2016 MXGP of France Results and Coverage |
Gajser, Febvre Take Command
MXGP World Championship Series leaders Tim Gajser and Romain Febvre dominated the MXGP of France proceedings at the Circuit du Puy de Poursay at Saint-Jean-d’Angély, stretching out their lead over the field as the 2016 MXGP World Championship Series begins the second half of the season.
Race 1 was an epic battle between Gajser (Team Gariboldi Honda) and Febvre (Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing). Febvre took the lead early with Tony Cairoli (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) in second, followed by Gajser. By Lap 6, Gajser had moved past Cairoli and set out after Febvre, who was still feeling the effects of an injury suffered when Cairoli hit a downed Febvre in the MXGP of Spain’s Qualifying race.
Gajser put his head down on Lap 6 and turned in a blistering 1:45 lap time, the fastest of the race. Leaving Cairoli behind, Gajser steadily moved up on Febvre until passing the reigning MXGP World Champion on Lap 12. However, Gajser was unable to shake Febvre, who never let Gajser out of his sight.
Gajser was able to keep about a one-second lead on Febvre from Lap 15 until the penultimate Lap 18. On the final trip around the course, Febvre made an unforgettable push toward Gajser—urged on the by partisan French fans—and nearly caught Gajser in the final corner. However, Gajser defended his position, and won the race by just 0.6 seconds.
Cairoli finished in third, 30 seconds behind the dueling leaders. Evgeny Bobryshev (Team HRC), Jeremy van Horebeek (Monster Energy Factory Racing), and Valentin Guillod (KEMEA Yamaha Official MX Team) fought hard for fourth.
Bobryshev was never passed for fourth, though the three riders finished just over two seconds apart, with Guillod unable to pass Van Horebeek for fifth. Glenn Coldenhoff (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) had been part of the fight for fourth early, but faded to ninth.
In a swap of Race 1, it was Gajser jumping out to an early lead, with Febvre giving chase. A surprise start by Dennis Ullrich (KTM Sarholz Racing Team) put him between Febvre and Gajser, though Febvre passed Ullrich before one lap was completed.
Febvre upped the pace quickly and passed Gajser on Lap 3, with Febvre putting in a 1:43 lap, the fastest of the two races. Unlike Race 1 where the two were barely separated until the finish, Gajser had three 1:49 laps starting on Lap 15, while Febvre was putting in 1:47 times. That gave Febvre a comfortable lead that he held to the finish. Febvre’s 2-1 gave him the MXGP of French overall victory, compared to Gajser’s 1-2.
“To win a GP, especially the home GP, in front of the crowd is awesome,” Febvre said. “We had a good feeling in the morning and worked hard on the start for the track here at Saint-Jean-d’Angély. The mechanics and directors saw every detail in the paddock and every turn on the course and we won this all together.”
With Cairoli buried back in 24th after the first lap due to a fall, Bobryshev assumed the final podium position on Lap 3 from Ullrich and Bobryshev was never challenged. At the same time, Bobryshev was over 30 seconds behind runner-up Gajser. Bobryshev’s 4-3 finishes gave him a solid grip on the final spot in the MXGP of France overall podium.
Bobryshev won the Qualifying race on Saturday, though his teammate Gautier Paulin crashed extremely hard and had to sit out the MXGP of France. “I’m happy with this weekend,” Bobryshev said, “with the win in the qualifying race and the podium today with third. Actually, I had two quite boring races where I was just on my own for pretty much the whole time, behind Cairoli in Race 1 in fourth, and then in third in Race 2. I want to congratulate Tim and Romain though because they were just so fast today. I was behind them at the start in Race 2 and they just pulled away. I struggled a bit with the starts and couldn’t find the lines and a proper flow, but we’ve had a strong and consistent and bring home good points to close up on third in the World Championship, so I’m happy.”
Although Ullrich was unable to challenge for the podium, he did stay competitive. Ullrich held fourth until Lap 10 when he was passed by Clement Desalle (Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team) and then Coldenhoff passed Ullrich to secure 5th.
