It was a drama-packed weekend of racing at round seven of the Motocross World Championships at Teutschenthal in Germany, with a handful of Kiwi riders in the thick of the action at the weekend.
Italian multi-time former world MXGP (formerly MX1) champion Antonio Cairoli won both MXGP races, his first race wins of the season, while Slovenian Tim Gajser took over the MXGP points lead from French defending champion Romain Febvre, as New Zealand former MX2 world champion Ben Townley, now back in MXGP action after missing two rounds through illness, twice finished seventh and placed a solid sixth overall on the day.
“It is positive to keep strong for two motos without any major hiccups,” said Townley afterwards.
“My expectations and what is reality is not the same right now so I’m not happy. My mistake yesterday hurt me majorly for the starts. I had to fight for the top 10 from deep [in the pack] in the first laps and made multiple passes.
“I made hard work for myself and need to clean up my Saturdays to get in a better place for Sunday. The second moto was better and in the last two laps I thought I was going to get Max (Nagl). It is not all fairy tales; it is a brutal sport!”
The weekend’s event in the former East Germany was also round three of six in the Women’s Motocross World Championships, featuring Otago’s Courtney Duncan; round three of the EMX250 Championships, featuring Hamilton’s Josiah Natzke, and the opening round of the EMX150 Championships, featuring Oparau’s James Scott.
Duncan is now third overall in the Women’s Motocross World Championships after disaster in Germany.
She was unlucky to finish 12th in the first of two races after colliding with a track-side photographer and could not progress her position in race two. France’s Livia Lancelot now leads the women’s series with 136 points, with Dutch rider Nancy Van De Ven second on 125 points and Duncan has 102 points with three rounds to go.
Finishing 24th and 28th at the weekend, Natzke was out of the points in the EMX250 class and is 39th overall in the championship standings.
With a seventh and a fifth in his two European EMX150 Championship races, Scott is fifth overall after round one of that series.
Meanwhile, the weekend’s German GP was a massive re-boot for eight-time FIM Motocross World Champion Cairoli who won his first GP since the MXGP of Great Britain in May last year.
“I’ve been searching for this win for some time now” He said, “I’ve been missing some speed but I started to feel good already in Latvia. Now I hope to be here on the podium and fighting for the win every weekend.”
The popular Italian has the best track record at Teutschenthal and has now won four GPs on this soil.
Honda Gariboldi’s Gajser is arguably the most exciting rider to watch on the track. The Slovenian is just on the edge at all times. He doesn’t care, he’s strong and he’s confident and he will pin it to the checkers in every race. In race one, he threw everything but the kitchen sink at Cairoli, but couldn’t make a pass stick and in race two he bounced back to fourth after clipping fellow Honda rider Evegeny Bobryshev in a battle for second. His results for the day were enough for second overall, his seventh consecutive podium and, more importantly, the championship lead.
Russia’s Bobryshev nursed his injured shoulder to an impressive third overall this weekend.
He said: “I had no time on the bike during the week because of my shoulder. The track was really tough today with all of the ruts and the square edge bumps so to be third on the podium, I am really pumped because if you knew what I have and the pain I was riding through, man it’s just really amazing.”
Chainsaws and air horns were going full blast for Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Max Nagl who charged to a third in race one and sixth in race two, after he binned it while in third. The German actually tied with Bobby for third overall but the silverware goes to the person who places best in the final race and that was Bobryshev, who finished second.
There’s nothing like a bit of controversy to spice things up, especially between team-mates. Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jeremy Van Horebeek and MXGP world champion Febvre had a discussion on the start line before race one regarding gate pick.
Coincidently or not, Van Horebeek and Febvre came together on the opening lap of that moto and Febvre hit the deck. Febvre struggled to come back in that race and only finished tenth. In race two, he put in a solid ride for third, which left him in fifth overall and has seen him relinquish the red plate.
Something you never expected to read this season, ‘Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings had his work cut out for him’ this weekend as he battled illness and a blazingly fast Jeremy Seewer to remain unbeaten this season.
Herlings is used to steam rolling this class, so he was a little bit fired up by the challenge, but regardless of that, he won both races for his 54th GP victory.
You’d never guess that Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Dylan Ferrandis has literally just been given the all clear to race. He landed on the second step of the podium for the second time this year and tributes his good results to his awesome starts where he took the Holeshot in race one and missed it by a fraction in race two.
“I’m surprised because I didn’t ride so much during the week because I was really tired and I had a bit of pain in my shoulder, but I am happy to be back on the podium.”
