…for Ken Roczen while Antonio Cairoli is also crowned champion in Gaildorf!
If it weren’t for Tommy Searle’s amazing speed and tenacity we’d have needed to wait until next weekend for Ken Roczen to wrap up the MX2 world title which would have robbed a massive Gaildorf crowd from seeing their wunderkind seal the deal on home soil. As it turns out Tommy’s charge not only sealed both KTM rider’s fate in the championship but also gave him his second grand prix victory of the year.
Moto one for the MX2 boys started off on an overwatered track which made the slick cambers of the circuit in Southern German even more slippery than normal. Jeffrey Herlings set the pace ahead of the Yamahas of Arnaud Tonus and Gautier Paulin, Roczen and Searle. However, four laps in Herlings briefly goes down which gifts Tonus the lead and allows Roczen to climb into second in the ensuing carnage – another lap on and Kenny’s out front. Searle follows the German’s lead and powers past Paulin and Tonus to take second behind Kenny as the chequers is unfurled. Tonus is third, Paulin, fourth and Herlings fifth which means provided the Dutchman doesn’t outscore Roczen by more than two then the title is Kenny’s one round early.
Roczen holeshots moto two but Herlings immediately snatches the lead while Tommy appears to be more than matching the speed of the two factory KTM stars on the hardpack track. Tommy finds a way past Roczen and hunts down the Dutchman until a mistake made while lining the #84 up for a pass allows Roczen through to second. As Tommy regroups Kenny pushes forward but two laps later washes out which allows Herlings to make a break and Tommy back into second.
If the race had finished now Roczen would be two points short of taking the title but that’s when super Tommy steps up to the rescue and by riding the wheels off his Pro Circuit Kawasaki catches and blows by the Dutchman to take his third moto and second overall win of the year. Herlings is second and Roczen third which means the title is secured by the German teenager in front of the bratwurst-munching and beer-swilling Bavarian fans…
Cairoli’s path to an early title is made easy by closest challenger Steven Frossard crashing out in the early part of race one which would have allowed the tight riding Sicilian to claim his fifth championship even if he’d pulled out there and then. After loosening up as the moto ran its course Cairoli was able to claim third after picking hiw way through from eighth.
At the front Evgeny Bobryshev romped away with the lead only to be caught by Xavier Boog on the last lap. While Boog tried everything he could to find a way past the Russian held rock steady to take his third moto win of the season with Boog second and Cairoli third. With the Sicilian across the line the celebrations could start in full for the KTM squad who all had ‘High Five’ celebration t-shirts on – the 5 denoting Tony’s five world titles.
Moto two was all about Pourcel who lead every lap second time out after braining himself on the same jump that eventually caught out Frossard in moto one. After another slow start Cairoli crawled through to second while Anthony Boissiere beat Rui Goncalves, Kevin Strijbos, Boog and Shaun Simpson across the line. Overall it’s Cairoli who wins ahead of Bobby and Boog.
“I think the second race was one of the best of the year for the fans; when the three fastest guys go away in front of the race and can race each other, we really put on a show! I’m satisfied with this weekend as I showed a lot of people what I can do in this class. After the first practice I thought it was the worst track I had ridden all year but then I surprised myself by my speed and the track developed really well. When I was behind Ken or Jeffrey I wasn’t even pushing so hard; I still had plenty in reserve. To get this GP win is a big moment for me and for the team as we’ve been the fastest all weekend. In the second race I had a great start and showed what I am capable of; it’s important for me to get better starts and that’s something we’ll have to work on this winter.”
“It’s unbelievable for me. It’s my biggest moment ever. I went over the line and I could barely stand. I was crying and seriously this is the best feeling I ever had. I’m really happy with how things are going and with all the team so a big thanks to everyone.”
“Hopefully next year will be my year. I think I didn’t do such a bad season but I still had some mistakes and that’s what cost me the championship but at the end of it all I’m really pumped. I’m definitely second in the championships, I already won four GPS and I’ve been on the podium 10 or 11 times.”
“It was pretty close for the podium but I’m very happy because I had a good weekend. Each time I rode I had some fun and those better starts helped me. I did my best in the first moto and had a good battle with Paulin and Searle. I could finally get a moto podium and it was a great feeling. In the second my start was not as good but I had a fast rhythm. I got near to the podium but overall Im pleased with the GP and the bike was working really well. We made some small adjustments but we have a strong motorcycle at the moment anyway. It was difficult to find consistency on the track because in some sections there was grip and it others it was really slick, but I enjoyed it. We have a chance to seal fifth now and we have been strong at the end of the season. I have learned to try and be a bit more relaxed before the start of a race and this has worked.”
“I really don’t like this track. It is slippery and was over-watered on the hardpack. I was not feeling good and every jump was sketchy – there were ruts on the take-offs and the 250s always seem to come up short. I was not feeling good but had decent starts and the races were not too bad. My crash was a surprise. I went into the rut and within a second I was on the ground. There is not much more to say. I want to forget this weekend and think ahead to Fermo.”
