MOTO-MASTER PRESENTS THE MXGP OF GERMANY RACE REPORT

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By John Basher

MXGPstart_MXGP_10_D_2015Tony Cairoli (222) got good starts in both motos despite a broken hand. He salvaged his title hopes by going 14-6 for ninth, while 450 points leader, Max Nagl, went out with a broken leg.

The MXGP series turned on a dime in Teutschenthal, Germany, this weekend. So many crazy things happened that it’s hard not to think about what else could possibly play out as the series moves into the final eight rounds. It’s common knowledge that Clement Desalle (shoulder) and Tony Cairoli (hand) were either down or out from injuries sustained the previous two races, but Germany opened a whole new can of worms. The rettungswagen, known in English-speaking countries as the ambulance, was working overtime this weekend. First, 450 series points leader, Max Nagl, spun out and was tagged by David Philippaerts during Saturday’s qualifying race. The impact broke Nagl’s leg, subsequently omitting the German from racing his home Grand Prix. Then on Sunday, 250 points leader Jeffrey Herlings was too aggressive while scrubbing a single. He went over the bars and broke his collarbone. Herlings, failed to score a single point.

Febvre2_DRomain Febvre has figured out the formula to winning. Germany was his third consecutive 450 GP overall.

There are winners and there are losers. Romain Febvre and Tim Gajser were the winners. They had their day in the sun. Naturally the loss of the points leaders, coupled with wins for Febvre (450) and Gajser (250), had huge implications with concern to the overall point standings. Romain Febvre sat third after Maggiora, but a win in Teutschenthal catapulted him into the points lead. How quickly fortunes can change. Tim Gajser, on the other hand, is still well beyond sight of the 250 points lead. Regardless, Gajser gained 47 points on Jeffrey Herlings. The gap is now at an even 100.

Here’s a thought worth debating. Are Saturday qualifying races necessary? After all, the 20-minutes-plus-two moto only counts for gate position on Sunday. It does not award points every weekend or a bonus to the winner. Keep in mind that the qualifying race comes after the riders log a timed qualifying practice session to determine gate pick for the qualifying race. It’s no secret that GP riders get a lot more track time than AMA National competitors. Is it too much time? Is the two-day race schedule backfiring now that Clement Desalle (dislocated shoulder), Tony Cairoli (broken hand), and Max Nagl (broken leg) have suffered injury during Saturday qualifying races? Motocross is inherently dangerous–that much is true–so running the prize horses more times than necessary through a mine field might be counterproductive to the cause. Don’t expect Giuseppe Luongo to change his course of action and eradicate Saturday qualifying races, but it’s interesting to think how different the 450 series would be if Desalle, Cairoli and Nagl hadn’t gotten hurt while going wide open for gate pick.

WinnerTeam_DFebvre and Yamaha will continue their courtship through 2017.

Romain Febvre’s third consecutive 450 Grand Prix victory comes on the heels of the Frenchman inking a two-year deal to continue with Yamaha on the GP circuit. And here I thought a sly U.S. team could steal Febvre away, but alas that will not happen. The 23-year-old is finding his footing among the established elite. Should he continue to thrive and capture a coveted title, there’s no reason why Romain would skip town and come to America. In the MXGP-versus-AMA Nationals war over talent, Luongo wins this round. If you’re keeping track at home, the FIM has managed to attract Americans Ryan Villopoto and Mike Alessi while keeping their heavy hitters like Cairoli, Herlings, Nagl, Desalle, Strijbos, Tixier, and now Febvre, in Luongo land. What say you, MX Sports?

Paulin_MXGP_10_D_2015Gautier Paulin won the second moto in Germany and finished second overall.

Suddenly the 450 championship picture doesn’t look as bleak for Gautier Paulin. The HRC Honda rider had been less than impressive since his single victory at Valkenswaard. He was averaging around a sixth place finish in the eight motos leading up to Teutschenthal. However, Gautier looked at home on the German circuit, and it showed. He went 3-1 for second overall. Was this the spark that Paulin and Honda were looking for? Sweden will determine whether Gautier has a serious shot at the 450 title, or if he will merely be a supporting character to Febvre and Cairoli and be on the outside looking in. Paulin trails Febvre by 45 points. It’s not farfetched to believe that Gautier is still in it, because this year has been haywire for a lot of riders. Maybe Paulin is peaking at the right time. Wouldn’t that be something?

