), 25:00.430; 2. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Husqvarna), +0:08.075; 3. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:13.720; 4. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:16.367; 5. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), +0:17.067; 6. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:18.274; 7. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:19.752; 8. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Honda), +0:48.489; 9. Valentin Guillod (SUI, Yamaha), +0:52.694; 10. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:55.004
As you know, Mother Nature added her five cents to the MXGP of Trentino today with generous lashings of rain that made everything a lot more difficult. Starts were essential out here on the hills of Pietramurata, as was tyre selection, tyre pressure, sprocket choice, mental strength, physical strength, balance, throttle control, line choice…let’s face it, everything had to be on point.
Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Dylan Ferrandis and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings are two of the hungriest riders on the line and long-time rivals, so when they went bar to bar into turn one, we knew we were in for a cracking race. Ferrandis took the holeshot with a slight advantage over Herlings who ran it in too hot, went wide and had to bounce off a bank to make the turn.
Herlings’ bank bouncing manoeuvre worked a treat, he didn’t even lose a spot and was able to charge up the inside of Ferrandis heading into the third corner.
Herlings had the inside line and attempted to drive the Frenchman wide, but instead of braking and backing out of the challenge, Ferrandis just hammered the throttle and fought back immediately. There may have been a little bit of plastic exchanged between the two, of which Ferrandis will keep as a souvenir as Herlings went off line and into the bog.
HSF Logistics Motorsports Team’s Brian Bogers capitalised on Herlings bulldozing through the slop, as did Team Suzuki World MX2’s Jeremy Seewer who had just finished barging past Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pauls Jonass.
Herlings isn’t really used to being pushed about, so it was interesting to see The Bullet’s response. Instead of going kna*kers to the wall, he just hung back in third and looked for some good lines. Meanwhile, Jonass quietly chipped at the gap of Herlings, while Ferrandis rode like a boss to pull a massive eight-second lead on Seewer.
Speaking of Seewer, the Swiss rider came into some trouble with a few laps to go when he committed to a 180-degree rut at the bottom of a hill only to hit a back marker who had crashed on the exit. He had to wheelie out of the rut and into the next rut, but it was occupied with yet another lapped rider, so he got wedged and dropped his bike. He had to hurry, but thankfully he managed to remount in time to maintain second place.
Herlings broke his perfect qualifying race win record when he crossed the line in third ahead of his team-mate Jonass. Wilvo Standing Construct Yamaha’s Aleksandr Tonkov and TM Racing Factory Team’s Samuele Bernardini inherited the fifth and sixth place positions after Anstie crashed on the last lap. Anstie came home in seventh.
MX2 Qualifying Race Top Ten: 1. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), 25:08.730; 2. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Suzuki), +0:08.255; 3. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +0:10.023; 4. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), +0:11.541; 5. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, Yamaha), +0:36.804; 6. Samuele Bernardini (ITA, TM), +0:45.476; 7. Max Anstie (GBR, Husqvarna), +0:48.567; 8. Michele Cervellin (ITA, Honda), +0:54.768; 9. Alvin Östlund (SWE, Yamaha), +0:57.905; 10. Simone Furlotti (ITA, Yamaha), +1:06.213