Matterley Basin personifies everything a motocross grand prix should be. The track is amazing for the riders and the view for the fans is almost perfect – just about every single person can see everything, which means they are able to enjoy the racing in it’s entirety.
All of these things made for great racing today at the 11th round of the FIM Motocross World Championship where both Red Plate holders Honda Gariboldi’s Tim Gajser and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings extended their points lead.
“Speed is not an issue. Just be consistent and finish races.” It is one of the most commonly used phrases in motocross. But what happens when the fastest and most cutthroat racer on the track is also the most consistent? That is the question every rider in MXGP has to answer at the moment as Honda Gariboldi’s Tim Gajser continues to excel with yet another double moto victory, which sealed the deal on his sixth grand prix win of the season.
Since Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Romain Febvre didn’t race today and will be sitting out next weekend at the FULLBACK MXGP of Lombardia-Italy as well, Gajser now has a commanding lead in the championship. He’s 74 points ahead of Febvre who took a massive blow to his title defence this weekend and is now only three points clear of Tony Cairoli.
Back on the topic of Gajser’s raw speed, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Max Nagl is one of the most puzzled. Even his trademark ‘holeshot and head-down’ tactic isn’t working. It’s almost getting to the point where finishing second place to Gajser is as good as a win and that means Nagl had a pretty sweet day in the office since he stood on the second step of the podium.
Team HRC’s Gautier Paulin had one of the gnarliest crashes of the season at his home grand prix in France two weeks ago when he was rag-dolled off of his bike on a high-speed downhill. Amazingly, he is okay! In fact more than okay it would seem since he bounced back with vengeance today for third overall, his second podium appearance this season.
Kemea Yamaha MX Official Team’s Valentin Guillod was ridiculously fast here last year in MX2 and was almost equally as impressive in the MXGP class with his great performance for fifth overall, despite crashing in race two. The Swiss rookie ran a hot pace all weekend and is really starting to make progress in the premier class.
Tim Gajser’s insane speed may also be having an effect on the eight-time world champion Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tony Cairoli who seems to be riding out of character at the moment and making more mistakes than we are used to seeing from him.
Because of the errors, TC222 only managed to finish sixth today, so it’s back to the drawing board for the Sicilian that is running third place in the championship standings.
As for the Brits, Wilvo Virus Performance KTM’s Shaun Simpson is still battling a broken hand. He tried to put on a brave face and even managed to score a couple of points in the first race but was in far too much pain for the second race and didn’t line up, whereas Monster Energy DRT Kawasaki’s Tommy Searle laid low most of the day and for one reason or another only came home in 11th.
MXGP Race 1 Top Ten: 1. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), 35:27.708; 2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:05.864; 3. Valentin Guillod (SUI, Yamaha), +0:09.678; 4. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:15.214; 5. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Honda), +0:17.550; 6. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:20.714; 7. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Husqvarna), +0:24.515; 8. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:34.354; 9. Jordi Tixier (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:37.237; 10. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:52.873.
MXGP Race 2 Top Ten: 1. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), 34:12.109; 2. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Husqvarna), +0:09.095; 3. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Honda), +0:18.031; 4. Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:25.931; 5. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:42.948; 6. Jordi Tixier (FRA, Kawasaki), +1:00.390; 7. Valentin Guillod (SUI, Yamaha), +1:02.316; 8. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +1:15.080; 9. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), +1:24.099; 10. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +1:32.758.
MXGP Overall Top Ten: 1. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 50 points; 2. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HUS), 36 p.; 3. Gautier Paulin (FRA, HON), 36 p.; 4. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 34 p.; 5. Valentin Guillod (SUI, YAM), 34 p.; 6. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 33 p.; 7. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 28 p.; 8. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KAW), 27 p.; 9. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 22 p.; 10. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), 20 p.
MXGP Championship Top Ten: 1. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 482 points; 2. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 408 p.; 3. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 405 p.; 4. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HUS), 378 p.; 5. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 367 p.; 6. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 321 p.; 7. Valentin Guillod (SUI, YAM), 242 p.; 8. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 212 p.; 9. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, SUZ), 204 p.; 10. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 201 p.
MXGP Manufacturers: 1. Honda, 490 points; 2. Yamaha, 452 p.; 3. KTM, 415 p.; 4. Husqvarna, 389 p.; 5. Kawasaki, 270 p.; 6. Suzuki, 242 p.
Matterley Basin is almost everyone’s favourite track, except Jeffrey Herlings. There is just something about this place that Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings doesn’t gel with. He was beaten here fair and square last year, and yesterday he only finished fifth in qualifying, which is by far his worse qualifying result.
