Racer X Race Report:  Grand Prix of Portugal

Racer X Race Report Grand Prix of Portugal

June 13, 2011 10:50am

In some ways the drastic hard-pack of Agueda was symbolic of the well-publicised state of Portugal’s economic situation: slippery, full of holes and a helluva rough ride for anyone trying to cross it. There were some who emerged from this sixth round of fifteen in the FIM Motocross World Championship with credit – a third win for Rockstar Suzuki’s Clement Desalle, a first MX2 red-plate for Red Bull Teka’s KTM Jeffrey Herlings and a successive podium for an infirm Bike it Cosworth Wild Wolf Yamaha’s Zach Osborne – but the Portuguese terrain also left more than a few riders out of pocket.

Roczen would take the win in moto 1, but a crash early in moto 2 would cost him valuable points.
Photo: Daniel Ahlgren

Chief among the casualties under the perennial blue skies (the fans were certainly no losers at this event) was KTM’s Ken Roczen. The German skirted a deadly-thin line between ragged-and-masterful, risky-and-bold in the first MX2 moto to beat everyone for his seventh victory (from eleven) of the season. That same fiery approach, that caused his undoing on the first lap in France the previous week, ultimately caught him again in the second race where an endo in the waves saw a violent head-plant into the floor. The teenager gingerly pulled in and was taken to hospital where the x-rays on his neck and spinal cord were initially clear but Roczen will be hurting this week and the Spanish Grand Prix in six days will come around very quickly.

In MX1 Max Nagl was a faller and looks to have wrenched ligaments in his right thumb. It was not the best day for the Austrian factory set-up. World Champion Tony Cairoli gave valiant last laps chase to Desalle in both races but found the Belgian impeachable. “Maybe I should ask the FIM to make the races a bit longer next year,” the Sicilian joked. Desalle completed his second double of 2011 on the works Suzuki and gained six points over the reigning number one in the standings.

Tommy Searle won the second moto after his rear wheel chewed the fencing in the first race and caused a DNF.
Photo: Ray Archer

Also tasting Portuguese soil were David Philippaerts, Steve Ramon and Jonathan Barragan. Monster Energy Yamaha’s Philippaerts will be nursing sore ribs that’ll hurt a little bit more than the double DNF that he sustained and fractured his bid for a second MX1 crown. The Italian had been victorious just three weeks ago in Brazil. Team-mate Steven Frossard wowed the French the previous Sunday but aside from a run to third in the first of two entertaining MX1 affairs the rookie was lacklustre at the second launch and paid the price by only rising to seventh for fifth overall.

From the premier class the other major news was the indefinite withdrawal of Ben Townley. The New Zealander pulled out of the qualification heat, rode back to the paddock and in his head he kept on riding out of the gate. BT is obviously in a dark place professionally and his concussion back at the start of the year has played a major part in his wavering mindset for 2011. Where the former AMA Lites champ can go from here is a mystery with a comeback not firmly pencilled on the agenda. The dormant ‘101’ motorcycle started up the rumour mill that the endlessly dissatisfied Christophe Pourcel might find solace in the French CLS Kawasaki/Pro Circuit set-up. It would be a sensational move but one that seems hard to believe with all the effort and desire Pourcel has applied to his base in the U.S.

Desalle and Cairoli battling for the lead.
Photo: Ray Archer

Roczen’s tip-off in MX2 allowed a hobbling Herlings to go 2-2 for win number three in front of the same Yamaha duo on the box as in France, Monster Energy Yamaha’s Gautier Paulin – that fuel injected prototype looking very capable – and the USA’s own Zach Osborne who was coughing like a geriatric when he wasn’t strapping on a pair of goggles.

“Yesterday I thought two top ten finishes would be a good result,” the Virginian said who also revealed that some changes to the geometry of the Cosworth-powered Yam had eradicated the difficulties he was having with excessive wheeling off the gate. “I got off to a good start and overall made some decent points today. I was able to charge the whole way in the first race but in the second after twenty-five minutes I was struggling to hold onto what I had.”

The Grand Prix field will be looking for more ways to cash-in on a frantic period of the calendar with the inauguration of La Bañeza this weekend in northern Spain. Bring on the tapas.

