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

Valkenswaard GP: Sunday Reports !

FIM MX World Champs 2016

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http://gatedrop.com/   By Andy McKinstry -27th March 2016

It was looking like today could be a mud race with a lot of overnight rain. However, thankfully the weather took a turn for the better and we were in for a good day’s racing. Valkenswaard isn’t quite as fast as usual due to the heavy rain but the track held up very well.

MX2

Qualifying Highlights

The sick Aleksandr Tonkov took the hole shot in the MX2 closely followed by Jeffrey the bullet Herlings. Carnage went on down the start straight as Anstie collided with another rider and went down – he has it all to do tomorrow. Jeremy Seewer also had a small crash in the first corner and brought down a few riders with him.

It didn’t take Herlings long to make his move into the lead, he was around Tonkov by the end of the first lap. Herlings ended up winning the qualification race by 36 seconds, going to take some stopping him tomorrow.

It was all going on behind Herlings though, Tonkov, Jonass and Van Doninck all closely followed each other for second place. Ostlund, Vlaanderen, and Zaragoza were all going well just behind the three rider battle.  Brent Van Doninck was the man on the move though, he passed Jonass and was applying pressure to Tonkov. However, disaster struck and his bike expired, this will give him a terrible gate pick tomorrow but he has the speed, possibly the second quickest guy out there.

Ostlund unfortunately had a small crash that cost him, he picked himself up to eventually finish in eighth. Zaragoza the first half of the moto had no problem staying with the front runners but he started to fade, probably due to not being used to running at the front, he ended up in ninth which is still a good ride for the Spaniard.

Ride of the day has to go to Calvin Vlaanderen who crossed the line in fourth, hopefully the HSF Logistics rider has fully healed from his ankle injury as he has the potential to be another front runner in the class.

Tonkov rode well to hold off Jonass for second place, he will be hoping he has enough in the tank for two moto’s tomorrow as he battles with his sickness.

  1. Jeffrey Herlings
  2. Aleksandr Tonkov
  3. Pauls Jonass
  4. Calvin Vlaanderen
  5. Petar Petrov

MXGP

Qualifying highlights

Max Nagl who hasn’t started the season like he did in 2015, however he finally got himself a holeshot in 2016! A very eager Kevin Strijbos was right behind him, after a terrible start to the season he was in the mood to prove a point. Kevin made his way past Nagl on the second lap and immediately pulled away.

After Strijbos there were a train of riders down to around eleventh before it started to spread out later in the moto but it was great to watch at the beginning – it was intense!

Tim Gajser made the move on Nagl for second to show that he is no slouch in the sand and speed isn’t a problem for the MX2 World Championship. However, he suffered a small crash which put him back in fourth sandwiched between Febvre and Cairoli.

Nagl then started to catch Strijbos and it looked like the Belgian was suffering from the dreaded arm-pump. Disaster struck for Strijbos on lap nine as he had a small crash which allowed Nagl to take the lead. Strijbos picked himself back up in fifth position but went backwards as he lost his rythem.

It was starting to get intense behind Nagl between Simpson, Febvre, Gajser, Cairoli and Coldenhoff but that was the way it stayed until the flag.

It is all to play for tomorrow but the top eight all have the speed for the win. However, have Febvre and Cairoli got more in the tank? We will see tomorrow as there won’t be any settling in the main races.

Filip Bengtsson is no stranger in the sand and rode impressively but a late crash meant he crossed the line in eleventh which is still a good ride for the Castrol Suzuki rider.

A mention for Clement Desalle, it’s great seeing him ride in the top ten again with a ninth place finish.

Tommy Searle and Van Horebeek had a disaster of a first lap and were buried at the back of the pack, they both crossed the line in fifteenth and tenth respectively.

  1. Max Nagl
  2. Shaun Simpson
  3. Romain Febvre
  4. Tim Gajser
  5. Antonio Cairoli

Ben Townley (NZ) qualified 21st. Feeling the cold harder than most was Ben Townley. The New Zealander struggled throughout the day as the after-effects of a virus left the former winner of this Grand Prix without any energy. ‘BT’ managed to endure the 30-minute and two-lap heat race and circulated to 21st position. 

