Mexico MXGP Race Report

Photo courtesy Youthstream.

Nicolas España’s track hosted the fourth Grand Prix of the FIM Motocross World Championship, where Antonio Cairoli and Jeffrey Herlings handed another double victory to KTM. There was very exciting racing in both classes and the big crowd present in the GP could enjoy watching the best riders in the world racing with their Mexican idols.

Antonio Cairoli had a tough second race but he got an eventual overall victory after crossing the finish line third in the second lap. Clement Desalle gave all his best once again this weekend, but had to settle down with a second overall position as he could not keep the lead in the second heat until the chequered flag. David Philippaerts won the second heat and completed the podium in Mexico.

In the MX2 class Jeffrey Herlings dominated both heats, but Tommy Searle proved that he has the speed and the rhythm to be at the top but he was touched once again by bad luck. Jeremy Van Horebeek did two solid motos and he was third overall of the GP.


Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Cairoli obtained the second GP win of the season in Mexico after going 1-3 in today’s races. In the first heat, after the first ten minutes the Italian found his rhythm and managed to overtake Desalle and Pourcel and Cairoli pulled away with the victory. At the start of the second heat Cairoli almost crashed and was down to sixth and he then pushed really hard to finish third and obtain the final overall victory.

Rockstar Energy Suzuki World’s Desalle finished second in both heats and he missed the first step of the podium for just one point. The Belgian rode a consistent first moto, and in the second one he moved from third to first and exchanged the lead with Philippaerts during the last minutes of the race. In the end, Philippaerts imposed an incredible rhythm and Desalle had to settle down with the second place.

Monster Energy Yamaha’s Philippaerts had a really tough first heat, as he suffered a heavy crash at the start of the first race and had to enter the pitlane. However, the Italian did not give up and finished tenth. Philippaerts made an outstanding second heat, moving from sixth to first imposing a superb rhythm, and obtained the third overall position.

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s De Dycker ended fourth overall, being tight in points with Philippaerts. This weekend De Dycker obtained the best result of the season after finishing third in the first heat. However, he did not have such a good second race and could only cross the finish line fifth and this is why he missed the opportunity of being on the podium today.

It was one of the best weekends for Rockstar Energy Suzuki World’s Leok finishing fifth overall thanks to his 6-6 result. In the first heat, the Estonian had to fight really hard to go from an initial twelfth position up to sixth, but in the second one he managed to ride a consistent moto from beginning to the end.

Boog had a bad start in the first heat, but he gave his best to move from 17th up to the eighth position. However, in the second heat he rode second behind Christophe Pourcel during the first laps, but in the end he had to settle down with the seventh place, which have give the sixth overall position.

Strijbos went 5-10 and finished seventh overall tight in points with Boog. Eighth was Barragán and Gonçalves and Christophe Pourcel completed the top ten.

Christophe Pourcel took the holeshot of both heats, but could not keep the lead in neither of the two. In the first moto, he got some green fence stuck on his back wheel and had to pull out while he was fourth, whereas in the second race he was not able to keep the rhythm of his pursuers and crossed the finish line fourth.

On the other hand, Paulin did not have an excellent start in the first race, but he managed to cross the finish line in the fourth position. However, the French rider was not able to start the second heat because his engine failed during the sighting lap.

His compatriot Frossard hit his leg on the ground during the first heat and he could not stand the pain on his still injured right knee and he had to enter the pitlane. The weekend was over for the French rider and he is now a doubt for the upcoming Grand Prix.

Simpson was also another unfortunate rider of the weekend, as he dislocated his left shoulder during the first heat. 
Fernandéz, winner of yesterday’s qualifying race, was seventeenth overall today and home rider Martin García achieved his initial goal and he finished nineteenth.

Tony Cairoli: “We had a good race and the track today was in good condition. I enjoyed the races and I made a good start in the first and was in third place and I just waited for a chance to pass Pourcel and Desalle, who were fighting each other. Then I found the right moment and was able to pull away, I was very motivated to go out and win the second race and I was 5 or 6 at the start. I moved up the third and I watched the guys in front for an opportunity to pass. But then I slipped out in one of the corners and lost two places. Maybe I lost a bit of concentration. I pushed to get back to third and that cost me a lot of energy but I was happy to take a 1-3 result and some more points in the championship.”

