Scott Redding has proven unstoppable across both BSB Superbike races at Snetterton, with Australian Josh Brookes hot on his heels. Redding claimed both wins and Brookes was regulated to runner-up in each race for a Ducati 1-2, with MacKenzie and Bridewell sharing the final podium positions. Redding leads the standings, with Josh Brookes now three-points off Bridewell in third.
Jason O’Halloran took ninth in Race 1, however a crash in Race 2 delivered a DNF result, and made for his third crash of the weekend. Ben Currie returned from injury and laid claim to 19th in Race 1, however was directed not to take part in Race 2 due to pain from his injury, with recovery ongoing.
Jack Kennedy took the Supersport Sprint win ahead of Brad Jones and Alastair Seeley, while the feature race saw Rob Guiver claim the win from Sean Nearv and Josh Day. Jack Kennedy leads the Supersport standings to Thruxton.
Billy McConnell also made a strong return to the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 series claiming fourth despite his lengthy lay-off and surgeries, with fellow Aussie Levi Day happy coming home in seventh. Richard Cooper took the race win from Lee Jackson and Taylor Mackenzie. Richard Cooper leads the standings, with Day 10th and McConnell 14th.
Superbikes Race 1
At the start of the race one Tarran Mackenzie got an incredible launch off the line to lead the pack on the opening lap ahead of Brookes and Redding with Tommy Bridewell in fourth. The rider was not happy to settle where he was though and was instantly on the attack, moving ahead of Redding into Agostini for the first time.
On the fourth lap Bridewell had moved into second with a decisive dive down the inside at Riches, pushing Brookes back into third. At the front, Bridewell claimed the lead ahead of Mackenzie as Redding moved into third. Bridewell tried to make a break from the pack but he made a mistake into Agostini a lap later and crashed out unhurt.
Redding had cut through into second and with Bridewell out of the race he captured the race lead, but behind there was an intense battle between Brookes and Mackenzie with the pair trading blows for several laps. The fight between the pair gave Redding the opportunity to edge out a gap, but Brookes was then able to get the better of Mackenzie and keep him behind over the closing stages.
Danny Buchan maintained his position inside the top six in the standings with a fourth place, but the FS-3 Racing Kawasaki rider had a lonely end to the race. However behind him there was a scrap between the Honda Racing pairing; Xavi Forés and Andrew Irwin colliding on the final lap, but both formation flying to the finish line with the Spaniard having the edge at the chequered flag.
Peter Hickman was also in the group and he held off Luke Mossey for seventh place ahead of Jason O’Halloran who had a strong race to carve through the field from his seventh row start on the second McAMS Yamaha. Christian Iddon completed the top ten, passing his teammate Michael Laverty in the final moments of the race on his return after his Knockhill injury.
Superbikes Race 2
In race two Brookes had the perfect start off the line to lead the pack into Riches for the first time ahead of Redding, Bridewell and Mackenzie. Jason O’Halloran meanwhile had also made a good start to move into fifth on the second of the McAMS Yamahas. The Australian though crashed out on the fourth lap at Brundle, ending his race prematurely.
At the front Brookes held the lead until there were just three laps remaining as Redding made a dive down the inside on the brakes at the end of the Bentley Straight to take the lead. The race one winner was able to hold off his Be Wiser Ducati teammate to the finish line.
However it was a double disaster for Mackenzie who crashed out at Wilson on lap eleven as he bid to close down Bridewell for the final podium position. The Oxford Racing Ducati rider bounced back from his race one crash to claim third place and maintain his second place position in the championship standings ahead of Brookes.
In the battle for fourth place Irwin scored his best result of the season so far for Honda Racing, holding off Peter Hickman and Iddon who had a strong performance despite still recovering from his Knockhill injuries.
Hector Barbera had an impressive performance on his first visit to Snetterton on the Quattro Plant JG Speedfit Kawasaki, taking the chequered flag ahead of Forés who maintained his position inside the top six in the overall standings.
Michael Laverty and Luke Mossey completed the top ten, whilst Buchan and Josh Elliott failed to score points after both crashing in individual incidents on the sighting lap.
“I felt better with the bike in race two, I felt more comfortable and more confident but I didn’t know whether I could be faster. Then when I passed Josh I went faster, so I learnt I need to believe in myself a bit more. I tried to see what the other guys were doing with the tyres in the race as I didn’t want to break away and then have an issue later on. Again, I’m still learning, I’m still a rookie in this class and I don’t know the tracks. I’m really happy and I had a wicked time this weekend the fans have been amazing, we’ve had great fun, the reception was amazing. To come back with a pole and two race wins – I can’t take much more. To be a Monster athlete and for them to have an event here and for me to win the Race of Aces Trophy just puts the icing on the cake really.”
Josh Brookes 2-2
“I felt really strong at the end of the first race and whilst I was being a little bit conservative in the early stages, the battle I had with Tarran Mackenzie cost both of us time and it allowed Scott to make a bit of a break. By the time I got up to second, it was too big a gap to bridge but it was a good start to the day. We made a slight change in between races and it allowed me to push to the limit so with a good start, I felt comfortable out front. I felt like I was controlling the race well but when Scott came by, he seemed to have just a little bit in reserve and had enough of a gap so I couldn’t get back by. Given where I was on Friday, I’ve got to be happy with two second place finishes, so we’ll work hard to find that bit extra to try and get back on the top step at the next round.”
Andrew Irwin scored his best result so far this season, closing his gap to the top-six thanks to a 5-4 result, achieving his goal of dual top-six results.
Andrew Irwin 5-4
“I keep saying I want two-top sixes near enough every round we’ve been to, it’s what I wanted and we’re coming away from here with a fifth and fourth, which is a step in the right direction! At Knockhill we finished the last race in fifth and we are starting to be where we belong inside the top-six, and hopefully we can continue to close the gap to the Showdown. We took six points out of Xavi this weekend, so we go to Thruxton looking to take another set of points out of him to try and close that down. I’m really happy, the team are working so hard and the Fireblade is working well, so I’m pleased with the progress and the fourth place finish today!”
Hickman remains in seventh place in the overall standings but has made up ground towards Xavi Fores who holds sixth position, with a crash during qualifying a rare mistake, which was then followed up with strong results in a seventh and fifth across the two races.
Peter Hickman 7-5
“Overall, it’s been a strong weekend and after being in the top three for most of practice, it was a real shame I made a small mistake in qualifying as it cost me a second row start at least. We’re still having an issue with getting the bike stopped and we’re still running a stock engine so it was hard going in both races and although seventh in race one was a good effort, I knew I could improve upon it in race two. I was further back on the grid, but I made a good start and am really pleased to have finished fifth and also close in a little bit on Fores in sixth. Snetterton has never been one of my best circuits but the next two rounds are Thruxton and Cadwell, places I really enjoy and go well at so I’m looking to take full advantage and claw back the deficit I currently have.”
Xavi Forés collected valuable points with sixth in Race 1 and eighth in Race 2, holding onto sixth in the standings.
Xavi Forés 6-8
“To be honest this weekend has been harder than I expected; I like the track and enjoyed my laps but honestly from the first day I had a small issue with the bike and was never able to solve it, and for the races it was not so easy to manage. Race 1 I was trying to defend my position and had a good battle with Andrew, but at the end I got some important points and finished in the top-six. I did expect a little more and especially in the second race, but the first part was really, really bad for me, I never felt a good grip on the apexes, especially in the first ten laps. After that I was able to manage a little more and able to almost have the same pace as the top-four, but unfortunately it was too late and sometimes it’s quite frustrating when you lose so much gap at the start. But anyway, sixth and eighth isn’t so bad for my first time here in Snetterton and I am looking forward to Thruxton in order to keep the Showdown still alive! I want to say thanks to all the team, we made a good job inside the box and see you at Thruxton!”
Mackenzie took a spot on the podium in Race 1 and got a good start in Race 2 before the Ducatis started to pull away in the early stages. Initially trying to save his tyre, the 23-year-old began to close the gap but lost the rear at Wilson on lap 11.
Tarran Mackenzie 3- DNF
“Race one was obviously really good. I ended up third and felt like I put together a good race in the first two thirds, but the last third was a bit difficult. When I saw Tommy went out it was hard to go with the two PBM bikes so I settled for third. In race two I didn’t get the best of starts, held my position in fourth and the Ducatis got away a bit. I was trying hard to catch them and setting quite a good pace. I was slowly catching them towards the end, but ended up losing the rear and then losing the front from that. I feel like I’m riding really well, it was another solid weekend and we were in the top two for a lot of it. I’m really happy, to be honest. Finishing fourth would be OK but I’d rather finish third for podium points. I’ll keep trying and come back at Thruxton even stronger.”
Bad luck awaited Australian rider Jason O’Halloran when he endured three crashes at Snetterton, the first two in practice and open qualifying, while ninth in Race 1 from the seventh row was a good result. Unfortunately in Race 2 a third row start saw O’Halloran move up to fifth only to crash out.
Jason O’Halloran 9 – DNF
“I’m OK, I’ve got a little bit of an injury on my left hand where you can see the bone on my knuckle but other than that I’m alright. Thanks to the guys at the medical centre for cleaning it up and patching it up. I was happy with the first race, we haven’t been able to do a lot of laps this weekend so to get 16 laps under our belt was really beneficial. We came from 21st to ninth and kept fighting all the way to the end. We made some changes for race two and, starting from a better position, we got away well and I was feeling comfortable in fifth. All was looking good until I highsided out! We’ve a few things to work on for Thruxton and look for a clean smooth weekend. We’ve go the pace, the potential is there with both me and the bike, we’ve just got to have a clean smooth weekend and it’ll come together.”
Australian Ben Currie also made his return from injury, riding home to 19th in Race 1, but was advised by the team manager not to race in the second race due to the pain he was suffering in his foot.
“I didn’t opt not to race I was told not to. Sorry to my sponsors!”
