Highlights vid and race report from the 2015 MXGP at Valkenswaard, Netherlands. Max Nagl and Aleksandr Tonkov claim top three results at MXGP of Europe.
Husqvarna Motorcycles continue to go from strength to strength in the 2015 FIM Motocross World Championship with podium results in both the MXGP and MX2 classes at the MXGP of Europe in Valkenswaard, Netherlands.
On fire in this year’s MXGP class, Red Bull IceOne Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Max Nagl secured his fourth podium result in five races to end his weekend second overall and with it regain control of the championship lead.
There was delight for Wilvo Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Aleksandr Tonkov when he secured the third step of the podium in MX2 to take a debut podium result for the new FC 250 factory racing Husqvarna.
For Max Nagl, the MXGP of Europe produced another impressive set of results. Moving from the hard packed stony conditions at last weekend’s MXGP of Trentino, Valkenswaard marked the first true sand test for 2015. Working hard during Saturday to find a comfortable setup, Nagl came out swinging in race one and grabbed the holeshot. Enjoying a battle with Evgeny Bobryshev, the Husqvarna rider eventually pulled clear to place second.
Outside the top five starting race two, Nagle steadily worked his way into contention. Moving up the leader board he ended his race strongly in second. The result ensured the German regained control of the championship standings while also helping Husqvarna Motorcycles to extend their advantage in the manufactures’ classification to nine points.
Delivering the goods for Husqvarna in MX2, Aleksandr Tonkov picked up his first podium result of the season. Favouring the soft, rough and extremely demanding sandy conditions, the Wilvo Nestaan Husqvarna rider was on top form aboard the new FC 250 factory racing Husqvarna.
Securing the holeshot in both races, Tonkov raced to a solid fifth in race one before upping his game in race two. Locked in a battle for second place, Tonkov stood firm against world champion Jordi Tixier to chase championship leader Jeffrey Herlings home for second and with it secure third overall.
An unfortunate crash while running strongly in Saturday’s qualification put Todd Waters on the back foot in MXGP. Starting from an unfavourable 32nd gate pick for each race, the young Australian dug deep to fight his way back into the top 15 each time out. Despite still feeling the effects of his crash, Waters placed 14th in both races.
The MXGP of Europe marked a much stronger showing for Wilvo Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Dean Ferris. In some very physically demanding conditions, Ferris battled hard to place inside the top 15. Finishing 15th in race one, Ferris recovered greatly from a crash on the first corner to end race two 13th.
Photos by Acevedo.
The FIM Motocross World Championship continues with the MXGP of Spain in Talavera de la Reina on May 10.
Max Nagl: “This season just keeps getting better and better. It’s my fourth podium result in five races and I leave this weekend with the lead in the championship standings. If I’m honest Saturday was not a good day for me. I didn’t feel good in my riding but my team worked incredibly hard to find the best setup for this track and on race day my confidence was back. I can’t thank them enough for that. In race one I just rode smart and made sure I didn’t crash to take second. My start wasn’t so good in race two but I was able to work my way forward to finish second. Another podium result and now the red plate in the championship makes it yet another great weekend of racing.”
Aleksandr Tonkov: “I’m so happy to have taken my first podium result of the season and the first for the new FC 250 factory racing Husqvarna. It’s been an incredible weekend and one where I felt very comfortable on the track. Starts were very important and I was able to take the holeshot in both races plus the qualification race. I felt strong during race two and held my own lines on a tough track. I’m so happy with this result. My team, my trainer and everyone that supports me work very hard. It’s great to reward them with this result.”
Todd Waters: “The weekend started out a bit rough when I took a heavy hit in qualifying. I was riding well, closing in on a top ten spot until I crashed off the side of the track and hit a fence. That hurt quite a bit especially my shoulder but I soldiered on. With a bad gate pick for race day it was going to be tough but coming back for 14th in each race was a decent recovery effort.”
Dean Ferris: “This weekend was another step forward. On a track was that was proper tough I managed to put in some of my best riding of the series, particularly in race two. I crashed in the second corner and was last to remount but once I got going I found my rhythm and caught up to the pack quite quickly. I managed to pass over half the field by mid distance and then picked off another few riders towards the end of the race to finish 13th.”
