GP Report: Portugal

May 10, 2010 11:59am | by:

After three events and victories with 450 and 350cc machinery, the spotlight in the FIM MX1 World Championship finally swung away from the formidable Red Bull KTM team and came to rest on an unlikely figure, that of Rockstar Teka Suzuki’s Clement Desalle, who owned the Grand Prix of Portugal (round four of fifteen) with two runner-up positions.

  • Marvin Musquin was a perfect 1-1 on the day in MX2.
  • Antonio Cairoli went 5-1 in MX1.
The distinctive orange dirt at Agueda was not the happiest of playgrounds for the factory team from Austria carrying the same shade. Aside from the fact that the Grand Prix was immensely battered by rainfall that descended every which way throughout most of Saturday, main stars Tony Cairoli and Max Nagl suffered meager starts in either moto to allow Desalle, standing in the pits in Holland two weeks ago with a dislocated right shoulder, to ride superbly for his maiden triumph for the Belgian squad and his first success in the works setup.

Although sunny skies appeared for Sunday, the liberal coating from the thick clouds during practice and qualification created a muddy and slick track for the first part of race day, affording only one decent line. The drying terrain became more treacherous but also more technical in the second motos.

Nagl ran away with the first outing in front of 14,000 spectators, to emerge from the recent furor surrounding his world champion teammate and remind the paddock that he is still a viable threat for the title. Cairoli was hit by Desalle at the start and had to recover positions from mid-pack, finishing fifth. Desalle ran a lonely race and was given a reprieve when a closing David Philippaerts took a brief tumble landing from the jump adjacent to the start straight on the third lap. The Italian Yamaha Monster Energy MX Team pilot had won his second pole position of the season on Saturday but suffered another mysterious crash that left him with a painful left hand and meant he could do no better than eighth in Moto 2. Kawasaki finally had reason to smile with rookie Xavier Boog riding well on the factory KX450-F to take an MX1 career-best fourth behind the Yamaha man. With Seb Pourcel needing more time to recover his speed after almost two seasons of injury problems (and starting from a low gate position due to a crash on Saturday here), and with Jonathan Barragan on the sidelines for most of the campaign, the Frenchman delivered the goods. Yamaha Monster Energy Ricci MX Team’s Ken De Dycker was a faller on the first lap and had to retire with a damaged radiator and front brake.

In Moto 2, Cairoli disappeared, as he did a fortnight ago in Holland; KTM may have lost this day, but they still own seven of the eight motos run thus far. Behind him the action highlight of the GP was played out as a rampant De Dycker fought with Desalle, Nagl, and Boog. Desalle added to the drama by crashing with three laps to go coming out of the waves but then captured two positions in the dying stages to earn the top step. Cairoli and Nagl followed the controversial Belgian onto the podium. Suzuki teammate Steve Ramon was nursing a sore hip and headache after a nasty rendezvous with a hay bale on Saturday. Local hope and 2009 MX2 winner Rui Goncalves made the most of an excellent start on the 350 SX-F to take eleventh in the first moto, followed up by thirteenth later in the afternoon.

  • Clement DeSalle was surprised to take the win in MX1.
“I hadn’t ridden since Valkenswaard and came here to get as many points as I could, so to win is a surprise and feels very good,” said Desalle. “After the first moto I did not have any pain in my shoulder and I saw it was possible to win. When I crashed on the waves in the second moto I thought, ‘No, this is not possible,’ but I pushed hard to reach second again and I’m very happy.”

Jimmy Albertson had a forgettable weekend on the Martin Honda. A sizeable crash on Saturday left him with a Dunlop-printed strip of raw skin on his back thanks to an awkward reunion with his spiraling CRF. “Albee” simply could not get to grips with the track, and he failed to complete the first moto. He pulled himself together for the second and took seventeenth. “It was a rough day, a bad day,” he said. “I was not riding well, and I feel like I can’t say much more. I couldn’t get a flow going on the track. I had a pretty bad crash in the qualification heat yesterday and got slammed by the bike in the back. It meant a poor gate pick, and I rode awful in the first moto. I pulled off the track, which I don’t like doing, but at the time I could not get a rhythm and it felt dangerous to me. In the second moto I came around the first lap and it said something like ‘27’ on the pit board, and I kept on riding and moving forward and finally got a flow. I made it to seventeenth, but compared to the rest of the weekend, it felt like a top-ten result.”

There was better news for America in MX2, which remains firmly the domain of the KTMs. Bike-it Yamaha’s Zach Osborne broke into the top three and was just one point from his first 2010 podium after going 5-3. The champagne on this occasion went to the trio that has now edged away in the title chase. World Champion Marvin Musquin clinched win number three of the campaign (and his third double) ahead of teammate Jeffrey Herlings, with Teka Suzuki Europe’s Ken Roczen propping up his 100 percent podium record in third, although losing the red plate after his brief one race tenure.

