Set at the foothills of the picturesque mountains of Villa la Angostura, the spectacular yet deceiving nature of the volcanic loam circuit of Patagonia played host to the fourth round of the FIM Motocross World Championship.
Bringing it home for the extremely animated and enthusiastic crowds in Argentina were Honda Gariboldi’s Tim Gajser and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings, the Slovenian taking his second MXGP victory of the season while Herlings romped to his 51st career MX2 win.
The track in Villa la Angostura is perhaps one of the best looking tracks on the GP calendar. While its width and beautifully sculpted jumps are loved by the riders, it shapes up to be very tricky as the hard base blanketed by a layer of loam is hard to read and has a habit of kicking riders when they least expect it.
Despite the technical, physical and mental demand of the circuit it was the 19-year-old rookie, Honda Gariboldi’s Tim Gajser who excelled for his second grand prix overall of the year.
“I had a really good weekend,” said the Slovenian. “I won my first ever qualifying race yesterday and I took a FOX holeshot and won today. Next we go to Mexico and I have good memories there, I won my first ever MX2 race there and I really like the track so I look forward to going there.”
It’s been a long time coming for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tony Cairoli who finally filled the big boots he walks in with his first podium finish since May last year. “I’m not yet at my best, but I have to make the best of it,” said Cairoli.
“I am happy with my riding although I have to ride different to what I am used to because I feel not strong enough in some places. But it’s okay and it gets better and better.,” he added.
Second overall in Argentina saw TC222 jump up from fifth in the championship standings to third.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Max Nagl is slowly but surely moving in the right direction. The German maybe small in stature but he’s big on talent and he was looking good today.
Nagl took his first race win of the season in the first moto but after a last ditch effort to catch Cairoli for second in the final race, he decided it was too risky and backed off. “I’m a little bit disappointed because I could have won this GP, but I backed off and the Yamaha guys passed me, but a third place is better than a DNF, so I am happy.”
The red plate holder, Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Romain Febvre broke his 16 round podium streak and almost relinquished the red plate here in Argentina after binning it a number of times in both races.
Thanks to his ‘never say die’ fighting spirit the Frenchman put in yet another epic last lap surge in the final moto to pass both Nagl and Jeremy Van Horebeek for third in that race which combined with his sixth in race one, was enough for fourth overall.
Febvre lost a bunch of points to Gajser today but nevertheless he will head into the MXGP of Leon in Mexico next weekend with a three-point lead over the rookie. Meanwhile his Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing team-mate Jeremy Van Horebeek put in two solid top five finishes to round out the top five.
MXGP Race 1 Top Ten: 1. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Husqvarna), 34:29.721; 2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:05.185; 3. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:07.776; 4. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:11.472; 5. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:12.973; 6. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:24.641; 7. Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:34.253; 8. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), +0:40.168; 9. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:46.162; 10. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:52.900
MXGP Race 2 Top Ten: 1. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), 34:47.423; 2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:03.936; 3. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:07.794; 4. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:11.910; 5. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Husqvarna), +0:19.640; 6. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:40.886; 7. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), +0:47.977; 8. Valentin Guillod (SUI, Yamaha), +0:51.197; 9. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), +0:53.609; 10. Christophe Charlier (FRA, Husqvarna), +0:54.351
MXGP Overall Top Ten: 1. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 45 points; 2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 44 p.; 3. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HUS), 41 p.; 4. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 35 p.; 5. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 34 p.; 6. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 27 p.; 7. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 27 p.; 8. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 25 p.; 9. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, SUZ), 24 p.; 10. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 24 p.
MXGP Championship Top Ten: 1. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 172 points; 2. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 169 p.; 3. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 144 p.; 4. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 138 p.; 5. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 134 p.; 6. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HUS), 125 p.; 7. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 105 p.; 8. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, SUZ), 103 p.; 9. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 82 p.; 10. Tommy Searle (GBR, KAW), 74 p.
MXGP Manufacturer: 1. Yamaha, 173 points; 2. Honda, 171 p.; 3. KTM, 151 p.; 4. Husqvarna, 136 p.; 5. Suzuki, 115 p.; 6. Kawasaki, 87 p.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings seems to have returned to his old self. Well his undoubted skill never left him of course, he just needed some time to get over his catalogue of injuries.
