It was the third time in a row that the FIM Motocross World Championship travelled to Latvia and the Zelta Zirgs track of Kegums fulfilled everybody’s expectations hosting incredible racing in both MX1 and MX2 classes. Antonio Cairoli and Ken Roczen obtained one more GP victory each and increased their championship leads.
It was a perfect weekend for Red Bull Teka KTM Factory Racing MX1’s Cairoli after winning Saturday’s qualifying race and both of Sunday’s heats. The Italian felt very comfortable on the track and he admitted that the changes they made on it favour his riding and helped him obtain his first double victory of the season.
Monster Energy Yamaha’s Steven Frossard was on the second step of the podium thanks to two solid second places. At the beginning of the first race Frossard struggled a lot due to some arm pump problems but by halfway he felt better, moved up three positions and crossed the finishline just .3 of a second behind Cairoli. In the following race Frossard obtained a solid second place.
The changes done on the Latvian track did not really suit Honda World Motocross’ Evgeny Bobryshev but he still managed to obtain a third overall position. During the first race Bobryshev rode second until the last lap of the race when the Russian could not hold Frossard’s pressure as he felt dizzy due to the heat. In the second race Bobryshev started fourth behind Desalle and when the Belgian made a mistake the Russian took the third position which he held until the chequered flag.
His team-mate Gonçalves did two incredible races and he obtained an overall fourth position thanks to his 7-4 result. The Portuguese has been struggling in the last GP due to a problem in his blood but his performance proves that Gonçalves is almost fully fit again to finish among the top five riders of the series.
Monster Energy Yamaha’s Philippaerts obtained a solid fifth place in the first race and after a bad start in the second heat he succeeded in moving from an initial 17th position up to a final fifth place. The Italian is still sixth in the MX1 point standings but Gonçalves is just one point behind him.
The sixth overall position was for German Nagl who did an excellent first race finishing fourth behind Cairoli, Frossard and Bobryshev but he crashed at the beginning of race two and crossed the finish line in the 10th position.
De Dycker achieved a final seventh overall position after finishing sixth and ninth. The Belgian seems to have some problems with his starts but he then recovers some positions and finishes among the top 10 classified riders.
Former series leader Clement Desalle was not lucky this weekend in Latvia and although racing among the top five riders during both heats he finished ninth overall. In the first race, Desalle touched Frossard’s rear wheel and went down to the ground and in the second heat he made a mistake and crossed the finish line eighth.
Red Bull Teka KTM Factory Racing MX2’s Roczen dominated both heats with great authority but in the second one his team-mate Herlings managed to lead five laps. Roczen felt very comfortable this weekend in Kegums and he is now leading the championship with a 27 points advantage over Herlings.
The Dutch rider crashed in the first race but he came back with an incredible rhythm and crossed the finish line third behind Roczen and Searle. Herlings rode right behind Searle during the last laps but the Brit managed to keep the second position until the chequered flag. In the second race Herlings took the lead on the third lap but he could not stand Roczen’s pressure and had to settle for the second position and the second step of the podium.
CLS Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit’s Searle obtained a final third position after finishing second and third respectively. Searle admitted that he is still having some difficulties to fight for the holeshot with Roczen but he was satisfied with his performance in Kegums as he managed to make very good lap times.
After missing the top five at the last GP, CLS Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit’s Max Anstie succeeded in finishing fourth overall ahead of Zach Osborne. Anstie had the same problem as his team-mate Searle and he also struggled with his starts. However, he finished fifth and fourth.
Bike-it Cosworth Wild Wolf Yamaha’s Osborne was fourth at the start of race one but he quickly dropped some positions and finished seventh. In the second heat Osborne had a very bad start but he managed to cross the finish line in the fifth position which gave him the overall fifth.
Finn Harri Kullas was not been looking comfortable recently on his Yamaha but this weekend he recovered his confidence as he obtained an overall sixth position after finishing ninth and sixth. Valentin Teillet finished seventh behind Kullas in the overall classification and he impressed everybody as he managed to ride third during the first eight laps of the second race.
Gautier Paulin did not have a good weekend in Latvia. The Frenchman did a very good start in race one but he finished eighth due to an early crash in the second corner of the heat. In race two Paulin crashed again and hurt his shoulder but he crossed the finish line 10th and obtained an overall eighth position.
Jake Nicholls did an incredible first race, going from an initial 22nd position to a final 12th place and in the second heat he got a solid eighth position and finished ninth ahead of home rider Kullas.
1 Antonio Cairoli (ITA KTM) 416
2 Clement Desalle (BEL Suzuki) 374
3 Steven Frossard (FRA Yamaha) 370
4 Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS Honda) 334
5 Maximilian Nagl (GER KTM) 311
6 David Philippaerts (ITA Yamaha) 282
7 Rui Goncalves (POR Honda) 281
8 Steve Ramon (BEL Suzuki) 229
9 Ken De Dycker (BEL Honda 228
10 Xavier Boog (FRA Kawasaki) 215
1 Ken Roczen (GER KTM) 446
2 Jeffrey Herlings (NED KTM) 419
3 Tommy Searle (GBR Kawasaki) 370
4 Gautier Paulin (FRA Yamaha) 343
5 Zachary Osborne (USA Yamaha) 295
6 Arnaud Tonus (SUI Yamaha) 274
7 Max Anstie (GBR Kawasaki) 249
8 Harri Kullas (FIN Yamaha) 224
9 Nicolas Aubin (FRA KTM) 207
10 Christophe Charlier (FRA Yam) 170