  • Bike it Cosworth Yamaha's Zach Osborne went 5-3 for fourth overall.
As with the MX1 motos, the real excitement came in the final ten minutes of both MX2 heats. Musquin chased Herlings with Roczen on his back wheel. Back markers interfered, and not for the last time during the afternoon, assisting the Frenchman to demote his teenage doppelganger. The second race was the pick of the bunch. Musquin and Roczen separated themselves – as Herlings had his hands full with Osborne – with the pair separated by no more than a second approaching the final three laps. As Roczen lined up his attempt to pass, he made a small mistake approaching the triple step-up and doubled. He was then inexplicably hit by back marker Alexandr Tonkov, who elected to complete the full leap. The pair collided and Roczen went down, breaking his footpeg and only just able to grab sixth by the finish. Said Musquin, “The fights were pretty good, and I think it must have been nice to see the races. I am disappointed for Ken. I saw the crash, and I don’t know why the lapped rider jumped the triple. It was crazy for Ken to lose second place like that.”

Roczen was fairly diplomatic in public but understandably seething in private. “It was a shame about the crash, but there was nothing I could do,” he said at the press conference. “The back marker was in front of us from the pit lane, nearly half a lap, and he did not move despite all the blue flags. I made a small mistake coming to the uphill triple and could not jump it, so I made a double and he landed on top of me and we had a pretty big crash.”

Aside from the skirmishes, Osborne was one of the stories of the MX2 class, and his narrowing proximity to the leaders is encouraging to witness. He was also able to leave Portugal with a smile, replacing the grimace worn twelve months ago after a technical problem caused the scaphoid break that ended his 2009. “I am a little disappointed that I did not make the podium, because it would have been sweet revenge after getting hurt here last year,” he said.

  • Jeff Herlings (111) trails Ken Roczen (94) by three points for second place in the championship.
CLS Kawasaki’s Steve Frossard could not obtain his third trophy of the season after a fall and broken handlebar on Saturday meant a start-gate position almost in the pit lane.

The second round of the Women’s World Championship was won by reigning #1 Stephanie Laier, despite a first-corner slip in the first moto. The German came back from last to third place as Livia Lancelot earned her first win with KTM, but a crash by the Frenchwoman in Moto 2 meant she was unable to push for the overall. Maria Franke was third, and an honorable mention must go to Natalie Kane on her HM Plant Red Bull KTM, as she took both holeshots and led the races despite breaking her right hand just over a week before the GP.

Round six, the Grand Prix of Catalunya at Bellpuig (and the last event before Glen Helen), this coming weekend could see the young Michael Leib make his GP debut after a delay was caused by a fall and chipped left wrist while training on the Bud Racing Rockstar Kawasaki during the week.

MX1 Moto1

1. Max Nagl (KTM); 2. Clement Desalle (Suz); 3. David Philippaerts (Yam); 4. Xavier Boog (Kaw); 5. Tony Cairoli (KTM); 6. Tanel Leok (Hon); 7. Steve Ramon (Suz); 8. Sebastien Pourcel (Kaw); 9. Evgeny Bobryshev (Hon); 10. Marc De Reuver (Suz); 11. Rui Gonçalves (KTM); 12. Kevin Strijbos (Suz); 13. Anthony Boissiere (TM); 14. Nicolas Aubin (Kaw); 15. Davide Guarneri (Hon); 16. Tom Söderltrön (Yam); 17. Josh Coppins (Apr); 18. Kevin Wouts (Kaw); 19. Cedric Soubeyras (KTM); 20. Gareth Swanepoel (Hon)

MX1 Moto2

1. Tony Cairoli (KTM); 2. Clement Desalle (Suz); 3. Ken De Dycker (Yam); 4. Xavier Boog (Kaw); 5. Max Nagl (KTM); 6. Tanel Leok (Hon); 7. Evgeny Bobryshev (Hon); 8. David Philippaerts (Yam); 9. Sebastien Pourcel (Kaw); 10. Davide Guarneri (Hon); 11. Josh Coppins (Apr); 12. Steve Ramon (Suz); 13. Rui Gonçalves (KTM); 14. Kevin Strijbos (Suz); 15. Anthony Boissiere (TM); 16. Gareth Swanepoel (Hon); 17. Jimmy Albertson (Hon); 18. Cedric Soubeyras (KTM); 19. Marc de Reuver (Suz); Julien Bill (Apr)

MX1 Overall Result

1. Clement Desalle (Suz); 2. Tony Cairoli (KTM); 3. Max Nagl (KTM); 4. Xavier Boog (Kaw); 5. David Philippaerts (Yam); 6. Tanel Leok (Hon); 7. . Evgeny Bobryshev (Hon); 8. Sebastien Pourcel (Kaw); 9. Steve Ramon (Suz); 10. Ken De Dycker (Yam); 11. Rui Gonçalves (KTM); 12. Davide Guarneri (Hon); 13. Kevin Strijbos (Suz); 14. Josh Coppins (Apr); 15. Anthony Boissiere (TM); 16. Marc De Reuver (Suz); 17. Nicolas Aubin (Kaw); 18. Gareth Swanepoel (Hon); 19. Cedric Soubeyras (KTM); 20. Tom Söderström (Yam)

