After one-year absence in the FIM Motocross World Championship calendar, all the Dutch fans did not want to miss the opportunity to see Jeffrey Herlings riding for the first time in Lierop, so up to 20000 spectators gathered together during the whole weekend and they could witness the incredible show of their home rider on the sand. In the MX1 it was Antonio Cairoli who dominated both heats, while Ken De Dycker and Tanel Leok were with him on the podium.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli obtained his sixth Grand Prix win in a row this season and his fifty-second overall victory of his career this weekend in a track where he has won two world titles. Although Cairoli went 1-1 today, he admitted that he made several mistakes in the beginning of both motos; in the first race he had some arm pump during the first laps, but he then started feeling better and he managed to made his way up to the top, whereas in the second one he made a mistake in the waves section and he had a big crash. Fortunately, the bike was not damaged and he had only twisted his thumb, so he was able to recover himself quickly and won the race comfortably.
Second overall was Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Ken De Dycker after finishing third and second in today’s races. In the first heat the Belgian could not start at the front, but he gave it all already in the first laps and he did a superb recovery from the initial seventh position. In the second lap De Dycker was already third, a position he managed to keep until the finish line. In the second moto De Dycker rode comfortably in the second place and he was very satisfied because he managed to stay in two wheels until the end.
Rockstar Energy Suzuki World’s Tanel Leok was third overall this weekend in Lierop and he was actually very satisfied because the last time he had been on the podium was back in 2010. The Estonian did an incredible recovery in the first race going from ninth to fourth and he did exactly the same in the second heat where he finally crossed the finish line third and completed the top three of the Dutch Grand Prix. Leok had been struggling with several injuries this season, which prevented him to be riding among the top riders, but his performance this weekend clearly shows that he is almost fully fit and ready to fight again for the top five places.
Honda World Motocross’ Evgeny Bobryshev obtained his best result of the season this weekend after finishing fourth overall. The Russian had a difficult qualifying race yesterday, but they worked hard on the settings of the bike and today the Russian felt much more comfortable. In the first race he made some mistakes in the beginning of the heat, but he then managed to keep his rhythm in the eighth position and in the last lap he overtook Simpson, and Bobryshev finished seventh. In the second moto things started much better for the Honda World Motocross rider and he could rode among the top five riders, crossing the finish line fourth.
Monster Energy Yamaha’s Shaun Simpson started fifth in the first moto, but he could not keep the rhythm and finished eighth. In the second race things were better for the British rider, and after starting fifth he managed to overtake Desalle and Bobryshev and moved up to third. Unfortunately, Simpson could not keep the speed and in the last four laps Leok and Bobryshev passed him back and the British ended fifth, which gave him the overall fifth position.
Runner up in the championship Clement Desalle had a difficult Grand Prix because he is still struggling with an injury on his hand, but he did his best to finish sixth overall. In the first race, Desalle did not have a good start but he was able to move up to fourth. However, the last laps were really hard for the Belgian and dropped down to sixth. In the second race his start was much better, and after riding third in the first laps of the race, he could not keep the rhythm and crossed the finish line seventh.
Gautier Paulin admitted that his first race this weekend was one of the best ones of the season, starting at the front and keeping a good rhythm to cross the finish line fifth. However, he also mentioned that his second heat was one of the worst ones so far, as he got stuck in a rut and it was very difficult for him to get back the good rhythm and he finished ninth. In the end, Paulin was seventh overall.
Belgian Kevin Strijbos was looking forward to the Dutch Grand Prix, but he could not fight for the podium and had to settle down with the eighth overall place after finishing 9-6 in today’s races.
Max Nagl had made a fantastic first race, taking the holeshot and finishing second behind Cairoli, but in the second race he crashed in the opening lap after he had taken again the holeshot. Nagl had to enter the pitlane because the foot peg of his KTM was completely broken and he was not able to finish the race. The German finished ninth overall ahead of Rui Gonçalves.
Christophe Pourcel could not finish the first race because he could not stand the pain on his shoulder due to the small fracture they found out just before coming to Lierop. The French rider, who is now fourth in the point standings, could not take part in the second heat.
Tony Cairoli: “It’s been a great day. It’s always a great feeling to run on such an amazing track and I really enjoyed it. Everything went smoothly and I can’t wait for the next round, in Faenza, where I’ll be encouraged by lots of supporters. In the first moto I had a problem at the beginning and I kicked off 8th, but I managed to recover and once I solved an issue regarding my arm I could focus on Nagl and win the race. During the second moto, I made a mistake during the second lap but even though my arm was hurting I did a good job and kept the gap on De Dycker.”
Ken de Dycker (overall second in MX1: “Its good to be back on the podium. And I’m looking forward to the next races in Faenza where it’s really fast. I hope they water down the track and tear it up a bit so it gets a little bumpy and has some ruts. That will make it better.”
Tanel Leok: “I’m very happy. I’ve been off the podium for over a year and it feels great to be back. The track was really tough and really tests your fitness. It shows who has done their homework and I train hard and have been feeling good since I have recovered from my injury. My results have been getting better and better through the last few GPs and so has my speed. I’ve hit the podium now and although Faenza is not my favourite track I’ll be trying for the same next week.”