What of 250 star Jeffrey Herlings and his broken collarbone? It was wise for the Dutch sensation to get his clavicle plated. After all, under normal circumstances a collarbone takes four to eight weeks to heal. It hasn’t been announced whether Jeffrey broke his collarbone in multiple places, which would further complicate matters. Any normal doctor would suggest that Herlings stay off the bike for six weeks, but in matters concerning a World Title, it’s not unheard of to think that time frame would be hastily shortened. A plated collarbone is the fast way to go about things, though complications from infection, non-union of the bone, and neurologic problems can arise. There are two weeks until the next GP in Uddevalla, Sweden. Is that enough time for Herlings to recuperate and salvage points? Possibly. But, you assume that Herlings learned a valuable lesson when he tried to race with his yet-healed femur last year—setting him back for a couple months after the fact. It might be in his best interest to skip Sweden and save himself for Latvia the following weekend. That would give him three weeks to heal up, with the maximum loss of 50 points…although the 250 field has been anything but consistent. If he also sits out Latvia then he could forfeit 100 points. If Tim Gajser goes 1-1-1-1 in those motos (highly unlikely), Herlings is still tied for the lead and will have put his collarbone on ice for over a month. No need to panic at the moment.

hi_ANSTIE_GP10_CDS_41489There’s a lot of weight on Max Anstie’s shoulders. He’s one of the best riders not to win a 250 Grand Prix overall yet this year.

Who is next to win a 250 Grand Prix overall? Max Anstie. The Brit has struggled all season to string two motos together. That was the story once again in Germany, as Anstie went 8-1 for second overall. He has the speed to contend, and a rocket ship Kawasaki under him, but the guy has yet to have a breakout ride in 2015. Sure, he finished second in Germany, but he stumbled into the podium spot. It will be a failure if Max doesn’t win a GP before the season concludes, because he’s that good. Max Anstie and Jordi Tixier have a lot to prove with only eight races remaining. The pressure is on for those boys to perform.

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CRASH VIDEO: TUMBLING TONKOV

THE WINNERS

450 class: Romain Febvre (1-2)

Febvre13_D“Romainiac Febvre” continued in Germany, only it spread to the top of the point standings. That’s one happy Frenchman.

Can this guy be stopped? As the adage goes, make hay while the sun shines. Febvre is taking full advantage of a depleted field. He’s a 450 rookie who doesn’t have the typical teething issues of a rookie. Romain puts himself at the front with good starts, sprints hard, and doesn’t back down from a challenge. With each moto win Romain the train gains confidence. He has a nine point lead on a guy with a broken leg, and is 17 up on a guy with a broken hand.

250 class: Tim Gajser (1-2)

Gajser_MXGP_10_D_2015Tim Gajser won his third 250 GP of the season, and his first outside of Italy.

Germany marked Gajser’s third GP victory of the season. Only Jeffrey Herlings is ahead of Gajser in the total number of wins, at four. Should Tim win the 250 GP in Sweden in two weeks then he will become the first rider this season to win three consecutive races. It’s interesting to note that Gajser jumped up three positions in the standings this weekend. How’d he do it? Winning helped, but he was aided by ho-hum second moto from Valentin Guillod and Aleksandr Tonkov hitting the deck in a horrific crash and failing to score points.

JEFFREY HERLINGS GOES DOWN

This is what a broken collarbone looks like

MASSIMO ZANZANI’S GERMANY PHOTO GALLERY

VanHorebeek_MXGP_10_D_2015Jeremy Van Horebeek went 4-4 for, you guessed it, fourth overall.

Tonkov_MXGP_10_D_2015Aleksandr Tonkov would prefer to forget Germany. He might be down and out with serious shoulder injury, though it’s too early to tell.

Tixier_MXGP_10_D_2015The weight of the number one plate can be heavy. Jordi Tixier needs to capitalize on Jeffrey Herlings’ injury…again.