MX1 World Championship standings after 4 of 15 rounds

1. Tony Cairoli (179); 2. Max Nagl (161); 3. David Philippaerts (133); 4.Steve Ramon (124); 5. Clement Desalle (123); 6. Ken De Dycker (114); 7. Xavier Boog (106); 8. Tanel Leok (96); 9. Evgeny Bobryshev (79); 10. Sebastien Pourcel (75); 11. Davide Guarneri (73); 12. Josh Coppins (63); 13. Jimmy Albertson (59); 14. Gareth Swanepoel (57); 15. Jonathan Barragán (56); 16. Kevin Strijbos (47); 17. Manuel Monni (46); 18. Marc De Reuver (40); 19. Anthony Boissiere (37); 20. Rui Gonçalves (24)

MX2 Moto1

1. Marvin Musquin (KTM); 2. Ken Roczen (Suz); 3. Jeffrey Herlings (KTM); 4. Shaun Simpson (KTM); 5. Zach Osborne (Yam); 6. Christophe Charlier (Yam); 7. Harri Kullas (Yam); 8. Joel Roelants (KTM); 9. Arnaud Tonus (Suz); 10. Matiss Karro (Suz); 11. Steven Frossard (Kaw); 12. Nikolaj Larsen (Hon); 13. Mel Pocock (Yam); 14. Aleksandr Tonkov (Suz); 15. Petr Smitka (KTM); 16. Jake Nicholls (KTM); 17. Alessandro Lupino (Yam); 18. Jeremy Van Horebeek (Kaw); 19. Dennis Verbruggen (KTM); 20. Axel Alletru (KTM)

MX2 Moto2

1. Marvin Musquin (KTM); 2. Jeffrey Herlings (KTM); 3. Zach Osborne (Yam); 4. Jeremy Van Horebeek (Kaw); 5. Steven Frossard (Kaw); 6. Ken Roczen (Suz); 7. Arnaud Tonus (Suz); 8. Joel Roelants (KTM); 9. Jake Nicholls (KTM); 10. Dennis Verbruggen (KTM); 11. Alessandro Lupino (Yam); 12. Valentin Teillet (KTM); 13. Harri Kullas (Yam); 14. Matiss Karro (Suz); 15. Christophe Charlier (Yam); 16. Khounsith Vongsana (TM); 17. Nikolaj Larsen (Hon); 18. Mel Pocock (Yam); 19. Loic Larrieu (Yam); 20. Petr Smitka (KTM)

MX2 Overall Result

1. Marvin Musquin (KTM); 2. Jeffrey Herlings (KTM); 3. Ken Roczen (Suz); 4. Zach Osborne (Yam); 5. Steven Frossard (Kaw); 6. Arnaud Tonus (Suz); 7. Joel Roelants (KTM); 8. Harri Kullas (Yam); 9. Jeremy Van Horebeek (Kaw); 10. Christophe Charlier (Yam); 11. Matiss Karro (Suz); 12. Shaun Simpson (KTM); 13. Jake Nicholls (KTM); 14. Alessandro Lupino (Yam); 15. Dennis Verbruggen (KTM); 16. Nikolaj Larsen (Hon); 17. Mel Pocock (Yam); 18. Valentin Teillet (KTM); 19. Petr Smitka (KTM); 20. Aleksandr Tonkov (Suz)

MX2 World Championship standings after 4 of 15 rounds

1. Marvin Musquin (179); 2. Ken Roczen (167); 3. Jeffrey Herlings (164); 4. Steven Frossard (133); 5. Arnaud Tonus (116); 6. Zach Osborne (114); 7. Shaun Simpson (105); 8. Jeremy Van Horebeek (101); 9. Harri Kullas (83); 10. Christophe Charlier (81); 11. Joel Roelants (80); 12. Jake Nicholls (76); 13. Dennis Verbruggen (60); 14. Alessandro Lupino (45); 15. Matiss Karro (40); 16. Nikolaj Larsen (34); 17. Mel Pocock (29); 18. Petr Smitka (27); 19. Nick Triest (18); 20. Loic Larrieu (16)

WMX Overall Result

1. Stephanie Laier (KTM); 2. Livia Lancelot (KTM); 3. Maria Franke (KTM); 4. Nathalie Kane (KTM); 5. Chiara Fontanesi (Yam); 6. Marielle De Mol (Yam); 7. Larissa Papenmeier (Suz); 8. Elin Mann (KTM); 9. Anne Borchers (Suz); 10. Nicky van Wordragen (Yam)

FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship standings after 2 of 7 rounds

1. Stephanie Laier (95); 2. Maria Franke (80); 3. Livia Lancelot (76); 4. Chiara Fontanesi (72); 5. Nathalie Kane (68); 6. Larissa Papenmeier (59); 7. Elin Mann (53); 8. Marielle De Mol (47); Anne Borchers (43)