MX2 & MXGP: Who impressed in France?
It has been a tough season for Jeffrey Herlings and after what happened to him in qualifying it was looking like it might be another GP he wouldn’t win. In qualification he crashed and then came back from near last to sixth but his bike then stopped on the last lap – he had 24th gate pick for the races on Sunday. I don’t know how he managed to do it but he did the unthinkable and pulled two holeshots, he needed them more than ever! He had a comfortable lead in the first moto but then he crashed and was third behind Tixier and Guillod. Guillod and Herlings managed to pass Tixier and pull away – they were giving it everything they had. Herlings was able to take the win after a fantastic battle. In the second moto he rode comfortable at the front and broke Tim Gajser with a few laps to go to take the win and his first overall since Valkenswaard. We are seeing a different Jeffrey Herlings this year, he isn’t obsessed with how much he can win by and is just working towards this championship. Jeffrey now has 112 points lead over Guillod so it’s looking like he will clinch his third world championship this year if he can stay fit.
Russian, Vsevolod Brylyakov had his best GP of the year at France, he gelled with the track well all weekend. In the first moto he started in fifteen but ended up in eleventh at the end of the moto which was a fantastic ride for him. In the second moto he had a better start in tenth but dropped one place to finish in eleventh again, eleventh was his position this weekend and it meant he finished tenth overall. He has been close to breaking into the top ten this season but it hasn’t happened just yet, these results should give him the confidence he needs in order to break into the top ten.
Since making the switch to Kawasaki, Petar Petrov seems to be getting on really well with the bike and the team. A factory ride was exactly what he needed in order to get him out of the gate, he’s a huge guy for the 250 and the more power the better for the Bulgarian. He started in ninth in the first moto but rode brilliant in order to finish in fifth which is his best moto of the year so far! He had a lonely ride in the second moto as he started eighth and that’s exactly where he finished. A brilliant weekend for the Bulgarian, he needs a top five start and you feel a podium could be just around the corner.
HRC Honda rider, Jorge Zaragoza missed the first four rounds of the championship as he suffered a serious back injury while he was getting ready for his rookie year in MX2. It’s never easy for a rookie to come back from a serious injury but Jorge rode well this weekend showing some good speed. He finished up in fifteenth and tenth which is actually pretty impressive. After missing a chunk of the off season and the first four rounds he is only going to get quicker as he learns the speed from the top guys. He could surprise people near the end of the season but I expect him to be very fast in 2016, this year is just a learning year for him and he is already showing good speed in his third GP back.
Rider of the season so far? It has to be MXGP rookie, Romain Febvre. The season started really well for him being in around the top five but he keeps growing in confidence every weekend as well as adjusting to the 450. After his moto win in the UK last weekend he knew he had the speed to win a GP and he did just that – at his home GP as well. The French crowd absolutely loved it and it was great to see, how many more GP’s can he win before the end of the season? I could definitely see him win a few more, speed isn’t a problem for the Frenchman!
People weren’t convinced why HRC decided to keep Evgeny Bobryshev for the 2015 seaspn but he is certainly proving his doubters wrong! The last few seasons he has really struggled to stay fit and he had a new approach this year – get through the first few rounds and then go for it. He is building up his speed every weekend and a second overall is a brilliant for him. He will have the confidence now to run at the front more, will he win a moto or a GP before the end of the season? It will be interesting to see, let’s just hope he can stay fully fit for the whole season!
Well were did that come from? Dean Ferris hasn’t had the best season so far as I expected to see him in the top ten more regular than he has been. However, it all clicked for the Aussie this weekend. Starts are more crucial than ever in MXGP this year as the level is extremely high. Ferris got two good starts and it just goes to show what riders like him are capable of if they get a good start. That will do his confidence the world of good as I am sure he was getting frustrated with his results. Let’s see if he can push on with his season now and get an overall podium before the end of the season.
It has been a frustrating season for Ken De Dycker but he rode well this weekend. Two eighth place finishes is good for him and what he needed! Contract time is coming up soon so he will need to keep getting similar results to make sure he lands himself a ride in MXGP next year as there are a lot of younger riders with potential that will be looking rides as well as Ken. This weekend was the best GP of the year for him so far and he is a solid tenth position in the championship!
Shout outs to Glenn Coldenhoff as he had his best GP finish of the season with a sixth overall and Shaun Simpson who had a brilliant second moto as he came from last to eleventh.
Article: Andy McKinstry