Herling is the new MX2 points leader.
Photo: Ray Archer

MX2 Moto1

1. Ken Roczen (GER, KTM), 40:23.948;
2. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +0:02.308;
3. Zachary Osborne (USA, Yamaha), +0:27.082;
4. Max Anstie (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:30.894;
5. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Yamaha), +0:30.916;
6. Joel Roelants (BEL, KTM), +1:15.943;
7. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, Yamaha), +1:44.811;
8. Christophe Charlier (FRA, Yamaha), +1:47.950;
9. Antonio Jose Butron Oliva (ESP, KTM), -1 lap(s);
10. Harri Kullas (FIN, Yamaha), -1 lap(s);

MX2 Moto2

1. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), 39:09.082;
2. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +0:16.263;
3. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Yamaha), +0:20.500;
4. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), +0:22.398;
5. Zachary Osborne (USA, Yamaha), +0:45.623;
6. Christophe Charlier (FRA, Yamaha), +0:52.971;
7. Max Anstie (GBR, Kawasaki), +1:04.150;
8. Nicolas Aubin (FRA, KTM), +1:08.713;
9. Harri Kullas (FIN, Yamaha), +1:10.771;
10. Antonio Jose Butron Oliva (ESP, KTM), +1:34.843;

MX2 Overall results

1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 44 points;
2. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Yamaha), 36 p.;
3. Zachary Osborne (USA, Yamaha), 36 p.;
4. Max Anstie (GBR, Kawasaki), 32 p.;
5. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), 28 p.;
6. Christophe Charlier (FRA, Yamaha), 28 p.;
7. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), 25 p.;
8. Ken Roczen (GER, KTM), 25 p.;
9. Joel Roelants (BEL, KTM), 24 p.;
10. Harri Kullas (FIN, Yamaha), 23 p.;

MX2 World Championship standings after 6 of 15 rounds

1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 257 points;
2. Ken Roczen (GER, KTM), 251 p.;
3. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), 224 p.;
4. Zachary Osborne (USA, Yamaha), 198 p.;
5. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Yamaha), 196 p.;
6. Max Anstie (GBR, Kawasaki), 167 p.;
7. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), 166 p.;
8. Harri Kullas (FIN, Yamaha), 142 p.;
9. Joel Roelants (BEL, KTM), 138 p.;
10. Christophe Charlier (FRA, Yamaha), 130 p.;

MX1 Moto1

1. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), 40:08.979;
2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:00.347;
3. Steven Frossard (FRA, Yamaha), +0:21.563;
4. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:27.953;
5. Xavier Boog (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:33.869;
6. Ken de Dycker (BEL, Honda), +0:35.561;
7. Rui Goncalves (POR, Honda), +0:37.354;
8. Maximilian Nagl (GER, KTM), +0:39.820;
9. Davide Guarneri (ITA, Kawasaki), +0:46.508;
10. Tanel Leok (EST, TM), +1:13.168;

MX1 Moto2

1. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), 40:31.329;
2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:01.614;
3. Rui Goncalves (POR, Honda), +0:23.597;
4. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:31.453;
5. Steve Ramon (BEL, Suzuki), +0:36.322;
6. Ken de Dycker (BEL, Honda), +0:47.326;
7. Steven Frossard (FRA, Yamaha), +0:54.066;
8. Jonathan Barragan (ESP, Kawasaki), +1:01.305;
9. Xavier Boog (FRA, Kawasaki), +1:08.465;
10. Tanel Leok (EST, TM), +1:12.200;


MX1 Overall results

1. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), 50 points;
2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 44 p.;
3. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), 36 p.;
4. Rui Goncalves (POR, Honda), 34 p.;
5. Steven Frossard (FRA, Yamaha), 34 p.;
6. Ken de Dycker (BEL, Honda), 30 p.;
7. Xavier Boog (FRA, Kawasaki), 28 p.;
8. Steve Ramon (BEL, Suzuki), 22 p.;
9. Tanel Leok (EST, TM), 22 p.;
10. Jonathan Barragan (ESP, Kawasaki), 21 p.;


MX1 World Championship standings after 6 of 15 rounds

1. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), 249 points;
2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 237 p.;
3. Steven Frossard (FRA, Yamaha), 213 p.;
4. Maximilian Nagl (GER, KTM), 192 p.;
5. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), 177 p.;
6. Rui Goncalves (POR, Honda), 167 p.;
7. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), 161 p.;
8. Xavier Boog (FRA, Kawasaki), 137 p.;
9. Jonathan Barragan (ESP, Kawasaki), 136 p.;
10. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), 134 p.;