2016 MXGP of Czech Republic Coverage | Febvre Is Back
With double race wins, Max Nagl (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing) scored his first overall win of the 2016 MXGP season at the MXGP of Czech Republic. The win put Nagl into third place in the 2016 MXGP Championship Series standings.
Nagl passed defending MXGP Champion Romain Febvre (Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team), who was returning to the series after missing two rounds due to a concussion. Febvre scored a pair of third-place finishes, behind MXGP Championship Series leader Tim Gajser (Honda Gariboldi) in both races.
Tony Cairoli (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) started the day at Loketske Serpentiny in second place in the standings, and retained his position, despite lackluster 7-8 performances. The Loket race was Cairoli’s return to the KTM 350 SX-F after over a year on the 450 version. Cairoli is now 109 points behind championship leader Gajser, and 16 points ahead of Nagl, who is now his closest rival.
With the exception of Cairoli, all of the top riders got off to a good start, with Nagl taking the lead from Gautier Paulin (Team HRC) after Paulin scored the holeshot. From there, Nagl built a lead of about five seconds as Gajser, and then Febvre, battled with Paulin.
With the top four riders established for the remainder of the race after three laps—Jeremy van Horebeek (Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team) in fourth—there was no head to head racing at the front until Gajser put a charge on Nagl with a few minutes remaining before the two-lap signal.
On the penultimate lap, Gajser caught Nagl and was able to show him a wheel. However, Nagl closed the door on a hard-charging Gajser in a corner, and Gajser decided to retreat and accept second place, falling nearly five seconds behind on the final lap.
Paulin, who ran up front early, went down twice and finished 10th. Clement Desalle (Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team) turned an eighth place start into a top five finish. Along the way, Desalle passed José Butrón (Marchetti Racing Team KTM), teammate Jordi Tixier, and at the midway point, Glenn Coldenhoff (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) for fifth.
With rain falling between races, MXGP of Czech Republic Race 2 was held on a moist, but not sloppy track. This time it was Gajser jumping to the early lead, with Nagl getting tied up with Butrón on the first lap, allowing Gajser to break free. Paulin moved up to a podium position on Lap 3, but was passed two laps later by Febvre, who was back in ninth place at the end of the first lap.
A five-way battle for sixth emerged early, among Tixier, Cairoli, Evgeny Bobryshev (Team HRC), Butrón and Valentin Guillod (KEMEA Yamaha Official MX Team). Eventually Tixier established control of sixth on Lap 8, behind Desalle in fourth and Van Horebeek in fifth. Bobryshev lined up behind Tixier until the finish with Cairoli in eighth. Guillod dropped to 10th at the end and Butrón out of the points in 21st.
Up front, Gajser held steady about five seconds ahead of Nagl and was poised to take the overall win with a 2-1 day. However, Gajser lost his front end in an unforced error on Lap 14, handing the lead to Nagl. Gajser was able to stay ahead of Febvre until the end, replicating the top three finishing positions in Race 1—Nagl, Gajser, Febvre.
“It was a great GP for us,” Nagl said. “Despite only having the 14th gate pick, I managed to get two great starts in the final motos. In the first race, I quickly passed Gautier Paulin for the lead and started pushing hard, as I knew Tim Gajser was following me. I wanted to avoid being passed by any means, so I gave it all to remain out front until the end. In the second race, Tim got the lead right after the start and I was third behind Butrón. I quickly passed him and started putting in fast laps to close the gap to Tim. My plan was to put pressure on him, and that’s exactly what happened. He made a mistake a few laps before the end and, when I got the lead, I just went for it. Getting two race wins for my first overall victory this season is just great. It’s so good for the team and a great confidence booster for me as well. I want to enjoy the moment and this victory and I’m looking forward to the next GP in Lommel.”
Gajser’s two second place finishes broke his run of four consecutive race wins, and it was his first meeting without a race win since round 8 at the MXGP of Trentino. “It’s not been a bad weekend here,” Gajser said. “I’m a bit disappointed not to take the win because until the end of the second race we had done enough to have taken the overall, but still we take a lot of important points which is good. In the second race, I took the holeshot which was great, so I’m really happy with the starts this weekend, and also the riding, but just five minutes to go I made a small mistake and was on the ground. Max passed me and I was trying to catch him back but started making more mistakes, so I decided to settle for second place. The track today was really bumpy and sketchy, and the rain in the second race made it even harder. It really didn’t allow you to make a mistake and you had to respect it a lot, and maybe I was pushing too hard. But still, I’m happy enough because we stood on the podium again.”
Although Febvre slipped to fourth in the MXGP Championship Series standings behind Nagl, he was pleased with his return to racing. “For sure I am happy to be back on my [Yamaha] YZ450FM and racing again. I was out for nearly one month to recover from my crash in England, and in that time I missed some training because it was not possible to get on the bike until I recovered completely. I was fine physically, but the reaction time between my vision and my brain needed rest and attention in order to come back. Now, I am 100 percent and it’s very good to get this result today.”
The series resumes next week at the Fiat Professional MXGP of Belgium.
Photography courtesy of Youthstream
2016 MXGP of Czech Republic Race 1 Results
- Max Nagl (Husqvarna), 33:51.727
- Tim Gajser (Honda), +0:04.803
- Romain Febvre (Yamaha), +0:15.311
- Jeremy van Horebeek (Yamaha), +0:17.471
- Clement Desalle (Kawasaki), +0:28.074
- Glenn Coldenhoff (KTM), +0:30.841
- Tony Cairoli (KTM), +0:31.398
- Jordi Tixier (Kawasaki), +0:35.081
- Tommy Searle (Kawasaki), +0:55.807
- Gautier Paulin (Honda), +0:57.863
2016 MXGP of Czech Republic Race 2 Results
- Max Nagl (Husqvarna), 34:33.696
- Tim Gajser (Honda), +0:02.770
- Romain Febvre (Yamaha), +0:15.354
- Clement Desalle (Kawasaki), +0:21.748
- Jeremy van Horebeek (Yamaha), +0:29.557
- Jordi Tixier (Kawasaki), +0:35.818
- Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:38.013
- Antonio Cairoli (KTM), +0:49.530
- Tommy Searle (Kawasaki), +0:55.739
- Valentin Guillod (Yamaha), +0:59.716
2016 MXGP of Czech Republic Overall Results
- Max Nagl, 50 points
- Tim Gajser, 44
- Romain Febvre, 40
- Clement Desalle, 34
- Jeremy van Horebeek, 34
- Jordi Tixier, 28
- Tony Cairoli, 27
- Tommy Searle, 24
- Evgeny Bobryshev, 23
- Kevin Strijbos, 20
2016 MXGP Championship Series Standings (after 13 of 18 rounds)
- Tim Gajser, 576 points (13 race wins)
- Tony Cairoli, 467 (3 race wins)
- Max Nagl, 451 (3 race win)
- Romain Febvre, 448 (7 race wins)
- Evgeny Bobryshev, 419
- Jeremy van Horebeek, 385
- Valentin Guillod, 286
- Glenn Coldenhoff, 248
- Clement Desalle, 244
- Shaun Simpson, 225
- Kevin Strijbos, 224
- Tommy Searle, 213
- Christophe Charlier, 198
- Gautier Paulin, 185
- Jose Butrón, 176