2016 MXGP of Great Britain Results and Coverage |
Gajser Dominates; Febvre Out
With Romain Febvre (Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing) out with a head injury suffered in a high-speed crash during Saturday’s Qualifying race, there was no one to challenge 2016 MXGP Championship leader and MXGP rookie Tim Gajser (Team Gariboldi Honda) at the MXGP of Great Britain at Matterley Basin.
“I’m so happy to win again; it’s such a great feeling,” Gajser said. “I love this track and I was really enjoying it a lot. The second race was a little sketchy with the rain because the track got really slippery and it was difficult for visibility, but I really enjoyed my riding today, having fun with some nice scrubs and whips. In the past races, I was in a rush at the beginning and made some stupid mistakes. But I’m really happy that this weekend I could ride more smart and take another pair of wins for the overall.”
Gajser won both races convincingly, even as the rain fell in Race 2. With Febvre out, Gajser opened a 68-point lead over defending MXGP Champion Febvre. Tony Cairoli (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), who had an uncharacteristically inconsistent meeting, finished a strong second in Race 1 before struggling to 10th in Race 2. Cairoli trails Febvre by just three points, with Febvre already scratched for the next round in Italy next week.
“I’m disappointed to leave early, but the crash on Saturday was serious and it is the best decision for my own well-being to withdraw from Matterley Basin,” Febvre acknowledged. “With a head injury it is very important to rest and recover and take no action that could cause another shock, so I will recover at home and wait for more medical tests to determine when I can continue training and racing,” Yamaha Motocross Racing Manager Alberto Barozzi broke the news that Febvre will miss the Fullback MXGP of Lombardia-Italy.
Evgeny Bobryshev (Team HRC) jumped to the lead in Race 1, followed closely by Valentin Guillod (KEMEA Yamaha Official MX Team) and Cairoli. Gajser sat in fourth place after one lap, and then made his move to the front. Gajser passed Cairoli on Lap 2 and Guillod on Lap 6, putting him behind Bobryshev, who lead by over six seconds early in the race.
However, on Lap 12, Gajser easily motored past Bobryshev. Gajser pulled away as he was putting in 1:58 laps while Bobryshev’s lap times went over two minutes. This was a signal for Guillod and Cairoli to give chase. On Lap 15, Bobryshev over-jumped a tabletop and launched himself over a berm, surrendering positions to Guillod and Cairoli.
Cairoli picked up over one second on Guillod on the penultimate lap, before passing a fading Guillod on the final lap, securing second place nearly six seconds behind a cruising Gajser. Bobryshev held onto fourth ahead of his teammate Gautier Paulin, who was closing fast on Bobryshev on the final three laps.
“Honestly, I can’t say I’m satisfied with fourth because we could have been on the podium today,” Bobryshev said after the final race of the day. “From yesterday, the feeling was good here and things were working well on this track, and at the start of Race 1 it was great to be out in the lead and running so well. Then , we had a few small issues, and when I was trying to push behind Tim, I over-jumped and missed a corner, jumping out of the track. It’s frustrating, as I think a podium was definitely on the cards today. We had the pace for it, but it just didn’t happen.”
Race 2 started with a stunning holeshot by Max Nagl (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing), and he stormed to a good lead—quite a contrast to his middling seventh in Race 1. However, with Gajser in second, it seemed like only a matter of time before the 2016 MXGP Championship Series leader asserted his dominance as the rain began falling. It happened quietly on Lap 7, as Gajser scrubbed two jumps superbly, and then flew through the corner at the end of pit lane, instantly opening a huge lead.
From there, the intensity of the rain increased, riders were tossing goggles, and everyone settled into a survival mode. Nagl, held onto second ahead of Paulin, who had finished fifth in Race 1. Nagl and Paulin rounded out the Race 2 podium, along with the overall MXGP of Great Britain podium.