KTM will welcome their next MotoGP racer to have come through the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup and Red Bull KTM Moto3 and Moto2 ranks when 2016 Moto3 World Champion Brad Binder joins former team-mate Miguel Oliveira at Red Bull KTM Tech3 next season.
The South African 23-year-old will ride the KTM RC16 next year after three seasons, 3 victories and 8 podiums – to-date – in the Moto2 category.
Binder will join Red Bull KTM Tech3 for what will be the team’s second season in ‘orange’ and the early stages of a young project for both the squad and the brand.
Hervé Poncharal, Red Bull KTM Tech3 Team Manager
“We are only halfway through our first racing season in MotoGP with KTM, but already we have some incredible, exciting news coming with the signing of Brad Binder for the 2020 MotoGP season. Brad is somebody I have been following since he joined the championship in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup and later in the Moto3. I have always been amazed by his talent, his aggressivity and his never-give-up-attitude and when you run a motorcycle race team, this is the profile of rider you wish and you love to have. I think to have the Miguel Oliveira – Brad Binder line-up reunited with us next year, is something that shows the Red Bull KTM organization and path is working. I think Brad Binder more than deserves a MotoGP ride next year after what he has been showing in the Moto2 the past two seasons. I know KTM and I can witness KTM is working incredibly hard to improve the MotoGP bike and I’m quite sure that Brad with the winter test will be very happy and very fast from round one on that bike. It’s going to be a strong team, as I think there will be a great relation between him and Miguel, his teammate and I honestly believe, I couldn’t dream for a better structure. Miguel and Brad know each other, they are both incredible competitors and when you are a team owner, this is all you wish for. So, together with Red Bull, KTM and Tech3 there was never any doubt that this is the line-up we wanted to have and I would like to thank Pit Beirer for his investment, I would like to thank Niki Ruhstorfer for his support. I would also like to thank Bob Moore, Brad’s personal manager, because I think the four of us, we managed to make that happen and this is a great news for MotoGP racing and a great news for the Red Bull KTM Tech3 team. I would like to say a huge warm welcome to Brad and tell him we are going to follow him even closer during the second part of the Moto2 season. I’m sure he’s going to win some races, why not fight for the title and we are ready to welcome him from the Valencia test.”
Binder made his Grand Prix debut in 2011 (as a Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup race winner) and grabbed his first silverware in 2014. He claimed the 2016 Moto3 world title in just his second term with Red Bull KTM Ajo (becoming South Africa’s first world champion in thirty-six years and just the third from his country), and graduated immediately to Moto2 with the same team. He raced alongside Oliveira in 2017 and 2018.
“It is incredible to have this opportunity. I want to say a huge ‘thank you’ to KTM, Red Bull KTM Tech3, my manager and my family for helping me get to the premier class and to be able to give it a try. It is an amazing feeling right now and a dream come true. When you are growing up then this is what you aim for – to be in the MotoGP class with the best riders in the world with the best bikes – so it is a crazy feeling right now.”
In MotoGP Binder will be the first South African to take to the grid in the four-stroke era and to score significant points since Kork Ballington, Jon Ekerold and Brett Hudson in the early 1980s.
Pit Beirer, KTM Motorsport Director
“To be able to sign Brad Binder for our MotoGP project is an exciting moment because he has been with us for five years already and is one of our world champions. We have a strong story and connection and we’re really happy that it continues. It is clear we all have a big challenge in front of us and we also feel responsible for him to be able to maintain this good path we have together. We also like the fact that Brad has this distinctive riding style that allows him to push a bike and project to the maximum. We feel that he ‘fits’ to us, and we cannot wait to see how he handles and attacks a MotoGP bike. I’m sure he can add some extra and special things because he has done that with every motorcycle he has raced so far and it will be a highlight not only for us but for all MotoGP fans.”
In 1956 he moved to FB Mondial, then after they quit racing at the end of 1957, he and Joseph Pattoni continued the race department under the Paton name. He then designed for White (a Bianchi offshoot) and Gilera during the ‘60s before being made the technical director at Moto Guzzi in 1967, where he headed the V7 Sport project. At Guzzi he went on to create the ‘small block’ V35 & V50 motors as well as many different prototypes.
His work at Guzzi didn’t curtail him to that firm’s products only however. In 1967, together with long time associate Alcide Biotti, he saw an opening for a privateers’ bike for the 500cc GP class where the Manx and G50 were running a distant second to Agostini on the MV. He took two Aermacchi 250 singles (which despite only being a pushrod design were competitive and reliable) and combined them into a parallel twin!
Using the barrels, heads, pistons and rods from the Aermacchi, mated to a bottom end and crankcase of his own design provided a motor that proved to be more than a match for the British singles (61hp at 9,800rpm with the bike weighing the same as a G50), if not quite up to the MVs.
The high revs resulted in a switch from the original 180º crankshaft to a 360º design but vibration continued to be a problem with primary gear and chassis weld failures occurring.
In 1968 two prototypes hit the track with Alberto Pagani finishing 2nd in the East German GP. For the 1969 season production of a batch of 15 bikes (possibly only 8 were completed) was begun, with two of them being for ‘works’ riders Pagani and Aussie Jack Findlay.
These works bikes featured magnesium crankcases and 40mm carburettors (in place of the standard 36mm items). Ceriani suspension and Fontana brakes were used. Power was now up to 64hp. Pagani won the Italian GP on the bike seen here and Gyula Marsovszky finished the season in 2nd place to Agostini.
After an action-packed Donington Park, the 2019 Motul FIM Superbike World Championship moves on with great pace to America’s Laguna Seca. One of the shorter circuits on the calendar, but highly technical, California’s WeatherTech Raceway will see riders keen for some good results before the European summer break.
Having come off the back of his first hat-trick in WorldSBK, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) has overturned a 61-point deficit after the Tissot Superpole Race at Jerez, into a fruitful 24-point lead after his home round last weekend at Donington. Arriving in the USA as Championship leader. Rea has been victorious in three of the last four races at Laguna Seca.
“Weekends like Donington do not come along very often but enjoyed it and now we are going to Laguna, which is another great track with great support. I cannot wait, and the people love Superbike there. It is a very iconic track, with The Corkscrew and Turn One as well. I had a really good weekend there last year and I enjoyed it. You get to ride your motorbike in the sun, so it is pretty cool. It is very important to stay healthy and arrive there in good shape because there is a long summer break after. We have to make it count.”
It is a new challenge for Bautista this weekend, a new perspective. No longer is he the hunted, but he is now the hunter. Bautista will be looking to strike back before going into the mid-season break, as he can’t afford to give more points away to Rea before the season arrives at circuits like Magny-Cours and Circuito San Juan Villicum.
“Unfortunately because of my crashes we are now in second place in the standings, which might be interesting for the championship but not so much for me! If I look at the layout of Laguna Seca, for sure I can say that it’s not one of the best tracks for us, because when we have bumps, and uphill and downhill sections, we could struggle, but like I have been saying all year I have no expectations. I prefer to go there, see what happens, start to work hard with my team and get the maximum from the weekend.”
Leon Haslam has a steady record at Laguna Seca, with numerous top ten finishes but is yet to stand on the podium in America.
“Laguna is the only circuit I have never had a podium at. I have managed to get a podium at every other current circuit in WorldSBK except there, so I am looking forward to trying to rectify that. That is my first aim of the weekend. The Kawasaki goes well there but I think the Ducatis may be strong too, more than they were at Donington – we will see. The last time I raced there was in 2015.”
Consistency really is key in 2019 and one rider who, against the odds, made it to the top ten at Donington Park was Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team). Third place in the championship may not be too safe from his team-mate Alex Lowes but despite his comeback weekend, the Dutchman maintained the bronze-medal position and now heads to the USA – a track where he has never been outside of the top ten, with his best result for Yamaha coming last year in Race 2.
Yamaha haven’t won at the famous Californian venue since 2000 with Noriyuki Haga, so can their current stars earn their stripes this year?
Brits do have a bit of a winning habit at the USA, just ask Tom Sykes. After giving BMW their second ever pole position last time out at Donington Park, he will be hoping that he can remount the podium for a third round in succession and, if possible, take a fourth win in the USA – his last one coming in 2016.
Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) is in rich form, with five podiums from the last four rounds – including his first ever double podium coming at Donington Park. Toprak suffered a huge accident there in 2018 but the 22-year-old Turk has given the crowd an underdog story so far in 2019.
One star who will certainly need a result is Chaz Davies (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati), as he’s looked off the boil since his Imola podiums. A struggle at Donington Park and Misano and bad luck at Jerez means that the Welshman – a three times a winner at Laguna Seca, including a double in 2015 – must steady the tide as soon as possible.
“The last couple of races have been really tough for me, especially last weekend at Donington, where I still had problems in getting the best feeling with the bike. So I’m looking forward to going straight to Laguna Seca before the summer break. It’s always been a decent track for me and I’ve had some wins there in the past, so it’s a good opportunity to try and improve our results before the break. We need it because we are simply not competitive enough at the moment.”
Michael Ruben Rinaldi (BARNI Racing Team) will be one rider who is tackling one of the most iconic racing venues in the USA for the first time. The 23-year-old Italian will be a debutant at the circuit, whilst contrastingly, 36-year-old veteran Ryuichi Kiyonari (Moriwaki Althea Honda Team) will also venture to Monterey for the first time.
Fellow Honda rider, Alessandro Delbianco (Althea Mie Racing Team), is another rider looking to make a strong first impression with the American venue, whilst reigning WorldSSP Champion, Sandro Cortese (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK) will also ride Laguna Seca for the first time.
Marco Melandri, has announced that he intends to retire from racing immediately after the final round of the 2019 FIM Superbike World Championship in Qatar. The 36-year-old Italian’s decision to hang up his leathers will bring to a close a World Championship career that has spanned three decades.
