UPDATE: Saturday 15th & Sunday 16th December. Closed. Unfortunately torrential rain has now made the tracks too wet.

Finland Qualifying

FIM MX World Champs 2014

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GP of Finland – Race Report

Hyvinkää brings out those emotions you get when your local track gets its first ‘big-time’ race. It has a homely feel with flowing loamy turns and tricky sand straights that get incredibly chopped up and technically challenging. Ray Archer image below

Proving to be the masters of the sand, as predicted, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s pair of champions Antonio Cairoli and Jeffrey Herlings bagged pole in their respective classes.

cairoli cropped

Meanwhile also taking place here at MXGP of Finland, the first races of the European Championships EMX65, EMX85, EMX250 and EMX300.

Starting with the little dudes, Russian Maksim Kraev ran away for the first EMX65 race win ahead of fellow Russian Nikita Kucherov while super Swede Noel Nilsson recovered from a hugely impressive superman/indian air/nac-nac turn crash, to wrap up an impressive third.

In the EMX85, Belgium’s future star Jago Geerts put in a sensational ride claim the maximum twenty-five points while Holland’s Roan Van De Moosdijk took second with local kid Kim Savaste rounding out the top three.

With all three growing up racing in the sand of Belgium and Holland, Creymert Racing’s Brent Van Doninck, HSF Logistics Motorsport Team’s Brian Bogers and Kemea Yamaha Racing Team’s Nick Kouwenberg came home in first, second and third in the EMX250 respectively, while in the EMX300 TM Racing Team’s Samuele Bernardini dominated from start to finish for his eighth race win of the season. GL12 Racing’s Lewis Gregory came home in second with Wilvo Forkrent KTM’s Kenny Van Dueren rounding out the top three.

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli welcomed everyone to the Tony Cairoli show today when he had his KTM350SX-F tapped off the start to take the holeshot and run away for his fifth pole position of the season.

Meanwhile behind the defending champ, BikeIT Yamaha Cosworth’s Rui Gonçalves was feeling it, chasing TC222 around turn one and finally showing what he is really capable of, while Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jeremy Van Horebeek and Hitachi Construction Machinery UK KTM’s Shaun Simpson followed.

Before the end of lap three, Van Horebeek made a nice move up the inside of Gonçalves to take over second, but was already up against the eight ball for the win with Cairoli out front making the most of his clear track.

Engaging in one of the most impressive battles of the race, Gonçalves kept a tenacious Simpson at bay for at least half the heat before relenting and settling for fourth.

Despite a mediocre start, CLS Kawasaki Monster Energy’s Tommy Searle got creative out there to push his way into fifth and round out the top five while props have to be given to Swedish Filip Bengtsson who was hauling all day, remarkably topping the charts in both free and timed practice and finishing his day off with a sixth place finish in the qualifying heat race.

The thrills and spills of MX2’s qualifying heat race here in Hyvinkää made it easily the most captivating qualifying race of the season. With sand being the surface, most would have expected Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings to run away with it, and while the Flying Dutchman did win; it was far from an easy feat.

When the gates dropped, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jordi Tixier was the man who threw together the best jump, traction and gear shifts to take the holeshot ahead of the local hero Sahkar Racing’s Harri Kullas, CLS Kawasaki Monster Energy’s Dylan Ferrandis and Standing Construct KTM’s Valentin Guillod. Herlings came around turn one in sixth but wasting no time in typical Herlings fashion had already moved into second before the end of lap one.

By the end of lap two Herlings had drag raced his teammate Tixier down the back straight to take over the lead. While Tixier appeared more determined than ever to hold onto the back of the reigning world champ he soon came undone with a horrendous crash over the finish line jump.

Like dominoes, the riders started dropping with the ‘most surprising fall award’ going to Herlings who was pinning it around a berm which broke away at the exit high siding him off the bike and knocking the wind out of him.

While Herlings struggled to get his breath back, CLS Kawasaki Monster Energy’s Dylan Ferrandis and Standing Construct KTM’s Valentin Guillod inherited the first and second positions.

While Guillod pushed to keep Ferrandis honest, the same corner that caught Herlings out was causing absolute carnage with riders like Yamaha Factory Racing’s Christophe Charlier, Honda Gariboldi’s Tim Gajser and Wilvo Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Romain Febvre being just a few of a handful to fall victim to the tricky turn.

As the race went on, Herlings who had only lost a few positions, slowly started to regain his rhythm, charging past the Fin Kullas, who was doing an amazing job in third, before going to work on Guillod. Speaking of the Swiss sensation Guillod, an ‘A’ for effort has to be given as he held off the hot favorite for at least ten minutes.

After eating roost off of the back wheel of Guillod’s Standing Construct KTM, Herlings soon had had enough and made an aggressive pass on the Swiss rider. After moving into second it was four laps to go for the champ who was about eight seconds down on the leader Ferrandis. Nevertheless, he was determined and it was obvious there is no way ‘The King of Sand’ would want to be beaten on his number one surface.

With two laps to go, it was evident it would be a race to the finish. Herlings had closed right up on Ferrandis who had taken a look over his shoulder and caught a glimpse of the red plated number 84 machine. While the Frenchman rode phenomenal in what was one of the best qualifying race show-downs of the season, about fifteen seconds from the checkers the eager Dutchman threw in a scrub and got his weight right back for maximum traction to out drag the CLS Kawasaki rider and take over the lead for the race win.

Guillod came home in a convincing third, twenty-one seconds clear of Kemea Yamaha Racing’s Petar Petrov and Sahkar Racing’s local lad Harri Kullas, who both obtained their best place finishes of the season in fourth and fifth respectively.

Grand Prix of Finland – Qualification Results

MXGP Qualifying Race top ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 23:43.894; 2. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:09.461; 3. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), +0:13.782; 4. Rui Goncalves (POR, Yamaha), +0:15.663; 5. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:20.507; 6. Filip Bengtsson (SWE, KTM), +0:23.730; 7. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), +0:27.886; 8. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), +0:28.907; 9. Nathan Watson (GBR, Husqvarna), +0:29.773; 10. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Honda), +0:31.514.

MX2 Qualifying Race top ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 23:32.491; 2. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:00.386; 3. Valentin Guillod (SUI, KTM), +0:08.644; 4. Petar Petrov (BUL, Yamaha), +0:29.617; 5. Harri Kullas (FIN, KTM), +0:32.289; 6. Julien Lieber (BEL, Suzuki), +0:36.672; 7. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), +0:41.318; 8. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), +0:43.458; 9. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, Husqvarna), +0:44.411; 10. Vsevolod Brylyakov (RUS, Honda), +0:51.709.

 

 
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