Desalle, Herlings Top Qatar MX GP Opener

Cycle News Staff | March 2, 2013
Clement Desalle won the first MX1 moto and took the overall victory.

Clement Desalle won the first MX1 moto and took the overall victory.

Suzuki’s Clement Desalle and Red Bull KTM’s Jeffrey Herlings kicked off the 2013 FIM Motocross World Championship by capturing the MX1- and MX2-class wins at the first ever GP at the Losail Racing Circuit in Doha, Qatar, March 2. It was also the first motocross GP to be held at night and under the lights.

The Qatar GP also featured a new three-moto, instead of four, format, which is being used for the four overseas rounds: Qatar, Thailand, Mexico and Brazil. The first MX2 and MX1 motos resulted in the top 18 riders advancing to the Super Final. They were also joined by the top two MX2 and MX1 riders from a Last Chance final for the combined final. Both the MX1 and MX2 class, however, are scored separately.

The MX2 riders hit the track first with Herlings taking the lead on the third lap and running off the win, taking the checkered flag in first place, 25 seconds ahead of Holland’s Glenn Coldenhoff (KTM), France’s Christophe Charlier (Yam) and Romain Febvre (KTM), and Australian Dean Ferris (Yam).

In the second combined motos (which ran with the MX1 riders), Herlings sealed the deal with another MX2-class win in seventh overall. Ferris finished second (in class), followed by Febvre, Coldenhoff and Charlier.

Ferris nabbed second MX2 overall, followed by Febvre.

Desalle won the first MX1 moto, finishing eight seconds ahead of Red Bull KTM’s Ken de Dycker.

After starting off in 13th place, defending MX1 champ, Red Bull KTM’s Antonio Cairoli worked his way up to fourth, then passed French rider Gautier Paulin late in the race to take third. Honda’s Evgeny Bobryshev rounded out the top five.

In the Super Moto (the second combined moto for moto MX1 and MX2 riders), Cairoli led the way from the 10-minute point on, taking the checkered flag seven seconds ahead of Desalle, but it wasn’t enough to beat Desalle for the over win.

Paulin finished third in the moto, followed by Bobryshev and Searle.

MX1 overall, it went: Desalle, Cairoli, Paulin, De Dycker and Bobryshev. Searle finished sixth overall.