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MXGP of Great Britain 2015 preview

MXGP of Great Britain 2015 preview

Andrew Hill

Riders and fans alike couldn’t be more excited for the MXGP of Great Britain, round seven of the FIM Motocross World Championship, which is set to take place at the glorious track, Matterely Basin this weekend.

As always, the ambience in and around the paddock will be epic with thousands of fans expected to flock to the venue to witness what is one of the greatest and most spectator friendly grand prix on the calendar.

The first MXGP to take place on the wide, flowing and grippy natured Matterley Basin was back in 2006 where Stefan Everts won the premier class and David Philippaerts won in MX2.

Since 2006, the British Grand Prix has been held at Matterley Basin a total of six times with its most recent grand prix being last year, in 2014, where Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tony Cairoli won the MXGP while his team-mate Jeffrey Herlings won MX2.

Also joining in on the action this weekend, the FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship will return after a long break to take on the third round of their championship. As it stands, the defending WMX world champion FontaMX Yamaha Racing’s Kiara Fontanesi has the red plate but is tied for points with former WMX world champion Team One One Four’s Livia Lancelot.

Meanwhile the fourth rounds of EMX125 and EMX250 will also take place with KTM Factory Juniors Jorge Prado leading the 125’s by nineteen points over Kemea Yamalube Yamaha’s Maxime Renaux, while J-Tech Honda’s Nick Kouwenberg leads the EMX250 by five points of Bud Racing Kawasaki Monster Energy’s Maxime Desprey.

The Honda European Championship EMX150 will also be hosting its second round with Swede Albin Larsen narrowly leading the championship by one point over Fin Emil Weckman.

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tony Cairoli decided to switch things up last weekend when he rocked out with an extra 100cc, due to the swap from the KTM350SX-F to the KTM450SX-F, and a new colour scheme in his choice of AXO race wear. With the change attracting a lot of attention, it was a move that panned out for the Italian who won his first grand prix since August 2014.

This weekend in Matterley, the eight-times FIM Motocross World Champion will be the likely bet for the win having won here last year and if he does so, he will claim his sixth British Grand Prix victory which will make him the most successful MXGP rider on British soil.

Again, Red Bull IceOne Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Max Nagl cannot be counted out. With so much hype surrounding Tony and his random choices at MXGP of Spain, it has shadowed the fact that Max did tie with Tony on 45 points for the grand prix win. Of course the victory was awarded to Tony who had the better result in the final race, but we can expect to see Max eager to be back on top this weekend.

It’s hard to believe Yamaha Factory Racing’s Romain Febvre is still a MXGP rookie. We are getting so used to see him running up front, it almost wouldn’t come as much of a surprise if he bags a race win or even an overall before the season is out. The little Frenchman landed on the podium for the first time in his premier class career at MXGP of Spain and is bound to be hungry to do it again.

Meanwhile in 2013 Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MXGP’s Clement Desalle edged out TC222 for the Grand Prix of Great Britain victory. TC retaliated last year and edged Desalle out for it, so as always, we can expect to see the MX Panda, who has admitted he loves the track in Matterley, at the sharp end of the field, possibly vying for his first MXGP overall of the year.

Both of Team HRC’s talents Evgeny Bobryshev & Gautier Paulin are always potential podiumers. Seven rounds in to the MXGP series, we’ve learnt that if these two get off the start up front, that’s where they remain. So it’s up to them to notch some of those FOX Holeshots to their belts and bank some valuable championship points.

Another hot topic is the presence of American Mike Alessi. Alessi will race his Smartop MotoConcepts Racing Suzuki this weekend, which will add a little more flare and excitement to the already stacked MXGP class. The last time Alessi raced the FIM Motocross World Championship was back in 2010 at the US Grand Prix in Glen Helen where he finished second overall to Tony Cairoli.

There is sure to be a ton of hype surrounding Hitachi Construction Machinery Revo KTM’s Shaun Simpson. The multi-time British champion he is bound to have loads of support. As for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tommy Searle, he will not be lining up after breaking his collar-bone in the crash he had in Spain.

