The Eurocircuit at Valkenswaard was rough and technical for round five of the FIM World Motocross Championship in Holland, April 26, but KTM’s Jonathan Barragan was up for the challenge and came away with his first MX1-class victory of the year and the fifth of his career. Barragan went 3-1 on the day, giving him the overall win in front of 20,000 fans.
The Spaniard was superlative in his ride from a second-corner crash and near-last position in moto one to reach the top three. He then followed World Champion David Philippaerts before controlling moto two with ease. Barragan became the fourth different MX1 winner this season, breaking Yamaha’s grip on the class.
The MX2 class belonged to Red Bull KTM’s Rui Goncalves who sampled victory champagne for the first time. The Portuguese was beaten by teammate Shaun Simpson in moto one (another maiden winner) but blew away the Scotsman, as well as 21-year-old birthday boy Nico Aubin around the sandy track in moto two.
Physical problems and crashes were common over the weekend. Sebastien Pourcel didn’t even reach Sunday after dislocating his good shoulder in practice and is expected to be out of action for four weeks. Josh Coppins was down on energy with a blood disorder and was off the pace, while Philippaerts also unusually complained of fatigue in the second half of the motos.
Marc de Reuver seemed as though he would easily win moto one, but he slipped off and ended up give Antonio Cairoli the win. De Reuver fought back for second place, but then threw himself down the hill in moto two, hitting his head.
The 2007 World Champion Steve Ramon had a heavy fall after hitting a kicker over a double while in the midst of trying to grab moto one by the throat. Although he led for a small selection of laps in moto two, Ramon submitted to the pain and dropped back for a bravely earned ninth overall
American Zach Osborne – winner of the Turkish GP two weeks ago – suffered rear brake problems in both motos in the MX2 class.
Rounding out the podiums were Cairoli and Tanel Leok, both from the Yamaha Red Bull De Carli team, in MX1, and Simpson and Aubin in MX2. Cairoli aced the first MX1 moto despite having three broken spokes on his front wheel after a collision with Ramon.
The MX1 standings is pretty close. Cairoli has a little bit more reclining space with a 15-point gap over Barragan, who has leap-frogged past De Dycker and into second place. Gautier Paulin fell off twice in moto one but was fifth overall in MX2 and keeps his Bud Racing Kawasaki at the top of the leaderboard.