Spanish GP: The preview!
Judging by previous rounds of MXGP, MXGP of Spain, round six of the FIM Motocross World Championship that will take place in Talavera de la Reina this weekend, is set to be a scorcher. That pun was by all means intended with unclouded skies forecasted and the championship running hotter than ever as Red Bull IceOne Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Max Naglleads for the second time this year, five points over Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MXGP’s Clement Desalle.
As for the track facts, the first time a round of the FIM Motocross World Championship took place in Talavera de la Reina was back in 1994 where American Donny Schmit won the formerly titled ‘FIM 250cc Motocross World Championship’, now known as ‘MXGP’. Since 1994, there have only been nine rounds of the FIM Motocross World Championship to have taken place on the hilly clay based circuit, seven of which were consecutive, from 1994 through to 2000.
After a slight hiatus, MXGP returned to Talavera last year where Clement Desalle was victorious in the premier class, while Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings won in MX2. There has only ever been one two-time winner at the circuit of Talavera and that was none other than the ten-times FIM Motocross World Champion Stefan Everts. Both Desalle and Herlings will be looking to equal that stat this weekend.
Meanwhile, Spanish fans will be excited to know Honda Gariboldi’s young Spanish sensation Jorge Zaragoza will make his return to MX2 after sustaining a broken back earlier this year, while Marchetti Racing KTM’s Jose Butron will fly the flag for Spain in the premier class.
In addition to the two FIM Motocross World Championship Spaniards, KTM Factory Junior’s super talent Jorge Prado is leading the European Championship EMX125, a class which will line up for their third round this weekend along with the third round of the EMX250 and second round of the EMX300 championships.
Team HRC’s Gautier Paulin should be radiating confidence this weekend after getting the monkey off of his back in dominating style at MXGP of Europe. While the flamboyant Frenchman destroyed the competition in the sand of Valkenswaard, he is known to be just as fast on hard packed surfaces so it’s going to be interesting to see what kind of momentum the number 21 will be carrying.
2015’s surprise performer Red Bull IceOne Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Max Nagl has already got three overalls to his name and will be aiming for a fourth this weekend. The German holds the red plate for the second time this year and is looking as solid as a rock. It is getting pretty hard to bet against him.
As for Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MXGP’s Clement Desalle, the Belgian is hungrier than ever for an overall victory and will definitely be a hot pick for this weekend, especially since he is the 2014 MXGP of Spain victor.
Team HRC’s Evgeny Bobryshev has also embarked on his journey up the ladder. Bad luck tends to stalk the super determined Russian, but after his impressive performance in Trentino where he won the qualifier and wound out the grand prix in sixth followed by a fourth overall in Valkenswaard, the next obvious step is the podium.
Meanwhile Yamaha Factory Racing Yamalube’s Romain Febvre will fly the Yamaha factory flag solo again this weekend as teammate and last year’s runner-up Jeremy Van Horebeek remains sidelined with a broken foot. In spite of Jere’s absence, the Yamaha squad still have a good shot at the podium with the pace Febvre has proved his is capable of running this year. .
And then there are Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli and Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto. Both champions haven’t had the ideal start to the year, RV cracked his coccyx at MXGP of Trentino and was forced to sit, or stand, out in Valkenswaard while Tony crashed out of race one at MXGP of Europe and fractured his hand.
Tony, being the true champion that he is, managed to grind out the second race at MXGP of Europe for seventh place and eleventh over all. After loosing 25 points in the first race and only claiming a handful in the second, the defending champ is now thirty points down on the MXGP points lead. Nonetheless, we are only five rounds in to our eighteen round haul, and we’ve seen Tony bounce back from similar situations to win the championship before, so regardless, there is no counting the Italian legend out.
Meanwhile, it has just been confirmed that Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto will not race this weekend, the American has said, “My goal is to be back racing as soon as possible, but to have a chance to fight for MXGP wins you must be 100% fit. Together with the Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team we did our best for a prompt recovery, but unfortunately we have to wait a few more days before we’ll be back racing.”
In other news, both Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MXGP’s Kevin Strijbos and Wilvo Forkrent KTM’s Jake Nicholls were out racing last weekend, which shows promise that both riders could line up here in Talavera.
2014 MXGP of Spain MXGP Top 3
1. Clement Desalle
2. Jeremy Van Horebeek
3. Kevin Strijbos
While Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings hasn’t been flawless this season, when he is on it, there is not catching him. So as always, The Bullet will be the safest bet for the win.
Meanwhile, the battle for second place in the MX2 championship continues to rage on. Honda Gariboldi’s Tim Gajser didn’t have the best day in the office at MXGP of Europe, but was lucky to even race after he catapulted himself off of his CRF250 in the qualifying heat which only got worse when he took a dip in the fountain at the start of MX2 race one. Nevertheless, the Slovenian is the only rider to have beat Herlings fair and square in a very long time and since the surface in Spain is on the opposite end of the spectrum to Valkenswaard, it will be mega to see him challenge for the win.
The defending MX2 world champion, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jordi Tixier should also be solid on the natural clay based track in Talavera as will his teammate Dylan Ferrandis.
As for other contenders, you never know when Wilvo Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Aleksandr Tonkov will catch fire and pull a podium out of the bag and the same can be said for Standing Construct Yamaha Factory Racing’s super Swiss Valentin Guillod.
2014 MXGP of Spain MX2 Top 3
1. Jeffrey Herlings
2. Dylan Ferrandis
3. Arnaud Tonus