Wednesday 12th & Thursday 13th December: Tracks closed. The rain up here in the hills keeps coming.

Holland GP Qualifying Report

FIM MX World Champs 2014

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Click here for the qualifying highlights

Offering a hard and choppy base with sandy topsoil, Valkenswaard set a very tricky and challenging stage for round six of the FIM Motocross World Championship, which kicked off today with the qualifying heat dominance of the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s dynamic duoAntonio Cairoli and Jeffrey Herlings.  Ray Archer image

MXGP

The MXGP class had their work cut out for them right from the get-go when the reigning world champion Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli got off to a cracker of a start. Chasing the Italian around turn one, Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Gautier Paulin led two of Belgium’s hottest sand riders, Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jeremy Van Horebeek and Rockstar Energy Suzuki World’s Kevin Strijbos.

While Cairoli appeared to find his rhythm immediately, Van Horebeek and Strijbos were ganging up on the Frenchman Paulin, who soon subdued to the pressure of Van Horebeek. With Van Horebeek going through to take second, Paulin was dropped back to third and forced to juggle his modes of attack or defense, while Strijbos remained relentless in fourth.

Although all three kept each other honest, it was Van Horebeek to cross the line nine seconds back from the red plate of Cairoli, while Paulin held off the Belgian Strijbos for third. Rockstar Energy Suzuki World’s Clement Desalle found a way around Team HRC’s Evgeny Bobryshev and Red Bull IceOne Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Tyla Rattray late in the race to finish fifth while Bobryshev rode steady to take sixth with Rattray coming home in seventh.MXGP Qualifying Race top ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 24:47.567; 2. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:09.375; 3. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:11.446; 4. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), +0:14.663; 5. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), +0:37.726; 6. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:43.907; 7. Tyla Rattray (RSA, Husqvarna), +0:46.394; 8. Joel Roelants (BEL, Honda), +0:48.898; 9. Steven Frossard (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:53.139; 10. Tanel Leok (EST, TM), +1:04.094.

MX2

With a gigantic roar of the crowd, the gates dropped to the advantage of CLS Kawasaki Monster Energy’s Arnaud Tonus who claimed the holeshot ahead of two of MX2’s freshest faces, Standing Construct KTM’s Valentin Guillod and Honda Gariboldi’s Tim Gajser. With Tonus in the prime position and the king of sand Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings sitting well outside of the top five, the fans got on their feet in anticipation of yet another Herlings vs Tonus show down.

Although the idea of a massive battle between the red plate holder Tonus and the reigning MX2 world champion Herlings sounded great in theory, it turned out to be somewhat of an anti-climax as Herlings wasted no time in slicing his way through the pack to take over the lead on lap two. While Herlings unsurprisingly went on to check out, Tonus was forced to deal with a bout of pressure from his Swiss counterpart Guillod who was charging hard in third yet doing his best to keep the 2012 EMX125 champion Gajser at bay.

While the top four proceeded to run away, a huge battle was unfolding as Wilvo Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Romain FebvreCLS Kawasaki Monster Energy’s Dylan Ferrandis and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jordi Tixier engaged in a three-way for fifth. After dicing the position back and forth for the majority of the race, it was Tixier who eventually rose to the occasion and took control of the position.

Twenty-minutes plus two laps on, the real Jeffrey Herlings confirmed his attendance, stamping his authority in the sand once again by winning by over twenty-seven seconds over Arnaud Tonus, Valentin Guillod and Tim Gajser. Jordi Tixier edged out a persistent Romain Febvre for fifth while Dylan Ferrandis dropped back to finish a comfortable seventh.

MX2 Qualifying Race top ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 24:38.409; 2. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Kawasaki), +0:27.919; 3. Valentin Guillod (SUI, KTM), +0:33.531; 4. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:34.371; 5. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), +0:37.604; 6. Romain Febvre (FRA, Husqvarna), +0:43.509; 7. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:56.064; 8. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Suzuki), +1:05.112; 9. Damon Graulus (BEL, KTM), +1:06.603; 10. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, Husqvarna), +1:08.314.

EMX

Round three of the European Championship EMX125 and the opening round of the European Championship EMX150 also took to the gnarly Valkenswaard sand with two local heroes both winning the first races of their respective classes.

Red Bull KTM Racing’s Davy Pootjes did his home fans proud, wining his fourth EMX125 race of the year ahead of Diga Racing’s Tomass Sileika and SV Racing MX Team Russia’s Ivan Baranov, while in the EMX150 another Dutch sensation in the form of Rick Elzinga dominated ahead of Finnish duo Jere Haavisto and Matias Murto.

WMX

The third round of the FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship also got underway with their first race of the weekend. After winning her home round in Arco di Trento, Italy, Chiara Fontanesi was in tip-top shape here today passing Natalie Kane in the early phase of the race to run away with her second victory this season. Meanwhile Bud Racing Kawasaki’s Meghan Rutledge recovered from a bad start to charge her way to second, dropping the red plate holder, Kane, back to third.

Click here to obtain the complete results.

All the photos of the MXGP of The Netherlands will be available here

MXGP NETHERLANDS – QUICK FACTS

Circuit length: 1500

Type of ground: Sand

Temperature: 14°C

Weather conditions: sunny

 
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