“The decision to retire was a very difficult one for me to make. I’d been thinking about it for some time and, before the Imola race, I finally decided to call it a day at the end of the 2019 season. I’m still competitive and I think it’s better to stop at this point, while I still enjoy racing, rather than waiting until the enjoyment and the results are more difficult to achieve. Since making the decision I feel like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders and now that everyone knows this is my final year, I’m even more motivated to push for good results in the final few races. In part it’s for me, as I’d like to go out on a high, but it’s also to repay the faith that both Yamaha and the GRT Yamaha team have shown in me. It’s been a difficult season, but they have worked so hard to help me realise my potential. They never gave up on me and I hope that my experience has helped the team adapt to racing in WorldSBK just that little bit quicker. I’m looking forward to seeing out my final season with them and I intend to give it my all, treating every lap like a qualifying lap and pushing to improve myself and bring the team the results they deserve. Then it will be time to move on and do something different with my life. For me it’s been a fantastic journey; thank you to everyone I met along the way.”
A 15-year-old Melandri burst onto the world stage in 1998 and immediately made his mark, taking his first win at Assen to become the youngest ever Grand Prix winner, a record that stood for 10 years. He went on to win once more that year and ended his debut Grand Prix season third in the World Championship. The following season Melandri won five races but missed out on being crowned 125cc World Champion by just a single point to Emilio Alzamora.
More success came with a step up to the 250cc World Championship. Melandri dominated the class in 2002, taking nine race wins on his way to being crowned 250cc World Champion.
A move to the premier class followed, with Melandri’s most successful MotoGP season coming in 2005 when he won the final two races and finished second in the World Championship to Valentino Rossi.
In 2011 Melandri made the switch from MotoGP to WorldSBK, winning four races in his first season aboard Yamaha’s YZF-R1 to finish the year as vice-champion.
Since making his debut in the premier production class, the Italian has secured 75 podium finishes, 22 of which were race wins, making him one of the most successful riders on the WorldSBK grid.
And while these results are already impressive, Melandri is determined to add to them before finally hanging up his leathers in Qatar and bringing to a close an incredible racing career.
Andrea Dosoli Yamaha Motor Europe Road Racing Manager
“I was surprised when Marco informed me of his decision to retire. I’m sure it wasn’t an easy step for him to take, but we respect his reasons for doing so. Marco’s decision will bring to an end an incredibly successful career that has seen him racing and winning at the very highest level for many years. I’m pleased that, for a part of this long and distinguished career, Marco was a committed member of the Yamaha Racing family, where his contribution to our success was significant. In 2011 he raced the Yamaha YZF-R1 to second place in the WorldSBK Championship and, while this season has so far been a difficult one, he has maintained the level of professionalism for which he is renowned and worked tirelessly to achieve the results of which we know he is capable. Marco’s achievements in what has been a remarkable career are already impressive, but Yamaha and the GRT Yamaha team are committed to helping him bow out on a high note during the final races of the 2019 season. On behalf of Yamaha Motor Europe, but also personally, I’d like to thank Marco for his contribution to Yamaha and to motorsport. We wish him every success for the future.”
It was a battered and bruised MotoGP field at the last race before the summer break. All except for Marquez. He was not bruised at all. In fact, apart from maybe a little boredom, he seemed to be in tip-top form.
The reigning world champion made it 10 out of 10 at Sachsenring – easily. He was dominant in Practice and Qualifying, and that domination just extended all the way to the end of the 30-lap race.
He led from start to finish, hammering out 1m21s laps like a machine, which I’m sure some people are starting to think he actually might be. Meanwhile, everyone else is counting the cost of that domination.
No-one more so than Valentino Rossi, who was out-qualified by a bloke who needed crutches to walk (Nakagami), and then beaten by a bloke who is so clumsy, he fell over in the street and broke his knee. Yes, I’m looking at you, Cal.
Still, Crutchlow heroically managed to bring it home in third place behind Vinales. It actually looked like Cal might have a go at Maverick in the closing stages of the race, but after a stern warning from his front-end, chose discretion over valour and settled for the bottom step of the podium rather than his usual feast of fresh gravel and a trip to Clinica Mobile.
The race itself was largely processional. Once Marquez cleared off, the rest were just chasing. Quartararo and Rins certainly appeared promising, as did Miller, and Vinales looked like he might make Marquez work for it in the beginning.
But Fabulous’s promise ended fairly quickly. He crashed out on the first lap, directly in front of Dovizioso who barely avoided running over him. The young Frenchman can now spend three weeks licking his wounds – he partially dislocated a shoulder thanks to a vicious tank-slapper in Practice – and consider how he will contest the second-half of the season.
Zarco also came unstuck on the following lap. But no-one seemed to care much, including Zarco – who was once a shining Yamaha light, but since his switch to KTM, now rides like he’s lost all hope and interest.
Rins too dug up the gravel, but he left his ploughing a bit later in the piece. He was second at one stage, having passed Vinales and was equalling Marquez’s consistent 1m21s lap-times. But there was no catching Marquez, who was leading by a contemptuous six seconds towards the end of the race.
He dropped that lead to four-seconds, but still rolled across the line with his arms crossed in disdain. What little action there was all seemed to be happening over fourth place.
Petrucci, who must be one big purple bruise under all that hair after a spectacular high-speed dismount in Qualifying, made a race for it with his team-mate, Dovi, and Miller – and the three Ducatis came home in fourth, fifth and sixth after a largely lacklustre pissing contest. Sachsenring is tight, so their normal grunt doesn’t really come into play down any long straights. Still, it is amusing to see the Bologna pissing contest going on – and I think it will be going on for a few seasons yet.
So where was Rossi in all of this?
Nowhere. He started in 11th and finished in eighth. Mir pasted him. Morbidelli looked like he was going to paste him, but then he might never be invited back to The Ranch. Rossi is at a loss to understand why he is 20-seconds slower this year than he was last year.
“We continue to suffer and we need to understand why,” he lamented post-race. “Because last year, these five races were the better part of my season, I was always very competitive and did some podiums, but always good races,” he said.
“Today I was 20 seconds slower than my race time last year. This is very difficult to understand; we need to find a way. We need to find our bike.”
I’m betting he may well go and visit Yamaha HQ over the break and see if that bike might be there under some sheets in a forgotten warehouse.
I’m sure he would have a serious argument if Vinales was down the back racing Rabat, and if Quartararo was duelling with Abraham. As it stands, that’s just not the case.
Vinales seems to have found what he had lost earlier, and the rookie Fabulous just doesn’t know any better. He rides Rossi’s head-shaking hand-me-down Yammy so hard his joints separate. And doesn’t care.
So the Doctor heads into the break somewhat discombobulated.
The injured, and there are a few of them, are now heading off to heal, doubtlessly watched by Lorenzo, who’s languishing in a body cast while his spine mends itself hopefully in time for Brno on August 4th.
Marquez, by contrast, will certainly be bathing in pools full of supermodels on Ibiza and planning his next utterly naff World Championship celebration – possibly as early as the Thailand round.
Emil Sayfutdinov claims first SGP win for six years in Sweden
2019 Speedway of Nations Finals teams announced
Rockhampton to host 2020 KTM AJMX
Dean Wilson confirmed to join AUS-X Open Melbourne
Red flagged mud fest at Hattah 2019
The 2019 Hattah Desert Race will go down in history as one of the most challenging, yet shortest races since it began. Heavy rain and hail pounded the event shortly after the scheduled eight-lap race commenced. The sheer volume of water restricted emergency vehicle access and the decision was made to cut the event short to four-laps.
KTM duo Daniel Milner and Lyndon Snodgrass delivered a spectacular 1-2 finish, despite the conditions, with Milner having qualified fastest following Saturday’s Prologue with a blistering 2m45.417s lap-time set in the Top 10 Shootout, while Snodgrass recorded the third-fastest lap overall.
Contested in difficult, muddy conditions after rain arrived on Sunday morning, Milner claimed his second-career Hattah victory and clinching the Over 450cc 4-Stroke class win in the process. Milner’s effort was even more remarkable since he has been recovering from a broken collarbone sustained six weeks prior to Hattah, as well as tendonitis, limiting his seat time in the lead-up to what is recognised as one of the most gruelling races in the sport.
Daniel Milner – P1
“It’s such a good feeling to win Hattah after breaking my collarbone six weeks ago and undergoing surgery before I then had tendon problems in the opposite arm once I was back on the bike. I’d only had four days on the bike and one day of testing, so to bring it home is an unbelievable feeling and the KTM 500 EXC-F is such a weapon to ride! Things went our way in the race and we didn’t miss a beat – the bike was very similar to how I rode it last year in terms of set-up. It really was a matter of making sure we could get through the race and it became a case of survival, so I was being as consistent as possible. The decision to cut the race short was the right one in those conditions and I’m really happy to get another outright win here, that’s for sure.”
Snodgrass also put forward a phenomenal ride on the KTM 450 EXC-F to not only claim an outright podium, but also comfortably score the 251cc-450cc 4-Stroke class win over eight minutes clear of his closest rival.
Lyndon Snodgrass – P2
“Today was a crazy one with all that rain coming down, making it a really tough mud race in the desert, so to finish second outright and first in class was definitely awesome. The Prologue was important and we did well in that, so today I tried to have the cleanest race possible all the way through to the end – it was a matter of survival in those conditions by the time we got to the last lap and especially towards the end. The KTM 450 EXC-F was faultless all weekend and we managed to get one position better than last year, so I’m rapt with that result.”
KTM riders filled four of the top five positions outright, including Lachlan Terry in fourth and Davey Motorsports KTM’s Mason Semmens in fifth. Semmens won the Under 19s division, while KTM-mounted Jess Moore was also victorious in the Ladies Tenacious Women of Hattah category.
