Tony Cairoli: The Italian didn’t have it easy at Matterley Basin, a muscle injury, contending with a very fast Tim Gajser and a crash in the qualifier that lost him the win, all attempt to derail his weekend but at the end of the Sunday, Cairoli still came out on top!
“I wasn’t really flexible on the bike so I was really struggling,” Cairoli told us in regards to his riding before offering an insight into his superb in-race intelligence and tactical riding, “I know that Tim is really fast at the beginning of the races which are his characteristics. I really tried to play it smart and don’t risk much, I know that the championship is very long.”
Cairoli seems to be able to ride with a margin that most of the other riders can’t. His technical and smooth style mean he is always there and calculating the risk and reward of pushing for the win and when to push in the race. It’s a formula that not many seem to be able to replicate and one of the unique qualities that have won him nine world titles.
Tim Gajser: The Slovenian looked absolutely superb from free practice at Matterley Basin. He was scrubbing and whipping his way around the circuit all weekend and took pole in timed qualifying with a mega final lap that the course commentators totally missed!
It was a fascinating lap time war with Cairoli in the qualifier with both looking to show they had the speed. Cairoli then crashed on the last lap and gave Tim the win but it was roles reversed in race one when Gajser binned it big time after passsing and pulling away from Cairoli. His riding was superb however and he passed the Italian again in race two and this time held unto the lead despite huge pressure from Cairoli in the last few laps. Gajser showed tremendous mental strength and showed that he is finally back to his best.
“We can see that we are on the right way and we will continue pushing hard with the team and everybody. I’m just happy that the pace and everything is finally back,” commmented Gajser on his return to top form.
Gautier Paulin: The Frenchman just looks so comfortable on the Yamaha! Relaxed on the bike , Paulin rode very well in race one and wasn’t far off Cairoli at the end of the first moto as Gajser pushed the pace in third late on. Race two and Paulin couldn’t run with the leading duo which was slightly disappointing.
But the smooth-riding Paulin just wanted to bring the Wilvo Yamaha home for his first podium on what he felt was a sketchy track with the low sun and didn’t want to risk more to run with the leaders. Paulin is positioning himself as a contender and with his sand skills, and back on a bike he seems to love, it will be fascinating to see what he can do at Valkenswaard, a track he has already won at.
“I have been changing a lot of things during the winter preparation so I am feeling great right now,” explained Paulin. “So we will keep pushing to get the pace I should be and improve everything. We will put in a good week of work to be ready for Valkenswaard.”
Jeremy Seewer: The diminutive Swiss rider looked very good in England. Despite not being quite fully fit after being injured in the pre-season, he showed good starts and good speed for seventh overall and looked very comfortable on the factory Yamaha.
Seewer, with Febvre out, is now taking on the role of the number one rider and stepped up to the plate at Matterley Basin and his smooth style suited the technical circuit. Expect Seewer to get even stronger from here.
“To be honest, I expected to feel better coming into this round after Argentina, but I still found I was struggling a bit with my lungs. We also had some issue with the weather being so bad in Belgium that I couldn’t do too much riding, but still very surprised with my positive results this weekend. My speed was good and I feel like in the first few laps I can run the pace, which is something I couldn’t do in Argentina. I had three good starts this weekend and a good pace. I am still struggling a little bit with the race intensity but I managed to finish inside the top-five in the second moto, which was great. I know I can still improve, so I am heading into the next GP with a really good feeling,” explained Seewer.
Jordi Tixier: His results don’t show it after a crash at the beginning of race one and a collision with Arnaud Tonus in race two but Jordon Tixier had his best performance in a long time at GP level.
His riding was superb and he looked very comfortable running inside the top ten. It’s been a long time since Tixier has been healthy and at the British GP he showed just how good he can be when he finds his groove.