Antonio Cairoli  222  leads the way in Bulgaria. Photography by Ray Archer KTM IMages

Antonio Cairoli (222) won both MXGP motos at the Bulgarian GP in Sevlievo. Photography by Ray Archer/KTM Images

SEVLIEVO, BULGARIA, APR. 20 - Mud, ruts and clay set the scene in the morning, but come afternoon, the skies had opened up and the rain set in, making things treacherous for the racers of the FIM Motocross World championship in Sevlievo, Bulgaria, April 20. Despite the varying conditions, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team’s Antonio Cairoli and Jeffrey Herlings, once again, rose to the occasion.

For Cairoli, the defending MXGP Champion finally broke the curse of Bulgaria, winning in Sevlievo for the first time since his MX2 days back in 2007. The seven-time World Champion admitted it wasn’t easy.

“In race one, Gautier [Paulin] was riding really fast and in race two the track was really difficult, but I tried to ride smooth,” Cairoli said. “I did make some small mistakes near the end but I had an okay lead so it was okay.”

Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Gautier Paulin mixed a brilliant race with an average one for second overall. In race one, the flying Frenchman put an amazing pass on Cairoli when he railed around the outside and scrubbed down the hill to take over the lead. Despite finishing race one with a convincing win, the best he could do in the treacherous conditions of race two was fourth, but he was still satisfied with his riding saying, “I am okay with this result, my riding was good, so I am happy.”

Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jeremy Van Horebeek continues his climb up the championship ladder as he landed yet another podium with third overall. After finishing fourth in race one, the Belgian proved his worth in race two when he took the gnarly conditions with a grain of salt, finishing second, a remarkable three seconds behind Cairoli.

Rockstar Energy Suzuki World’s dynamic duo Clement Desalle and Kevin Strijbos both rounded out the weekend with a fourth and third-place finishes. Going up against the consistency of Van Horebeek, Desalle dropped four points to his countryman and is now tied with the Yamaha rider for second overall in the championship standings.

Saturday’s top qualifier Team HRC’s Max Nagl didn’t have the best day. After going down early in race one, the German put in an outstanding ride, battling all the way from last place to salvage ninth. In the slop of race two, Nagl, in a battle for fifth, wedged his bike between the wheel and fender of Shaun Simpson. After finally untangling and re-grouping he managed to move back up to sixth, but a last-lap fault ended up dropping him back to ninth meaning he would have to settle for a disappointing ninth overall.

MX2

After arm-pump plagued his qualifying heat race, Jeffrey Herlings came out all guns blazing in Sevlievo. Although winning race one proved no easy feat, the young Dutchman fought right to the end to claim the win in both races for his second perfect score of the season.

While the result for Team CLS Kawasaki Monster Energy’s Arnaud Tonus was not quite what he wanted, his impressive racing is what caught the attention of many. The flamboyant Swiss was throwing big scrubs as he stayed in contention for the win for the entire duration of both races. After taking two second-place finishes behind the two-time World Champion, Herlings, Tonus remains the championship points leader, four points clear of Herlings. Tonus said in the press conference, “It was really a balance between pushing and trying to stay on two wheels, so it was really difficult, but I really wanted to stay on two wheels and I did that so I am happy.”

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jordi Tixier hasn’t had the greatest start to the season, but after his solid set of thirds, even despite the fact he ditched his goggles early in race two, the Frenchman looks to be turning things around as he sealed the deal on his first podium finish of the season.

“This season has not gone really good,” Tixier said. “I have had bad starts and just put too much pressure on myself, which is not the best, but today I came in not expecting to be on the podium, because I have broken a little bone in my hand and now here I am, so I am really happy.”

Even though CLS Kawasaki Monster Energy’s Dylan Ferrandis found himself in the thick of the battle for a podium finish, the Frenchman made a few too many errors, which in turn landed him in fourth overall with two consistent fourth-place finishes. 

Wilvo Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Romain Febvre was forced to settle for fifth, after a tangle with a lapped rider saw him loose his easy third-place finish in race two.

RESULTS

FIM Motocross World Championship

Sevlievo, Bulgaria

April 20, 2014

MXGP Race 1 top ten: 1. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), 35:19.641; 2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:08.082; 3. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), +0:16.115; 4. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:30.343; 5. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), +1:01.766; 6. Xavier Boog (FRA, Honda), +1:09.534; 7. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +1:12.698; 8. Tyla Rattray (RSA, Husqvarna), +1:24.429; 9. Steven Frossard (FRA, Kawasaki), +1:27.782; 10. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Honda), +1:35.667.

MXGP Race 2 top ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 35:40.651; 2. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:03.570; 3. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), +0:10.551; 4. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:41.981; 5. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), +0:44.961; 6. Tyla Rattray (RSA, Husqvarna), +1:16.440; 7. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), +1:22.728; 8. Todd Waters (AUS, Husqvarna), +1:26.334; 9. Rui Goncalves (POR, Yamaha), +1:27.951; 10. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Honda), +1:38.708

MXGP Overall top ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 47 points; 2. Gautier Paulin (FRA, KAW), 43 p.; 3. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 40 p.; 4. Clement Desalle (BEL, SUZ), 36 p.; 5. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, SUZ), 36 p.; 6. Tyla Rattray (RSA, HUS), 28 p.; 7. Xavier Boog (FRA, HON), 25 p.; 8. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 23 p.; 9. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HON), 22 p.; 10. Rui Goncalves (POR, YAM), 20 p.

MXGP World Championship Classification Top Ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 222 points; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, SUZ), 194 p.; 3. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 194 p.; 4. Gautier Paulin (FRA, KAW), 180 p.; 5. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HON), 166 p.; 6. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, SUZ), 145 p.; 7. Todd Waters (AUS, HUS), 107 p.; 8. Xavier Boog (FRA, HON), 96 p.; 9. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 95 p.; 10. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 95 p

MX2 Race 1 top ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 35:45.533; 2. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Kawasaki), +0:04.431; 3. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), +0:12.807; 4. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:17.900; 5. Romain Febvre (FRA, Husqvarna), +0:18.710; 6. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:37.581; 7. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, Suzuki), +0:49.409; 8. Petar Petrov (BUL, Yamaha), +0:53.953; 9. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Suzuki), +0:56.176; 10. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, Husqvarna), +1:00.286

MX2 Race 2 top ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 36:18.566; 2. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Kawasaki), +0:04.511; 3. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), +0:49.156; 4. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:52.087; 5. Romain Febvre (FRA, Husqvarna), +0:54.248; 6. Petar Petrov (BUL, Yamaha), +0:56.871; 7. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, Suzuki), +0:57.131; 8. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +1:07.437; 9. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, Husqvarna), +1:19.120; 10. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Suzuki), +1:22.307

MX2 Overall top ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 50 points; 2. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, KAW), 44 p.; 3. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), 40 p.; 4. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, KAW), 36 p.; 5. Romain Febvre (FRA, HUS), 32 p.; 6. Petar Petrov (BUL, YAM), 28 p.; 7. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, SUZ), 28 p.; 8. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 28 p.; 9. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, HUS), 23 p.; 10. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, SUZ), 23 p

MX2 World Championship Classification Top Ten: 1. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, KAW), 198 points; 2. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 194 p.; 3. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, SUZ), 176 p.; 4. Romain Febvre (FRA, HUS), 158 p.; 5. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, KAW), 154 p.; 6. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), 147 p.; 7. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, HUS), 130 p.; 8. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 121 p.; 9. Valentin Guillod (SUI, KTM), 107 p.; 10. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), 105 p.

 

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