Claiming second in his class and an very impressive third outright was Josh Green, who on board the WR450F contested the 251 to 450cc 4 stroke class and was in good form all weekend. Despite a heavy fall on lap two, Green soldiered on for a top result in his typical style.
“This race is always one of the toughest of the year in dry conditions so when you add a heap of rain, it just becomes even tougher,” Green begins. “My first lap was pretty good but then on lap two, with the track getting hammered by the rain, I went over the ‘bars as I tried to plough through a deep, boggy spot. I have done some damage to my wrist and I will need to get hat checked out this week as its really sore now but while I was still warm and had some grip strength, I kept on going. If it had gone the full distance, I’m not sure if the wrist would have held up but I was fortunate to get to the finish line with a good result. Thanks to the team again. They earned their money from this event.”
The Motul Pirelli Sherco duo of Andy Wilksch and Nathan Trigg also began the Hattah Desert Race weekend in good form. Trigg posting the sixth fastest qualifying time and Wilksch just missing out on the top ten in eleventh. When the main race began and the heavens opened up, both riders put their 500 SEF Factory models to task while mayhem spread through the field.
At the completion of the fourth lap, Wilksch had powered his way to sixth with Trigg close behind in seventh. It was a solid performance by both riders in incredibly wild conditions.
Andy Wilksch – P6
“Our weekend came together pretty good in the end. The race was short and sharp in comparison to what we prepared for and the 500 Factory definitely played a part in our success. The extra power made it easy and our bikes didn’t wear out. Reliability was key in those conditions. Our bikes are strong and reliable and with the track deteriorating so rapidly each lap, the power of the 500 let me make passes down the straights. The bikes just ate the conditions with ease. I’ve never been able to crack the top ten at Hattah before so to get sixth feels like a bonus.”
Nathan Trigg was relishing the challenge and despite suffering a crash while avoiding a lapped rider, Trigg thoroughly enjoyed the experience of a wet Hattah, and took seventh overall.
Nathan Trigg – P7
“I had a couple of stacks in the rain, but somehow I was having fun. It was actually the most fun I’ve had at Hattah. I was hoping to qualify a bit higher up the order for a better starting position, but I still got going okay. The bike was awesome and really strong. It was just unreal, and I had a ball riding it. I didn’t even know what position I was in towards the end, but I rode the best I could and was happy to get a good result.”
Jack Simpson was able to take third in the 450cc 4-stroke class, after qualifying seventh outright, while a scary crash in lap one cost him dearly as he lost precious time on the leaders.
Jack Simpson – P8
“I lost it on the first lap. I had one of the biggest crashes in my life, several riders commented on it after the race, one saying it was the biggest crash he had ever seen. I am lucky to have gotten away with only bumps and bruises and I am fortunate that the bike was still rideable. The crash rattled me but once I got going I was riding on adrenalin. The hardest part was racing in the conditions. The track was flooded in some areas, people were creating new lines, and some parts of the track became 50 meters wide. It ended up being a battle of survival.”
Michael Driscoll took the win in the up to 250cc 4 stroke class on his WR250F and regardless of the conditions, was well in control of his division after a common sense start saw him soon gain the lead and never let it go, in a strong performance for the 19 year old off road gun, with 13th in the outright result as well.
Michael Driscoll – P13
“I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry after all that. I was so looking forward to this race and I know how much work everyone on the team put in for it, so it was such a shame to have these conditions to race in. The bikes are destroyed and it was sketchy getting around out there as the rain, the mud, the bog holes as well as fallen or stranded riders meant it was like riding through a mine field. It was good to get the class win and tick off another goal for the season but I feel for the guys having to clean all this mess up and get our team bikes back into good condition again. Thank you to them and all our team sponsors for a huge effort that will still be going long after this weekend is over.”
Defending Hattah Desert Race champion Daniel Sanders and the Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team had a rough weekend, in contention for victory until encountering difficulties in the closing stages. Sanders had immediately established himself at the front of the field on race-day Sunday, which was greeted with torrential rain-soaked, muddy conditions.
It appeared Sanders was on his way to the win until the prevalent water caused a suspected problem with the electrics, forcing him to stop and rectify the issue with timely assistance from his Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team crew. He went on to claim 14th position outright despite losing 20 minutes and seventh in the Over 450cc 4-Stroke category.
Daniel Sanders – P14
“It’s very disappointing because the team and I put a lot of effort into this one event each year. Obviously the weather today played a part and we started strongly, but unfortunately, the issue meant we gave away the win because I felt as though the race was mine at that point. The track was full of puddles because of the rain falling and we were hitting them at high-speed, so that could have led to the problem. We ended up getting going again and I brought it home to the finish, but it wasn’t to be today.”
Penrite Honda Racing’s 250cc rider Mark Grove pushed as hard as he could in the challenging conditions to take second in his class.
Mark Grove – P19
“It was harder to see than explainable, racing the 250cc in these conditions was twice as tough as it be if it was dry, the bigger bikes were creating roost that would fill your goggles in, people were crashing and it was even hard to see fallen riders. I understand why they cut it short. It was the toughest Hattah I have ever done.” Grove commented.
Emma Milesevic, a Honda Genuine Ride Red rider also excelled on her way to second in the women’s class and 37th outright. This year marked the first time women had finished inside the top 40 outright and the team were very pleased with her commitment to the race.
Honda’s Junior Factory Rider Madi Healey, of team BCP Pro Circuit Honda took first place in the Junior girls class on the CRF250R, and convincingly so, winning by over 20 minutes. This was Healey’s hat trick event at Hattah, having won the last three years in a row.
The second of the Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team entries, Fraser Higlett, encountered difficulties of his own in qualifying and started from 38th, but quickly sliced his way to sixth in the opening laps before the treacherous conditions ultimately ended his day on lap three of the four run.
Fraser Higlett – DNF
“Today was a rough one for me in the end, but I did my best toward the start of the race and we were looking good for a number of laps. I charged through the field in the tough conditions all the way up to sixth, so that was positive and I was feeling good in the mud. To start out of 38th definitely made things harder than they could have been and I’m disappointed with how the race finished for me, but we will be back and I will see what I can do next year.”
2019 Hattah Desert Race Outright Top 20
Daniel MILNER 2:14:22.051
Lyndon SNODGRASS 2:17:43.210
Joshua GREEN 2:26:02.086
Lachlan TERRY 2:26:03.909
Mason SEMMENS 2:26:17.291
Andrew WILKSCH 2:27:16.808
Nathan TRIGG 2:28:35.600
Jack SIMPSON 2:31:21.448
Jeremy CARPENTIER 2:31:52.831
Alex BOLTON 2:31:55.139
Stefan GRANQUIST 2:32:52.585
Sam DAVIE 2:33:07.569
Michael DRISCOLL 2:33:40.942
Daniel SANDERS 2:34:34.965
William PRICE 2:35:27.517
Lee STEPHENS 2:35:27.958
Geoff BRAICO 2:37:40.882
Broc GRABHAM 2:38:30.951
Mark GROVE 2:38:40.017
Jesse LAWTON 2:39:37.173
Daniel MILNER 2:14:22.051
Lyndon SNODGRASS +3:21.159
Joshua GREEN +11:40.035
Up-to 250cc 4stroke
Michael DRISCOLL 2:33:40.942
Mark GROVE 2:38:40.017
Hunter SEMMENS 2:39:37.576
Up-to 250cc 2stroke
Danielle FOOT 3:00:07.677
Jacob EUSTACE 3:00:23.466
Nathan HOWE 2:14:53.708
251cc & over 2stroke
Sam HANDLEY 2:15:51.541
Michael COLLINS 2:42:29.845
Trent PUDDY 2:45:31.076
Lyndon SNODGRASS 2:17:43.210
Joshua GREEN 2:26:02.086
Jack SIMPSON 2:31:21.448
Ladies Tenacious Women of Hattah
Jessica MOORE 2:46:54.604
Emma MILESEVIC 2:49:28.301
Jessica GARDINER 3:06:28.552
Mason SEMMENS 2:26:17.291
William PRICE 2:35:27.517
Korey MCMAHON 2:41:00.258
Lee STEPHENS 2:35:27.958
David JONGEBLOED 2:53:43.870
Steven POWELL 2:14:47.039
Masters 45yrs & over
Kevin ARCHER 2:58:42.708
Peter TAYLOR 2:16:24.770
Lou STYLIANOU 2:18:12.841
Juniors – Small Wheel
Angus RIORDAN 1:56:50.679
Samuel PRETSCHERER +1:26.648
Blake HOLLIS +3:45.381
Juniors – Big Wheels
Angus RIORDAN 1:56:50.679
Samuel PRETSCHERER +1:26.648
Blake HOLLIS +3:45.381
Eli Tomac & Dylan Ferrandis top RedBud National
The American motocross Independence Day tradition brought the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship to the seventh round of the 2019 season, with Michigan’s RedBud MX celebrating the 4th of July by kicking off the second half of the racing series with the RedBud National.
The storied track produced heated competition across both classes, with Eli Tomac and Dylan Ferrandis claiming victory. Aussie Hunter Lawrence also went 8-4 for fifth overall.
Tomac’s third win of the season further strengthened his hold on the championship lead in the 450 Class. One year after he endured a misfortune-plagued afternoon at RedBud, the reigning champ returned in search of redemption and successfully grabbed his second victory in three years at the track. He’s now more than 30-points clear of Marvin Musquin in the standings.
“Overall, it was a really good day for us, I had been feeling good all day. It has been a little bit rough the last couple of weeks, but the first moto was a really good way to start the day and get things turned back around. I think that I had some better lines in the first moto, but I was able to move up and get the job done in the second moto.”
