Author: David Bulmer
Much like the entire MX2 season so far, Ken Roczen grabbed the holeshot in race one, but unlike a lot of the season, his teammate Jeffrey Herlings wasn't in tow behind him. After a bad qualifying race Herlings had a bad gate pick and could "only" get a top five start. Instead it was a couple of other KTMs who were following Roczen around, namely Joel Roelants and Jeremy van Horebeek.
As always Tommy Searle didn't get a great start, but at his home GP, that wouldn't deter the British star. First things first though, he had to work his way up from 5th, including overtaking Gautier Paulin. Trouble is, the Frenchman was in defiant mode and he wasn't making it easy as Searle had to follow him around for 11 laps.
By this stage Roczen had checked out, and it was just a battle for the podium sports between Roelants, van Horebeek, Paulin, Searle and a charging Teillet. Herlings was dropping down the field in an uncharacteristic race from the Dutchman, eventually finishing 7th. By the time Searle got passed Paulin, it was just Roelants to go, and by that stage the crowd were in fine voice, making as much noise as possible to spur on the Brit. Roelants would try his hardest to hold him off but eventually he'd succumb with four laps remaining. Paulin would finish fourth, Teillet fifth and van Horebeek dropping to sixth. Max Anstie would overcome last gate pick to move all the way from 19th, to finish 10th.
In race two, once again Roczen got the holeshot, but this time Herlings would be back on his tail, Searle would get one of his best starts of the year and it really looked like game-on. Unfortunately neither the Dutchman nor Searle could make any impact on Roczen's lead, nor on each other, so a rather dull race unfolded at the front of the field. In fact it was only on the last lap, when Herlings had bike problems would Searle overtake him to second. Herlings did still hold on to fourth and couldn't gather the effort for a podium as Gautier Paulin had worked his way all the way from 13th to fourth place, good enough for the third step. Roelants would probably have got the position had his bike not given up halfway through the race. Arnaud Tonus got a fifth place with Englishman Jake Nicholls in sixth, following on from an eighth in race one.
All this means is Roczen can now clinch the title at his home GP of Gaildorf, in a couple of week's time.
|Pos||Rider||Nat.||Bike||Race 1||Race 2||Total|
The MX1 class had a little bit of extra excitement for Sunday's races because it finally looked like Christophe Pourcel had returned to race pace. He won the qualifying race the day before and showed not only the speed, but also the stamina (albeit for 20+2) that had been missing earlier in the year.
When the race got underway, the excitement grew even more as behind Frossard (who got the holeshot), it was the Crafty One himself tucked in neatly behind, following his every move. The crowd's excitement almost reached exploding point as in third place was the returning prodigal son, Billy Mackenzie, who'd made the trip back from Australia to compete in a couple of events.
Frossard and Pourcel were pulling out quite a gap and became pretty clear it would be one of the two who'd take the win. Mackenzie was riding well, but there was a bit of a freight train developing behind him as Rui Goncalves, Antonio Cairoli, Tanel Leok and Max Nagl all waited for the Scotsman to slip up. Eventually all four riders did get past, but it was still a good result for a rider who's used to racing 20+2 motos, not 35+2. Cairoli was trying his best to catch the top two, but in the end had to settle for third, fighting off the Estonian Express on the last lap as Leok looked for a podium spot.
Having followed Frossard the entire race, and with just three laps to go, it looked like Pourcel wouldn't have anything for his countryman, and in a way, he didn't. Instead, Frossard would stall his bike in a corner and gift Pourcel his first GP for five years.
If the excitement at the beginning of race one was a lot, it was nothing compared to when race two got underway and Shaun Simpson led the field around for the first few laps. Pourcel was tracking him every step of the way but would crash on the tabletop, pulling off when he reached the pitlane. He didn't seem too badly hurt, nor the bike badly beaten up, so people were probably thinking "typical Pourcel" at that stage. However after Frossard had moved into the lead, with Carlos Campano (onboard David Philippaerts's bike) third, and Davide Guarneri fourth, a sickening moment happened on the big jump midway round the track. It was a jump that riders either quadded, or tripled, but usually at different times. Unfortunately Leok tripled infront of Mackenzie who quadded, and the Scotsman used Leok's back as a landing bump. This sent both riders flying, with Mackenzie knocked out cold. Because he wasn't moving, and because he was lying in the middle of the track, that race was red-flagged, and with less than half the race completed, that meant a full restart.
The main beneficiary of the restart (other than Pourcel) was Antonio Cairoli who was way down the field in race one having made a couple of mistakes. He took the holeshot ahead of, you've guessed it, Pourcel who had to be fetched from his car so that he'd race again. Frossard would also be up there, but overtaking Simpson, and overtaking Cairoli/Pourcel are two totally different things. Frossard would move into second halfway through the race but Cairoli was gone, meaning the Italian would squeak out the overall with his 3-1 beating Pourcel's 1-3 and Frossard's 2-2. Behind them was an extremely depleted MX1 class, missing two more riders to add to the injury list of de Dycker, Ramon, Townley, Bobryshev, Desalle and Philippaerts. This meant Jonathan Barragan would take fourth, ahead of Max Nagl, a disappointed Campano would be sixth ahead of a charging Brad Anderson. Shaun Simpson, after all his heroics in the red-flagged race would be 10th.
Cairoli now sits 82pts ahead of Frossard in second place, and like his KTM teammate Roczen, can win the title next round at Gaildorf in Germany.
|Pos||Rider||Nat.||Bike||Race 1||Race 2||Total|
|10||Campano Jimenez, Carlos||ESP||Yamaha||6||15||21|