Who impressed: British GP

Antonio Cairoli: There is only one guy to start with and that the nine-time world champion who was simply superb all day. Cairoli won his 93rd Grand Prix in style as he inches closer to Stefan Everts GP win record of 101 but it was the way Cairoli won that was most impressive. At 35 years old (he will be 36 before the end of the season), Cairoli won on straight up speed in race one, controlling the race like it was 2011 and upping his pace when he wanted to break teammate Prado with 8 minutes to go.

This was Cairoli at his brilliant best. Even in race two AC gathered himself after an intense opening few laps that saw him go from third to first and back to fifth. He re-grouped and got bac into third then ran the pace of Gajser as the duo caught Romain Febvre. Cairoli admitted to getting tired at the end then settling for third and the overall win but the pace is there and he is even back running again after two and half years of not being able to due to his knee injury – so his fitness could still get better! Cairoli is just fantastic and you are watching a very, very special rider, enjoy everything this guy is doing because it could be a long, long time before we see one of the greatest ever winning races at 36 years old. What a golden time for MXGP to have such a legend still at the front fighting with the likes of Gajser, Herlings, Prado and Febvre at Matterley Basin – just the 20 world titles!

Actually, I enjoyed race two more because it was nice with all the passing, and it was nice to be back battling'” said Cairoli. “In the first race I had a really good start and immediately after a few corners I made my way into first place and then pushed as fast as I can. Of course, I was disappointed with last week. I was really not happy about this mistake; we lost a lot of points but of course today was very good and I really enjoyed the track. I ran short of breath during the second race in the last 4 laps, the guys were pushing hard. It was easy to make a mistake, so I thought let’s bring it home and make this 93rd GP victory happen”. Get his full press conference quotes here.

Tim Gajser: An okay first moto fourth was super-seeded by a brilliant last lap win in race two for Tim Gajser who ran down a fast Febvre before going for it on the last lap to take the win in then most exciting race of the year so far. Gajser is showing great patience this year saying he he is trying to learn from the mistakes and crashes of the past, it’s working and he has won three of the first four motos to launch the defense of his world title in style and he is ticking all the boxes so far. he looks so, so comfortable on the Honda too and with Maggiora coming up this weekend, another hard-pack track, Gajser will favourite to win again.

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Gajser said: “It was a good Sunday of racing. I enjoyed it a lot. This year they prepared the track a little different, especially in the first race. With Romain and Tony also behind we had a nice race and in the end, I managed to pass Romain on the last lap so it was good”. You can read our interview with Gajser here.

Maxime Renaux: This was a huge win for Maxime Renaux. With Tom Vialle out it was time for a number of riders to stake their claim as a legitimate world title contender and Renaux grabbed the bull by the horns to win the GP and position himself perfectly in the championship, just five points down on new championship leader, Ruben Fernandez.

A holeshot in race one set him up perfectly and he controlled the race before coming through the top ten in race two to take second and clinch the overall – Renauz impressed in the way he handled both motos. The speed is there and last year he really became a major player in the class, now in the factory Kemea Yamaha team, Renaux has all the tools and experience to go for the world title this year.

“I had really good races, we worked with the team to make progress on the starts, and I actually took the Fox Holeshot in race one so I’m happy about that,’ said Renaux. “I had some consistent races, so I’m very happy about the weekend”. Read our interview with the Kemea Yamaha rider here.

Mattia Guadagnini: This was a huge break-out performance for the MX2 rookie! Guadagnini was already on the pace in race one take a fourth but was in the lead pack all moto but race two was another level of impressiveness! As soon as he got the lead he looked unflustered and even at the end with Renaux and Hofer closing a little, Guadagnini stayed focused and brought it home to take his first ever MX2 race win in only his second GP as a full time rider. Even when Red Bull KTM have their main guy out in Tom Vialle, their other riders step up with Rene Hofer also very good in race two taking third.

The Red Bull KTM team have go it going on, the team know how to get a bike running well but it’s the people they have helping the riders that also seem to have huge positive effect on allowing their young chargers to feel at home and be able to show their potential and develop their skills within the team. Everyone can take a huge amount of credit at KTM but Guadagnini was the guy who delivered when it mattered and he deserves all the plaudits he gets.

“It’s amazing,” admitted Guadagnini. “I just felt really good and really enjoyed racing here, really like the track and also good feeling on the bike, didn’t’ get the best time this morning but I did a good start and first race. I know the start is important and I took a good start, I was second and passed for the lead in the first lap. I just enjoyed the racing, I made my race, and I got the win, so I’m really happy about that. It was an amazing weekend”.

Text: Jonathan McCready

Images: Nigel McKinstry

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