450 Class Overall Results (Moto Finish)
Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki (1-2)
Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Husqvarna (2-4)
Marvin Musquin, France, KTM (7-1)
Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., KTM (3-5)
Ken Roczen, Germany, Honda (6-3)
Justin Bogle, Cushing, Okla., KTM (4-6)
Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., KTM (5-9)
Benny, Bloss, Oak Grove, MO., KTM (9-8)
Dean Wilson, United Kingdom, Husqvarna (12-7)
Fredrik Noren, Sweden, Suzuki (8-13)
450 Class Championship Standings
Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki – 304
Marvin Musquin, France, KTM – 270
Ken Roczen, Germany, Honda – 264
Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Husqvarna – 252
Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., KTM – 238
Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna – 227
Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Yamaha – 170
Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., KTM – 159
Justin Bogle, Cushing, Okla., KTM – 150
Dean Ferris, Australia, Yamaha – 136
Ferrandis had been knocking on the door of his first win of the 250 Class season for several weeks, and he finally broke through with a dominant outing at RedBud.
The Frenchman put forth the first 1-1 outing of the season in the division, which resulted in the third victory of his career. It marked the fifth RedBud victory for Star Yamaha in the past six seasons, and the win also moved Ferrandis into second in the 250 Class standings.
Finishing the day with two moto wins and the overall, honestly I couldn’t have expected a better weekend. My bike was really good, and I felt very comfortable on it today. We improved a lot on it with the team, and I want to thank them all for the hard work they put in every day for me to get the best bike possible. Getting ready for the outdoors is tough after a long Supercross season, so it took me time but finally we are where we want. Now we’re going take some rest before getting back to work and get ready for Millville in two weeks.”
250 Class Overall Results (Moto Finish)
Dylan Ferrandis, France, Yamaha (1-1)
Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki (5-2)
Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha (3-6)
RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Honda (2-8)
Hunter Lawrence, Australia, Honda (8-4)
Ty Masterpool, Paradise, Texas, Yamaha (4-11)
Colt Nichols, Muskogee, Okla., Yamaha (11-5)
Michael Mosiman, Sebastopol, Calif., Husqvarna (10-7)
Brandon Hartranft, Brick, N.J., Yamaha (6-12)
Cameron McAdoo, Sioux City, Iowa, KTM (9-10)
250 Class Championship Standings
Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki – 307
Dylan Ferrandis, France, Yamaha – 282
Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha – 281
Colt Nichols, Muskogee, Okla., Yamaha – 204
RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Honda – 200
Hunter Lawrence, Australia, Honda – 193
Michael Mosiman, Sebastopol, Calif., Husqvarna – 173
Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., Honda – 167
Alex Martin, Millville, Minn., Suzuki – 165
Shane McElrath, Canton, N.C., KTM – 129
The 2019 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship will take a weekend break before resuming on Saturday, July 20, from Spring Creek Raceway.
Tim Gajser & Jorge Prado win MXGP of Indonesia
MXGP rolled into Palembang for the first of two back-to-back rounds in Indonesia, with Tim Gajser claiming the overall win despite tough competition from Romain Febvre, with consistency proving key, and Gajser now sitting on 488 points, with Antonio Cairoli in second place in the standings on 358 but continuing to recover from injury, prematurely ending his title fight.
Race 1 saw Tim Gajser take a clear win from Max Anstie and Jeremy Seewer, while Romain Febvre missed the podium in fourth.
Romain Febvre made his come-back in Race 2 with Tim Gajser taking runner up position, just 3.2-seconds back, with Glenn Coldenhoff taking the final podium position. Jeremy Seewer was just off the podium in fourth and currently sits third in the standings.
“I am really happy on how the GP went today, because after yesterday I knew it would bed hard to do two good races. The first race I could extend the lead and the second I had an amazing jump out of the gate and I was leading then I made a mistake and Roman and Jeremy passed me, but I managed to pass Jeremy but I didn’t even push for Roman as he was too far ahead. Eventually I felt really comfortable and I want to say a huge thanks to the team.”
“It has been too long since I won a race. I knew I had the speed since many GPs but I couldn’t make the start. I was frustrated. I had a good start in the second race, I was third, took the lead and made a gap and it was much easier than the first race. Now I am really looking for an overall win.”
“It was a tough race even if my starts were great. This is one of the toughest races of the year for me but I’m happy on how the GP went. Now I just want to relax a bit before the next week in Semarang but it’s good that I could take some breathe on the championship chase. My season didn’t start really well but now that I’m having consistent results I just wish to keep going.”
MXGP – GP Classification Top 10
Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 47 points
Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 43
Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 38
Max Anstie (GBR, KTM), 37
Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 36
Gautier Paulin (FRA, YAM), 30
Pauls Jonass (LAT, HUS), 27
Brian Bogers (NED, HON), 22
Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, HUS), 22
Ivo Monticelli (ITA, KTM), 21 …15. Lewis Stewart (AUS, KTM) 13 …16. Adam Coles (AUS, Husqvarna) 11
MXGP – World Championship Classification Top 10
Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 488 points
Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 358
Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 327
Gautier Paulin (FRA, YAM), 318
Arnaud Tonus (SUI, YAM), 304
Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, HUS), 271
Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 256
Pauls Jonass (LAT, HUS), 246
Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, HON), 245
Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 227
In MX2 Jorge Prado added another win to his tally, however it wasn’t a clean sweep, with Thomas Kjer Olsen taking the Race 2 win, leaving Prado with 47-points to extend his championship lead, while Tom Vialle was second overall thanks to going 2-2, with Kjer Olsen third overall thanks to a 6-1 result.
Race 1 went to Jorge Prado, with a clear win from Tom Vialle, while Maxime Renaux completed the podium. Aussie Jed Beaton came home in fifth.
In Race 2 Thomas Kjer Olsen took the win from Jorge Prado, with a consistent Tom Vialle third. Jed Beaton likewise remained consistent with another fifth place finish, claiming the same position and 32 championship points for the round.
“I was feeling good all weekend, the first race after the crash was quite difficult, but I could make it. I messed up the second race a bit, but I got to second and another GP victory. At the second race I had a good start, got into first, but my teammate was pushing and passed, and I got him at the end. The lap times were short and I struggled a bit. I am just happy with the win for the moment and I’m looking forward for next week.”
“I am really happy to have another fantastic weekend, it was very hot and the last five minutes of the second race were very hard, but I am very happy with this podium.”
Thomas Kjer Olsen
“The first race was a struggle and I didn’t feel like myself and I was just trying to keep with my team-mate Jed who was riding good. The second race I think everyone was tired, but I really wanted that win and I made it, keeping my energies until the very end.”
“It’s been another good GP for me. I felt like Germany was a really good step in the right direction, and that I was finally managing to put things behind me and deliver the pace I know I can. I kind of kept that momentum going here with two more strong results. It was a tough GP, we all knew the heat wasn’t going to be too much fun, but both races went well for me. I’m pleased things are moving in a good direction now, hopefully next weekend will be another positive weekend, too.”
MX2 – GP Classification Top 10
Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 47 points
Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), 42
Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 40
Maxime Renaux (FRA, YAM), 34
Jed Beaton (AUS, HUS), 32
Brent Van doninck (BEL, HON), 28
Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, HON), 26
Henry Jacobi (GER, KAW), 24
Bas Vaessen (NED, KTM), 24
Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 21
MX2 – World Championship Classification
Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 494 points
Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 443
Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 334
Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), 326
Henry Jacobi (GER, KAW), 307
Ben Watson (GBR, YAM), 246
Mitchell Evans (AUS, HON), 228
Adam Sterry (GBR, KAW), 224
Bas Vaessen (NED, KTM), 209
Jed Beaton (AUS, HUS), 192
Sunderland wins Silk Way Rally Round 2
Sam Sunderland has taken the win at Stage 2 of the Silk Way Rally in Russia, with 413.63 kilometres covered on similar mixed terrain to the opening stage. A 212km timed special offered an additional challenge, including fast hazardous stony tracks.
Sunderland had completed Stage 1 in fifth and had his work cut out for him, in moving towards the series lead, which is still retained by Kevin Benavides, with eight seconds separating the two.
Kevin Benavides was lumped with opening the track for Stage 2 following his Stage 1 win, which he did from start to finish over 212 kilometres of special stage, full of narrow potholed track studded with rocks.
“I’m happy to get stage two finished safely. The day started on similar terrain to yesterday on the forest tracks with lots of trees, vegetation and water splashes. It was extremely important to take note of every single kilometre on your road book and the dangers listed there. It was really important to concentrate on your notes and take in which danger was which. It was hard to get a reference today as there was no refuel, so I wasn’t sure how my pace was all day. It’s always great to win a stage but it wasn’t our strategy for today so we’ll move on an see how the remaining eight days go for us.”
“I opened the whole stage. We knew it would be hard and very technical with many stones and mud. The narrow tracks were difficult, but I enjoyed it in spite of it being very hard. I think I did it well and I was in a good position. It was technical, fast and with navigation over the final 50 kilometres. I nearly crashed into an animal but luckily he dodged out of my way! You have to be very attentive to everything. The rally is a game of chess, so let’s see how it turns out. I am happy with the result.”
Joan Barreda managed to make it through the tricky stage despite struggling to get the right feel and finished 2’40 adrift of the winner on the day and occupies fifth position in the general standings at a similar distance from the leader.
“I felt very good on the slopes today with lots of mud and some potholes with big rocks. I could not find the right feelings and I was looking forward to getting past this section. Then there was a faster part and I felt a lot better there. We finished the day without any problems; I am well placed at a minimum time behind the leader. Everything is going well. I hope that in Mongolia we will find more open stages and I can find places that suit my riding style better.”
Stage 1 runner-up Luciano Benavides was second away for Stage 2 and the young Argentinian chose to back off slightly to ensure a safe result in the special. Luciano crossed the line in seventh place, close to three minutes down on Sunderland, and now lies fourth in the overall standings.
“Overall, it was a good day for me. I was able to keep to a solid pace and really enjoyed the first half of the stage. Towards the end I lost my focus a little, the tracks were really fast with some tricky sections and I lost a little time there. After such a challenging stage I’m happy to reach the finish and now look forward to what tomorrow brings.”
