Gajser Wins In Argentina | Febvre Crashes Twice, Retains Series Lead
With a win in Race 2, his fourth Race victory of the year, Honda Gariboldi’s Tim Gajser took the overall victory at the MXGP of Patagonia Argentina. Gajser finished 3rd in Race 1 behind Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tony Cairoli and winner Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Max Nagl.
The picturesque Patagonia Race Track at Neuquen was fast and smooth in Race 1, as the volcanic soil makes for ideal racing loam. However, after a day’s worth of racing, the track became choppy and occasionally treacherous, with a hard base below the loam. Weather was ideal.
Nagl jumped off to the lead early in Race 1 and led every single lap, finishing a comfortable five seconds ahead of Cairoli. Cairoli had a long three-way battle with Gajser and Team HRC’s Evgeny Bobryshev. After numerous shuffling of positions, Cairoli came out as the leader of the trio, taking the second spot on the podium, nearly three seconds ahead of Gajser. Bobryshev eventually dropped off the pace, finishing in 4th, four seconds behind 3rd place.
Reigning MXGP World Champion and 2016 Championship series leader, Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team’s Romain Febvre got off to a terrible start, and then crashed on Lap 1. Down in 16th at the end of the disastrous first lap, Febvre moved up to 10th by the end of Lap 4.
From there, Febvre methodically moved forward, battling with Monster Energy DRT Kawasaki’s Tommy Searle and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Glenn Coldenhoff—passing both on Lap 8. Febvre then charged ahead to eventually pass Wilvo Virus Performance KTM’s Shaun Simpson (on Lap 9) and Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Clément Desalle (on Lap 13). After passing Desalle for 6th, teammate Jeremy Van Horebeek was far ahead of Febvre, who settled for 6th.
Gajser pulled a holeshot in Race 2 and cruised to a solid win. As in Race 1, Cairoli was in 2nd place for the entire race, but was never able to challenge for the win, nor was he in danger of losing a position. Cairoli, who continues to recover from preseason injuries, earned his first MXGP podium of 2016. “I’m not yet at my best,” Cairoli said afterward, “but I have to make the best of it. I am happy with my riding, although I have to ride different to what I am used to because I feel not strong enough in some places. But, it’s okay, and it gets better and better.”
Bobryshev was in podium position through the first six laps, but crashed hard, eventually dropping back to 12th at the finish.
Although Febvre had a good start in Race 2, he went down in the first lap, dropping him to 11th after the first completion of the circuit. As with Race 1, Febvre went into salvage mode and began quickly picking off riders. By Lap 8 he had worked his way to 5th place behind teammate Van Horebeek. Unlike Race 1, Van Horebeek was catchable, and an epic three-way battle between Febvre, Van Horebeek, and Race 1 winner Nagl emerged.
Numerous position changes occurred before Febvre pulled away and a tiring Nagl faded, with the trio’s finishing order being Febvre-Van Horebeek-Nagl. Nagle lamented losing positions late in Race 2, saying, “I’m a little bit disappointed because I could have won this GP, but I backed off and the Yamaha guys passed me. But, a third place is better than a DNF, so I am happy.”
Nagl’s loss of position (1-5) cost him the overall win, dropping him to 3rd on the overall box, behind Gajser (3-1) and Cairoli (2-2). Gajser was understandably pleased with the weekend, saying “I won my first ever qualifying race yesterday and I took a FOX holeshot and won today. Next we go to Mexico and I have good memories there, I won my first ever MX2 race there and I really like the track so I look forward to going there.”
Febvre (6-3), who is a reliable podium resident, finished well behind Nagl, keeping Febvre off the box. Van Horebeek (5-4) took 5th overall behind teammate Febvre.
MXGP of Patagonia Argentina Overall Winner Gajser, who has one more Race win than Febvre in 2016, still trails Febvre leaving Argentina, 172-169, with Cairoli 25 points behind Gajser.
Simpson, who took 8th in Race 1, suffered a broken nose in Race 2 and had to retire.
Results: MXGP of Patagonia Argentina, Race 1
- Max Nagl (GER, Husqvarna), 34:29.721
- Tony Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:05.185
- Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:07.776
- Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:11.472
- Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:12.973
- Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:24.641
- Clément Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:34.253
- Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), +0:40.168
- Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:46.162
- Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:52.900
Results: MXGP of Patagonia Argentina, Race 2
- Tim Gajser, 34:47.423
- Tony Cairoli, +0:03.936
- Romain Febvre, +0:07.794
- Jeremy Van Horebeek, +0:11.910
- Max Nagl, +0:19.640
- Glenn Coldenhoff, +0:40.886
- Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), +0:47.977
- Valentin Guillod (SUI, Yamaha), +0:51.197
- Shaun Simpson, +0:53.609
- Christophe Charlier (FRA, Husqvarna), +0:54.351
Overall Results: MXGP of Patagonia Argentina
- Tim Gajser, 45 points
- Tony Cairoli, 44
- Maximilian Nagl, 41
- Romain Febvre, 35
- Jeremy Van Horebeek, 34
- Glenn Coldenhoff, 27
- Evgeny Bobryshev, 27
- Shaun Simpson, 25
- Kevin Strijbos, 24
- Clément Desalle, 24
2016 MXGP Championship Standings (after 4 of 18 rounds)
- Romain Febvre, 172 points (3 Race wins)
- Tim Gajser, 169 (4 Race wins)
- Tony Cairoli, 144
- Jeremy Van Horebeek, 138
- Evgeny Bobryshev, 134
- Maximilian Nagl, 125 (1 Race win)
- Shaun Simpson, 105
- Kevin Strijbos, 103
- Glenn Coldenhoff, 82 p
- Tommy Searle, 74
MXGP of Patagonia Argentina Photo Gallery
Photography courtesy of Youthstream