Sadly Tommy isn’t the only British MXGP casualty with Wilvo Forkrent KTM’s Jake Nicholls also out. The 25-year-old had an X-ray after round three of the Maxxis British series and it showed that his ulna still hadn’t healed from a pre-season injury.

“I still had hopes of racing the British GP,” said Jake, “but the surgeon actually texted me and said I should get a second opinion so I saw a bloke in London last week who confirmed that the break hadn’t healed.”

Unfortunately the number two machine of Ryan Villopoto will not be on the line this weekend, news that DBR exclusively broke earlier today and was later confirmed in a press release from his team Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing.

“The specialist medical team working with the four time US Supercross champion have confirmed Ryan’s coccyx injury and have also discovered an L4 compression in Ryan’s lower spine. Upon close examination, X-rays indicated that the injured bone material is healing but not at the speed either the Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team rider or his advisors would hope,” the statement read.

2014 MXGP of Great Britain MXGP Top 3

  1. Antonio Cairoli
  2. Clement Desalle
  3. Jeremy van Horebeek

MX2

It has already been a pretty crazy year for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s MX2 phenomenon Jeffrey Herlings. Jeffrey has had some pretty massive get offs this season, of which he has been very lucky to come away unscathed. Despite each of those uncharacteristic occasions, the twenty-year old knows how lucky he has been and is just happy to retain the red plate.

How amazing would it be if Standing Construct Yamaha Yamalube’s Valentin Guillod took another race win this weekend. Let’s face it, the kid from Switzerland has insane speed and style and he brings another dimension to MX2 racing. Now that he had a taste of what it is like to stand on top of the box, we are sure he is confident he can do it again and we look forward to seeing what he will bring to the table this weekend.

The defending champion Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Jordi Tixier will be hoping he can minimise his errors this weekend and throw together two solid results. Meanwhile a lot of the attention within the team will be placed on their latest import Bulgarian Petar Petrov who will be filling in for the injured Dylan Ferrandis who underwent a knee operation last week.

Rounding out this weekend’s preview, two riders who could set Matterley on fire are Honda Gariboldi’s Tim Gajser and the local hero Monster Energy DRT Kawasaki’s Max Anstie. While Gajser proved he is capable with his race and overall win at MXGP of Trentino, he will need to keep the bike rubber side down if he is to be of any genuine threat to Jeffrey this weekend. The same can be said for Max.

2014 MXGP of Great Britain MX2 Top 3

  1. Jeffrey Herlings
  2. Arnaud Tonus
  3. Tim Gajser

See also: MXGP Live Timing

TIMETABLE

Saturday: EMX150 Free/Timed practice 07:45; WMX Free practice 08:20; EMX125 Group 1 Free/Timed practice 08:45; EMX125 Group 2 Free/Timed practice 09:20; WMX Time practice 09:55; MX2 Free Practice 10:30; MXGP Free Practice 10:55; EMX125 Last Chance Qualifying Race 11:30; EMX250 Group 1 Free/Timed practice 12:00; EMX250 Group 2 Free/Timed practice 12:35; EMX150 Race 1 13:30; MX2 Time Practice 14:00; MXGP Time Practice 14:35; WMX Race 1 15:20; MX2 Qualifying Race 16:10; MXGP Qualifying Race 17:00; EMX125 Race 1 17:40; EMX250 Race 1 Last Chance Qualifying Race 18:25.

Sunday: EMX150 Warm-up 07:45; WMX Warm-up 08:00; EMX125 Warm-up 08:15; EMX250 Warm-up 08:30; EMX150 Race 2 09:10; WMX Race 2 09:50; EMX125 Race 2 10:30; MX2 Warm up 11:10; MXGP Warm up 11:30; EMX250 Race 1 12:00; MX2 Race 1 13:15; MXGP Race 1 14:15; EMX250 Race 2 15:10; MX2 Race 2 16:10; MXGP Race 2 17:10.