The MXGP of Germany was brutal. Pure and simple.
Heading into his home round of the world championship Max Nagl (IceOne Husqvarna) led the 450cc class but the unforgiving Teutschenthal track claimed him in Saturday’s qualifier, a broken ankle the result of a collision with David Philippaerts (Yamaha).
And MX2 leader Jeffrey Herlings (Red Bull KTM) didn’t fair much better – the Dutchman misjudged a first lap scrub in Sunday afternoon’s opening 250cc moto, spanked himself down the track and broke his collarbone.
Here’s Herlings going down…
That’s both red plate holders failing to complete a lap of a points-paying race – and they weren’t the only riders to bite out as the world championship passed the halfway mark.
Aleksandr Tonkov (Husqvarna) and Philippaerts (Yamaha) both dislocated shoulders – DP#19 did his hitting Nagl but popped it back in so he could race – and Thomas Covington (Monster Energy Kawasaki) and Ken De Dycker (Red Bull KTM) both sustained bad hand injuries.
Here’s Tonkov taking a soil sample…
Nagl’s no-score means he slips to second in the championship, nine points behind Romain Febvre (Factory Yamaha) who’s won the last three GP overalls and sensationally leads the world in his rookie MXGP season.
Defending champ Tony Cairoli raced Germany with broken bones in his hand and his gutsy performance means he holds third in the title chase just 17 points off the lead and with nine rounds still to run the Italian must surely fancy his chances.
Best Brit in MXGP was once again Shaun Simpson (Hitachi Revo KTM UK) who ended the weekend in seventh overall but there was much more to celebrate in MX2 where Mighty Max Anstie (Monster Energy DRT Kawasaki) took a gate-to-flag win in moto two for second overall behind Tim Gajser (Gariboldi Honda).
Herlings’ still has a 100-point lead in the series but this is familiar territory for the two-time world champ who was leading the 2014 series by miles and then lost the title after breaking his leg.
The GP men have a weekend off now but Simpson and Anstie will be in Maxxis British championship action on Sunday at Blaxhall in Suffolk where Woody will be looking to extend his MX1 lead and Max will be aiming to finally snatch the red series leader’s plate in MX2. No doubt Herlings and Nagl will be spending their downtime desperately trying to get into some sort of shape to race in Sweden on July 5. The Dirt Doc prescribes hyperbaric chambers all round…
The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship kicks back to life Stateside on Saturday at Budds Creek in Maryland where Ken Roczen (Soaring Eagle Suzuki) and Ryan Dungey (Red Bull KTM) go head to head in the 450cc class while Marvin Musquin (Red Bull KTM) and Jeremy Martin (Star Racing Yamaha) square up again on 250s.
Roczen’s got a lot of points to pull back but the German’s a class act and won’t relinquish his #1 plate without a fight…
Words: TDD Image: Yamaha Europe