RUSSIAN GRAND PRIX: EVEN YOU COULD HAVE SCORED 450 GP POINTS IN RUSSIA… BECAUSE ONLY 19 RIDERS SHOWED UP

July 22, 2012
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Antonio Cairoli now has a 20-point lead after his double Swedish DNFs.       Photo: Ray Archer

What if you held a race and nobody came. And, when we are talking about the Russian GP, we don’t mean spectators, because Russians normally come out in droves to see motocross races. Nope, we are talking about riders. Only 19 riders showed up to race the Russian 450 Grand Prix. And the racing was less than intense as Antonio Cairoli and Jeffrey Herlings did their thing out in front of both classes. No one is saying that the Grand Prix circuit shouldn’t go to Russia, but Giuseppe Luongo’s business plan for the FIM World Championship is ill-conceived. He has taken away the rider’s purse money, the rider’s start money and the rider’s travel money. He increased the entry fee for a Grand Prix to $1200 an event and you don’t need to be a math genius to see that if you are an aspiring GP rider, spending thousands of dollars to drive through Mother Russia with no hope of making any money…is a failed business plan on the rider’s part. Luongo’s business plan is anti-rider.

Under Luongo’s guidance the World Championships have lined Youthstream’s pockets, by taking money from the riders and giving to Youthstream’s owners (whoever they might actually be). There used to be 40-man gates in the World Championship. Then, Luongo’s pricing structure and greediness eliminated the possibility of finding 40 riders willing to give their money to Luongo. So, Luongo reduced the GP field to 30… although if he can find more than 30 riders willing to pay his entry fee he has been known to expand it. Now, a 30-man field isn’t big enough, as several races this year have had under 30-man fields. Russian was a new low, but with a 2013 GP schedule that threatens to go to Thailand, the Middle East, Brazil, Mexico and maybe one other Asia country, expect more of the worst.

THE WAY IT CAN BE

For those in Europe who don’t know the way it can work, in the AMA Nationals they accept 80 entries per class (for each of the two classes)…with 40 riders making it into the fields. An AMA National pays a $66,000 purse (and even the 40th place rider in a single moto makes his entry fee back…and the AMA entry fee is only $200). Luongo thinks he is attracting only the “elite” riders, but it seems as though many of his elite riders are riding in the USA (including the last two 250 World Champions).

With American factory contracts, $100,000 factory win bonuses, $1,000,000 factory Championship bonuses, $66,000 in weekly purse money, entry open to anyone and a $350,000 points fund in Supercross, you don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out where the “elite series” is. Elite is a word that applies only to the GP riders, not the GP management. The FIM should be ashamed of what they have allowed to happen…but little can shame AMA or FIM bureaucrats.


Suzuki’s Clement Desalle had a moment of glory in the points lead, but Cairoli is back in command again.

RUSSIAN GP RESULTS: 450 CLASS
(Only 19 riders entered the race so there is no 20th place)
1. Cairoli, Antonio…1-1
2. Desalle, Clement…3-2
3. de Dycker, Ken…2-3
4. Pourcel, Christophe…4-4
5. Bobryshev, Evgeny…6-5
6. Goncalves, Rui…8-6
7. Paulin, Gautier…7-7
8. Strijbos, Kevin…5-12
9. Barragan, Jonathan…10-8
10. Leok, Tanel…9-10
11. Boog, Xavier…14-9
12. Simpson, Shaun…13-11
13. Guarneri, Davide…11-13
14. Justs, Augusts…15-14
15. Pourcel, Sebastien…12-18
16. Parshin, Dimitry…16-15
17. Cociu, Mihail…18-16
18. Ivanutin, Alexander…17-17
19. Morozov, Roman…19-19


Who knew that Russia would be sandy, when it wasn’t muddy? The sand almost guaranteed a Jeffrey Helrings victory.

RUSSIAN GP RESULTS: 250 CLASS
(26 riders entered the 250 class)
1. Herlings, Jeffrey…1-1
2. Searle, Tommy…3-2
3. van Horebeek, Jeremy…2-3    
4. Roelants, Joel…5-4
5. Nicholls, Jake…4-5
6. Tixier, Jordi…6-6
7. Tonus, Arnaud…9-10
8. Ferrandis, Dylan…13-10
9. Coldenhoff, Glenn…7-13
10. Butron, Jose…12-9
11. Teillet, Valentin…11-12
12. Osborne, Zach…18-8
13. Anstie, Max…25-7
14. Lupino, Alessandro…10-18
15. Getteman, Jens…14-16
16. Febvre, Romain…13-17
17. Larsen, Nikolaj…22-14
18. Guillod, Valentin…17-18    
19. Ratsep, Priit…15-20
20. Tonkov, Alexander…26-15

450 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS STANDINGS
(after 11 of 16 events)

1. Cairoli, Antonio…442
2. Desalle, Clement…422
3. Pourcel, Christophe…393
4. Paulin, Gautier…376
5. de Dycker, Ken…341
6. Strijbos, Kevin…304
7. Boog, Xavier…277
8. Leok, Tanel…253
9. Goncalves, Rui…247
10. Philippaerts, David…212


Joel Roelants didn’t gain any points on the three guys in front of him in Russia.  Photo: Sarah Gutierrez

250 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS STANDINGS
(after 11 of 16 events)

1. Herlings, Jeremy…478
2. Searle, Tommy…429
3. van Horebeek, Jeremy…417
4. Roelants, Joel…344
5. Tixier, Jordi…309
6. Nicholls, Jake…289
7. Anstie, Max…238    
8. Butron, Jose…218
9. Ferrandis, Dylan…213
10. Lupino, Alessandro…196

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