Portugal MXGP Race Report

Photos courtesy of Youthstream.

The Portuguese Grand Prix started today with some rain, but the sun came up for the second races and the crowd present in Agueda could enjoy watching Clement Desalle and Jeffrey Herlings win the Portuguese Grand Prix.

In the MX1 class, Clement Desalle went 1-3 and obtained his third overall victory in a row in Portugal, while Gautier Paulin and Antonio Cairoli were second and third respectively. Jeffrey Herlings was the overall winner in MX2, but Tommy Searle managed to win the second heat and was on the second step of the podium. Jeremy Van Horebeek is still struggling with his foot injury, but he succeeded in being third.


Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1’s Clement Desalle obtained the first Grand Prix victory of the season in Agueda, Portugal, a track where he has always won in the last three years. The Belgian rider won the first moto with more than six seconds advantage over second classified Christophe Pourcel, but he could only be third in the second race. The Belgian rider admitted that he was a bit disappointed with his performance in the second heat, because he had lost too much energy in the beginning of the heat, as he had a bad start and had to push really hard to catch the leading group. The Belgian rider will travel to his home Grand Prix second in the point standings.

Second overall was Kawasaki Racing Team’s Gautier Paulin after finishing fourth in the first heat and winning the second moto from the likes of Cairoli. At the start of the first race Paulin hit his pipe with another bike and the pipe went on the radiator and made his Kawasaki machine get really hot by the middle of the race. The French rider was satisfied with the fourth position in the first moto and for being again on the podium thanks to the victory of the second heat.

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli was third in the first moto and he was about to win the second heat, which would have given him the overall victory. The current leader of the series rode really close to Paulin during the last three laps of the second heat and in the very last lap the Italian managed to overtake Paulin. However, Cairoli could not keep the lead and had to settle down with the second position, which made him finish third overall place of the Grand Prix.

The fourth overall position was for CP377 Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit’s Christophe Pourcel, who took the holeshot in both motos but he could not win any of them. In the first heat the French rider finished second behind Desalle, and in the second race he was able to lead the first half of the race but he then made a mistake and he went down to the third position. In the end Pourcel crossed the finish line fourth and finished fourth overall in the Grand Prix. The French rider is now fourth in the Championship, one point behind Gautier and four points behind Desalle.

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Ken De Dycker completed the top five thanks to double fifth positions in today’s heats. The Belgian rider did really well today taking into account that he started from the very outside, as he had the last gate pick today due to his DNF in the qualifying race yesterday.

Xavier Boog did not have an easy first moto because he got stuck behind a crash at the start and had to break hard in order not to crash. The French rider put a lot of effort to move from sixteenth to seventh and such extra effort left him with without energies to battle in the second moto. Boog was eleventh in the second race and he finished sixth overall of the Grand Prix.

Home rider Rui Gonçalves leaves his home Grand Prix a little bit disappointed after not having been able to finish on the podium. In the first moto the Portuguese got stuck behind Philippaerts and Leok’s crash at the start and he was only able to finish 14th, whereas in the second race he got a better start and he crossed the finish line sixth, which gave him the overall seventh position.

Jonathan Barragán had a really good start in the first moto and he ended sixth, but he crashed in the second heat and ended fourteenth, eighth overall of the Grand Prix. Leok and Philippaerts completed the top ten.

Evgeny Bobryshev got a DNF in the first moto because his bike stop while he was riding eleventh. In the second heat he finished seventh and he ended sixteenth in the Grand Prix.

Clément Desalle: "Finally I win a GP! And also the first moto. It is always positive to win and it's good but I'm a little bit disappointed by the second part of the second moto because I can do better. I lost a lot of energy at the beginning of the race because I had a bad start and had to push a lot to come back to the front. When Paulin and Antonio came back at me later on I made a big mistake and it reminded me that I had to be careful; and to stay on two wheels was the most important thing. The track was drier in the second moto and we had more possibilities to pass. It's my third win here now and I like Portugal and Agueda. It will be good to ride at home now and great to come back to Wallonie after Namur was the last time. I will do my best and I hope we have good weather. It was a bad moment for my family last week because we lost my Grandfather and I was very close to him. Even now I cannot believe it. It was difficult. Sometimes during the weekend I was thinking of him because he was a positive person and always liked to watch me on the TV."

