Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac recored his second consecutive grand prix victory, while Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings capped off his MX2 career with a win at the MXGP of The USA.
Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli shook off the effects of their mediocre qualifying results to lead the way in the main events. Tomac cleaned everyone up once again to become the first American to win multiple grand prix’ in the same calendar year since Mike Brown back in 2000.
Cairoli hung it out on the hills of Glen Helen for second overall. The eight-time champ was striving for his ninth world title this year, but couldn’t match the consistent strength of Slovenia’s motocross extraordinaire Tim Gajser. He did claim the silver medal though, and the impact of being the bridesmaid in terms of the championship was softened by the 10,000 euro cheque he was awarded by Fox Head Europe as the winner of the Fox Holeshot competition.
These days the podium doesn’t look right without Honda Gariboldi’s Tim Gajser standing on one of the steps. The recently crowned world champion would have liked to have topped the box this weekend, but instead had to settle for third, which is not so bad considering he only qualified fourteenth after having a yard sale on the first lap of the qualifier. The champ went 4 – 3 to land on the box for the sixteenth time this season, which is an incredible feat on its own.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Team’s Max Nagl flew under the radar this weekend. The German rider finish on the same points as Gajser but because Gajser had the better result in the final race, he was awarded third while Nagl had to settle for fourth overall, but looking at the bigger picture, was happy to have cemented the bronze medal in the premier class this season.
After two shocking rounds, last years vice world champion, Team HRC’s Gautier Paulin, bounced back this weekend and nailed a top five finish.
MXGP Overall Top Ten:
1. Eli Tomac (USA, KAW), 50 points;
2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 44 p.;
3. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 38 p.;
4. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HUS), 38 p.;
5. Gautier Paulin (FRA, HON), 27 p.;
6. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 24 p.;
7. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 23 p.;
8. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 23 p.;
9. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, KAW), 22 p.;
10. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 21 p.
MXGP Championship Top Ten:
1. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 731 points;
2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 647 p.;
3. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HUS), 603 p.;
4. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 564 p.;
5. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 545 p.;
6. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 536 p.;
7. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 406 p.;
8. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 372 p.;
9. Valentin Guillod (SUI, YAM), 352 p.;
10. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 343 p.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings typically races number ‘84’, this weekend he rode with the number 1 plate. The Bullet claimed both motos wins and his first ever grand prix win on US soil. “To finish with a win is amazing, it was my final ride in the lites class and now I will move up to the 450, it’s been a hell of a ride, so many ups and downs, but I’m very grateful for what I have achieved and I hope to have the same success in the MXGP class.”
There is one simple mission in MX2, BEAT JEFFREY HERLINGS! Last weekend America’s national Lites champion Cooper Webb managed to do it, and is the first rider to beat The Bullet fair and square for the overall since Tim Gajser did it in Maggiora, at the MXGP of Italy, last year. Interestingly, all three riders Webb, Herlings and Gajser will go head-to-head on 450cc bikes in the MXGP class at the Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations in two weeks time. As for the racing today, the hope of the American fans lied in the hands of their two most touted riders, Geico Honda’s Jeremy Martin and Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Austin Forkner.
Geico Honda’s Jeremy Martin was the talk of the town heading in, mainly because he changed brands, from Yamaha to Honda, and was making his debut earlier than most riders normally do. J-Mart, as they call him, went 2 – 2 for second overall, a huge result for the American kid who had only had one week on the bike heading into his first ever MX2 grand prix, and actually missed warm-up this morning due to a mix up of Timetables.
Yamalube Star Racing Yamaha’s Mitchell Harrison, after cutting his teeth on the grand prix scene at the Charlotte Motor Speedway last weekend where he finish seventh, rolled out today and nailed a pair of fifths for third overall. “I wasn’t expecting to be on the podium, I was just hoping to get a top five this weekend and progress, I got a top ten last weekend. Third overall is incredible for me, so I am excited about it. The track last weekend at the Charlotte Motor Speedway was amazing, but coming here, something just clicks for me, I love this track at Glen Helen.”
Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Austin Forkner finished third in Race 1, but after a bad start, crashed out of Race 2 while charging through the pack.
Australia’s Caleb Ward in his debut MX2 class appearance in the FIM Motocross World Championship managed 15th in Race 1 but DNF in Race 2.
MX2 Overall Top Ten:
1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 50 points;
2. Jeremy Martin (USA, HON), 44 p.;
3. Mitchell Harrison (USA, YAM), 32 p.;
4. Max Anstie (GBR, HUS), 31 p.;
5. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, SUZ), 30 p.;
6. Benoit Paturel (FRA, YAM), 27 p.;
7. Brian Bogers (NED, KTM), 26 p.;
8. Thomas Covington (USA, HUS), 25 p.;
9. Chris Alldredge (USA, KAW), 24 p.;
10. Austin Forkner (USA, KAW), 23 p.
MX2 Championship Top Ten:
1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 739 points;
2. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, SUZ), 625 p.;
3. Benoit Paturel (FRA, YAM), 512 p.;
4. Max Anstie (GBR, HUS), 504 p.;
5. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 403 p.;
6. Brian Bogers (NED, KTM), 398 p.;
7. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, KAW), 378 p.;
8. Samuele Bernardini (ITA, TM), 377 p.;
9. Petar Petrov (BUL, KAW), 351 p.;
10. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, YAM), 320 p.