Strijbos_MXGP_10_D_2015Kevin Strijbos seems to be clicking, evidenced by his second consecutive podium appearance. He finished second in Maggiora and third in Teutschenthal.
Seewer_MXGP_10_D_2015Jeremy Seewer had a bad moto offset a third place in the second moto. He finished sixth overall.

MX2start_MXGP_10_D_2015The 250 class fights for five feet of real estate.

Lieber2_DJulien Lieber went 5-4 for fifth overall in the 250 class.

Jonass_MXGP_10_D_2015Early season revelation Pauls Jonass had a ho-hum day, finishing 6-7 for seventh overall.

hi_RATTRAY_GP10_CDS_teut_37895Tyla Rattray didn’t make Sunday’s motos, sighting extreme back pain for his absence.

Ferris_MXGP_10_D_2015Dean Ferris was up front but was shuffled back in both motos to a sixth place overall score in the 450 class.

evgeny-bobryshev-wins-qualifying-in-germanyEvgeny Bobryshev cracks open a whip for the honeys after winning Saturday’s qualifying race. He went on to finish fifth when it really mattered.

MXGP OF GERMANY HIGHLIGHT VIDEO

GERMAN GRAND PRIX: 450 CLASS

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1. Romain Febvre (Yam)…1-2
2. Gautier Paulin (Hon)…3-1
3. Kevin Strijbos (Suz)…..5-3
4. Jeremy Van Horebeek (Yam)…4-4
5. Evgeny Bobryshev (Hon)…2-7
6. Dean Ferris (Hus)…7-5
7. Shaun Simpson (KTM)…6-9
8. Christophe Charlier (Hon)…8-10
9. Tony Cairoli (KTM)…14-6
10. Glenn Coldenhoff (Suz)…9-12
Other notables: 11. Steven Frossard; 12. Todd Waters; 16. David Philippaerts; 26. Ken de Dycker; DNS. Tyla Rattray; DNS. Max Nagl

GERMAN GRAND PRIX: 250 CLASS

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1. Tim Gajser (Hon)…1-2
2. Max Anstie (Kaw)…8-1
3. Valentin Guillod (Yam)…2-5
4. Jordi Tixier (Kaw)…3-6
5. Julien Lieber (Yam)…5-8
6. Jeremy Seewer (Suz)…12-3
7. Pauls Jonass (KTM)…6-7
8. Benoit Paturnel (Yam)…7-8
9. Brian Bogers (KTM)…11-9
10. Henry Jacobi (KTM)…10-10
Other notables: 12. Petar Petrov, 13. Davy Pootjes; 27. Thomas Covington; 28. Aleksandr Tonkov; 29. Jeffrey Herlings

2015 FIM 450 POINTS STANDINGS

(After 10 of 18 races)
1. Romain Febvre…369
2. Max Nagl…360
3. Tony Cairoli…352
4. Gautier Paulin…324
5. Evgeny Bobryshev…306
6. Clement Desalle…291
7. Shaun Simpson…227
8. Jeremy Van Horebeek…194
9. Todd Waters…192
10. Glenn Coldenhoff…169

2015 FIM 250 POINTS STANDINGS

(After 10 of 18 races)
1. Jeffrey Herlings…398
2. Tim Gajser…298
3. Valentin Guillod…297
4. Pauls Jonass…288
5. Jordi Tixier…286
6. Jeremy Seewer…275
7. Aleksandr Tonkov…256
8. Max Anstie…248
9. Julien Lieber…243
10. Dylan Ferrandis…205

The MXGP series takes a two week reprieve before the action heats up on July 5th in Uddevalla, Sweden. Will the time off be enough for Jeffrey Herlings to come back from a broken collarbone and maintain his points lead? Can Tony Cairoli heal up and challenge Romain Febvre in the 450 class? There are so many questions to be answered, and Sweden marks the big push to the end of the championship. It’s going to be a barn-burner, folks! Thanks for reading the Moto-Master MXGP report, and remember that if your bike is in need of superior stopping power then visit www.moto-masterusa.com. The boys will get you dialed.

Photos by Massimo Zanzani, HRC Honda & KRT Kawasaki

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