Ullrich eventually found himself in a raging conflict with Guillod (who raced with a damaged wheel), Tommy Searle (Monster Energy DRT Kawasaki), Max Nagl (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing), and a surging Cairoli for sixth place.
Against all odds, Ullrich bounced back from eight on Lap 17 to pass Searle and Guillod to take sixth at the finish. Cairoli tagged along behind Ullrich, moving up to seventh from 12th to in the final three laps. Searle suffered the most in the last laps, dropping from sixth to ninth. Ullrich’s 17-6 results put him in the top 10 overall at the MXGP of France.
Cairoli’s Race 2 push after two falls gave him fourth overall for the day. However, Cairoli now trails leader Gajser by 60 points in the 2016 MXGP World Championship standings after being tantalizingly close just two meetings ago.
“That was some good racing with Romain today,” Gajser said. “We were pushing so hard. I’m really pleased with the win in the first moto because I caught and passed Romain, but then he was really on my rear wheel and there was no space for a mistake. It was hard racing! But it was a big win so I’m very happy for that. In Race 2 I made a better start and took the lead, but we made some changes to the bike that didn’t work as well. Again, we were pushing so hard but towards the end of the race I had some problems passing lapped riders because the lines are not so easy for overtaking. I decided to close the gas a little and finish in second place. In the second half of the season it’s not everything to go out there and give 100 percent. Sometimes you also have to be smart and know when to settle for position instead of risking crashing and losing points. We finished on the same points, so the championship lead is the same, and congratulations to Romain to win his home GP.”
Photography by Youthstream
2016 MXGP of France Race 1 Results
- Tim Gajser (Honda), 34:27.904
- Romain Febvre (Yamaha), +0:00.610
- Tony Cairoli (KTM), +0:30.146
- Evgeny Bobryshev (Honda), +0:32.629
- Jeremy van Horebeek (Yamaha), +0:33.644
- Valentin Guillod (Yamaha), +0:34.752
- Max Nagl (Husqvarna), +0:45.554
- Clement Desalle (Kawasaki), +0:53.290
- Glenn Coldenhoff (KTM), +1:00.223
- Jordi Tixier (Kawasaki), +1:08.587.
2016 MXGP of France Race 2 Results
- Romain Febvre, 34:12.917
- Tim Gajser, +0:09.643
- Evgeny Bobryshev, +0:40.344
- Clement Desalle, +0:50.143
- Glenn Coldenhoff, +0:57.961
- Dennis Ullrich (KTM), +1:01.484
- Tony Cairoli, +1:03.894
- Valentin Guillod, +1:06.361
- Tommy Searle (Kawasaki), +1:07.314
- Max Nagl, +1:07.815
2016 MXGP of France Overall Results
- Romain Febvre (2-1), 47 points
- Tim Gajser (1-2), 47
- Evgeny Bobryshev (4-3), 38
- Tony Cairoli (3-7), 34
- Clement Desalle (8-4), 31
- Glenn Coldenhoff (9-5), 28
- Valentin Guillod (6-8), 28
- Maxi Nagl (7-10), 25
- Jordi Tixier (10-11), 21
- Dennis Ullrich (17-6), 19 p.
MXGP Championship Standings (after 10 of 18 rounds)
- Tim Gajser, 432 points (9 race wins)
- Romain Febvre, 408 (7 race wins)
- Tony Cairoli, 372 (3 race wins)
- Max Nagl, 342 (1 race win)
- Evgeny Bobryshev, 333
- Jeremy van Horebeek, 293
- Shaun Simpson, 210
- Valentin Guillod, 208
- Kevin Strijbos, 204
- Glenn Coldenhoff, 184
- Tommy Searle, 162
- Christophe Charlier, 159
- Clement Desalle, 148
- Jose Butron, 130
- Ben Townley, 119
MXGP of France Photo Gallery