MX1 Race 1 top ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 40:53.149; 2. Maximilian Nagl (GER, KTM), +0:08.556; 3. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), +0:34.571; 4. Tanel Leok (EST, Suzuki), +0:44.142; 5. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:46.058; 6. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), +0:47.362; 7. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +1:22.867; 8. Shaun Simpson (GBR, Yamaha), +1:27.570; 9. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, KTM), +2:03.584; 10. Marcus Schiffer (GER, Suzuki), -1 lap(s);
MX1 Race 2 top ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 41:45.714; 2. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), +0:15.837; 3. Tanel Leok (EST, Suzuki), +0:23.817; 4. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:33.733; 5. Shaun Simpson (GBR, Yamaha), +0:35.324; 6. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, KTM), +1:00.708; 7. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), +1:09.225; 8. Rui Goncalves (POR, Honda), +1:11.132; 9. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), +1:34.509; 10. Jonathan Barragan (ESP, Honda), +2:06.153;
MX1 Overall top ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 50 points; 2. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), 42 p.; 3. Tanel Leok (EST, Suzuki), 38 p.; 4. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), 32 p.; 5. Shaun Simpson (GBR, Yamaha), 29 p.; 6. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), 29 p.; 7. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), 28 p.; 8. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, KTM), 27 p.; 9. Maximilian Nagl (GER, KTM), 22 p.; 10. Rui Goncalves (POR, Honda), 20 p.;
MX1 Championship top ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 592 points; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), 516 p.; 3. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), 468 p.; 4. Christophe Pourcel (FRA, Kawasaki), 452 p.; 5. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), 446 p.; 6. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, KTM), 369 p.; 7. Xavier Boog (FRA, Kawasaki), 355 p.; 8. Tanel Leok (EST, Suzuki), 338 p.; 9. Rui Goncalves (POR, Honda), 315 p.; 10. Shaun Simpson (GBR, Yamaha), 271 p.;
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings showed once again his outstanding talent riding on the sand and everybody in Lierop agreed that there had never been a rider like Herlings doing so well on the sand. The 17 years old rider admitted that he was really impressed when he overlapped all the MX2 riders in the first race except Van Horebeek, so in the second heat he actually set himself the goal to overtake them all. In the second race Herlings could not achieve his objective, but he won the race with two minutes and four seconds advantage over his teammate Van Horebeek.
The second overall position was for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeremy Van Horebeek, who had a really difficult weekend due to a cold he got during the week. Besides, the Belgian admitted that the effort he had made yesterday in the qualifying heat made him lose a lot of energies, but in the end he was able to go 2-2 and he was next to Herlings on the podium.
Honda Gariboldi-Esta’s Max Anstie obtained his maiden podium of the season this weekend after finishing third in both races. Before the Grand Prix started, Anstie was really confident with himself because he had been grown up in the Netherlands, so he knows well how to ride on the sand and in fact, he proved it in today’s races. The British rider did not start at the front in neither of the races, but he was able to move up easily and keep the third place until the chequered flag.
Team Floride Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit’s Tommy Searle did all his best today, but he could only finish fourth overall. In the first race he started at the front, but he could not keep the second position and had to settle down with the fourth place. In the second moto he started second, but once again the British rider struggled to keep the rhythm and crossed again the finish line fourth.
In the first race Monster Energy Yamaha’s Arnaud Tonus could not avoid Coldenhoff when he crashed in the opening lap and he got stuck with the Dutch rider. However, Tonus did an incredible recovery and he finished sixth. In the second heat things started much better for the Swiss rider and he rode third during the first laps, but he could not keep such position and ended fifth, which gave him the overall fifth place.
Jake Nicholls did a consistent first moto finishing fifth, but the British had a bad start in the second one and had to fight hard to end ninth and obtain a sixth overall position in front of his teammate Glen Coldenhoff, who was ninth and sixth in today’s races. Jordi Tixier was eighth overall and Zach Osborne and Alessandro Lupino completed the top ten.
Jeffrey Herlings: “I came out today with a pole position and made two holeshots. The first moto was unbelievable. I just cruised my way to the finish, and lapped up until second, only my team-mate Jeremy stayed in the same lap so it was an awesome race. And in the second moto, I took the hole shot again and lapped up to fourth and I got the full 50 points. I’ve extended my points on Tommy so I really happy with that one.”
Jeremy van Horebeek: “It was an awesome feeling. I was sick but I managed to put the puzzle pieces together this week. I saved some energy in the first heat and managed to put it together in the second heat, two times second and second on the podium it made me happy about that “.
Zach Osborne: “The whole weekend was quite good for me and definitely the best I have had in Holland or the sand. Yesterday I had good speed and was third in the qualification race and third in the warm-up. It is hard because I haven’t really had the fitness to push for 35 minutes and 2 laps on hard pack never mind in the sand. I think my fitness continues to build and while eighth and seventh doesn’t sound like much I cannot be disappointed about it. I’m gonna take what I can from it and head into the Nations with good confidence”.
MX2 Race 1 top ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 40:41.884; 2. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, KTM), +2:07.139; 3. Max Anstie (GBR, Honda), -1 lap(s); 4. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), -1 lap(s); 5. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), -1 lap(s); 6. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), -1 lap(s); 7. Zachary Osborne (USA, Yamaha), -1 lap(s); 8. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), -1 lap(s); 9. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), -1 lap(s); 10. Alexander Tonkov (RUS, Honda), -1 lap(s);
MX2 Race 2 top ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 39:32.414; 2. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, KTM), +2:04.344; 3. Max Anstie (GBR, Honda), +2:07.174; 4. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +2:27.492; 5. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), -1 lap(s); 6. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), -1 lap(s); 7. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), -1 lap(s); 8. Zachary Osborne (USA, Yamaha), -1 lap(s); 9. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), -1 lap(s); 10. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), -1 lap(s);
MX2 Overall top ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 50 points; 2. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, KTM), 44 p.; 3. Max Anstie (GBR, Honda), 40 p.; 4. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), 36 p.; 5. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), 31 p.; 6. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), 28 p.; 7. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 27 p.; 8. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), 27 p.; 9. Zachary Osborne (USA, Yamaha), 27 p.; 10. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Husqvarna), 20 p.;