Gautier Paulin: "I had to settle for fourth place in the first race after another rider crashed into me at the start and damaged the pipe so I lost power. The track was rough for the second moto, and I had a great race with Desalle and Cairoli. Antonio had tried to pass me several times in the last three laps and he eventually found a way on the last lap, but I wanted the win after doing all the work for 35 minutes and passed him back. It's great to get a second podium in a row; we all worked hard and that's a nice reward for the team.

Tony Cairoli: "I made some mistakes in the first race when I crashed and I lost contact with the first guys and went back to fifth, anyway third was okay. I wanted to go for the win in the second race and I did get past Paulin briefly in the last lap but it was hard to block him because I didn't want to make contact and crash l anyway third was not what I expected because I wanted to win but it was still good for the championship."

MX1 Race 1 top ten: 1. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), 40:04.024; 2. Christophe Pourcel (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:06.155; 3. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:16.903; 4. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:23.550; 5. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), +0:41.323; 6. Jonathan Barragan (ESP, Honda), +0:43.183; 7. Xavier Boog (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:45.298; 8. Sebastien Pourcel (FRA, Kawasaki), +1:13.177; 9. Matiss Karro (LAT, KTM), +1:16.143; 10. Shaun Simpson (GBR, Yamaha), +1:16.869;

MX1 Race 2 top ten: 1. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), 39:04.520; 2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:00.484; 3. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), +0:25.785; 4. Christophe Pourcel (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:29.957; 5. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), +0:31.550; 6. Rui Goncalves (POR, Honda), +0:33.435; 7. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:38.248; 8. Tanel Leok (EST, Suzuki), +0:43.679; 9. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), +0:48.689; 10. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, KTM), +0:50.250;

MX1 Overall top ten: 1. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), 45 points; 2. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), 43 p.; 3. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 42 p.; 4. Christophe Pourcel (FRA, Kawasaki), 40 p.; 5. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), 32 p.; 6. Xavier Boog (FRA, Kawasaki), 24 p.; 7. Rui Goncalves (POR, Honda), 22 p.; 8. Jonathan Barragan (ESP, Honda), 22 p.; 9. Tanel Leok (EST, Suzuki), 21 p.; 10. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), 21 p.;

MX1 Championship top ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 295 points; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), 258 p.; 3. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), 255 p.; 4. Christophe Pourcel (FRA, Kawasaki), 254 p.; 5. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), 211 p.; 6. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), 190 p.; 7. Xavier Boog (FRA, Kawasaki), 185 p.; 8. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, KTM), 171 p.; 9. Rui Goncalves (POR, Honda), 156 p.; 10. Tanel Leok (EST, Suzuki), 142 p.;


Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings obtained his fifth Grand Prix victory of the season after going 1-2 in today’s races. The Dutch rider had a really good start in the first moto and he crossed the finish line with a comfortable 24 seconds advantage over his teammate Van Horebeek. In the second race he had another good start and led most of the heat, but with just three laps to go he got stuck with a lapped rider and was down to second. Herlings was finally second, but he got the overall win of the Portuguese Grand Prix.

Team Floride Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit’s Tommy Searle admitted that the first moto was a nightmare for him; firstly it took him a while to find a good rhythm and by the time he was catching Van Horebeek he had a problem with the clutch adjuster. He admitted that he was trying to adjust his clutch in the wrong way, so at some point he thought about getting off his bike and walk back, but he tried hard again and managed to finish third. In the second heat everything went better for the British rider, and although he rode second most of the heat, he overtook Herlings with just two laps to go and won the second race.

Third overall was Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeremy Van Horebeek thanks to his 2-6 result. Van Horebeek had a really good start in the first moto and he managed to keep his initial second position until the end. In the second race he did not have such a good start, but he rode fourth during the first laps. However, he twisted his ankle again and had to slow down his rhythm and settle down with the sixth place.

Honda Gariboldi Esta’s Max Anstie finished tenth in the first moto, but he did an excellent second race finishing third behind Searle and Herlings. The British rider was able to start at the front in the second moto and he basically just kept his rhythm in the front and rode a consistent race until the chequered flag.

Nestaan JM Racing KTM’s Jake Nicholls completed the top five after finishing sixth and fifth in today’s races being tight in points with Anstie. In the first heat he had a good start and rode a solid moto from beginning until the end, but in the second race he had to give all his best to go from eleventh to fifth.