Emil Sayfutdinov claims first SGP win for six years in Sweden
Russian racer Emil Sayfutdinov has celebrated his first FIM Speedway Grand Prix win for six years in Hallstavik, Sweden. Sayfutdinov had not celebrated an SGP success since topping the podium at the 2013 British SGP in Cardiff in a year which saw him mount a title charge, before his hopes were dashed by injury.
The Salavat-born star heads to the Speedway of Nations finals in Russian on July 20 and 21 as World Championship leader after winning the Norrbil Swedish SGP final ahead of Martin Vaculik, Maciej Janowski and first-time finalist Max Fricke.
After a three-year absence from the series, Sayfutdinov has been battling to get back on top of the SGP rostrum since 2017. But despite achieving that aim in Hallstavik, he’s not going to celebrate this success for long with six riders separated by five points at the top of the standings.
“It feels amazing. I have been working for that for a long time – six years. When I came back to the SGP series in 2017, it was hard for me. I had my goal and a plan, but it didn’t work. Today everything worked very well and my team is also working very well, so I say thank you to them. I’ll just keep going and looking forward. I scored some good points and now I am leader with Dudek and Madsen. I am really happy about that. But to be honest, I have now forgotten about today. I am just concentrating and I know we have a lot more rounds and heats to come. We need to keep scoring the points and it will be good.”
Slovak star Vaculik is firmly in the title hunt as he holds fifth place on 44 points – level with Bartosz Zmarzlik in fourth. While he was unable to take victory in Hallstavik, he was glad to pile up the points.
Third-placed Maciej Janowski – last year’s Hallstavik winner – was delighted to get back on to the SGP podium after a tough start to the season, hampered by the shoulder ligament injury which kept him out of the opening round in Warsaw.
Max Fricke took fourth in Sweden to claim 11-points, while Jason Doyle was 11th, with Doyle currently sitting eighth in the standings, and Fricke 12th.
SGP World Championship Standings
Emil Sayfutdinov 47
Patryk Dudek 47
Leon Madsen 47
Bartosz Zmarzlik 44
Martin Vaculik 44
Fredrik Lindgren 42
Niels-Kristian Iversen 32
Jason Doyle 30
Janusz Kolodziej 29
Artem Laguta 27
Matej Zagar 27
Max Fricke 27
Maciej Janowski 24
Robert Lambert 24
Antonio Lindback 23
Tai Woffinden 15
Bartosz Smektala 10
Oliver Berntzon 7
Vaclav Milik 4
Matic Ivacic 2
Norrbil Swedish SGP Scores
Emil Sayfutdinov 17
Martin Vaculik 16
Maciej Janowski 13
Max Fricke 11
Matej Zagar 10
Fredrik Lindgren 10
Bartosz Zmarzlik 8
Niels-Kristian Iversen 8
Leon Madsen 7
Oliver Berntzon 7
Jason Doyle 7
Patryk Dudek 7
Antonio Lindback 6
Artem Laguta 5
Janusz Kolodziej 3
Robert Lambert 3
Pontus Aspgren DNR
Kim Nilsson DNR
2019 Speedway of Nations Finals teams announced
The FIM Speedway of Nations Finals teams have been confirmed as defending champions Russia name an unchanged team for their title defence in Togliatti on July 20 and 21. With this year’s hosts making history when they won the inaugural SON Finals in Wroclaw last June – Russia’s first senior speedway World Championship of any kind.
Individual World Championship leader Emil Sayfutdinov, Artem Laguta and joint FIM Speedway Under-21 World Championship front-runner Gleb Chugunov will bid to win back-to-back titles in front of a passionate home crowd in the biggest shale meeting ever staged in Russia.
They face stiff competition from Poland, Sweden, Germany, Great Britain, Australia and Denmark, who all make the trip east in search of gold.
Poland welcome back Maciej Janowski, who was forced out of Race Off 1 in Landshut on May 4 after suffering shoulder ligament damage in a crash 24 hours before the German showdown. He takes Patryk Dudek’s place in the side, partnering world No.2 Bartosz Zmarzlik, with former World Under-21 champion Maksym Drabik named as their junior ahead of Bartosz Smektala.
Sweden name an unchanged team following their Race Off 1 triumph, with world No.3 Fredrik Lindgren partnering the in-form Peter Ljung and Filip Hjelmland named as their under-21.
Great Britain have been forced into a change since their Race Off 2 win in Manchester on May 11 after world champion and captain Tai Woffinden was sidelined with a fractured TH4 vertebra and a broken shoulder blade.
Former FIM Speedway Grand Prix regular Chris Harris steps in for Woffy, joining stand-in skipper Craig Cook and under-21 man Robert Lambert in a side bidding to build on the silver medal they clinched in Wroclaw.
Australia have drafted in Jason Doyle for the trip to Togliatti. He returns in place of Chris Holder after sitting out Race Off 2 due to injury. Hot on the heels of reaching his first ever SGP final in Hallstavik on Saturday, Max Fricke partners Doyle with national under-21 champion Jaimon Lidsey named as their junior.
Danish boss Hans Nielsen tracks the same three stars who battled their way through Race Off 2 as World Championship frontrunner Leon Madsen links up with seven-time national champion Niels-Kristian Iversen. Frederik Jakobsen is their under-21 rider.
Germany complete the Finals field with Erik Riss replacing Martin Smolinski in the side, with Kai Huckenbeck serving as captain. Lukas Fienhage is selected ahead of Michael Hartel as their under-21 man.
The seven sides will compete over 42 heats – 21 heats on Saturday and 21 on Sunday, with the top scorers progressing automatically into the Grand Final. The second and third-placed countries will then compete in the semi-final for the right to race the leaders for the world title.
Should the semi-final end as a 3-3, the team that scored the most points over 42 heats will progress to the Grand Final. And if the Grand Final ends all square, a run-off featuring one rider from each team will decide the world title.
2019 Speedway of Nations Final Team Line-Up
RUSSIA: 1 Emil Sayfutdinov (captain), 2 Artem Laguta, 3 Gleb Chugunov (U21). Also in squad: Grigory Laguta, Roman Lakhbaum (U21). Team Manager: Igor Dmitriev.
SWEDEN: 1 Fredrik Lindgren (captain), 2 Peter Ljung, 3 Filip Hjelmland (U21). Also in squad: Antonio Lindback, Alexander Woentin (U21). Team Manager: Morgan Andersson.
POLAND: 1 Maciej Janowski (captain), 2 Bartosz Zmarzlik, 3 Maksym Drabik (U21). Also in squad: Patryk Dudek, Bartosz Smektala (U21). Team Manager: Marek Cieslak.
GERMANY: 1 Erik Riss, 2 Kai Huckenbeck (captain), 3 Lukas Fienhage (U21). Also in squad: Martin Smolinski, Michael Hartel. Team Manager: Herbert Rudolph.
GREAT BRITAIN: 1 Craig Cook (captain), 2 Chris Harris, 3 Robert Lambert (U21). Also in squad: Tai Woffinden, Dan Bewley (U21). Team Manager: Alun Rossiter.
AUSTRALIA: 1 Jason Doyle (captain), 2 Max Fricke, 3 Jaimon Lidsey (U21). Also in squad: Chris Holder, Jordan Stewart (U21). Team Manager: Mark Lemon.
DENMARK: 1 Leon Madsen, 2 Niels-Kristian Iversen (captain), 3 Frederik Jakobsen (U21). Also in squad: Michael Jepsen Jensen, Patrick Hansen. Team Manager: Hans Nielsen.
Speedway of Nations Final Day 1 Draw
G: Great Britain
Speedway of Nations Final Day 2 Draw
F: Great Britain
Rockhampton to host 2020 KTM AJMX
With the 2019 running of the KTM Australian Junior Motocross Championship (AJMX) to be held in Gillman, South Australia, Motorcycling Australia have now also announced the 2020 location, with Rockhampton, Queensland locked in for July 6-11, 2020.
The KTM AJMX attracts competitors from all across Australia, as well as international hopefuls seeking to make their mark in Australia’s highly competitive MX scene.
Peter Dark – Rockhampton and District MX Club President
“It is a complete honour, and a reward for the effort our members have given to the sport for many years. The event will bring approximately 500 of Australia’s best junior racers from across every state in Australia, including a few international racers.”
Motorcycling Queensland General Manager Kim Rowcliffe said that the Rockhampton District Motocross Club was chosen to host the 2020 Australian Junior Motocross Championships due to its very strong credentials in delivering well run, well promoted, and successful motorcycle events.
Dean Wilson confirmed to join AUS-X Open Melbourne
AUS-X Open promoters have confirmed Dean ‘Deano’ Wilson will be back for his third consecutive year to compete at this year’s Monster Energy AUS-X Open at Marvel Stadium on November 30. The Scottish Thunder will return Down Under after fan outcry to bring the world Number #6 back to Australia left event organisers in a spin.
The 27 year old raced to a career-best sixth overall during this year’s Monster Energy FIM World Supercross Championship as well as a third-place finish at the Houston round, but after an injury forced him out of the last two rounds, Wilson says he’ll be back for redemption in November and hopes to finish the year off with a bang.
“I’m super excited to be returning to the AUS-X Open again this year, my 2019 season was up and down, but I’ll be pushing hard for it in Melbourne, I’ll be definitely out there to get my redemption and come out on top. Obviously I’ve had some amazing results the past two years at AUS-X winning the Saturday night in 2017, and coming in second last year, I feel like I have what it takes third time around Down Under. Australia is such a sick place to visit and this time to be in Melbourne for the first time, I think it will make for the best year of AUS-X yet, the line-up is stacked and I can’t wait to take on the world’s best.”
Wilson will head to Melbourne for the first time ever, and go up against what is shaping up to be the best International Supercross line-up Australia has ever seen, consisting of two-time World Champion Chad Reed and 2018 World Champion Jason Anderson, world number 10 Justin Brayton, world number eight Joey Savatgy and many more local and international stars. Check out the video below to see Dean receiving his invitation.