“I got ill at the start of the week and I had to take a lot of medication to get better. I feel absolutely ‘zumped.’ I don't have any energy and do not feel good at all. I wasn't actually going to ride today. We’ll see how I feel tomorrow,” says BT.

EMX250

EMX 250 Highlights

Riding the British championship last week seems to have given Conrad Mewse a world of confidence. The day started great for the Brit as he was the quickest in his group during timed qualification.

When the gate dropped in the moto he then took the holeshot and stretched out his lead, a very impressive performance. It looks like he will be a contender for the title.

Australian Hunter Lawrence  spent the entire moto in second position – an unbelievable ride on his EMX debut. Not only is the result so good but he looks so smooth and in control on the Kawasaki, it looks like he has spent years in the sand, not just a few months! The future is going to be extremely bright for Hunter, without a doubt.

Maxime Renaux was on the move but the second disaster of the day for Kemea Yamaha, his bike then expired! Valuable points lost for the Frenchman but his speed looks impressive.

Reigning champion, Nick Kouwenberg ended up in eighth position, not the best way to start his title defense – work needs done!

Thomas Olsen rounded off the podium in the first moto on-board his Bobo Schmidt Husqvarna, strong ride for the Danish rider.

American, Darian Sanayei didn’t get the best off starts but ended up in seventh with a strong ride, he will improve his speed with more bike time.

Conrad took a great moto victory and will be looking for the same tomorrow, Jacky Martens could be regretting not putting him in MX2 if he keeps these performances up!

  1. Conrad Mewse
  2. Hunter Lawrence
  3. Thomas Olsen
  4. Even Heibye
  5. Anton Lundgren

Josiah Natzke (NZ) qualified about 16th but came 25th.

WOMEN

Race 1 Highlights

Courtney Duncan (NZ) qualified 1st in the Women’s class and achieved the fastest lap in race 1. She got the holeshot but a big body slam crash lost her the lead  and she ran out of time to get it back. However, her 4th place in that race leaves her just 2 points behind home track rider and race winner Nancy Van de Ven on the championship table as they head into the second race of the Valkenswaard round.

Comment from Coppins racing: Up and down day for Courtney Duncan MXGP of Europe. Qualified first, holes hot but crashed while leading and finished fourth. The speed is great we just need tomanage the race & conditions better. Moto2 tomorrow. European tracks are tough! 

1st Nancy Van De Ven, 2nd Kiara Fontanesi, 3rd Livia Lancelot, 4th Courtney Duncan…..13th Madison Brown(AUS)… 15th Jessica Moore (AUS)

Article: Andy McKinstry

Photo: The next crop of champions. Hunter Lawrence and Courtney Duncan  ready for their first experience of a Dutch GP!

And the race report from www.mxlarge.com 

Valkenswaard – Race Report

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Early morning lashings of rain made for a sloppy start to the third round of the FIM Motocross World Championship but by mid-morning the rain had cleared and was replaced with overcast skies, which made for near perfect conditions here in Valkenswaard where Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Max Nagl looked in his element as he took his first pole position of the year in MXGP, while the king of sand Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings did what was expected of him and blitzed the field for his third consecutive qualifying heat win of the season in MX2.

It was an epic start to the European Championship EMX250 season as the rookie, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Conrad Mewse, held off a last minute charge from the Australian rookie, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Hunter Lawrence, for the first race win. Meanwhile the European Championship EMX300 Presented by FMF Racing also had their first moto, which was won by the home soil hero Mike Kras.

Also flying the flag for Holland, Nancy Van de Ven had the fans going mad on the fence line as she capitalized on an error from the early race leader and WMX red plate holder Courtney Duncan and ran away for a convincing race win here at round two of the FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship.

Tight and unpredictable racing is to be expected from this awesome venue in Valkenswaard, which always attracts thousands of enthusiastic motocross mad fans who come here knowing they’re in for some gnarly bar-banging action.

