The motocross world championship titles have been decided for 2016 – Tim Gajser winning the MXGP crown and Jeffery Herlings picking up the MX2 crown – but there’s still bragging rights at least to be claimed at the 18th and final round of the series in the United States this weekend.
The MXGP class is still as unpredictable as it was at the opening round of the FIM Motocross World Championship back in February, but if you are a betting man, you’d be likely to put your money on Colorado’s Eli Tomac (Kawasaki) who was untouchable at the penultimate round at Charlotte, in North Carolina, last weekend, when he won both races to claim his first ever GP win.
Meanwhile, it will be the cherry on top of the cake for Honda’s Gajser if he can win his first ever win on US soil, at Glen Helen, near San Bernadino, California, this weekend.
The newly-crowned world champ took to the man-made track at the Charlotte Motor Speedway well, just not as good as Tomac. Nevertheless, this weekend will provide a whole new day, with a track that is at the other end of the spectrum, and without the pressure of winning the championship; it will be interesting to see how he goes.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli was off the ball last weekend, but you can’t forget the Italian is still the most successful rider on the line with77 GP wins and eight FIM Motocross World Championship titles to his credit.
Another thing to keep in mind is that Cairoli set the fastest lap of the weekend last year at the Monster Energy MXGP of The USA at Glen Helen.
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jeremy Van Horebeek was the dark horse last weekend where he looked better than ever out on the man-made track in Charlotte. If Van Horebeek finds his rhythm out on the hills of Glen Helen, he will be a podium threat.
On the topic Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing, their recently dethroned champ, Romain Febvre, won the Monster Energy MXGP of The USA last year and will be wanting to finish the season on the podium.
Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Clement Desalle is that guy you can never ever write off. Desalle hasn’t had the smoothest of seasons but he has finally started to gain some momentum over the last few rounds, and has proved once before that he knows how to lay the smack down here at Glen Helen, as the winner of the US grand prix back in 2011. The Belgian will be hoping to round out the season strong.
Like Van Horebeek, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Glenn Coldenhoff was cooking on gas at the last couple rounds of the FIM Motocross World Championship. The flying Dutchman was on the podium at his home grand prix in Assen, and was only one point shy of repeating that achievement last weekend.
Last weekend’s MX2 GP of Americas winner Yamalube Star Racing Yamaha’s Cooper Webb won’t be lining up this weekend as he has parked his 250cc as of Sunday, and will be jumping on a 450cc as soon as possible to prepare for the Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations, and the 2017 season.
But never fear, American fans, because Geico Honda’s new signing, former American 250cc champ Jeremy Martin, will be out to stir the pot in MX2, making his debut on the red bike.
The champ Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings finally has the world title in hand, and come Sunday, you shouldn’t be too surprised if he comes out firing on all cylinders.
While Herlings took the title last weekend, it was a bittersweet day because Webb broke his perfect grand prix win rate. The Bullet didn’t seem to beat up by it, and gave full credit to the speed of the Americans, but chances are he will be out with a vengeance this weekend.
Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Austin Forkner is a kid who has made a rapid rise to fame with his mind-blowing results at the last rounds of the US nationals and then his incredible performance at the Monster Energy MXGP of Americas last weekend where he took it to the US champ, Webb, and the world champ, Herlings. It’s going to be awesome to see him rip around the gnarliest track in the world, Glen Helen.
Team Suzuki World MX2’s Jeremy Seewer is the 2016 MX2 vice world champion. He cannot be caught, while the battle for third between Kemea Yamaha’s Benoit Paturel and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Max Anstie is still wide open with only 12 points separating the two. Currently, Paturel is third, 12 points clear of Anstie. If Anstie manages to get 12 points back on Paturel and the two tie on points, Anstie will take the bronze medal with the system rewarding the rider with the most race wins, which is Anstie who has won four races, and two grand prix wins, while Paturel hasn’t won either.
MXGP Championship Top Ten:
1. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 693 points; 2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 603 p.; 3. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HUS), 565 p.; 4. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 549 p.; 5. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 522 p.; 6. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 513 p.; 7. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 382 p.; 8. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 372 p.; 9. Valentin Guillod (SUI, YAM), 335 p.; 10. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 322 p.
MX2 Championship Top Ten:
1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 689 points; 2. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, SUZ), 595 p.; 3. Benoit Paturel (FRA, YAM), 485 p.; 4. Max Anstie (GBR, HUS), 473 p.; 5. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 403 p.; 6. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, KAW), 378 p.; 7. Brian Bogers (NED, KTM), 372 p.; 8. Samuele Bernardini (ITA, TM), 358 p.; 9. Petar Petrov (BUL, KAW), 351 p.; 10. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, YAM), 320 p.
© Photos by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com
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