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Race Report: Thailand MXGP

Race Report: Thailand MXGP
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NAKHONCHAISRI (Thailand), 08 March 2015 – Intense is one word that sums up today with temperatures soaring so high, to the point the Event Management team together with the team managers decided to reduce both MXGP and MX2’s second race by five minutes. In MXGP Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Ryan Villopoto obtained his first race and overall victory, while Jeffrey Herlings dominated both heats in MX2.

With the fans stoked to see the real Ryan Villopoto show up and do what he has been touted to do dominating race one for his first race win of the season, we were just as impressed with the all new race demeanor of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings as he rode cool and smart to remain unbeaten in Asia, as well as in the 2015 FIM Motocross World Championship.

Starting with the topic on everybody’s lips, Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Ryan Villopoto. His performance yesterday in qualifying and in race one today was nothing short of amazing. The American looked right at home on the jump riddled circuit here in Nakhonchaisri, and couldn’t be touched in those two races. While finishing seventh at the first round of MXGP is nothing to turn your nose up at when racing the best riders in the world, to someone who is so used to winning championships, the result wouldn’t have been what he wanted. Today, RV’s feat took him from zero to hero, allowing him to raise the Stars and Stripes as the middle flag on the podium of the FIM Motocross World Championship for the first time since 2009.

Meanwhile Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MXGP’s Clement Desalle was also very impressive this weekend and is exhibiting the type of consistency that cannot be flawed. The Belgian hardly put a foot wrong and was clearly the second fastest guy in both races. After finishing with a pair of seconds, for second overall just as he did at round one in Qatar, Desalle was awarded the red plate symbolizing he is the new MXGP championship points leader.

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Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli made his statement in the second race when he pulled the Fox Holeshot and stormed away to his first MXGP race victory of the year. The Italian said “I cannot complain, I am getting better every weekend and I know that right now I am not in the best form, but I know that when I am, I can be up front so I am just looking forward to the next race”

Yamaha Factory Racing’s Romain Febvre put in some eye-opening performances today. Last year’s MX2 world championship bronze medalist, who was forced up to MXGP due to the age cap on MX2, has proved that you don’t have to be ‘big’ to ride a 450cc. The Frenchman, small in stature, has clearly got a handle on his YZ450F Yamaha which was evident when he wrapped up third in the first race and bounced back from an average start for fourth in the second race for fourth overall.

As for Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MXGP’s Kevin Strijbos, it’s all about putting points on the board as he battled through the pain and discomfort of a wrist injury for fifth overall while Team HRC’s Gautier Paulincouldn’t find his groove and had to settle for sixth.

Red Bull IceOne Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Max Nagl had ‘one of those days’ and only finished seventh which has dropped him back to third in the championship standings. It was a little bit unfortunate for the German who carried the red plate into this round, but looking at the bigger picture, some points are better than no points. Just ask the likes of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing duo Tommy Searle and Ken De Dycker who both crashed and DNF’d both races.

MXGP Race 1 Top Ten: 1. Ryan Villopoto (USA, Kawasaki), 34:09.149; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), +0:10.536; 3. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:23.931; 4. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Husqvarna), +0:28.213; 5. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:34.893; 6. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), +0:40.874; 7. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Honda), +0:49.471; 8. Tyla Rattray (RSA, Kawasaki), +1:08.958; 9. Todd Waters (AUS, Husqvarna), +1:20.819; 10. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +1:40.905

MXGP Race 2 Top Ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 29:10.216; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), +0:09.756; 3. Ryan Villopoto (USA, Kawasaki), +0:22.788; 4. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:51.327; 5. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), +0:59.278; 6. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Honda), +1:03.006; 7. Todd Waters (AUS, Husqvarna), +1:05.485; 8. Tyla Rattray (RSA, Kawasaki), +1:16.036; 9. Dean Ferris (AUS, Husqvarna), +1:18.208; 10. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), +1:19.321

MXGP Overall: 1. Ryan Villopoto (USA, KAW), 45 points; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, SUZ), 44 p.; 3. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 41 p.; 4. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 38 p.; 5. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, SUZ), 31 p.; 6. Gautier Paulin (FRA, HON), 29 p.; 7. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HUS), 28 p.; 8. Todd Waters (AUS, HUS), 26 p.; 9. Tyla Rattray (RSA, KAW), 26 p.; 10. David Philippaerts (ITA, YAM), 20 p.