As expected, it didn’t disappoint as the MXGP veterans who have cut their fair share of laps around this historic sand track, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Max Nagl and Team Suzuki World MXGP’s Kevin Strijbos led the way around turn one. Adding some youth to the mix, Honda Gariboldi’s Tim Gajser looked more relaxed than usual in third as he led a freight train of heavy hitters, Wilvo Virus Performance KTM’s Shaun Simpson, Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Romain Febvre, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s duo of Antonio Cairoli and Glenn Coldenhoff.

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There was no doubt precision was the key today with a lot of tricky edges surfacing in the black sand. Initially, it was Strijbos who was on form as he ripped around the outside of Nagl at the end of lap two and instantly pulled a gap while Gajser did the same thing half of a lap later.

Honda Gariboldi’s new prodigy did a great job at holding off MXGP’s finest before a few little errors allowed Nagl back through with Simpson also capitalizing on a bobble or two, for third.

Although he lost a couple of spots, most eyes remained on the rookie, Gajser, as the defending champ, Febvre, and the legend, Cairoli, knocked at his door. Amidst all the commotion for third, the race leader Strijbos hit a massive kicker on a down hill section of the track and crashed. Nagl then inherited the lead while Strijbos dusted himself off in sixth.

As the nail biting race came to a close, Nagl had his lines dialed and pulled away to win by seven seconds over Simpson who had to deal with a fired up Febvre who attempted to work his magic for the runner-up position.

At the checkers Febvre had to settle for third while Gajser held off the wrath of Cairoli who rounded out the top five ahead of his teammate and crowd favorite Coldenhoff.

The early race leader and man fastest in Timed Practice, Kevin Strijbos, finished up in seventh.

MXGP Qualifying Race Top Ten: 1. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Husqvarna), 24:56.988; 2. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), +0:07.932; 3. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:09.667; 4. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:11.580; 5. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:12.967; 6. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:15.594; 7. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), +0:20.399; 8. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:23.972; 9. Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:37.081; 10. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:37.329.

        

A unique ‘S’ bend first corner always makes for an interesting start which seems to work in favor of Wilvo Standing Construct Yamaha’s Aleksandr Tonkov who replicated what he did last year and took the holeshot. Right off the bat Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s sandman Jeffrey Herlings was in a dangerous position exiting turn one, second place, and he made light work of the Russian as expected.

Unsurprisingly ‘The Bullet’, Herlings, made the square edged sand circuit look silky smooth as he cruised home for his third consecutive pole position of the year.

Meanwhile, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pauls Jonass was all over Tonkov like a rash but couldn’t find an opening, which allowed a couple of riders to creep up on him. One of which was the Belgian who hit a career milestone at the MXGP of The Netherlands last year, Kemea Yamaha Official MX Team’s Brent Van doninck. Van doninck was looking fierce as he balanced his attack and defense mechanisms, pressuring Jonass while holding off HSF Logistics Motosport’s Calvin Vlaanderen.

In the latter stages of the race silly mistakes started to get the better of Jonass, which saw Van doninck eventually nail third with an easy pass on the entrance of the waves. Unfortunately, a lap later, it was all over for Van doninck when his bike went pop. That gave Jonass third place in the MXGP of Europe MX2 Qualifier behind Herlings and Tonkov while Vlaanderen faded back but maintained fourth ahead of Team Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Petar Petrov.

MX2 Qualifying Race Top Ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 24:40.006; 2. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, Yamaha), +0:36.003; 3. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), +0:37.167; 4. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, KTM), +0:50.171; 5. Petar Petrov (BUL, Kawasaki), +0:56.259; 6. Benoit Paturel (FRA, Yamaha), +0:58.111; 7. Roberts Justs (LAT, KTM), +1:14.439; 8. Alvin Östlund (SWE, Yamaha), +1:16.347; 9. Jorge Zaragoza (ESP, Honda), +1:28.825; 10. Freek van der Vlist (NED, Kawasaki), +1:30.866.

        

All the photos of the MXGP of Europe will be available here

 

MXGP EUROPE – QUICK FACTS

Circuit length: 1550m

Type of ground: sand

Temperature: 12°C

Weather conditions: changeable

 

 
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