2016 MXGP of Spain Results and Coverage |
Gajser Scores A Double Win
With double wins at the MXGP of Spain, Tim Gajser (Team Gariboldi Honda) has taken the first commanding lead in the 2016 MXGP Championship standings. After battling back and forth in the championship chase with defending MXGP Champion Romain Febvre (Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing), Gajser took full advantage of injuries suffered by Febvre in Saturday’s Qualifying race.
Although Max Nagl (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing) grabbed the Fox Holeshot in both races, Gajser reeled Nagl in on Lap 3 in Race 1 and before the completion of a full lap in Race 2. From there, Gajser rode flawlessly, avoiding the falls that have plagued him in the previous two rounds.
Nagl was unchallenged in the runner-up spot in both races, as only Gajser passed him and no other riders showed him a wheel. “I got the holeshot in both motos and lead the races for the first few laps,” Nagl said, though not quite correct. “Gajser was a little bit quicker around the track, so when he passed me in Race 1 and in Race 2, I tried to ride smart and stay behind him. Our lap times were a bit better than the rest of the field, and I was happy to finish both races in a good second position. This GP is a big confidence booster for me and for my team.”
The MXGP of Spain was also a big comeback for Gautier Paulin (Team HRC), who started the year injured. Paulin started Race 1 in fourth and held it to the end, and started Race 2 in third, repeating the process of not being passed. His 4-3 performance put him on the race podium and overall podium for the first time in 2016. ““I’m really happy to be riding again after the injury and enjoying my time on the bike, having fun, and to be on the podium again. I couldn’t believe I could have two good races like that because I was still feeling tired, and I think I pushed more mentally than physically because my condition is missing a little, because I haven’t been able to train like I want during my recovery.”
Both races were generally processional, with a few notable exceptions. In Race 1, Valentin Guillod (KEMEA Yamaha Official MX Team) made a last corner pass for seventh place on Jeremy Van Horebeek (Monster Energy Factory Racing). The pass attempt left Guillod next to the support column for the finish line sign, but he did best Van Horebeek.
Febvre worked his way forward in both races, with a few tussles along the way, which certainly were affected by his injured right shoulder, elbow and arm. Starting 11th in Race 1, he quickly passed Jordi Tixier (Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team), before going back and forth with Glenn Coldenhoff (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) until Coldenhoff went down on Lap 5. Febvre held eighth position for eight laps before finally surrendering it to a charging Guillod on Lap 13.
Things went much better for Febvre in Race 2, as he started in fifth, and battled again with Guillod. This time, Guillod faded and eventually dropped to eighth at the end, just behind Van Horebeek. Febvre looked settled into fifth, but he eventually chased down a flagging Evgeny Bobryshev (Team HRC) on Lap 15. Bobryshev dropped back quickly, and Febvre made a run at Paulin on the final three laps. However, midway through the final lap, Paulin vaulted to an insurmountable lead, and Paulin held onto the final podium position in Race 2. Febvre reported, “Nothing is broken in my shoulder, but there is some damage. It is very painful to ride. I can only hold the bars, but I cannot pull. So, it’s a tough weekend.”
Despite Febvre’s injury, which was the result of Tony Cairoli (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) hitting Febvre when he fell in the Qualifying race, Cairoli finished behind Febvre in the MXGP of Spain overall standings.
After some back and forth with Jose Butron (Marchetti Racing Team KTM), Cairoli settled into fifth place for almost the entirety of Race 1. That was certainly a disappointment for Cairoli, who had three wins in the previous four races and was closing in on Gajser and Febvre in the 2016 MXGP Championship standings.
Race 2 went much worse for Cairoli. He was running in eighth for the first four laps, but within shouting distance of fourth place. However, Cairoli went down on Lap 6. Although he lost only one position, he was no longer in touch with the riders battling for fourth. Cairoli was able to make no other advancement and finished a distant ninth. Cairoli lost 22 championship points on the day to Gajser and two points to Febvre.
The next round is the MXGP of France on June 5, which means Febvre will have a limited time to heal before returning to the racetrack. Gajser will be looking to expand on his now commanding lead on Febvre and Cairoli as the MXGP Championship Series has now passed the halfway point.
Photography by Youthstream
2016 MXGP of Spain Race 1 Results
- Tim Gajser (Honda), 34:19.713
- Max Nagl (Husqvarna), +0:07.344
- Clement Desalle (Kawasaki), +0:11.598
- Gautier Paulin (Honda), +0:13.207
- Tony Cairoli (KTM), +0:15.021
- Evgeny Bobryshev (Honda), +0:16.983
- Valentin Guillod (Yamaha), +0:18.001
- Jeremy Van Horebeek (Yamaha), +0:18.012
- Romain Febvre (Yamaha), +0:38.268
- Tommy Searle (Kawasaki), +0:40.756
2016 MXGP of Spain Race 2 Results
- Tim Gajser, 34:15.981
- Max Nagl, +0:03.607
- Gautier Paulin, +0:06.614
- Romain Febvre, +0:12.734
- Evgeny Bobryshev, +0:18.755
- Clement Desalle, +0:32.631
- Jeremy Van Horebeek, +0:39.036
- Valentin Guillod, +0:45.513
- Tony Cairoli, +0:51.895
- Shaun Simpson (KTM), +0:53.494
2016 MXGP of Spain Overall Results
- Tim Gajser, 1-1, 50 points
- Max Nagl, 2-2, 44
- Gautier Paulin, 4-3, 38
- Clement Desalle, 3-6, 35
- Evgeny Bobryshev, 6-5, 31
- Romain Febvre, 9-4, 30
- Antonio Cairoli, 5-9, 28
- Jeremy Van Horebeek, 8-7, 27
- Valentin Guillod, 7-8, 27
- Shaun Simpson, 11-10, 21
MXGP Championship Standings (after 9 of 18 rounds)
- Tim Gajser, 385 points (8 race wins)
- Romain Febvre, 361 (6 race wins)
- Tony Cairoli, 338 (3 race wins)
- Max Nagl, 317 (1 race win)
- Evgeny Bobryshev, 295
- Jeremy Van Horebeek, 274
- Shaun Simpson, 210
- Kevin Strijbos, 204
- Valentin Guillod, 180
- Glenn Coldenhoff, 156
- Tommy Searle, 150
- Christophe Charlier, 142
- Ben Townley, 119
- Clement Desalle, 117
- Jose Butron, 112