MXGP Championship: 1. Clement Desalle (BEL, SUZ), 88 points; 2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 79 p.; 3. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HUS), 78 p.; 4. Ryan Villopoto (USA, KAW), 70 p.; 5. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 67 p.; 6. Gautier Paulin (FRA, HON), 67 p.; 7. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, SUZ), 55 p.; 8. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 45 p.; 9. Todd Waters (AUS, HUS), 40 p.; 10. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 38 p.

MXGP Manufacturer: 1. Suzuki, 88 points; 2. Husqvarna, 82 p.; 3. KTM, 79 p.; 4. Kawasaki, 70 p.; 5. Yamaha, 70 p.; 6. Honda, 67 p.; 7. TM, 28 p.

Another amazing ride is in the bag for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings as he continues to take every race as it comes. With Herlings dominating just as he has done over the previous years, the former two-time FIM MX2 World Champion is already getting questioned what are your future plans. Herlings, this year, has two feet firmly on the ground answered “I am just taking each race as it comes, I know that anything can happen in a second. I used to make plans, like win the world championship then race in MXGP for fun, but I have learned not to look that far ahead.”

The young Latvian Pauls Jonass is really starting to turn heads now. Last weekend at MXGP of Qatar the Red Bull KTM Factory rider stole a couple of holeshots and managed to hold the pace for a couple of laps. Today in Thailand, he not only got good starts, he maintained the pace of the top guys and held off a couple of the most publicized names in MX2 to secure his spot on the second step of the podium, which for him is a career best finish.

After being ill yesterday, Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Dylan Ferrandis managed to race his way to third overall for his second podium finish of the season. The Frenchman went on to say “my goal is to win. For the last five years I have never been 100% but now I feel good, better than I ever have. I believe that when I am riding the best I can, I can race with Jeffrey and that’s what I want to do”

Ferrandis’ Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team teammate Thomas Covington is really starting to get a handle on things. The young American rode solid today for two fifth place finishes for fourth overall.

Meanwhile Standing Construct Yamaha Yamalube’s Valentin Guillod, looking as stylish as always, felt a little off due to being sick but managed to battle on and finish fifth overall.

MX2 Race 1 Top Ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 34:58.798; 2. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:07.602; 3. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:20.513; 4. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), +0:26.923; 5. Thomas Covington (USA, Kawasaki), +0:30.333; 6. Valentin Guillod (SUI, Yamaha), +0:46.653; 7. Benoit Paturel (FRA, Yamaha), +0:52.247; 8. Mel Pocock (GBR, Kawasaki), +1:06.255; 9. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, Husqvarna), +1:22.264; 10. Petar Petrov (BUL, KTM), +1:31.510

MX2 Race 2 Top Ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 30:06.023; 2. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), +0:10.312; 3. Julien Lieber (BEL, Yamaha), +0:16.508; 4. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:37.006; 5. Thomas Covington (USA, Kawasaki), +0:40.267; 6. Valentin Guillod (SUI, Yamaha), +0:49.406; 7. Mel Pocock (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:51.874; 8. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, Husqvarna), +1:00.529; 9. Petar Petrov (BUL, KTM), +1:07.961; 10. Roberts Justs (LAT, KTM), +1:17.137

MX2 Overall: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 50 points; 2. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 40 p.; 3. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, KAW), 40 p.; 4. Thomas Covington (USA, KAW), 32 p.; 5. Valentin Guillod (SUI, YAM), 30 p.; 6. Mel Pocock (GBR, KAW), 27 p.; 7. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, HUS), 25 p.; 8. Petar Petrov (BUL, KTM), 23 p.; 9. Julien Lieber (BEL, YAM), 20 p.; 10. Brian Bogers (NED, KTM), 20 p.

MX2 Championship: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 100 points; 2. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, KAW), 78 p.; 3. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 70 p.; 4. Julien Lieber (BEL, YAM), 62 p.; 5. Valentin Guillod (SUI, YAM), 58 p.; 6. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, HUS), 56 p.; 7. Thomas Covington (USA, KAW), 53 p.; 8. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 52 p.; 9. Petar Petrov (BUL, KTM), 41 p.; 10. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, SUZ), 38 p

MX2 Manufacturer: 1. KTM, 100 points; 2. Kawasaki, 78 p.; 3. Yamaha, 77 p.; 4. Honda, 61 p.; 5. Husqvarna, 56 p.; 6. Suzuki, 38 p


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