Racer X Race Report:  GP of the Netherlands

Racer X Race Report GP of the Netherlands

April 10, 2012 9:40am

The FIM Motocross World Championship opened with very much the status quo. There was not much about the results and performances to worry the bookmakers at a rain-swept Valkenswaard circuit over Easter weekend as Red Bull KTM owned the Grand Prix of the Netherlands for the third year in a row.

MX1 World Champion Tony Cairoli picked up his fourth successive victory in the sand (an early warning shot for the Motocross of Nations, even if Valkenswaard is shallower and more slippery than the waves of Lommel) while MX2 title favourite Jeffrey Herlings extended his unbeaten run to three seasons and six motos at the site just south of Eindhoven.

MX2 features some slim pickings this year for authentic championship aspirants, especially with the recent injury misfortune for the Monster Energy Yamaha duo Zach Osborne (perhaps out of action for another five to six rounds) and Arnaud Tonus (another month at least with a broken left scaphoid). The strongest quartet remaining in the class duly filled the first four positions in the sand with Floride Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki duo Joel Roelants (Belgium’s next hope) and Tommy Searle occupying podium slots respectively and the trio filling positions at the top of the 35 minute and 2 lap motos. Herlings’ team-mate Jeremy Van Horebeek was fourth.

Cairoli made it four in a row in Valkenswaard.
Photo: Ray Archer // KTM Images

For the Dutch teenager, Herlings, Valkenswaard was not really a matter of ‘if’ but ‘how much?’ He won the first race by almost a minute and lapped up to sixth and seventh in both sprints. “The first one [in 2010] was pretty easy last year too and this one wasn’t too difficult!” he admitted “But I like coming here because I know I am strong. I had a good battle with Ken [Roczen] last year…he was nice to race with. Anyway I’m pumped to be here and to win again for the team and my supporters. Every year I have been growing and I’ve been working on the hardpack because I know if I’m gonna lose the title then it will be on those tracks but I’ll keep riding and riding and get it dialed in.”

Creditable mentions for the British pair -- Jake Nicholls (KTM, 6th) and Mel Pocock (Yamaha, 10th) -- for having clearly stepped up a level and the same can be said for French teenager Jordi Tixier (KTM, 5th) the junior member of the Stefan Everts-led Red Bull KTM squad.

While Herlings bolstered his claim to sand legendary status at the tender age of seventeen Tony Cairoli is still something of an elder statesman at 26. Gone is the youthful exuberance displayed by his KTM teammate but Cairoli (like the gutsy Herlings in MX2) was one of the few to hurl the 350SX-F across the daunting triple that became even more hazardous as the take-off rutted out.

Again the formbook was prevalent as Rockstar Energy Suzuki’s Clement Desalle and Monster Energy Yamaha’s Steven Frossard were his closest pursuers. Desalle was steady (2-2) and Frossard (3-3) a little excitable and wreckless in running off the track twice in the first moto and handing Cairoli the win; the Sicilian was somewhere in the middle, clearly a master of the domain.

Kawasaki Racing Team’s factory rookie Gautier Paulin (4th) had the speed but not the starts (he tumbled with Yamaha’s David Philippaerts in the second moto), Kevin Strijbos (5th) and Ken De Dycker (6th) represented Belgium admirably on their KTM debuts. Honda’s star draw, Evgeny Bobryshev, was nursing a ballooned right hand after stretching thumb ligaments and crashed in the first moto suffering a contusion to his hip and chest, a knock to the head as well as dislocating a rib. The Honda World Motocross team offered the strong Russian a reprieve for the second moto but the 24 year old exerted typical courage to make it to the flag in 12th.  Christophe Pourcel had a quiet Grand Prix on his full-time return to the series and was clearly not feeling in-tune with the Kawasaki around the weaves of sand. The Frenchman altered his settings in the second moto and made the top ten at least with 9th.

Herlings crushed the field en route to his opening round win.
Photo: Ray Archer // KTM Images

On the same busy weekend programme Chiara Fontanesi doubled-up in the Women’s class while Belgian Kevin Wouts owned MX3.

Valkenswaard is firmly entrenched as a Grand Prix venue and this was a popular and slick event in spite of the miserable weather. There is a degree of risk in opening the sixteen round series in northern Europe but the climate seems to be getting harder to predict with many fans at the same race in 2011 coming away with sun burn. Two more meetings await this month with Bulgaria and Italy entertaining back-to-back fixtures in a fortnight.


MX1 Moto1

1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 40:34.863;
2. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), +0:18.926;
3. Steven Frossard (FRA, Yamaha), +0:19.932;
4. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:31.610;
5. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), +0:35.025;
6. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, KTM), +0:39.092;
7. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), +0:52.810;
8. Xavier Boog (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:59.049;
9. Tanel Leok (EST, Suzuki), +1:01.702;
10. Rui Goncalves (POR, Honda), +1:09.215;
11. Shaun Simpson (GBR, Yamaha), +1:47.508;
12. Marcus Schiffer (GER, Suzuki), +1:50.472;
13. Davide Guarneri (ITA, KTM), -1 lap(s);
14. Matteo Bonini (ITA, KTM), -1 lap(s);
15. Matiss Karro (LAT, KTM), -1 lap(s);
16. Herjan Brakke (NED, Yamaha), -1 lap(s);
17. Jonathan Barragan (ESP, Honda), -1 lap(s);
18. Gert Krestinov (EST, Honda), -1 lap(s);
19. Milko Potisek (FRA, Honda), -1 lap(s);
20. Anthony Boissiere (FRA, TM), -1 lap(s);


