Traction was hard to come by as the complex gravel track of Uddevalla, in Sweden, made for another set of manic results in the 2015 FIM Motocross World Championship at the weekend.
The impressive crowd that flooded the rocky mountainous hillside was peaking as Yamaha Factory Racing Yamalube’s Romain Febvre and Honda Gariboldi’s Tim Gajser claimed their fourth grand prix overall victories.
“I am riding the dream and I hope I don’t wake up until the end season,” were the words of Febvre immediately after he sealed the deal on his first double race victory and fourth overall victory of the season.
The Frenchman is a total animal on super slick surfaces. He isn’t afraid to lay the power down and let the rear wheel slide which is a skill he can do a lot faster and better than anyone in the class.
After reaching another milestone with his perfect score, Febvre has tightened his grip on the championship and now has an impressive 39-point lead over defending champion Tony Cairoli.
Yamaha Factory Racing Yamalube’s Jeremy Van Horebeek excelled in super slick and rocky conditions.
Putting together a second and a fifth, the Belgian landed on the podium for his first podium finish since the MXGP of Czech Republic last year where he took his first MXGP class overall.
After starting from the back of the pack in race one Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MXGP’s Kevin Strijbos was forced to be creative in order to carve his way through the pack and get some decent points on the board.
Eighth was the best he could do in that race but bounced back strong in race two when he went bar-to-bar with Febvre around turn one and emerged in the lead.
Strijbos, who was Saturday’s qualifying race winner, led most of race two but came undone when the Febvre saw an opening and took it. Nevertheless the Belgian finished a commendable second for his third consecutive podium finish since his return from injury.
Flying the flag for the Aussies, Wilvo Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Dean Ferris and Red Bull IceOne Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Todd Waters were both on the gas this weekend. Ferris, who was unable to train at the start of the season due to shin splints, is starting to come into his own as we dive into the second half of the season, as is Waters who landed on the podium for the first time in his career one round ago at the MXGP of Italy. The Australians managed to round out the top five this weekend with Ferris beating Waters by one point.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Cairoli is still dealing with an arm injury that is preventing him from mounting a more serious challenge.
Regardless, Cairoli scored and impressive third place in the final race for seventh overall.
As for his team-mate Tommy Searle, the Brit made his return to MXGP this weekend but had a strange crash while running inside the top ten has left him with a suspected injury to the elbow.
The only Swede in the championship 24MX Honda Racing’s Filip Bengtsson made his MXGP return this weekend. Despite running a good pace, he faded back in both races and finished the weekend in 17th overall.
Honda Gariboldi’s Tim Gajser is starting to become a fixture on top of the MX2 podium.
After keeping championship leader Jeffrey Herlings honest in race one, Gajser capitalised on the error of Herlings, and left everyone in a cloud of crumbled rock roost for the race win and overall victory. Gajser now matches Herlings in overall grand prix victories this season but still trails him by 78 points.
Despite having two lousy starts, Yamaha Standing Construct Yamalube’s Valentin Guillod was one of the fastest guys on the track.
“Herlings went down in front of me and I hit him and bent my gear shifter so I had to ride changing gears with my heel. On the first laps I had to learn to use it like that so it took me some time to figure out how to do it”, Guillod said after race two. Regardless of the problems he faced, the Swiss rider has a super smooth and really calm throttle hand which works well on the surface he was faced with today and assisted him in leapfrogging through the pack for third and fourth, second overall.
Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe’s young Swiss rider Jeremy Seewer reached another career milestone with his second place in race two being the best race result of his career. His third podium finish of the season has added his name to the list of next generation superstars.
Honda J-Tech’s Vsevolod Brylyakov remarkably managed to stay out of trouble and landed two fifths for fourth overall, a career best result for the young Russian.
Meanwhile, last year’s European Championship EMX250 runner-up HSF Logistics Motorsport Team’s Brian Bogers is a rookie on the rise. The Dutchman rounded out the top five in MX2, which is a solid effort on such a hard surface since he grew up riding in sand.
Initially, the scrub gone wrong incident at the last round of the championship didn’t deter Herlings in the slightest.