He’s now oozing confidence and appears to enjoy every lap at the moment with big whips and scrubs, apparently to the point the fans almost toppled the fences over in excitement.
At the last round in Valkenswaard, The Bullet reached a milestone with his 50th grand prix victory, and on Sunday in Villa la Angostura he hit yet another with his 100th race win! In addition to remaining unbeaten, Herlings won in Argentina for the first time in his career.
Team Suzuki World MX2’s Jeremy Seewer had his work cut out for him today as he spent both races bashing bars with the competition. He may have left a few yellow plastic scuffs on some riders, but eventually he got it together for second overall.
“I feel amazing I have been on the podium three times in a row now, I will try to keep on going like this,” said Seewer.
Just like he did in Thailand, Wilvo Standing Construct Yamaha’s Aleksandr Tonkov had that right grip twisted today where he landed on the podium for the second time this year.
After such a good day in the office, Tonkov has moved up to third in the championship after Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pauls Jonass DNF’d the first race after high-siding big-time on turn two where he split his chin open. Unfortunately for Jonass, he dropped from second to fourth.
TM Racing Factory Team’s Samuele Bernardini’s cat-like reactions got him off to two epic starts this weekend. Since Bernardini made his debut in MX2 halfway through last year he has proven he knows how to get off the gate, although his lack of experience racing up front in the worlds premier series always seemed to get the better of him. The Italian is now onto his second season in MX2 and with two fantastic starts today he delivered the goods for fourth overall, his best ever finish by far.
Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Petar Petrov looked at home on the circuit here in Patagonia as he served up pancakes all afternoon on the huge jumps. Petrov is a big lad and struggles on the start. Despite always having to come from behind, the Bulgarian put in a solid performance for fifth overall which was his first top five of the season.
MX2 Race 1 Top Ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 34:29.494; 2. Max Anstie (GBR, Husqvarna), +0:34.840; 3. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, Yamaha), +0:36.815; 4. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Suzuki), +0:49.465; 5. Samuele Bernardini (ITA, TM), +0:56.817; 6. Petar Petrov (BUL, Kawasaki), +1:07.056; 7. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, KTM), +1:09.327; 8. Vsevolod Brylyakov (RUS, Kawasaki), +1:13.359; 9. Jorge Zaragoza (ESP, Honda), +1:22.090; 10. Thomas Covington (USA, Husqvarna), +1:23.679
MX2 Race 2 Top Ten: Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 34:54.991; 2. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Suzuki), +0:30.746; 3. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, Yamaha), +0:33.248; 4. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), +0:41.457; 5. Benoit Paturel (FRA, Yamaha), +0:43.160; 6. Samuele Bernardini (ITA, TM), +0:51.648; 7. Roberts Justs (LAT, KTM), +0:57.064; 8. Petar Petrov (BUL, Kawasaki), +0:58.093; 9. Vsevolod Brylyakov (RUS, Kawasaki), +1:03.564; 10. Thomas Covington (USA, Husqvarna), +1:11.648
MX2 Overall Top Ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 50 points; 2. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, SUZ), 40 p.; 3. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, YAM), 40 p.; 4. Samuele Bernardini (ITA, TM), 31 p.; 5. Petar Petrov (BUL, KAW), 28 p.; 6. Vsevolod Brylyakov (RUS, KAW), 25 p.; 7. Benoit Paturel (FRA, YAM), 24 p.; 8. Thomas Covington (USA, HUS), 22 p.; 9. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, KTM), 22 p.; 10. Max Anstie (GBR, HUS), 22 p.
MX2 Championship Top Ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 200 points; 2. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, SUZ), 152 p.; 3. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, YAM), 131 p.; 4. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 130 p.; 5. Petar Petrov (BUL, KAW), 104 p.; 6. Benoit Paturel (FRA, YAM), 99 p.; 7. Samuele Bernardini (ITA, TM), 91 p.; 8. Vsevolod Brylyakov (RUS, KAW), 84 p.; 9. Brent Van doninck (BEL, YAM), 78 p.; 10. Alvin Östlund (SWE, YAM), 70 p.
MX2 Manufacturer: 1. KTM, 200 points; 2. Suzuki, 152 p.; 3. Yamaha, 148 p.; 4. Kawasaki, 131 p.; 5. Husqvarna, 107 p.; 6. TM, 91 p.; 7. Honda, 78 p.