Tuesday 18th December: All tracks closed today.

GP of Mexico Preview

FIM MX World Champs 2014

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It’s the curtain call for what has been one of the most memorable MXGP seasons ever. The seventeenth and final round of the 2014 FIM Motocross World Championship will take place at yet another all new and exciting location this weekend, in Leon, Mexico. Ray Archer/KTM image

While no one has seen or raced on the newly built circuit in Leon, it is said to embody an intermediate base soil, which has been well watered due to a lot of rain over the last month. In terms of lay out and structure, this is left to the imagination until we check it out later today.

Onto the racing, the top four positions in the MXGP class have been locked down with Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli claiming his sixth consecutive premier class world title last weekend in the State of Goias, Brazil, extending his staggering tally of FIM Motocross World Titles to eight.

Meanwhile, Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jeremy Van Horebeek will go to see a specialist in Mexico this week where he will undergo an MRI scan to check the extent of the muscle or ligament damage in his ankle. At Goiania airport a couple of days ago the Belgian said, “Yamaha Mexico have arranged for me to have my foot checked out over there, if it is ok I might ride, we will see.” Weather he lines up or not, the twenty-four year old was crowned vice world champion after he bravely nursed his injured ankle home in race one at State of Goias.

As for the Rockstar Energy Suzuki World duo Kevin Strijbos and Clement Desalle, both have secured their positions for the year with Strijbos wrapping up third and Desalle fourth. While Desalle will not be on the line since he recently underwent surgery on his scaphoid, Strijbos will definitely be one to watch this weekend as he takes his final stab at his first MXGP race, and or, GP win of the season.

With the top four all set, the focus of the championship turns to the battle for fifth, between Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Steven Frossard who overtook this year’s fastest privateer Hitachi Construction Machinery UK KTM’s Shaun Simpson last weekend in Goias when the Scot dislocated his shoulder in race one. Remarkably, a bit of magic tape and Simpson lined up for race two. Simpson has since said his shoulder feels fine and he will be fit to fight this weekend as he trails Frossard by ten points.

In terms of potential race or MXGP round winners, if last weekend’s dominating force Max Nagl keeps the momentum he was carrying in Brazil, the Team HRC rider could in fact wrap up the year with a perfect finish.

Meanwhile, the usual suspects Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Gautier Paulin, and of course, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli are also certain to be lingering around up front. Cairoli was the Grand Prix winner at the last Mexican round of the FIM Motocross World Championship, which took place in 2012, while it’s a commonly known fact the ever determined Frenchman, Paulin, never lines up for anything less than a race win.

Since Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings got injured heading into round fourteen of the FIM MX2 World Championship, which took place in the Czech Republic, the race to the top step of the podium has been literally wide open. So far, from the three rounds Herlings has missed, three riders have joined the exclusive circle of MX2 Grand Prix winners with Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jordi Tixier to be the first to step up to the plate followed by BikeIT Yamaha Cosworth’s Max Anstie and Wilvo Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Romain Febvre.

Heading into this weekend Febvre will be carrying some extra confidence coming fresh off of his first ever race and Grand Prix win, which were both also firsts for Husqvarna since the re-launch of the brand.

Meanwhile CLS Kawasaki Monster Energy’s Dylan Ferrandis has been itching to get a Grand Prix win under his belt. The Frenchman is more than capable, but in order to do so he will have to minimize his mistakes. Remember, he is in fact one of the very few race winners to have won a race fair and square against ‘The Bullet’, Herlings, which he did in the opening race of the year in Qatar.

Most have come to realize Grand Prix wins will be rolling in sooner rather than later for Honda Gariboldi’s Tim Gajser, who turned eighteen-years-old on Monday. After claiming his first ever MX2 race victory last weekend, the seriously talented Slovenian has proved he is a genuine threat to the top step of the podium.

But the hottest topic remains, the championship chase. Twenty-three points separate the two Red Bull KTM Factory Racing riders, Jeffrey Herlings and Jordi Tixier, with fifty points still up for grabs.

Weather Herlings will be on the line or not is still a great mystery with the nineteen-year-old being very cryptic and mysterious on his social media platforms. If Herlings does line up, it will be one of the most exciting MX2 finales in history. But, if he doesn’t, then Tixier only needs to finish inside the top nine in both races to win his first ever FIM Motocross World Championship.

SATURDAY: MX2 Free Practice 10:30; MXGP Free Practice 11:00; MX2 Time Practice 13:00; MXGP Time Practice 13:35; MX2 Qualifying race 15:10; MXGP Qualifying race 16:00.

SUNDAY: MX2 Warm-up 10:20; MXGP Warm-up 10:50; MX2 Race 1 12:05; MXGP Race 1 13:05; MX2 Race 2 15:10; MXGP Race 2 16:10.

 
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