Team Suzuki World MX2’s Seewer was fastest in free practice and timed practice on Saturday and finished second in Qualifying. He crashed in the first moto today and came from around 20th all the way to fourth, but the real head turner was when he put the challenge to Herlings and almost won the final race. The Suzuki star on the rise finished third overall.
It was another weekend of highs and lows for Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Max Anstie who was third in race one and led the best part of race two before he threw away his four second lead with six minutes to go. It’s safe to say the Brit will be frustrated, but at least he salvaged fifth in that race which was enough for fourth overall, while Kemea Yamaha Official MX Team’s Benoit Paturel put in two solid races to round out the top five.
© Photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com
Find BikesportNZ.com on FACEBOOK here
RESULTS & STANDINGS:
MXGP Race 1 Top Ten:
1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 35:21.882; 2. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:04.991; 3. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Husqvarna), +0:12.252; 4. Christophe Charlier (FRA, Husqvarna), +0:16.655; 5. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), +0:26.742; 6. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:28.779; 7. Ben Townley (NZL, Suzuki), +0:42.598; 8. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:49.103; 9. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), +0:51.085; 10. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +1:01.916.
MXGP Race 2 Top Ten:
1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 33:52.905; 2. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:02.783; 3. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:03.349; 4. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:19.696; 5. Valentin Guillod (SUI, Yamaha), +0:22.314; 6. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Husqvarna), +0:25.657; 7. Ben Townley (NZL, Suzuki), +0:29.384; 8. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), +0:31.077; 9. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:33.268; 10. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), +0:44.820.
MXGP Overall Top Ten:
1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 50 points; 2. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 40 p.; 3. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 35 p.; 4. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HUS), 35 p.; 5. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 31 p.; 6. Ben Townley (NZL, SUZ), 28 p.; 7. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, SUZ), 27 p.; 8. Christophe Charlier (FRA, HUS), 26 p.; 9. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 25 p.; 10. Valentin Guillod (SUI, YAM), 23 p.
MXGP Championship Top Ten:
1. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 299 points; 2. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 291 p.; 3. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 263 p.; 4. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HUS), 238 p.; 5. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 232 p.; 6. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 215 p.; 7. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, SUZ), 169 p.; 8. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 168 p.; 9. Valentin Guillod (SUI, YAM), 139 p.; 10. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 136 p.
MX2 Race 1 Top Ten:
1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 34:21.787; 2. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:14.877; 3. Max Anstie (GBR, Husqvarna), +0:21.575; 4. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Suzuki), +0:26.760; 5. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), +0:30.964; 6. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, Yamaha), +0:34.711; 7. Benoit Paturel (FRA, Yamaha), +0:38.264; 8. Brent Van Doninck (BEL, Yamaha), +0:44.503; 9. Vsevolod Brylyakov (RUS, Kawasaki), +0:49.671; 10. Brian Bogers (NED, KTM), +0:54.844.
MX2 Race 2 Top Ten:
1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 34:26.873; 2. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Suzuki), +0:02.365; 3. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:19.820; 4. Benoit Paturel (FRA, Yamaha), +0:21.421; 5. Max Anstie (GBR, Husqvarna), +0:38.093; 6. Samuele Bernardini (ITA, TM), +0:39.619; 7. Brent Van Doninck (BEL, Yamaha), +0:41.667; 8. Vsevolod Brylyakov (RUS, Kawasaki), +0:53.490; 9. Brian Bogers (NED, KTM), +0:59.281; 10. Roberts Justs (LAT, KTM), +1:02.044.
MX2 Overall Top Ten:
1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 50 points; 2. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, KAW), 42 p.; 3. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, SUZ), 40 p.; 4. Max Anstie (GBR, HUS), 36 p.; 5. Benoit Paturel (FRA, YAM), 32 p.; 6. Brent Van doninck (BEL, YAM), 27 p.; 7. Vsevolod Brylyakov (RUS, KAW), 25 p.; 8. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 25 p.; 9. Brian Bogers (NED, KTM), 23 p.; 10. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, YAM), 23 p.
MX2 Championship Top Ten:
1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 350 points; 2. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, SUZ), 270 p.; 3. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 218 p.; 4. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, YAM), 186 p.; 5. Benoit Paturel (FRA, YAM), 186 p.; 6. Petar Petrov (BUL, KAW), 183 p.; 7. Max Anstie (GBR, HUS), 162 p.; 8. Vsevolod Brylyakov (RUS, KAW), 157 p.; 9. Samuele Bernardini (ITA, TM), 149 p.; 10. Brent Van Doninck (BEL, YAM), 129 p.