Round 7 of the 2019 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship saw the RedBud National celebrate the 4th of July and Independence Day, while Eli Tomac and Dylan Ferrandis claimed top honours in the 450 and 250 classes.
Tomac had to fend off a resurgent Marvin Musquin in the second moto, but leaves RedBud with a 34-point lead. Dylan Ferrandis in the 250s meanwhile took both wins and closed in on Adam Cianciarulo in the standings, with Cianciarulo runner up with a 5-2 result.
Aussie Hunter Lawrence went 8-4 for fifth overall and currently sits sixth in the standings, 7-points behind Hampshire and 11-points behind Colt Nichols in fourth.
As the gate dropped on the opening 450 Class moto Cooper Webb emerged with the holeshot over Justin Bogle and Blake Baggett. Bogle quickly went to work as he found his way around Webb to takeover the race lead before the end of the opening lap. Tomac was just behind the leaders in third.
Bogle used a clear track and impressive riding to lead the first several laps as Webb and Tomac gave chase. On Lap 3, Tomac carried speed downhill and around the outside of Webb for the second position, followed by a pass on Bogle for the lead in the same section just one lap later. As Webb set his sights on Bogle, he made a costly mistake by stalling the engine of his bike, which let Jason Anderson slip by.
Tomac instantly took full advantage of having the lead and began opening a gap over his competition, while Anderson began to knock on Bogle’s door and made an aggressive move for second. Webb followed shortly after, bumping Bogle outside of the top three.
When the checkered flag waved, it was Tomac who remained unchallenged to win by 6.3 seconds, giving him his sixth moto win of the season. Anderson finished strong in second, followed by Webb in third. Ken Roczen and Marvin Musquin finished sixth and seventh, respectively.
When the gate dropped on the 450 Class Moto 2 Baggett was credited with the holeshot, followed by Bogle and Musquin. As Baggett set the pace out front, Roczen muscled his way into second, just ahead of Musquin in third to complete the opening lap. Anderson, Webb and Tomac started the moto just outside of the top five.
On Lap 2, Roczen used his early race speed to charge past Baggett for the race lead, while Musquin followed shortly after, shuffling Baggett back to third. With clear track ahead, Roczen relied on his effortless style to calmly navigate the demanding circuit as Musquin put his head down in an attempt to track down the German.
As the race neared the halfway point, Musquin began to slowly close in on the race lead, eventually making the pass stick on Lap 9. Behind the leaders, the battle for third began to heat up between Anderson and the first moto winner Tomac.
Every time Tomac searched for a way around, Anderson would wick it up to close the door. On Lap 12, Tomac dove to the inside of Anderson and pushed him against the edge of the track to overtake third.
The defending champion continued his push forward in the final laps of the race as he chased down and made the move around Roczen with two laps remaining.
Musquin managed the moto with his veteran experience to take his third moto win of the season, 6.2 seconds ahead of Tomac. Roczen soldiered home in third.
Tomac’s 1-2 moto scores carried him to his third overall victory of the season, tying him with James Stewart for fifth on the all-time win list with 20 apiece. Anderson finished the day runner-up (2-4), while Musquin completed the podium in third (7-1).
Eli Tomac – 1-2
“Overall, it was a really good day for us, I had been feeling good all day. It has been a little bit rough the last couple of weeks, but the first moto was a really good way to start the day and get things turned back around. I think that I had some better lines in the first moto, but I was able to move up and get the job done in the second moto.”
Jason Anderson 2-4
“We’re progressing and we’re getting better every weekend. The fans here at RedBud are amazing! This weekend went a lot better than the last. I was able to get second overall, which is another podium, so we’ll take it and just keep climbing.”
Marvin Musquin 7-1
“The riding was really good all day but unfortunately, I didn’t get a great start in the first moto and then ended up going down in the first lap. It was very bad but I came back from dead last to seventh. To be able to win the second moto is just awesome and to salvage a podium was really important today – it’s good for the team and it’s good for me.”
Cooper Webb 3-5
“RedBud was a step in the right direction for me. Practice went really well, I was able to qualify first for the first-time ever in outdoors. To go 3-5 for fourth overall is alright, I wish I would have been a little bit better in the second moto but so far, it’s the best day yet and we’ll keep plugging away to try and get better for Millville.”
Dean Wilson returned to racing on Saturday after missing the first six rounds of the series due to a shoulder injury sustained at the Denver SX. In Moto 1, he got off to a sixth-place start but he fell in the fourth corner and dropped back to last place on the opening lap. He remounted and began picking off riders but a series of crashes became a yo-yo effect for him as he continued to gain and lose ground.
In the end, Wilson was able to work his way up to 12th. In Moto 2, Wilson began just outside the top-10 and slowly worked his way up to seventh, where he ultimately finished. With 12-7 finishes, Wilson was able to claim a top-10 overall in his first race back with a solid ninth on the day.
Dean Wilson 12-7
“My first race back was a good race to work off of. This was the first time I’ve ridden my outdoor bike all year, so I was just kind of gelling with it. I’m going to work off of this – I know what I need to do and I’ll keep pushing for better results.”
The weekend proved challenging to Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Team duo Aaron Plessinger and Justin Barcia, who toughed it out to finish 11th and 14th overall at the RedBud MX.
Aaron Plessinger – 11
“RedBud went a lot better than Southwick did. I qualified 13th and then made a lot of improvements to the bike. We got it working pretty good for the motos, but I twisted my ankle pretty bad in the first one. I dropped a couple spots and then made it back up to 11th. I got a great start in the second one and then let a few people by. Justin passed me on the last lap and ended up finishing 11th again. So I went 11-11 for 11th overall. We’re making big improvements. I’m just going to keep pushing forward, build my fitness during this week off, and try to have some fun and enjoy it with the family.”
Justin Barcia 39-10
“It was a tough day. We had our work cut out for us. In the first moto, we ran into a little mechanical and unfortunately it took us out of the race. The boys had to
scramble to do a lot of work and get the bike ready. They did a great job handling everything today. In the second moto, I had full outside gate and didn’t come out so well. I started probably in the 20’s and ended up getting hit by someone and flipping over the bars. I came back from near last to 10th. It doesn’t look good on paper, but I rode my heart out.”
The winning effort allowed Tomac to extend his lead in the 450 Class championship standings to 34 points over Musquin. Roczen maintains hold on third in the standings, 40 points out of the championship lead. Zach Osborne was unable to compete due to a shoulder injury sustained in the morning’s practice, dropping him from fourth to sixth.
Niki Tuuli has laid claim to the first ever FIM Enel MotoE World Cup race win, converting his E-Pole (also a first ever) into victory as the Cup kicked off in style in Germany alongside the MotoGP. A Red Flag on the penultimate lap brought the race to an early end with Bradley Smith taking second and Mike Di Meglio completing the podium.
It was Hector Garzo who took the holeshot from second on the grid, with Smith up to his old MotoGP class tricks to get a stunning launch from P7 and move into second, round the outside of polesitter Tuuli. Garzo then headed wide and Smith took over in the lead, with Tuuli also a little off line and that letting Di Meglio through into third. Xavier Simeon then picked the pocket of the Finn too, and the polesitter was down into fifth.
He soon set about hitting back, however, slicing through into fourth and then third as Di Meglio attacked Smith at the front, taking the lead. The trio were pulling away to make the fight for the podium a three-way affair, leaving Garzo battling Matteo Ferrari for fourth and Alex de Angelis defending from Simeon.
With six to go, Smith struck back for the lead and it wasn’t long until Tuuli moved through too, tagged onto the back wheel of the Brit and recovery from a tougher first couple of laps almost complete. A lap later he made a move but Smith took him back at the final corner, and the two blasted down the start-finish straight in tandem.
Tuuli set it up and attacked again into Turn 1, the Finnish rider back in charge and slowly but surely able to get just enough breathing space to stay out the clutches of Smith. Meanwhile, just behind, Garzo had managed to tag onto the battle for second. But drama then hit slightly further back as Eric Granado came together with Lorenzo Savadori and the Italian went down, and ultimately that would decide the race.
Savadori was up and ok, but the air fence took a hit from the bike and that meant the Red Flag came out, cutting the race short. With the standings based on the last lap over the line, that made Niki Tuuli the history-making first ever winner in the FIM Enel MotoE World Cup.
Bradley Smith took second ahead of Di Meglio, with the Frenchman having only just attacked him for P2 but that now null and void. Garzo was forced to settle for fourth, with Ferrari completing the top five.
Alex De Angelis got the better of Xavier Simeon and took P6, with Eric Granado recovering from well outside the top ten after getting caught out in an early melee and the Brazilian taking P8. Sete Gibernau was ninth at the head of a big gaggle of riders squabbling over the final two places in the top ten, ahead of Nico Terol, Mattia Casadei, Niccolo Canepa, Jesko Raffin and Kenny Foray. Australian Josh Hook completed the points.
Niki Tuuli – P1
“I’m really happy, already after the first test we knew the bike was going to fit for me, but every time we’ve gone but we’ve been close to the top three and that’s the main thing, and especially here in the fast corners I’ve been really good and I think that’s where yesterday I made the laptime as well. On Friday and Saturday we had good speed and I know the places where I’m quite a lot faster at the moment. In the race because the weather is quite difficult we didn’t know where were the wet patches on track and we made the bike softer. Then straightaway when we started the race and I hit the brakes at Turn 1 I hit the bottom and knew it was too soft. After that I tried to keep the riding quite soft for the first two laps and after that I tried to push a bit and find out where it was working or not. I made a couple of mistakes when I was pushing too much, but in the end I made a small gap. We have many thing to improve and unfortunately today we had a really short race. But in the end we were first all weekend so it’s a good start to the year!”
