Another Dramatic Day in FIM World Championship
By Paul Malin | 15 Jul 2012
Joel Roelants (Floride Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) took his first MX2 Grand Prix victory here in Latvia after 2-1 results and Antonio Cairoli battled on bravely to secure the championship lead that he lost at the previous round in Sweden. Tommy Searle, Jeffrey Herlings and Clement Desalle all experienced problems losing valuable points along the way.
Jose Butron (Diga Racing KTM) led the first moto from Jeremy Van Horebeek (Red Bull KTM), Tommy Searle (Floride Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) and Jake Nicholls (Nestaan JM Racing KTM) in what were vey difficult conditions on a muddy race-track in Latvia. Jeffrey Herlings (Red Bull KTM) made a good start from the outside and was soon up to tenth as he tried his best to charge down Tommy Searle who looked set to claw back some more points on his championship rival. But any plans of a race win went up in a cloud of smoke, quite literally as he pulled up at the side of the track on lap two.
Butron would lead until lap eight before being overhauled by the hard charging Joel Roelants who came from fifth to secure his second career victory. Herlings was second with Van Horebeek third, who passed Jake Nicholls in the closing stages of the race.
Race two was just as dramatic as torrential rain flooded the circuit moments before the start. Jake Nicholls led for less than five turns before crashing out, leaving Jeremy Van Horebeek to take control ahead of his team mate Jordi Tixier (Red Bull KTM).
The Kawasaki’s of Searle and Roelants were passed early by Herlings before Searle crashed out spectacularly as he suffered a rear wheel malfunction. Although was able to pit for a new wheel he would not score any points. His team mate Roelants pitted for goggles whilst in fifth and it proved to be a good move too as he found his way back to second behind Van Horebeek, which was good enough to win the GP. As for Herlings, second place looked to be on the cards until four laps from home his bike came a stop and he failed to finish handing Searle a slender lifeline in the title race. Jordi Tixier took third and that was good enough for his first MX2 podium for third overall.
Overall Result: Roelants (1-2) Van Horebeek (3-1) Tixier (5-3)
Antonio Cairoli (Red Bull KTM) was first away in race one as he looked to re-claim his championship lead and was never headed in the twenty-lap race. Clement Desalle (Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1) crashed twice and could only charge back to seventh handing the advantage back to Cairoli in the points chase. Ken De Dycker (Red Bull KTM) rode a great race to place second ahead Rui Goncalves (Honda World Motocross).
Race two saw another good start from Cairoli but three laps later, a mistake on a table top jump left him down in fifth with a sore left wrist. He was able to come second after Desalle made his own mistake whilst in second and eventually finished fourth. But it was Kevin Strijbos (HM Plant KTM UK) who was a surprise winner after taking the lead on lap four to win by almost ten seconds over Cairoli and De Dycker – his first in since 2007 at Lierop.
Overall GP: Cairoli (1-2) De Dycker (2-3) Strijbos (10-1)
Photo: KTM dominated the MX1 class in Kegums
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