The former champ bounced back this weekend in legendary style when he won the qualifier as well as the first race. Despite his super impressive performance, given he is fresh off of the operating table with a plate and nine screws in his collarbone, drama struck The Bullet yet again with a first corner crash forcing him out of the race with a serious cut in his pinky finger.
RESULTS AND STANDINGS:
MXGP Race 1 Top Ten:
- Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), 34:28.955; 2. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:14.107; 3. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), +0:18.097; 4. Todd Waters (AUS, Husqvarna), +0:18.528; 5. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Honda), +0:20.159; 6. Dean Ferris (AUS, Husqvarna), +0:25.268; 7. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), +0:31.278; 8. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), +0:32.398; 9. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, Suzuki), +0:35.198; 10. Christophe Charlier (FRA, Honda), +0:43.540
MXGP Race 2 Top Ten:
- Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), 35:12.538; 2. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), +0:01.295; 3. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:31.708; 4. Dean Ferris (AUS, Husqvarna), +0:33.610; 5. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:40.109; 6. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, Suzuki), +0:42.819; 7. Todd Waters (AUS, Husqvarna), +0:45.235; 8. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:48.698; 9. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), +1:01.555; 10. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Honda), +1:01.775
MXGP Overall Top Ten:
- Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 50 points; 2. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 38 p.; 3. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, SUZ), 35 p.; 4. Dean Ferris (AUS, HUS), 33 p.; 5. Todd Waters (AUS, HUS), 32 p.; 6. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 30 p.; 7. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 28 p.; 8. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, SUZ), 27 p.; 9. Gautier Paulin (FRA, HON), 27 p.; 10. David Philippaerts (ITA, YAM), 26 p
MXGP Championship Top Ten:
- Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 419 points; 2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 380 p.; 3. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HUS), 360 p.; 4. Gautier Paulin (FRA, HON), 351 p.; 5. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 319 p.; 6. Clement Desalle (BEL, SUZ), 291 p.; 7. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 257 p.; 8. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 232 p.; 9. Todd Waters (AUS, HUS), 224 p.; 10. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, SUZ), 196 p.
MX2 Race 1 Top Ten:
- Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 35:10.178; 2. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:07.770; 3. Valentin Guillod (SUI, Yamaha), +0:14.010; 4. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), +0:21.869; 5. Vsevolod Brylyakov (RUS, Honda), +0:23.943; 6. Brent Van doninck (BEL, Yamaha), +0:25.324; 7. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Suzuki), +0:26.261; 8. Brian Bogers (NED, KTM), +0:52.897; 9. Ivo Monticelli (ITA, KTM), +0:57.424; 10. Jorge Zaragoza (ESP, Honda), +1:03.012
MX2 Race 2 Top Ten:
- Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), 34:10.850; 2. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Suzuki), +0:02.097; 3. Jordi Tixier (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:02.758; 4. Valentin Guillod (SUI, Yamaha), +0:18.776; 5. Vsevolod Brylyakov (RUS, Honda), +0:19.725; 6. Julien Lieber (BEL, Yamaha), +0:22.466; 7. Max Anstie (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:38.816; 8. Brian Bogers (NED, KTM), +0:40.653; 9. Roberts Justs (LAT, KTM), +0:48.374; 10. Benoit Paturel (FRA, Yamaha), +0:49.537
MX2 Overall Top Ten:
- Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 47 points; 2. Valentin Guillod (SUI, YAM), 38 p.; 3. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, SUZ), 36 p.; 4. Vsevolod Brylyakov (RUS, HON), 32 p.; 5. Brian Bogers (NED, KTM), 26 p.; 6. Brent Van doninck (BEL, YAM), 25 p.; 7. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 25 p.; 8. Roberts Justs (LAT, KTM), 22 p.; 9. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KAW), 20 p.; 10. Benoit Paturel (FRA, YAM), 20 p.
MX2 Championship Top Ten:
- Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 423 points; 2. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 345 p.; 3. Valentin Guillod (SUI, YAM), 335 p.; 4. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, SUZ), 311 p.; 5. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 307 p.; 6. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KAW), 306 p.; 7. Max Anstie (GBR, KAW), 262 p.; 8. Julien Lieber (BEL, YAM), 259 p.; 9. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, HUS), 256 p.; 10. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, KAW), 205 p