Antonio Cairoli sails to victory at the Grand Prix of Thailand. Photography by Ray Archer KTM Images

Defending MXGP champ Antonio Cairoli returned to his winning ways at the Grand Prix of Thailand. Photography by Ray Archer/KTM Images

Hot and humid conditions made things difficult for both man and machine at the second round of the FIM Motocross World Championshp in Si Rach, Thailand, March 9. But when all was said and done, it was two very familiar faces smiling brightly on the top step of the podium in both the MXGP and MX2 classes – Antonio Cairoli and Jeffrey Herlings. The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team riders pretty much dominated all the action, with Cairoli coming out on top of the MXGP class and Herlings the MX2 division.

Cairoli won both MXGP motos, while Rockstar Energy Suzuki’s Clement Desalle claimed second overall with a pair of second-place finishes, despite dealing with a less-than-perfect running bike in the first moto.

Filling out the podium with two third-place finishes was Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jeremy Van Horebeek. The Belgian, in just his second year in the MXGP division, took the Fox Head Holeshot in race two and held off Cairoli for the first 12 minutes. Although Cairoli ended up finding a way through, Van Horebeek managed to keep a cool head and finish the race safely in third.

The FIM Motocross World Championship opening round runner-up Max Nagl had to fight hard for his result. The German started both races well outside of the top 10, making his hopes of a podium finish very difficult. Nevertheless, Nagl’s fighter spirit paid off, as he moved fluidly through the field to take sixth in moto one and fourth in moto two for fourth overall. Nagl remains second in the MXGP Championship standings.

The MXGP red plate holder Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Gautier Paulin had a day of ups and downs. In race one, the Frenchman had a poor start, but he managed to find his flow and push through the pack to claim fourth. In race two, Paulin got off to a much better start coming around turn one in fourth. After battling hard the entire race, his result was sabotaged, as his bike struggled in the heat. Fortunately he managed to crawl home for ninth, which was enough to give him fifth overall, but that dropped him back to third in championship standings.

During MXGP race one, in a battle for fourth, CLS Kawasaki Monster Energy’s Tommy Searle came up too short on the biggest jump of the track, which ended in disaster for the Brit. The impact was so hard that the forks of his CLS Kawasaki were completely destroyed and the rest of his bike wasn’t looking much healthier either. Official report of his injuries has not been released, but his team has confirmed he’ll be sidelined with a suspected broken wrist.


Herlings, the current FIM MX2 World Champion, took the Fox Head Holeshot in moto one, and went on to dominate in typical Herlings style. In race two, Herlings was off to another good start, moving into second before the third turn with only Max Anstie in front. Although Anstie did a great job at leading the first half of the race, it wasn’t long before Herlings found his rhythm and passed Anstie to win his second race of the day by plus eight seconds.

Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe’s Glenn Coldenhoff had a great start in race one, sitting on the tail of the top three for the first half of the race. Upon reaching midway, Coldenhoff was on his second wind as he scrubbed past Jordi Tixier and Dylan Ferrandis to take second. In race two, Coldenhoff was just as good, although the heat seemed to play a factor in his ability to push the entire race. Nevertheless, Coldenhoff soldiered on to finish 2–4 for second overall, which moved him up to third in the championship standings.

Anstie took the Fox Head Holeshot in race two and did an outstanding job keeping Herlings at bay for the majority of the race, but was forced to settle for second. With a sixth-place finish in race one and second in race two, Anstie took his first podium of the year (third).


MXGP Race 1 top ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 34:26.300; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), +0:14.798; 3. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:31.856; 4. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:37.008; 5. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), +0:44.884; 6. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Honda), +0:50.347; 7. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), +0:56.111; 8. Davide Guarneri (ITA, TM), +1:09.408; 9. Xavier Boog (FRA, Honda), +1:10.985; 10. Todd Waters (AUS, Husqvarna), +1:13.856.

MXGP Race 2 top ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 35:05.060; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), +0:13.336; 3. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:30.809; 4. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Honda), +0:47.127; 5. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +1:00.667; 6. Todd Waters (AUS, Husqvarna), +1:01.753; 7. Rui Goncalves (POR, Yamaha), +1:03.518; 8. Davide Guarneri (ITA, TM), +1:07.127; 9. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), +1:11.149; 10. Xavier Boog (FRA, Honda), +1:22.690;

MXGP Overall top ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 50 points; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, SUZ), 44 p.; 3. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 40 p.; 4. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HON), 33 p.; 5. Gautier Paulin (FRA, KAW), 30 p.; 6. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 26 p.; 7. Todd Waters (AUS, HUS), 26 p.; 8. Davide Guarneri (ITA, TM), 26 p.; 9. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 24 p.; 10. Xavier Boog (FRA, HON), 23 p.

MXGP World Championship Classification Top Ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 92 points; 2. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HON), 76 p.; 3. Gautier Paulin (FRA, KAW), 75 p.; 4. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 72 p.; 5. Clement Desalle (BEL, SUZ), 71 p.; 6. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 51 p.; 7. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, SUZ), 50 p.; 8. Steven Frossard (FRA, KAW), 49 p.; 9. Todd Waters (AUS, HUS), 43 p.; 10. Joel Roelants (BEL, HON), 38 p.

MXGP Manufacturer: 1. KTM, 92 points; 2. Honda, 76 p.; 3. Kawasaki, 75 p.; 4. Suzuki, 73 p.; 5. Yamaha, 72 p.; 6. Husqvarna, 43 p.; 7. TM, 42 p.


MX2 Race 1 top ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 34:33.175; 2. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, Suzuki), +0:05.414; 3. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Kawasaki), +0:07.604; 4. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:13.176; 5. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), +0:21.196; 6. Max Anstie (GBR, Yamaha), +0:28.504; 7. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, Husqvarna), +0:39.462; 8. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Kawasaki), +0:44.566; 9. Romain Febvre (FRA, Husqvarna), +0:50.447; 10. Christophe Charlier (FRA, Yamaha), +0:53.144;

MX2 Race 2 top ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 35:13.794; 2. Max Anstie (GBR, Yamaha), +0:07.774; 3. Romain Febvre (FRA, Husqvarna), +0:17.075; 4. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, Suzuki), +0:20.185; 5. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:26.701; 6. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), +0:30.492; 7. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Kawasaki), +0:48.060; 8. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, Husqvarna), +0:54.571; 9. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Kawasaki), +0:59.486; 10. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), +1:04.789;

MX2 Overall top ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 50 points; 2. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, SUZ), 40 p.; 3. Max Anstie (GBR, YAM), 37 p.; 4. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, KAW), 34 p.; 5. Romain Febvre (FRA, HUS), 32 p.; 6. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, KAW), 32 p.; 7. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), 31 p.; 8. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, KAW), 27 p.; 9. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, HUS), 27 p.; 10. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), 19 p.

MX2 World Championship Classification Top Ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 97 points; 2. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, KAW), 74 p.; 3. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, SUZ), 69 p.; 4. Romain Febvre (FRA, HUS), 66 p.; 5. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, KAW), 65 p.; 6. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), 59 p.; 7. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, HUS), 58 p.; 8. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), 50 p.; 9. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, KAW), 42 p.; 10. Max Anstie (GBR, YAM), 41 p.

MX2 Manufacturer: 1. KTM, 97 points; 2. Kawasaki, 83 p.; 3. Suzuki, 69 p.; 4. Husqvarna, 68 p.; 5. Yamaha, 58 p.; 6. Honda, 43 p.; 7. TM, 3 p.


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