Bradley Smith – P2
“I’m very happy to have got on the podium at this first MotoE World Cup race with ONE Energy Racing. Yesterday I was somewhat disappointed with my result in E-Pole, but I still knew that if I got a good start I could be in the fight in the race. I managed to get a very good start and lead the race, so that was nice. I couldn’t be a part of the race simulation in Valencia, so I was lacking some knowledge of what the contest was going to be like, but I learned a lot today. It was only five laps, but I know where I can improve for the next round in Austria. The race was exciting, so that’s good for the show and for the competition. I want to thank the team; they changed the bike from yesterday to today and did a great job.”
Hector Garzo – P4
“Unfortunately, it was a difficult race and not the result we have hoped for. I was waiting for the last two laps. Just the moment before the red flag, I was thinking about my overtake. But well, this is racing. You never know, that this is going to happen. Anyway, I’m happy because we four riders finished with a great time. For sure, I would have been a bit more satisfied to get a podium in the first MotoE race, but still our work is good and we know we are strong in every condition. Thanks a lot to the team, we did a really good job and for the first MotoE race of the history, it’s not bad. We must be happy. I’m looking forward to Austria now, keep calm and work hard.”
Alex De Angelis – P6
“I had a great time. At the first corner I chose to brake and stay inside and it was a good tactic because it allowed me to recover some positions. The duel with Simeon made me lose contact with the leading group but it was really exciting.”
Niccolò Canepa – P12
“I’m really upset because I had contact in the first lap – I was in 8th place and was put back to 14th place. I was coming back into the top 10 and was 10th when the red flag came out but they gave the results from the previous lap so I was actually 12th in the results. I feel frustrated because I think this time a 5-lap race is too short.”
Kenny Foray – P14
“It was a good race. The result is not, what I expected, but my feeling was better. Now, I need to be more aggressive in the race, because two times, I decided to stay behind the guys in front of me and two times, somebody overtook me. So, I need to push all the time. I was really good on the brakes, but I couldn’t take full advantage of this. My feeling on the bike was good, it was great fun. The result is not ideal, but now I need to improve for the next race. I was a good experience for me and I’m happy, although I was hoping for a few more points. I’m sure for Austria, we will be better.”
Josh Hook – P15
“The feeling with the bike grew during the race. It was very important to be with the peloton on a circuit where I raced on Friday for the first time. It wasn’t a particularly satisfying weekend but we have to take the positive side and improve.”
Randy De Puniet – P17
“It was not an easy race – since the beginning of the weekend, as I’ve explained before, I have zero feeling and I’m not confident after crashing in Valencia. I really hoped to get some more confidence and speed during the race, but it was not the case. I’m sorry to the team and the sponsors but I was not able to do better today. I hope after the break I will feel better on the bike so we will see for the next race.”
That’s it from the inaugural weekend for the FIM Enel MotoE World Cup, with Tuuli the first ever winner and therefore first Championship leader. How will Austria shake it up? The Sachsenring is about corners, and the Red Bull Ring is much more stop-and-go. Tune in on the August 11 for Round 2!
MXGP has returned for two back-to-back rounds, the first of which was the MXGP of Indonesia in Palembang, where it was Tim Gajser once again dominating the big bikes, with Jorge Prado likewise taking another round win, as the two continued to dominate, and in the very tough heat of Indonesia both red plate holders also built on their series points leads.
Around the very unique circuit in Palembang, both Gajser and Prado didn’t have it all their own way, both losing a race, Gajser going 1-2 and Prado also 1-2, however the final tally saw the pair do enough to claim the red plates into Semarang, also in Indonesia next weekend with a confident feeling.
Aussie Jed Beaton also had a strong weekend going 5-5 in MX2 for fifth overall for the round and tenth overall, while in MXGP Lewis Stewart went 15-14 and Adam Coles went 16-15 to claim 15th and 16th overall for the round, respectively. Mitch Evans crashed in MX2 Race 1 and sat out the remainder of the weekend.
On a regular basis Tim Gajser led into the first lap of the opening MXGP race taking the FOX Holeshot, followed by Jeremy Seewer and Glenn Coldenhoff. Also, up front were Max Anstie, Romain Febvre, Arnaud Tonus and Gautier Paulin while Arminas Jasikonis crashed and dropped back to 15th place. Anstie moved past Coldenhoff for third, and Jasikonis was able to get back into 13th.
Running a little harder Gajser moved to more than five seconds away from Seewer and Anstie started to put pressure on the second placed man. Febvre closed in to Coldenhoff while Anstie was on Seewer but as the French was frustrated as he made a mistake, Anstie passes Seewer for second but he was seven seconds behind Gajser, who seemingly was cruising up front and around the same time Jasikonis was all over Bogersfor 11th.
Five laps to go Febvre was charging in Coldenhoff for a long while managed to go through. Light rain began as the race continued. Gajser though wasn’t having any problems up front, and everyone held their positions. Gajser was victorious at race 1 in Palembang, winning it from Anstie and Seewer.
At the start of the second MXGP race it was again Gajser in the early lead taking his fifth FOX Holeshot of the season, followed by Anstie, who crashed in the first lap and dropped back to 10th place. Tonus was also in trouble as he trailed near last and then couldn’t get his bike going again.
Seewer was second, then Febvre, Paulin, Coldenhoff, Bogers and Jonass. Monticelli also crashed and went back in 19th place. After two laps the lead by Gajser was nearly three seconds and Febvre had moved past Seewer and was running hard to catch the leader.
On lap 3 Gajser made a mistake and Febvre and Seewer both went past and dropped the Honda man to third place, but the red plate owner was quickly back past Seewer, although Febvre held a six second lead after eight laps.
Coldenhoff passed Paulin and Seewer at the last laps to finish Race 2 in third place, and Anstie was onto Paulin to fight for fifth position while Febvre was miles ahead of Gajser. That left Febvre wining his first race of the season and the first after the 2017 MXGP of Sweden, ahead of Gajser and Coldenhoff.
Tim Gajser took the overall win with his 1-2 results while Romain Febvre took second and his teammate Jeremy Seewer rounded up the podium.
Tim Gajser 1-2
“All day I really enjoyed riding the track. In the first moto I grabbed the holeshot and made a little gap and controlled the race. I had a lot of fun out there and managed to win the first moto. In the second race I didn’t have the best jump out of the gate so I got closed off on the straight, but as they ran wide, I was able to cut inside and take another holeshot. On the fourth lap and went off the track, and my rear tyre spun on the dusty ground and I had a little crash. I re-joined the race in third place, but managed to pass Jeremy immediately. I saw that Romain was riding a really good pace out front so I decided to settle for second place and to win another overall. Obviously I’m still happy with how the day went and my standing in the championship.”
Romain Febvre 4-1
“It’s been too long since I last won a race. It’s been hard and I have wondered what I am doing, but finally it’s in and I have done it, but still I am second overall, and I would like to win the Grand Prix. It’s always nice to win races, but I want to stand on the top step of the podium. It feels like it has been so close this season, but I miss it by just a little bit. I hope that it is coming, and I look forward to going to Semarang next weekend because I like the track there, it is fast and nice to ride, so I hope for good weather, good starts and then it will be good.”
Jeremy Seewer 3-4
“I’ve been really consistent this season and this is what I have wanted to do. I have shown at the last GP’s that I am a threat to the podium, just some small mistakes cost me coming into here. I have had many good races this year and I feel good on the bike. I am really happy with my consistency even though I didn’t start the season the way I wanted to. I am happy I got on the podium here in such tough conditions, I managed to post two good results with two good starts. I know that there are places that I can improve, and I will work on these, but for now I am happy that I am here and I am happy with the way things are going.”
Gautier Paulin 7-5
“The weekend started well. The track was cool and really tacky, I managed to post the fastest time. In the first race I didn’t get the best start and we are all really close in speed on the track, so it was difficult to pass. At one point the guys got away and I secured seventh. The second race was challenging because I had a small issue on the sighting lap, so I started a little bit stressed out. I got a normal start, I was third around the corner and I finished fifth although I had a small issue with the front brake, but no excuse, I felt good on the bike so I am really looking forward to the next round. We will keep our head up and continue to push. I really want to thank the Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha MXGP team for all of their hard work and support.”
Pauls Jonass 7-8
“I made a mistake in the qualification race on Saturday and crashed heavily on my shoulder, which made the whole weekend difficult for me. It’s really frustrating as I felt good on the track. I guess I was lucky it wasn’t a serious injury, but I banged my shoulder hard and that made it tough today – I didn’t have the power I needed for the ruts, braking bumps and landings from the jumps. But I did the best I could. I got a decent start in the first race then went a little wide in the second turn. After that I couldn’t push like I wanted to because of my shoulder. I made a few passes but eighth wasn’t what I wanted. Race two was similar – I couldn’t go any faster. It was a little bit of surviving, getting the most championship points possible. I’ll rest now and go again next weekend.”
Brian Bogers 12-8
“The day didn’t really go as I wanted, especially the first moto. The first five or six laps felt okay and I was riding with the fast guys but then the heat hit me really bad and I couldn’t push anymore. I felt pretty bad about that so I really wanted to try harder for race two. I got out of the gate really well and from the beginning I was pushing even harder than the first moto. I didn’t want to save myself because that isn’t a good mindset and it seemed to work because even when I got a little tired with the heat, I could still keep pushing. I ended up with a twelfth and an eighth for eighth overall so that’s not too bad but I still want to do better.”
Tony Cairoli – Injury Update
“It is sad to finish the championship this way and it hasn’t happened too many times in my career. When I tried to ride last week I knew I had some problems but I wanted to stay positive about the recovery. I had more scans in Belgium and the injury was much worse that we thought so they told me to have surgery right away and it was the best solution to get healthy again in the fastest way. Thanks to the team and to the fans for the support. I hope to visit a few races before the end of the season and will now concentrate on getting better.”