Cairoli wins at home!
Cairoli wins at home!
It was the perfect day for Antonio Cairoli. The World Champion went 1-1 in front of his home crowd and in front of a bigger Italian TV audience than Moto GP received on the same day! Cairoli is a national hero in Italy right now, and motocross is as close to mainstream as it has ever been thanks to the legend of Cairoli, using his status to grow the sport he loves.
Cairoli looks to be back on track and ready to dominate.
Jeremy Van Horebeek was fast all weekend, but once again he just missed the top step. However, his amazing podium streak continues as the Belgian went second overall. Van Horebeek says he wants to win a GP before the year is over, but he is just missing that final piece of the jigsaw to get over the line first. If he wins, a lot more could follow! Van Horebeek is continuing to be the revelation of the season and proves that some guys just suit a 450 better than a 250. Kevin Strijbos has had an average couple of GPs but he went back to the drawing board with the team, made a few changes for Italy, and came out swinging with a third place overall. Clemente Desalle had a bad day with fourth overall after 7-4 scores, and lost all the points he had made up last weekend. Cairoli now has a 38 point lead… gaining 18 points in one weekend! And Desalle is now just three points ahead of Van Horebeek.
David Philippearts rose to the occasion in front of his home crowd to go fifth overall in what was his best performance all year. David will be fighting for his place on the Italian Des Nations teams for the rest of the year with Guaneri. Shaun Simpson is the “steady-eddy” of the MXGP class, despite being surprisingly inconsistent at the start of the year. Shaun is now hovering around the top ten every week and was a fine sixth overall in Italy. Tommy Searle is still struggling to find his form after his wrist injury, and with CLS Kawasaki not having an MXGP team next season, Searle is riding for a job right now. Searle should get into a full factory team based on past form, but it would help his cause if he could get a few top fives and a podium before the end of the year.
The Injuries have hit MXGP again. Then most serious being poor Joel Roelants, who lost feeling in his legs after coming up short over a jump. Roelants had a five hour operation that night, and the next three weeks will be crucial in knowing if he will be able to walk again. Keep the speedy and determined young Belgian in your thoughts and prayers over the coming weeks.
Tyla Rattray is having a nightmare season. The South African has now injured his thumb and will be out for another six weeks. The biggest problem for Tyla is that he has only had one top five moto all season, and quite simply, has been off the pace in comparison to his former GP days. Rattray could struggle to get a factory ride next season due to these hardships. It has turned into a terribly unlucky season for the Husqvarna’s first factory season back in GPs with both riders now injured and neither having shown the speed to get close to the podium when they were fit (although Waters was in his first year and doing a steady job until his freak accident).
Honda’s GP turmoil continued with Evgeny Bobbreyshev, who was finally fully fit, breaking his leg in the second moto. The Russian has just been dogged by injuries the last few seasons, but he showed in moto one he still had top five speed. Bobreyshev could be another rider looking for a new ride at the end of the season. Luckily for Honda, Max Nagl should be back in action this weekend in Germany, otherwise Honda would have no factory riders in the show!
What will next year bring in the MX2 class?
In MX2, Herlings unsurprisingly won again, but Jordi Tixier got himself into third in the championship points with a fine second overall. Tixier isn’t guaranteed his MX2 KTM spot next year, but with both Tonus and probably Herlings leaving the class, he is still proving to be best of the rest who will be able to race MX2 nest season. Arnaud Tonus chased Herlings for as long as he could in race one before Herlings opened up a comfortable lead, but was fourth in race two. With his championship aspirations fading, will Tonus’ attention turn to racing in America next season for Pro Circuit? In some ways, it’s a strange decision for Tonus. Everything about the Swiss rider is smooth, you would think he would be perfect for an MXGP ride on a 450, but Tonus has instead opted to remain on a 250f and go to the ultra aggressive world of US racing. Aggression is something Tonus has never had so it is a risky option. On the other hand, he is with one of the best teams, and hopefully he will stay away from injury and show his potential.
Herlings in his usual form.
Dylan Ferrandis and Tim Gajser rounded out the top five and it could be these two, along with Tixier, who are vying for the World title next season. They are only going to get faster with each GP they compete in. Thomas Covington was full of hope coming into Italy, but aggravated a broken bone in his foot after a hard landing while running eleventh in race one. He didn’t take any further part in the racing, but Covington will try to race again in Germany this weekend, proving once again he has the right attitude to make it in GP racing.
MXGP Overall top ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 50 points; 2. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 44 p.; 3. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, SUZ), 38 p.; 4. Clement Desalle (BEL, SUZ), 32 p.; 5. David Philippaerts (ITA, YAM), 28 p.; 6. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 28 p.; 7. Tommy Searle (GBR, KAW), 27 p.; 8. Davide Guarneri (ITA, TM), 24 p.; 9. Steven Frossard (FRA, KAW), 20 p.; 10. Gregory Aranda (FRA, KAW), 19 p.
MXGP World Championship Classification Top Ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 443 points; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, SUZ), 405 p.; 3. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 402 p.; 4. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, SUZ), 314 p.; 5. Steven Frossard (FRA, KAW), 217 p.; 6. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 211 p.; 7. Gautier Paulin (FRA, KAW), 205 p.; 8. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 184 p.; 9. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HON), 166 p.; 10. Davide Guarneri (ITA, TM), 163 p.
MX2 Overall top ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 50 points; 2. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), 40 p.; 3. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, KAW), 40 p.; 4. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, KAW), 36 p.; 5. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 34 p.; 6. Romain Febvre (FRA, HUS), 30 p.; 7. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, SUZ), 24 p.; 8. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, HUS), 24 p.; 9. Petar Petrov (BUL, YAM), 22 p.; 10. Julien Lieber (BEL, SUZ), 20 p.
MX2 World Championship Classification Top Ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 444 points; 2. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, KAW), 389 p.; 3. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), 331 p.; 4. Romain Febvre (FRA, HUS), 327 p.; 5. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, KAW), 314 p.; 6. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 269 p.; 7. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, HUS), 240 p.; 8. Valentin Guillod (SUI, KTM), 223 p.; 9. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), 213 p.; 10. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, SUZ), 192 p.
Article: Jonathan McCready
Pictures: KTM Images/Ray Archer/YS