Jordi Tixier had a really good start in the first race and he crossed the finish line fourth. However, in the second moto, not only he had a bad start, but also he made a mistake while he was riding sixth. The French rider finished the second race in the eleventh position and obtained an overall sixth result.

Mel Pocock lined up again for Monster Energy Yamaha and he finished seventh overall after finishing eleventh and seventh in today’s races. Romain Febvre, 2011 UEM EMX2 Champion, obtained his best result in the FIM MX2 World Championship this weekend being eighth overall, ahead of Glenn Coldenhoff.

Dylan Ferrandis had a tough first race; firstly, he had to enter the pitlane to change his goggles and later on he got a stone stuck in his rear break and made him pull out from the race. However, in the second race he took the holeshot and crossed the finish line fourth, which made him finish tenth of the Portuguese Grand Prix. His teammate Valentin Teillet finished fifth in the first race, but he got involved in a tangle at the start of the second moto and had to pull out with a broken his collarbone.

Arnaud Tonus finished seventh in the first race, but he was also involved in the crash at the start of the second heat and he could only finish eighteenth after starting from the very last position.

It was also a difficult weekend for Belgian Joel Roelants; in the first moto he had to enter the pitlane to change his goggles, but he managed to finish ninth. However, in the second race he was also involved in the crash at the start, so he had to make his way back to the front. In fact, Roelants succeeded in moving up until the eighth position, but he then made a mistake and could only cross the finish line 17th. In the end, Roelants obtained an overall 15th place.

Jeffrey Herlings: I increase my championship by two points, but it could have been more, what Pocock did it was a game he played, I let Searle go and Pocock was standing on the brake and holding me up. I am sorry I said those bad things when the race finished, but I was on fire, it won't happen again. I wish everyone would move on, no problem with Tonus he moved over, but hands off to Tommy he won and I won the overall. I want to go 1-1 in Belgium.

Tommy Searle: "I spoilt my first race when I sunk at the gate, but I was closing down quickly on second place until I accidentally hit the kill switch. I didn't realise what I had done at first and by the time I got going again the first two were too far ahead. I got to second place quickly in the second race and had a close race with Herlings. We lapped to seventh place so there was a lot of traffic so I intended to save my attack until the final lap, but apparently a lapper got in his way and I could pass him earlier than planned."

Jeremy van Horebeek: "I felt really good in the first race. I was second at the start and Jeffrey and I pulled away from the rest but after five laps I had to throw away my goggles and I had to let him go. Still it was good to be second and it was a good race, I wanted to stay close to Jeffrey because he has the speed. I also had a good start in the second race but I was a bit off the pace then I twisted my bad ankle again and I was in a lot of pain."

MX2 Race 1 top ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 39:10.276; ; 2. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, KTM), +0:24.395; 3. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:34.653; 4. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), +0:38.290; 5. Valentin Teillet (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:44.211; 6. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), +0:50.077; 7. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), +0:58.699; 8. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +1:02.894; 9. Joel Roelants (BEL, Kawasaki), +1:07.030; 10. Max Anstie (GBR, Honda), +1:28.511;

MX2 Race 2 top ten: 1. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), 40:43.230; ; 2. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +0:20.811; 3. Max Anstie (GBR, Honda), +1:14.010; 4. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), +1:22.077; 5. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), +1:24.427; 6. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, KTM), +1:55.160; 7. Mel Pocock (GBR, Yamaha), -1 lap(s); 8. Romain Febvre (FRA, KTM), -1 lap(s); 9. Harri Kullas (FIN, Suzuki), -1 lap(s); 10. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Husqvarna), -1 lap(s);

MX2 Overall top ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 47 points; 2. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), 45 p.; 3. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, KTM), 37 p.; 4. Max Anstie (GBR, Honda), 31 p.; 5. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), 31 p.; 6. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), 28 p.; 7. Mel Pocock (GBR, Yamaha), 24 p.; 8. Romain Febvre (FRA, KTM), 20 p.; 9. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 19 p.; 10. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), 18 p.;

MX2 Championship top ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 317 points; 2. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), 293 p.; 3. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, KTM), 268 p.; 4. Joel Roelants (BEL, Kawasaki), 204 p.; 5. Max Anstie (GBR, Honda), 191 p.; 6. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), 187 p.; 7. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), 175 p.; 8. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Husqvarna), 129 p.; 9. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), 126 p.; 10. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), 125 p.;