“In the first race I had a great jump out of the gate but I just didn’t get good drive on the start straight and I had to come from a long way back; it was tough to move from 20th to 10th as there were not so many lines to pass. In the second race the start went better; my bike reacted perfectly and I could battle for a fifth position. This track here in Germany was very special, but I enjoyed it; I think that overall it was very good and now I’m looking forward to next weekend in Italy.”
“The weekend started off fairly average but I slowly built up confidence with the bike and the track throughout Saturday. The qualification heat was ruined by a collision on the first jump after the start but I picked myself up and charged through to 15th even though the bike was pretty out of shape. In the first race I had a perfect jump off the start but just got out-powered down the straight. From mid-pack I worked my way to ninth. For the second race, I had another dodgy start and then on the second lap a rider crashed next to me and his bike flipped upside down and his back wheel hit my elbow. I’ve got metal work in the joint and straight away I lost feeling in my hand; I was scared from this point because I hadn’t hurt my elbow like this since I broke it, but thankfully it was only the nerves that had gone into shock. Now I just have some bruising around the elbow. I’m very disappointed with the weekend. I feel that I could have achieved a lot more at this track.”
“It has been an amazing season and in the beginning it was really tough with my knee injury. After that I was always chasing the victories and now one round before the end we made it. I did like the layout of the track here in Gaildorf and there’s lots of nice jumps but the hard pack is very difficult.”
“I finally got this MX1 podium which the team has been expecting all season ! For sure it took me long to get it, but now I hope that I can be there regularly. I was not feeling so confident when I came here as I have not been able to train since my crash in England; I tried to ride the bike earlier this week but I had a lot of pain in my back. In the first moto I fought hard to come back at Bobryshev as I knew I could do it, and I missed the win by only three-tenths of a second. I got great starts all weekend and that helped me to race at the front. I even took the holeshot in race one but Bobryshev surprised me when he passed me straight away; I used a lot of energy in the last few laps of the first race to catch him, and that made the second moto more difficult. But my seventh position was good enough to ensure I was on the podium. I hope that this result will help my confidence; today I felt good on the bike and it showed in my result.”
“On Friday before Matterley Basin I had a scan in England and was told I couldn’t ride for six weeks. I went for a second opinion in Belgium, having accepted that the season was over, and the doctor said that the bones were okay and I should be able to race. I asked her if she was sure that it was okay what with all the jumping and she said ‘no problem’. I took a few precautions this weekend, but it went fine. It was a difficult race and I gave all I had in the first moto and then was making mistakes in the second because I didn’t have the strength. I went off the track and didn’t have any rear brake after I hit the fence. I was missing energy after that and just wanted to finish the race where I could. It is a strange season with many riders injured, but I am lucky I am here and I want to complete the championship in the best way possible now.”
“I’m not quite sure what happened at the start of the first race – I should have been in second gear but somehow I found neutral. That meant that I started a long way back but after two great laps I was already back to sixth, I was riding easy but I made a small mistake on a jump and crashed; the bike was damaged and I had to return to the pits. I got the holeshot in the second race, the track was pretty nice to ride and I soon found good lines. In the middle of the race Cairoli was able to reduce the gap, but I found new lines and extended my lead from ten to forty seconds. It’s a shame that I made that mistake in the first race because I wanted so much to win this GP. I spent the last couple of weeks in Belgium but now I will go to the south of France to practice on hardpack; I want to do well in Fermo !”
“I was a bit unlucky with the tyre problem on Saturday and this meant I had to start from the outside and that’s now easy here at Gaildorf. I still got two good starts but I got hemmed in in the early part of race two and then I had a couple of crashes. The second one was quite big but I was thinking about the championship so I got back into the race and managed to finish tenth. Now I would like to have two good races in Fermo because I have a chance to finish third.”
“It was okay today. I rode terribly for the first five minutes of the first race. I got hit all over the place and the track was really awkward. Once I settled down then I pulled back from 29th to 20th and knew what I had to do for the second. I got the start I needed and got into the top fifteen and pushed hard. With two laps to go I was set for fifteenth but the fuel cap popped off. I put it back on but I think the bike was running out of fuel because it kept bogging and I didn’t want to jump the step-ups. I was out of the points by that stage. It was a shame because I had an easy fifteenth.”
“It has been an alright weekend – one of the better ones let’s say. My speed was really good on Saturday and I showed I can run up front if I get the start and that is the key point of the MX1 class. It is possible to come through, but at the moment I don’t have the speed or the power to do that. I tried to get a couple of good starts today, but in the first I had a bit too much wheelspin out of the gate. I rode as tight as hell. Tanel was behind me for so long and I tensed up, had arm-pump and generally it was a ‘shocking’ ride. I had a better start in the second moto – I think I was fourth or fifth – and just charged up. No-one really left me and seventh is not really to be sniffed at; I was quite happy. It was really hot and humid today. We’ve got one more to go so I will get my head down next weekend and try to make it the best of the year.”
For full results and series standings see www.motocrossmx1.com…