Herlings, a Red Bull athlete, rode a near faultless first race, and while he had to concede the holeshot to Alexandr Tonkov he was in front several corners later and had a three-second lead at the end of the first lap.
He then continuously built on his advantage and crossed the line 42-seconds in front.
The team’s MX2 rookie Pauls Jonass also had a great start in the opening moto but went down very hard on the gnarly track in the second lap and had to retire.
Herlings did not get away well in his second race and was mid pack at the first corner. Meanwhile Jonass was up with the leaders and hit the front in lap three. By then Herlings was in fourth place and took over the lead several laps later. He went on to take another comfortable win by 21 seconds. Jonass stayed in contention for the first 11 laps but then dropped back to finish sixth. Herlings now has a 37-point lead after Round Five. Jonass, thanks to his good recovery in race two is still third in the points.
Jeffrey Herlings: “It’s good to have won here again but the sixth time it wasn’t easy. I had a pretty good start in the first moto and stayed out of trouble. But I didn’t have a good start in the second moto. I had a small crash and I had to come back from the middle of the pack. So I made it a little tough for myself. But I worked my way up to front and won, so that was good.”
Results – FIM Motocross World Championship, Round Five
1. Gautier Paulin (Honda) 50pts; 2. Max Nagl (Husqvarna) 44; 3. Clement Desalle (Suzuki) 38… 12. Dean Ferris (Husqvarna) 14; 13. Todd Waters (Husqvarna) 14…
MXGP Race 1
1. Gautier Paulin (Honda) 17 laps, 34:52.131; 2. Max Nagl (Husqvarna) 35:09.875; 3. Evgeny Bobryshev (Honda) 35:27.666… 14. Todd Waters (Husqvarna) 36:31.479; 15. Dean Ferris (Husqvarna) 36:44.314…
MXGP Race 2
1. Gautier Paulin (Honda) 17 laps, 34:24.814; 2. Max Nagl (Husqvarna) 34:29.575; 3. Clement Desalle (Suzuki) 34:34.932… 13. Dean Ferris (Husqvarna) 35:38.851; 14. Todd Waters (Husqvarna) 35:39.561…
1. Jeffrey Herlings (KTM) 50pts; 2. Jordi Tixier (Kawasaki) 40; 3. Aleksandr Tonkov (Husqvarna) 38…
MX2 Race 1
1. Jeffrey Herlings (KTM) 17 laps, 34:13.523; 2. Max Anstie (Kawasaki) 34:56.346; 3. Jordi Tixier (Kawasaki) 35:11.787… 5. Aleksandr Tonkov (Husqvarna) 35:45.699… 23. Anton Lundgren (Husqvarna) 34:14.454… 26. Grisha Maykal Ivanov (Husqvarna) 34:53.026; 27. Christopher Valente (Husqvarna) 35:01.501…
MX2 Race 2
1. Jeffrey Herlings (KTM) 17 laps, 34:12.664; 2. Aleksandr Tonkov (Husqvarna) 34:40.239; 3. Jordi Tixier (Kawasaki) 34:48.336… 25. Christopher Valente (Husqvarna) 34:46.443; 26. Grisha Maykal Ivanov (Husqvarna) 34:21.173…
Championship Standings (After Round Five)
1. Max Nagl (Husqvarna) 214pts; 2. Clement Desalle (Suzuki) 209; 3. Antonio Cairoli (KTM) 184… 9. Todd Waters (Husqvarna) 92… 17. Dean Ferris (Husqvarna) 42… 23. Rui Gonclaves (Husqvarna) 24… 26. Nathan Watson (Husqvarna) 12…
1. Jeffrey Herlings (KTM) 222pts; 2. Dylan Ferrandis (Kawasaki) 185; 3. Pauls Jonass (KTM) 148… 5. Aleksandr Tonkov (Husqvarna) 133… 21. Anton Lundgren (Husqvarna) 26… 31. Christopher Valente (Husqvarna) 4…