Weather always adds an interesting element to MXGP in Beto Carrero. Saturday morning as the riders rolled in, they were splashing through puddles and cringing at the threatening skies.
Luckily within an hour the clouds had lifted and the sun began to shine which resulted in an absolutely glorious day here on the radiant circuit of Beto Carrero for round three of the FIM Motocross World Championship where Suzuki took their first double pole since 2010 with Rockstar Energy Suzuki World’s Kevin Strijbos and Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe’s Glenn Coldenhoff qualifying pole in their respective categories.
Rockstar Energy Suzuki World’s Kevin Strijbos is proving to be the ultimate force to be reckoned with in the MXGP qualifying heat races. For the second time this season, Strijbos took the holeshot and went on to lead the race from start to finish to win ahead of his Rockstar Energy Suzuki World team-mate Clement Desalle and Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Gautier Paulin who looked comfortable in their second and third positions.
Meanwhile behind the top three, the battle was hotter than the plus 30-degree temperatures. In the beginning BikeIT Yamaha Cosworth’s Rui Goncalves and TM Ricci Racing’s Davide Guarneri were quick off the gate, both running inside the top four for the first few laps. Unfortunately for Guarneri a crash would force him out of the race while Gonçalves struggled to maintain the speed of the front guys.
Taking the cake as the hottest battle of the race, HM plant KTM UK’s Shaun Simpson was dicing back and forth with Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jeremy Van Horebeek for fourth. With Simpson riding great lines, Van Horebeek was forced to make every effort to find a way around. Upon making the pass, getting too hard on the gas around a corner three turns from the finish with five minutes plus two laps to go, he crashed. With a quick recovery, Van Horebeek managed to bounce back and pass Simpson for one last time.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli had a rough start to the race, not getting off to the greatest of starts. Despite putting in a hard charge to move into the top 10, the seven-time world champion fell three laps in, dropping him way back into the late teens. The MXGP red plate holder made an incredible recovery to end the race with a last lap charge at Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jeremy Van Horebeek for fourth only to miss out by a fraction of a second.
British pilot, Max Anstie on his BikeIT Yamaha Cosworth will be happy with qualifying after finishing second behind Glenn Coldenhoff.
MXGP Qualifying Race Top Ten: 1. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), 25:01.250; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), +0:06.097; 3. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:10.130; 4. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:13.508; 5. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:13.780; 6. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), +0:21.906; 7. Todd Waters (AUS, Husqvarna), +0:28.664; 8. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Honda), +0:33.352; 9. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:41.052; 10. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), +0:41.487.