July 15, 2012
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Joel Roleants (34) may not have earned the style points that Jeffrey Herlings (84) got in the first turn of the 250 Latvian GP, but he took the overall win. Photo: Ray Archer

Pro Circuit’s Joel Roelants won his first 250 Grand Prix of 2012 in Latvia with 2-1 results, while Antonio Cairoli regained the 450 points lead that he lost in the mud of Sweden. Contenders Tommy Searle, Jeffrey Herlings and Clement Desalle all experienced problems losing valuable points along the way. As has become the pattern, the Latvian GP was muddy. But, there were hardly enough riders for the race. The 40-man gate had 27 riders on it for the 450 race…and the 250’s weren’t much better. Youthstream needs to fill the gates.


Jeffrey Herlings gets direction to a barbershop.
Photo: Ray Archer

Jose Butron led the first moto in front of Jeremy Van Horebeek, Tommy Searle and Jake Nicholls in what were very difficult conditions on a muddy racetrack in Latvia. Jeffrey Herlings was in tenth as he tried his best to catch up to Tommy Searle ?but Searle’s bike broke on lap two (oil cooler hose).

Jose Butron led until lap eight before being passed by Joel Roelants, who came from fifth to secure his second career victory. Herlings was second with Van Horebeek third, who passed Jake Nicholls in the closing stages of the race.

Moto two was held in a torrential rain storm. Jake Nicholls led for less than five turns before crashing out, leaving Jeremy Van Horebeek to take control ahead of his KTM teammate Jordi Tixier.

Tommy Searle and Joel Roelants were passed early by Jeffrey Herlings before Searle crashed out spectacularly as he suffered a rear wheel malfunction (mousse came lousse). Searle made it to the mechanics area for a new wheel, but scored no points. Joel Roelants pitted for new goggles while in fifth and it proved to be a good move too as he found his way back to second behind Jeremy van Horebeek. As for Herlings was running second, but his bike succumbed to the mud (he ended the day with a 2-18 score). Jordi Tixier took third and that was good enough for his first 250 podium for third overall. The overall result was Roelants (1-2) Van Horebeek (3-1) and Tixier (5-3)


Cairoli (222) lost his red plate to Clement Desalle (25) at the last race and we wanted it back…and he got it. Photo: Ray Archer

Antonio Cairoli holeshot moto one and was never headed in the20-lap race. Clement Desalle crashed twice and could only get back to seventh place. Ken De Dycker rode a good race to finish second ahead Rui Goncalves.

In moto two, Cairoli got a good start again, but misjudged a tabletop and ended up back in fifth place. Cairoli’s mistake opened the door for surprise winner Kevin Strijbos. In the overall, it was Cairoli (1-2), De Dycker (2-3) and Strijbos (10-1).

Clement Desalle had one of those days.

Clement Desalle said, “”The speed was there today but I made too many mistakes. I was not happy at all with my riding in the first moto; it was not fun and I didn’t take any pleasure from being out there. Normally the more fun I’m having on the bike then the better things seem to be! There were many big, hard bumps and I felt pretty knocked about – I was also sick coming to Latvia – but the track was the same for everybody. I had two crashes and finished seventh. It was not good but I came out of it without getting hurt. In the second moto I lost some places in the waves section but kept fourth and for a while I found it very hard to pass. When I got up to second I could see that Kevin Strijbos was very far in front. I made some ground and was pushing hard. I was riding well and not over the limit but then through the waves section my front wheel was a little bit more to the left than usual and I lost control. The back wheel hit hard and threw me over the bars and I broke the front wheel. I finished the race as best I could from that point. Today didn’t go as I expected and I have a bit of pain in my back after the crash, but I did the best I could and we’ll look for better results from here.”

The 450 podium of De Dycker, Cairoli and Strijbos.

1. Antonio Cairoli…1-2
2. Ken de Dycker …2-3
3. Kevin Strijbos…10-1
4. Rui Goncalves…3-5
5. Gautier Paulin…4-6
6. Clement Desalle…7-4
7. Tanel Leok…6-7
8. Shaun Simpson…8-8
9. Evgeny Bobryshev…5-11
10. Xavier Boog…11-9
Other notables: 11. Christophe Pourcel; 12. Marc de Reuver; 13. Jonathan Barragan; 15. Sebastien Pourcel; 17. David Guarneri.

1. Joel Roelants…1-2
2. Jeremy van Horebeek…3-1
3. Jordi Tixier…5-3
4. Glenn Coldenhoff…8-5
5. Jose Butron…6-7
6. Max Anstie…14-4
7. Jeffrey Herlings…2-18
8. Arnaud Tonus…9-9
9. Romain Febvre…7-11
10. Jens Getteman…13-8
Other notables: 13. Jake Nicholls; 15. Dylan Ferrandis; 18. Christophe Charlier; 23. Zach Osborne; 30. Tommy Searle.

Ken De Dycker is still riding on borrowed time at Team KTM, but word that Max Nagl’s contract wouldn’t be renewed in 2013 spurred the big Belgian on to try harder. Photo: Ray Archer

(After 10 of 16 events)

1. Jeffrey Herlings…428
2. Tommy Searle…387
3. Jeremy van Horebeek…375
4. Joel Roelants…310
5. Jordi Tixier…279
6. Jake Nicholls…255
7. Max Anstie…224
8. Jose Butron…197
9. Dylan Ferrandis…190
10. Alessandro Lupino…183

Tony Cairoli has a 12-point lead in the 2012 championship over Clement Desalle. Photo: Ray Archer  

(After 10 of 16 events)

1. Antonio Cairoli…392
2. Clement Desalle…380
3. Christophe Pourcel…357
4. Gautier Paulin…348
5. Ken de Dycker…299
6. Kevin Strijbos…279
7. Xavier Boog…258
8. Tanel Leok…230
9. Rui Goncalves…219
10. David Philippaerts…212


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