Highlights videos, photos by Acevedo and race report from the first round of the 2015 MXGP series in Qatar.
RED BULL ICEONE HUSQVARNA FACTORY RACING’S MAX NAGL HAS MADE A WINNING START TO HIS 2015 MXGP CAMPAIGN, CLAIMING TWO WELL-DESERVED RACE WINS ABOARD HIS FC 450. TAKING TWO CONVINCING HOLESHOTS, LEADING EACH AND EVERY LAP OF BOTH RACES AND ENJOYING TWO MEMORABLE RACE WINS IT WAS A PERFECT SEASON START FOR THE EXPERIENCED GERMANY.
Returning to the MXGP class of the FIM Motocross World Championship in 2014 Nagl’s result at the GP of Qatar signifies a historical victory for the Husqvarna brand, which has a long and successful motocross history.
One of the most highly anticipated MXGP opening races of recent years, the GP of Qatar couldn’t have gone any better for Nagl. Firing away from the start in moto one, the IceOne team rider entered the first turn a clear three-to-four bike lengths ahead of his nearest rival. Maintaining his position at the front of the race, Max ended lap one with a clear track ahead of him and pushed hard to open up an early advantage. Remaining at the head of the race he delivered lap after lap of determined and mistake free riding. As the laps wound down he put the finishing touches to a textbook moto and claimed an important win.
Moto two was all but a carbon copy of the first for Nagl. Again producing a perfect start, he dealt with the challenging opening laps of the moto with an impressive commitment. Pushing hard, as he did in the first moto, he quickly opened up a lead at the front of the race. And as in the first moto that’s where Max stayed for the duration of the race. With track conditions ensuring a notably difficult GP of Qatar, Nagl enjoyed a second winning result to take an early lead in the 2015 MXGP championship standings.
Nagl’s team-mate Todd Waters ended the GP of Qatar in 15th and 13th positions, battling hard throughout each moto. Crashing heavily early in race one Nathan Watson took no further part in the GP. Suffering with concussion Nathan was thankfully otherwise uninjured.
Wilvo Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Aleksandr Tonkov battled his way through a challenging GP, enjoying a third place result in the second moto. Falling while well placed at the start of the opening MX2 race, Tonkov dislocated his shoulder yet managed to relocate it and fight his way to a 10th place result.
Unsure how he’d be able to perform in the second race, with a heavily taped shoulder the determined youngster performed well around a worsening track. Despite the obvious discomfort from his shoulder Tonkov placed a creditable third, and sits fifth in the MX2 championship standings.
Max Nagl – Red Bull IceOne Husqvarna Factory Racing: “What can I say. This is the kind of perfect championship start everyone dreams of, it’s amazing that my season has started in this way. I’m so, so happy. Everyone in the team has worked so hard for this. We have to remember that this is only the first GP and that there are a lot of races ahead of us in the championship, but it’s a great start. I had two perfect races, but they were not easy. The track was really rough, especially in the second moto. You had to be completely focused all the time, it was so easy to make a mistake. Towards the end of the second race I started to get a little worried, because the track was really rough. My bike and suspension was incredible, and I know that helped me so much. Two wins is a great start for me and the team. Now we will keep working and soon begin our preparations for next weekend’s GP.”
Antti Pyrhönen – Red Bull IceOne Husqvarna Factory Racing, Team Manager: “This is like a dream for me. After all the challenges we had last year as a team to start 2015 in such a positive way is just amazing. Max really deserved this result. From the end of last year he has been working so hard, doing his thing and always believing in himself. He was faultless in both motos. I expected good things from him, but this is just amazing. But like Max has said this is just the start of a long championship. We will stay focused and continue working hard to try and continue in this very positive way.”
Aleksandr Tonkov – Wilvo Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing: “I’m pleased with the way this GP has ended. It’s been tough and the track was really hard in places, but I feel like my speed was good and that my fitness was good. I’ve not been back on a bike for very long so I know I can get stronger and faster. The first moto started well but when I fell I dislocated my shoulder. It’s never happened to me before so I didn’t know what I’d done. I lifted my arm and it went back in and I managed to finish 10th. I wasn’t sure if I could start the second moto. We strapped the shoulder and I went for it. I felt good but the track was so unforgiving. I pushed hard and although I didn’t have any power in my arm I got third, which is great.”
RESULTS – MOTOCROSS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 2015, ROUND 1 QATAR
1. Max Nagl (Husqvarna) 50 points; 2. Clement Desalle (Suzuki) 44; 3. Gauthier Paulin (Honda) 38…14 Todd Waters (Husqvarna) 14; Dean Ferris (Husqvarna) 4; 21. Rui Goncalves (Husqvarna) 3
MXGP RACE 1
1. Max Nagl (Husqvarna) 18 laps 34:52.985; 2. Clement Desalle (Suzuki) 18 laps 34:54.206; 3. Antonio Cairoli (KTM) 18 laps 35:11.535… 15. Todd waters (Husqvarna) 18 laps 36:05.840; 21. Rui Goncalves (Husqvarna) 17 laps 34:57.950; 23. Dean Ferris (Husqvarna) 17 laps 35:58.309
MXGP RACE 2
1. Max Nagl (Husqvarna) 18 laps 35:00.295; 2. Clement Desalle (Suzuki) 18 laps 35:06.318; 3. Gauthier Paulin (Honda) 18 laps 35:09.047… 13. Todd Waters (Husqvarna) 18 laps 36:19.349; 17. Dean Ferris (Husqvarna) 18 laps 37:09.305; 18. Rui Goncalves (Husqvarna) 17 laps 35:01.949
1. Jeffrey Herlings (KTM) 50 points; 2. Julien Lieber (Yamaha) 42; 3. Dylan Ferrandis (Kawasaki) 38… 5. Aleksandr Tonkov (Husqvarna) 31; 24. Anton Ljundgren (Husqvarna) 2
MX2 RACE 1
1. Jeffrey Herlings (KTM) 17 laps 33:51.825; 2. Dylan Ferrandis (Kawasaki) 17 laps 33:54.499; 3. Julien Lieber (Yamaha) 17 laps 33:55.877… 10. Aleksandr Tonkov (Husqvarna) 17 laps 34:32.685; 19. Anton Lundgren (Husqvarna) 17 laps 35:43.151
MX2 RACE 2
1. Jeffrey Herlings (KTM) 17 laps 33:56.613; 2. Julien Lieber (Yamaha) 17 laps 33:59.344; 3. Aleksandr Tonkov (Husqvarna) 17 laps 34:01.678