Clement Desalle:
"Second again! I'm being consistent which is good but I was close to the win today so it was disappointing not to do it. I will keep working and be positive. The second moto was a good battle with David. We are two of the most aggressive riders and when you can race hard like that without crashing then it can be good."

David Philippaerts:
I'm so happy to win that second moto. I'm back! This is important for me because it was a long time since I last won. Mentally it can be difficult to deal with race crashes and results that you know can be better. I’m in great shape and its awesome to be back on the podium. I had some bad luck with another crash in the first race. Shaun came across and we clashed together. I had to enter the pits but then restarted last and fought back to tenth. I pushed every lap and it was hard work at this altitude and in this heat but the result was important and it paid off with the podium.

MX1 Race 1 top ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 40:53.481; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), +0:07.664; 3. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), +0:30.519; 4. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:43.925; 5. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, KTM), +0:48.259; 6. Tanel Leok (EST, Suzuki), +0:53.089; 7. Jonathan Barragan (ESP, Honda), +1:07.005; 8. Xavier Boog (FRA, Kawasaki), +1:14.736; 9. Rui Goncalves (POR, Honda), +1:19.620; 10. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), +1:34.840;

MX1 Race 2 top ten: 1. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), 40:15.650; ; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), +0:01.323; 3. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:05.451; 4. Christophe Pourcel (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:11.445; 5. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), +0:14.190; 6. Tanel Leok (EST, Suzuki), +0:16.658; 7. Xavier Boog (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:17.784; 8. Rui Goncalves (POR, Honda), +0:18.654; 9. Jonathan Barragan (ESP, Honda), +0:29.974; 10. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, KTM), +0:45.232;

MX1 Overall top ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 45 points; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), 44 p.; 3. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), 36 p.; 4. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), 36 p.; 5. Tanel Leok (EST, Suzuki), 30 p.; 6. Xavier Boog (FRA, Kawasaki), 27 p.; 7. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, KTM), 27 p.; 8. Jonathan Barragan (ESP, Honda), 26 p.; 9. Rui Goncalves (POR, Honda), 25 p.; 10. Christophe Pourcel (FRA, Kawasaki), 23 p.;

MX1 Championship top ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 178 points; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), 149 p.; 3. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), 134 p.; 4. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), 131 p.; 5. Christophe Pourcel (FRA, Kawasaki), 129 p.; 6. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), 105 p.; 7. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, KTM), 103 p.; 8. Xavier Boog (FRA, Kawasaki), 99 p.; 9. Tanel Leok (EST, Suzuki), 92 p.; 10. Rui Goncalves (POR, Honda), 79 p.;


Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Herlings had another perfect weekend and managed to win both heats with superb authority. In the first moto Herlings was fifth in the opening lap, but he then quickly moved up to the lead in the fourth lap. From then on, the Dutch rider imposed his rhythm even having some problems with his goggles since the very beginning of the race. In the second heat, he had a good start and managed to lead the race from beginning to end, crossing the finish line with almost 25 seconds advantage over the second classified Searle.

Team Floride Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit’s Searle was on the second step of the podium this weekend in Mexico after finishing second in both heats. The British rider could not start in the front in the first race and he struggled a little bit to climb up to the final second position. In the second race, Searle had a good start but he made a mistake in the first lap and went down to ninth. However, he managed to recover himself really quickly and he achieved crossing the finish line second once again.

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Van Horebeek was back on the podium this weekend and he managed to keep the second position of the championship one point ahead Searle. Van Horebeek took the holeshot in both heats and in the first one he managed to keep the lead during the first three laps. The Belgian rider pushed so much to chase Herlings, that by the end of the race he had run out of energy and finished third. Between the motos Van Horebeek was a bit sick due to the extra effort of the first race, but he succeeded in finishing third and going up again on the podium.

Team Floride Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit’s Roelants was back on the bike this weekend after the big crash he suffered in Italy during the first moto two weeks ago, and with the overall fourth position he actually proved that he is fully fit again. In the first heat Roelants did not have a really good start and he was only sixth, but he rode a solid second moto and crossed the finish line in the fourth position.

