Monday, 9 March 2015

FIM MXGP World Championship Round 2 - Thailand

Motorcycle Real Road Racing Blog by Barbiegirl @ The Hague 

MXGP Round 2 - Thailand, Monday, March 2, 2015 — The FIM MXGP World Championship throws all imaginable challenges at its participants. In spite of the warm –no pun intended- welcome and hospitality of the Thai, the second round of the series was definitely no friendly walk in the park. Brutally hot and humid weather proved to be a key factor in Nakhonchaisri all weekend long. 24MX Honda Racing’s Filip Bengtsson struggled with exhaustion due to the heat but persevered to take one point in the second moto.
Team mate Christophe Charlier got a raw deal facing a track that was jumpy and unforgiving, thus increasing the risks to aggravate damage to his already injured heel. Christophe pulled out of the event on Saturday after finding himself in unbearable pain.
Both the tropical conditions and hard pack SX-style track didn’t favour Bengtsson either. Far from the far outside right “Fillibang” launched his powerful CRF450R to an impressive start in the first moto. Bengtsson was among the front runners at the end of the straight but was pushed to the outside on the first sharp righthander, exiting the corner around tenth place. The multiple Swedish champ tried to stand his ground but gradually dropped back and retired from heat exhaustion with nine laps to go.

While race direction had decided to shorten the second race with five minutes because of the heat, the struggle was just as intense!  Filip got off to a decent start but couldn’t translate his solid lap times into a consistent race pace. Circulating as high as 16th for almost five laps Bengtsson felt the heat claiming its toll and dropped back to 20th place.

Note: On Saturday Filip Bengtsson made an appearance on the MXGP Studio Show with Paul Malin and Adam Wheeler. You can find the clip below, the segment with Bengtsson starts at 13:28.
Filip Bengtsson: “Without a doubt, this was the hardest race of my life! Like many other riders I found it difficult to cope with the heat and the track was quite tricky as well. In the first moto it seemed just for a second I was going for the holeshot! Unfortunately Cairoli cut just in front of me and I got run wide. My plan was to go with the faster guys at the start of the moto and pull a gap… but it didn’t really work out. After half of the race I had emptied myself. I needed to pull off because I got dizzy so I came in to get some water in my face. Once more I tried to go out but it just didn’t work. The second moto was pretty similar. Initially my pace was okay, I ran 16th looking to make a pass on Frossard. I got frustrated that I couldn’t find a way through and lost contact with that group. Once I was in ‘no man’s land’ I lost my rhythm. With five laps to go I was done again and got picked up by the group behind me. It was super tough but I’m happy I went out for the second race and at least got one point.”
Christophe Charlier: “On Saturday I tried to ride through the pain in my heel but it was excruciating. There was no way I could ride near my normal level and the risk of making the injury worse was pretty high. This weekend the track was super technical and it was easy to make mistakes. It was a tough decision not to start however I did what I needed to do. Especially with so many people who came out to support us it was a bummer not to be able to ride. Still I wanted to thank my team, all the fans from Corsica who visited the race, our Thai supporters, the big boss from KYT Helmet, the people from Forma boots who came over for the occasion and everyone from Honda Thailand who was there. We will do everything that’s necessary to heal properly now and I will come back stronger.”

MXGP moto 1:
1. Ryan Villopoto (USA, Kawasaki), 34:09.149; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), +0:10.536; 3. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:23.931; 4. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Husqvarna), +0:28.213; 5. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:34.893; 6. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), +0:40.874; 7. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Honda), +0:49.471; 8. Tyla Rattray (RSA, Kawasaki), +1:08.958; 9. Todd Waters (AUS, Husqvarna), +1:20.819; 10. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +1:40.905
MXGP moto  2:
1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 29:10.216; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), +0:09.756; 3. Ryan Villopoto (USA, Kawasaki), +0:22.788; 4. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:51.327; 5. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), +0:59.278; 6. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Honda), +1:03.006; 7. Todd Waters (AUS, Husqvarna), +1:05.485; 8. Tyla Rattray (RSA, Kawasaki), +1:16.036; 9. Dean Ferris (AUS, Husqvarna), +1:18.208; 10. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), +1:19.321

GP of Thailand Classification 
1. Ryan Villopoto (USA, KAW), 45 points; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, SUZ), 44 p.; 3. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 41 p.; 4. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 38 p.; 5. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, SUZ), 31 p.; 6. Gautier Paulin (FRA, HON), 29 p.; 7. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HUS), 28 p.; 8. Todd Waters (AUS, HUS), 26 p.; 9. Tyla Rattray (RSA, KAW), 26 p.; 10. David Philippaerts (ITA, YAM), 20 p

World Championship classification after 2 rounds:
1. Clement Desalle (BEL, SUZ), 88 points; 2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 79 p.; 3. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HUS), 78 p.; 4. Ryan Villopoto (USA, KAW), 70 p.; 5. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 67 p.; 6. Gautier Paulin (FRA, HON), 67 p.; 7. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, SUZ), 55 p.; 8. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 45 p.; 9. Todd Waters (AUS, HUS), 40 p.; 10. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 38 p
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