MX1 Moto2

1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 41:14.597;
2. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), +0:13.554;
3. Steven Frossard (FRA, Yamaha), +0:20.857;
4. Rui Goncalves (POR, Honda), +0:32.973;
5. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, KTM), +0:59.751;
6. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), +1:04.839;
7. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), +1:10.455;
8. Shaun Simpson (GBR, Yamaha), +1:12.160;
9. Christophe Pourcel (FRA, Kawasaki), +1:16.549;
10. Matiss Karro (LAT, KTM), +1:17.996;
11. Tanel Leok (EST, Suzuki), +1:25.294;
12. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +1:41.193;
13. Jonathan Barragan (ESP, Honda), +1:51.100;
14. Xavier Boog (FRA, Kawasaki), +1:56.015;
15. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), +2:09.897;
16. Marcus Schiffer (GER, Suzuki), +2:19.375;
17. Davide Guarneri (ITA, KTM), +2:27.869;
18. Sebastien Pourcel (FRA, Kawasaki), -1 lap(s);
19. Gert Krestinov (EST, Honda), -1 lap(s);
20. Martin Barr (IRL, Kawasaki), -1 lap(s);


MX1 Overall result and World Championship

1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 50 points;
2. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), 44 p.;
3. Steven Frossard (FRA, Yamaha), 40 p.;
4. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), 32 p.;
5. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, KTM), 31 p.;
6. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), 31 p.;
7. Rui Goncalves (POR, Honda), 29 p.;
8. Shaun Simpson (GBR, Yamaha), 23 p.;
9. Tanel Leok (EST, Suzuki), 22 p.;
10. Xavier Boog (FRA, Kawasaki), 20 p.;
11. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), 20 p.;
12. Matiss Karro (LAT, KTM), 17 p.;
13. Marcus Schiffer (GER, Suzuki), 14 p.;
14. Christophe Pourcel (FRA, Kawasaki), 12 p.;
15. Jonathan Barragan (ESP, Honda), 12 p.;
16. Davide Guarneri (ITA, KTM), 12 p.;
17. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), 9 p.;
18. Matteo Bonini (ITA, KTM), 7 p.;
19. Gert Krestinov (EST, Honda), 5 p.;
20. Herjan Brakke (NED, Yamaha), 5 p.;

Frossard took home third at the opening round.
Photo: Yamaha

MX2 Moto1

1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 39:38.886;
2. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:54.797;
3. Joel Roelants (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:59.601;
4. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, KTM), +1:49.941;
5. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), +1:55.350;
6. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), +2:06.414;
7. Alexander Tonkov (RUS, Honda), -1 lap(s);
8. Mel Pocock (GBR, Yamaha), -1 lap(s);
9. Valentin Teillet (FRA, Kawasaki), -1 lap(s);
10. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), -1 lap(s);
11. Max Anstie (GBR, Honda), -1 lap(s);
12. Nikolaj Larsen (DEN, Suzuki), -1 lap(s);
13. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Husqvarna), -1 lap(s);
14. Petar Petrov (BUL, Suzuki), -1 lap(s);
15. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), -1 lap(s);
16. Harri Kullas (FIN, Suzuki), -1 lap(s);
17. Priit Rätsep (EST, KTM), -1 lap(s);
18. Valentin Guillod (SUI, KTM), -1 lap(s);
19. Roberts Justs (LAT, Honda), -1 lap(s);
20. Ivanovs Davis (LAT, Kawasaki), -1 lap(s);


MX2 Moto2

1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 39:23.774;
2. Joel Roelants (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:36.471;
3. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:55.418;
4. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, KTM), +2:09.242;
5. Max Anstie (GBR, Honda), +2:29.886;
6. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), -1 lap(s);
7. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), -1 lap(s);
8. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), -1 lap(s);
9. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), -1 lap(s);
10. Valentin Teillet (FRA, Kawasaki), -1 lap(s);
11. Harri Kullas (FIN, Suzuki), -1 lap(s);
12. Mel Pocock (GBR, Yamaha), -1 lap(s);
13. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Husqvarna), -1 lap(s);
14. Pascal Rauchenecker (AUT, KTM), -1 lap(s);
15. Romain Febvre (FRA, KTM), -1 lap(s);
16. Roberts Justs (LAT, Honda), -1 lap(s);
17. Valentin Guillod (SUI, KTM), -1 lap(s);
18. Kevin Fors (BEL, Yamaha), -1 lap(s);
19. Micha - Boy De Waal (NED, Suzuki), -1 lap(s);
20. Alexander Tonkov (RUS, Honda), -1 lap(s);


MX2 Overall result and World Championship

1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 50 points;
2. Joel Roelants (BEL, Kawasaki), 42 p.;
3. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), 42 p.;
4. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, KTM), 36 p.;
5. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), 29 p.;
6. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), 28 p.;
7. Max Anstie (GBR, Honda), 26 p.;
8. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), 24 p.;
9. Valentin Teillet (FRA, Kawasaki), 23 p.;
10. Mel Pocock (GBR, Yamaha), 22 p.;
11. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 21 p.;
12. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Husqvarna), 16 p.;
13. Harri Kullas (FIN, Suzuki), 15 p.;
14. Alexander Tonkov (RUS, Honda), 15 p.;
15. Nikolaj Larsen (DEN, Suzuki), 9 p.;
16. Pascal Rauchenecker (AUT, KTM), 7 p.;
17. Roberts Justs (LAT, Honda), 7 p.;
18. Valentin Guillod (SUI, KTM), 7 p.;
19. Petar Petrov (BUL, Suzuki), 7 p.;
20. Romain Febvre (FRA, KTM), 6 p.;