Regardless of the adversity he has faced around this track, he knows what it takes to get the job done and The Bullet used his unprecedented talent to wrap up his 10th double victory of the season to remain unbeaten in grand prix overalls in 2016. “It’s good, I put myself in a good position with two holeshots,” he said. “Man! Two holeshots with my weight, I was pumped and I definitely made my life easy for myself by getting them.” Jeffrey now leads the championship by a whopping 148 points. “Everything is good, 11 rounds in, seven to go and I have a pretty comfortable points lead,” he confidently concluded.
When Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Dylan Ferrandis returned from injury a few rounds back, he came out all guns blazing and stole a race win from the otherwise undefeated Jeffrey Herlings. Since then, Jeffrey seems to have upped his game or has become wiser in his tact. Take nothing away from Dylan Ferrandis, the Frenchman rode solid today for two second place finishes and second overall. “It was a good weekend but I had two bad starts, so second is okay,” said Ferrandis. “We are always second to Jeffrey but next weekend I will try again, I will always give my best.”
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pauls Jonass had a ‘mare’ in qualifying yesterday. He got off to a rough start and in his rush to move forward he landed on a crashed rider and went into the fence. After freeing up his bike, he rejoined the race but crashed again and only crossed the line in 24th. With that said, a piece of silverware with third overall today at the FULLBACK MX2 grand prix of Great Britain is a result he was proper pumped with.
Team Suzuki World MX2’s Jeremy Seewer has definitely upped his game this year and it won’t be too long before his results reflect his speed. As an indication of how fast he is, the Swiss rider set the fastest lap of the weekend in MX2 and chalked up his first Tag Heuer Fastest Lap point.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s pair of Brits Max Anstie and Conrad Mewse were both impressive this weekend. Anstie had the fans going mad when he won the Qualifier yesterday while Mewse had them singing in race one when he pushed the Red Bull KTM stars pretty much all the way to the flag.
Anstie bounced back from his first race shocker to finish fourth in race two, even though he almost de-knackered himself when he cased the quad massively. An eighth in race one, meant the poleman would only finish fifth overall while his team-mate and fellow countryman went 5-9 for seventh.
MX2 Race 1 Top Ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 35:46.252; 2. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:21.065; 3. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Suzuki), +0:22.499; 4. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), +0:23.118; 5. Conrad Mewse (GBR, Husqvarna), +0:43.709; 6. Thomas Covington (USA, Husqvarna), +0:48.849; 7. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, Yamaha), +0:53.500; 8. Max Anstie (GBR, Husqvarna), +1:08.299; 9. Petar Petrov (BUL, Kawasaki), +1:16.687; 10. Brian Bogers (NED, KTM), +1:28.52.
MX2 Race 2 Top Ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 35:55.411; 2. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:22.944; 3. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), +0:27.051; 4. Max Anstie (GBR, Husqvarna), +0:34.536; 5. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Suzuki), +0:39.396; 6. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, Yamaha), +0:50.794; 7. Brian Bogers (NED, KTM), +1:15.116; 8. Jorge Zaragoza (ESP, Honda), +1:26.051; 9. Conrad Mewse (GBR, Husqvarna), +1:29.100; 10. Iker Larranaga Olano (ESP, KTM), +1:34.007.
MX2 Overall Top Ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 50 points; 2. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, KAW), 44 p.; 3. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 38 p.; 4. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, SUZ), 36 p.; 5. Max Anstie (GBR, HUS), 31 p.; 6. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, YAM), 29 p.; 7. Conrad Mewse (GBR, HUS), 28 p.; 8. Brian Bogers (NED, KTM), 25 p.; 9. Iker Larranaga Olano (ESP, KTM), 21 p.; 10. Thomas Covington (USA, HUS), 19 p.
MX2 Championship Top Ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 547 points; 2. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, SUZ), 399 p.; 3. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 370 p.; 4. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, YAM), 298 p.; 5. Benoit Paturel (FRA, YAM), 293 p.; 6. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, KAW), 273 p.; 7. Max Anstie (GBR, HUS), 258 p.; 8. Samuele Bernardini (ITA, TM), 244 p.; 9. Petar Petrov (BUL, KAW), 242 p.; 10. Vsevolod Brylyakov (RUS, KAW), 209 p.
MX2 Manufacturers: 1. KTM, 547 points; 2. Kawasaki, 400 p.; 3. Suzuki, 399 p.; 4. Yamaha, 384 p.; 5. Husqvarna, 330 p.; 6. TM, 244 p.; 7. Honda, 208 p.