“It was a pretty good weekend,” Nagl said. “I always enjoy coming to the British GP and especially this track. I got a good start in the qualifying race and finished second, so I earned a good gate pick for the final motos. In the opening race I didn’t manage to get a good start. I was seventh or eighth, and spent most of the race stuck behind Van Horebeek. I was faster than him, but couldn’t find a place to pass, so I settled for seventh. We made some changes with my bike between the motos. We changed gearing and it worked to our advantage. I got a massive holeshot in moto two and then put five really intense laps in to make a small gap of almost six seconds. When the rain started coming down, I had to slow down a bit and Gajser passed me. I was surprised with getting second overall. But, we’ve got so many fourth places this season, so I guess we deserved to be on the podium this time.”
Cairoli, who looked strong in Race 1 suffered from a near crash in Race 2 on Lap 10. Things were already not going well for Cairoli in Race 2, as he was 11th after the first lap. He dropped to 14th on Lap 2 and had worked his way up to 10th before casing his KTM over a jump. Cairoli dropped back to 12th, but passed Ben Townley (Team Suzuki World MXGP) on the penultimate lap and Milko Potisek (Tip Top Racing) on the final lap to finish 10th, and sixth overall for the day.
“This was another weekend with ups and downs,” Cairoli said. “The first moto was very good, and I came from fourth to second. Then there was some bad reaction on the start [of Race 2] and Bobryshev came all the way over to my side and closed me out. But, that’s normal, that’s racing. I came back very good and was back in the top 10, but then I cased the big quad jump. My wrist was very painful, and I had to slow down for two laps. My wrist was beginning to swell, but I kept riding because I need the points. Hopefully, it is not too bad and we try to recover for Mantova [next week] because that’s my home GP.”
Although Cairoli was unable to pass Febvre in the 2016 MXGP Championship Standing, he almost certainly will in Italy, provided his wrist recovers. Gajser has been unstoppable, finishing on the overall podium at every round this year. Gajser’s 77-point lead looks insurmountable, though MXGP fans will remember how many unexpected twists and turns there were in the second half of last season when Febvre emerged as the unlikely rookie champion.
Photography by Youthstream
2016 MXGP of Great Britain Race 1 Results
- Tim Gajser (Honda), 35:27.708
- Tony Cairoli (KTM), +0:05.864
- Valentin Guillod (Yamaha), +0:09.678
- Evgeny Bobryshev (Honda), +0:15.214
- Gautier Paulin (Honda), +0:17.550
- Jeremy Van Horebeek (Yamaha), +0:20.714
- Max Nagl (Husqvarna), +0:24.515
- Tommy Searle (Kawasaki), +0:34.354
- Jordi Tixier (Kawasaki), +0:37.237
- Glenn Coldenhoff (KTM), +0:52.873
2016 MXGP of Great Britain Race 2 Results
- Tim Gajser, 34:12.109
- Max Nagl, +0:09.095
- Gautier Paulin, +0:18.031
- Clement Desalle (Kawasaki), +0:25.931
- Evgeny Bobryshev, +0:42.948
- Jordi Tixier, +1:00.390
- Valentin Guillod, +1:02.316
- Jeremy Van Horebeek, +1:15.080
- Jose Butron (KTM), +1:24.099
- Tony Cairoli, +1:32.758.
2016 MXGP of Great Britain Overall Results
- Tim Gajser, 1-1, 50 points
- Max Nagl, 7-2, 36
- Gautier Paulin, 5-3, 36
- Evgeny Bobryshev, 4-5, 34
- Valentin Guillod, 3-7, 34
- Antonio Cairoli, 2-10, 33
- Jeremy Van Horebeek, 6-8, 28
- Jordi Tixier, 9-6, 27
- Clement Desalle, 17-4, 22
- Jose Butron, 13-9, 20
2016 MXGP Championship Standings (after 10 of 18 rounds)
- Tim Gajser, 482 points (11 race wins)
- Romain Febvre, 408 (7 race wins)
- Tony Cairoli, 405 (3 race wins)
- Max Nagl, 378 (1 race win)
- Evgeny Bobryshev, 367
- Jeremy Van Horebeek, 321
- Valentin Guillod, 242
- Shaun Simpson, 212
- Kevin Strijbos, 204
- Glenn Coldenhoff, 201
- Tommy Searle, 182
- Clement Desalle, 170
- Christophe Charlier, 168
- Jose Butron, 150
- Ben Townley, 128