Monster Energy Yamaha’s Charlier has obtained the best result of the season this weekend after his injury on his right foot. Charlier was very satisfied with his fifth overall position and he is now looking forward to racing next week in Brazil to try to improve this weekend’s result.

Tixier finished in a consistent fifth position in the first race, but he crashed in the second moto while he was fourth and he went down to eighth. The French rider could not improve such positon and he obtained the sixth overall place.

Nicholls was seventh of the GP of Mexico and he was followed by Anstie, who had been second yesterday at the qualifying race. Coldenhoff was ninth and Lupino completed the top ten.

Ferrandis obtained a really good fourth position in the first race, but he crashed at the start of the second moto and he was out of the race because his bike was badly damaged. The French young rider finished eleventh overall.

His teammate Teillet was riding third in the first race, when he crashed and had to enter the pitlane because he had a severe pain on his left hand. Fortunately, he has nothing broken, but he could not take part in the second heat.

Leib, winner of the MX2 qualifying race yesterday, injured his left hand in the first heat while he was sixth and he was also taken to the hospital. As Teillet, the American does not have anything broken, but he was not able to enter the second heat. 
The best Mexican MX2 rider was Luis Ruelas who finished in the eighteenth overall position.

Jeffrey Herlings: ”The track was kind of sandy and so it suited me and on Sunday it was much better prepared. I managed to put in a solid gap to win the race and in the second moto I came from tenth and won by about 25 seconds. Now I am pumped to be racing another new track in Brazil next week.”

Tommy Searle: “I got a good jump out of the gate in the first race, but one of the riders inside me slid out at the first turn and I had to brake. I soon had the leaders in my sights, but there were so many slow local riders this week that we were already lapping them after 10 minutes. Some of them were all over the track and they cost me a lot of time. The second race was my mistake as I crashed on the first lap when I was second. I have the speed to win, but Jeffrey is too good for me to catch him again if things happen like they did today but I still got second in both races. I know my physical condition is good, so I never stopped pushing because I knew other riders would not be able to maintain their speed."

Jeremy van Horebeek: “I took two holeshots and the bike was awesome but I had to give away my second place in both races. I pushed very heard at the beginning and in the end I had to pay for that. I didn’t feel good between the heats and probably it was a combination of the heat and the altitude and the different food.’

MX2 Race 1 top ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 40:55.196; ; 2. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:05.894; 3. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, KTM), +0:09.001; 4. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:47.159; 5. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), +0:47.666; 6. Joel Roelants (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:48.714; 7. Christophe Charlier (FRA, Yamaha), +1:00.731; 8. Max Anstie (GBR, Honda), +1:19.093; 9. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), +1:24.396; 10. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), +1:27.746;

MX2 Race 2 top ten: . Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 39:06.278; ; 2. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:24.774; 3. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, KTM), +0:27.163; 4. Joel Roelants (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:36.183; 5. Christophe Charlier (FRA, Yamaha), +0:51.182; 6. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), +1:05.255; 7. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +1:13.023; 8. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), +1:17.628; 9. Max Anstie (GBR, Honda), +1:25.586; 10. Harri Kullas (FIN, Suzuki), +1:30.408;

MX2 Overall top ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 50 points; 2. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), 44 p.; 3. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, KTM), 40 p.; 4. Joel Roelants (BEL, Kawasaki), 33 p.; 5. Christophe Charlier (FRA, Yamaha), 30 p.; 6. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), 29 p.; 7. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), 26 p.; 8. Max Anstie (GBR, Honda), 25 p.; 9. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 20 p.; 10. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Husqvarna), 20 p.;

MX2 Championship top ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 194 points; 2. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, KTM), 154 p.; 3. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), 153 p.; 4. Joel Roelants (BEL, Kawasaki), 118 p.; 5. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), 107 p.; 6. Max Anstie (GBR, Honda), 105 p.; 7. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), 95 p.; 8. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), 91 p.; 9. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Husqvarna), 80 p.; 10. Harri Kullas (FIN, Suzuki), 76 p.;